Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Brain Pokes

"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." — Carl Ally

I need to get better at saving ideas. I have them all the time... things that make me go "huh?" or "what if that...?", etc, but are not complete stories. I need to have a notebook with me at all times, in my pocket or my purse or my night stand. Or, at the very least, a pen so I can write on the inside of my arm.

I need to keep a file. I have some binders where I've plopped fairly complete ideas, but I'm talking about the little things. The glance of something that intrigues you or the news story that made you chuckle or wonder (like the fact that I'm beginning to have a phobia of being glued to a public restroom toilet seat since it's happened to two different people now -- I know, there are a gazillion people in the world and the odds of it happening to me, or worse to my daughter, are slim. But they still exist and who'da thunk it?).

It would be my own little world of story or scene prompts.

I have been stung by bees multiple times since we moved to New Hampshire. In fact, I would hazard a guess that I've been stung more in the last six years than in the previous thirty-some-odd. And a few of those times have been interesting. One of them I'm planning to put in my Camilla book as an additional scene because it was kind of unusual.

Those are the kind of little ideas that I'm talking about.

What do you do when you have something fairly insignificant, but still interesting, poke at your brain?

1 comment:

Adventures of the Green Sister said...

I keep a small memo pad in my purse just for those things. When it gets filled, I dump it in a file I have in my desk for my writing stuff: story starts, scenes I've written that didn't work for that story (for whatever reason). I have all kinds of things... a description of an interesting person I saw, a snippet of conversation I overheard at a restaurant (for example, last night we were out eating Chinese and a toddler at a nearby table was acting up. A man at a neighboring table said something to the effect that the food there was worse than he'd ever eaten so not to punish the kid if he didn't want to eat it... the mom replied he was just 'acting out'... the man responded, "We just got our nineteen year old son out of jail... now that's acting out!"