Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zapping Myself with the Inspiration Gun

I've been feeling icky, which has made me feel somewhat uninspired. When I'm feeling uninspired, I turn off the radio on my way to and from work, roll down the window, and just think. My thoughts go something like this:

First, I use my mental Plot Hole Prod to find weak points in my plot. Then, Real Life intrudes when spot a gas station and note that the price of gas is now 3.59 a gallon. I wonder what our electric bill will be come July.

I shove the thought aside and try to dream up connections between characters. My stomach growls and I wonder what we'll have for dinner. I drag my thoughts back to my plot. I stop for a red light. Big truck rumbles up beside me. I get in a groove, imagining a great new twist. Then, with a deafening hiss, the truck's air brakes blast the twist right out of my head. With an annoyed glance at the truck, I roll up my window and put on the air conditioning. Once I clear the intersection, I turn off the AC, let the cool air run out and then roll the window back down. In the meantime, I try to recapture the great twist, which now lingers like a ghost in my mind. It was once there for real, but now it lacks substance. As I approach the last big intersection before home, I ponder whether I should take the railroad bridge or the shorter route, where I risk getting stopped by an incredibly long, Florida train. I thank God that my choices are so mundane. I gamble on the shorter route. It's a lucky day.

I'm so unfocused!

This week's goals:
  • Make my new Starcaster opening make sense.
  • Work on downgrading poor Sam.
  • Send "Spin" to another market (you know what that means)
Many thanks to Katie, who read "Spin" and found a few small yet significant problems with it.


  1. I've sometimes thought about getting a recorder for moments that like, because it's true--the more you try to hold on to the thought or find it again, the further it drifts away. Then again, talking out loud seems to have the same effect for me--I completely lose my train of thought.

  2. Shannon, I actually have one in my purse. I need to use it every once in a while!

    Lisa--a rejection. I need to prepare it for the next market, but life has been a bit crazy this week. Thanks for your interest!

  3. I like your gas station pic. I acutally saw one like it a while ago, except its prices were "Arm," "Leg," and "First Born Child." (Apparently, the gas station was owned by Rumplestiltskin.)

  4. Lisa, I'm not sure. I've had such a busy week I have not had a chance to do anything with it--or meet any of my other goals so far. Somewhere with a faster turnaround, I think.

    Ooh, I wish I found the one with the first born child.

  5. Petrol/gas is evil. I swapped my kidney for just half a tank on Tuesday! And now gas and electric are going up by 40% ... I should invest in solar panel stock.

    Good luck pulling the twist out again! It's so frustrating when they slip away.

  6. Pop over to aliendjinnromance.blogspot.com and do a blog search on Jacqueline Lichtenberg there. She's done several excellent articles on the writing craft which covers what you're dealing with right now.

  7. Thanks, I will look it up. I've actually started writing again, sewing my new opening into the novel. I was able to do something that I didn't expect. I always like that. If I didn't expect it, then I can't imagine that a reader would have expected it, either.


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