Writing, Making Adjustments

I write stories and some of them are very short or as I call them, Nano Stories. These are  “imaginary books and their stories” with the entire bibliographical citation  “made-up”.  I write all through the year and I really concentrate on my Nano Stories in November as the time changes, evenings darken more quickly and the mornings are misty and bleak.

11.01.17 Vegan p

Typed words of another era.

I use vintage typewriters, index cards, or small sheets of paper to compose my Nano Stories and most times make the final story for a type-cast that I post online. The clicktey-clack of typing slugs (the letters) striking the paper show up on social media, like in this blog, or on someone’s feed, or on tee-shirts as typed words of another era.

I was approached to make one such Nano Story that was less than a hundred words a bit longer. “You know, fill out the details, involve other characters, and stretch it some, plot twists are always good.”

I reckoned the story was compact and gave all it could in less than one hundred words. I offered to write a different story more likely to fit their need.

“Nope,” this story in question was just the ticket for some ‘filler stories’ in an anthology. I offered several more of my Nano Stories to help fill the ‘holes’ in the up-coming story collection book.

“Nope, fix this one, please.” I liked the polite tone so I set to work fixing my story that I didn’t know needed repaired.

I worked on it for three days on and off. The story would not budge.

When I was next contacted, “How’s that re-write going. Did you get it stretched out some?”

“Nope.”

“Well, that’s too bad.”

“Yep, sometimes if you stretch a story out beyond its intended boundaries the reader will see through it then everyone is embarrassed.”

My story didn’t make the book.

 

As a side note, vintage typewriters have made a counter-cultural come-back of sorts. Will the old machines become mainstream? Let’s wait to see. The Revolution will be typewritten!

11.03.17 Coal Hogs Love Robots wm

Type-cast version of a Nano Story. The stories involve the use of “vintage” typewriters.

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Drawing Blanks–How To

twilight-forest-vi-oct-26-2016-paint

Ink & acrylic on stretched acetate

Many times I look at a blank page and have a curious thought: “what’s in there

that I need to find?” Have I trained myself to think that way? Yes and no. I go

that way mainly because I rebelled against blank pages (and walls) so I drew

some shape or made a splotch of color or scribed a word or a sentence. So I kept

the habit as I lived. It’s like giving a horse a little nudge in a wide open field

with no one else present, just a friend, the wind, and wide open spaces.

So what is the “how-to” of this?

Move forward and try.

See how far you can take your day-dream. Better yet see how it can take you.

All it needs is a little nudge.

I Artist, Sometimes I Open the Box

Cigar Box of Inspiration left flip1

Urban archaeology: A find whilst junking. It was under a 1964 scrapbook.

 

The following good questions are about “how ideas originate”. And my, with hope, helpful attempt to give a “full” but direct answer. These are perennial questions. I like them. I wonder too. I should never get tired of hearing them because they are wonder questions. How does one go from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’?

 Q: So, what inspires you?

A: What does and what does not.

Example: Doodles do inspire me. Being part of rush hour does not inspire me , which is a personal epistemological squib.

 

Q: Where do you get ideas?

A: By thinking.

 

Q: What was the most recent time you were inspired?

 Short

A : Today, when I looked inside an old cigar box.

Long 

A: I scrounged a fifty-year old cigar box with a few pencils inside. I sharpened a blunted stump of a scared and pitted half-inch round  red pencil. I doodled with it in a scrap paper practice pad I keep handy. Then I got excited with the doodle and now it is going to be a color drawing.

So, the most recent time I was inspired was today, when I looked inside an old cigar box. I wondered if any of those vintage pencils still worked.

At least one of them did still work.