Today’s improvisational creative writing challenge for me! Don’t forget, I plan to use all of the details I collect in November in a short story I will post on my blog.
Tell me about something in your life you have trouble dealing with. Go ahead, this is your chance to vent!
As for me, I have trouble dealing with paper. This is strange but true. I have a love-hate relationship with paper. Obviously, I am a writer so paper is a huge part of my craft. While I work mostly on my lap top, there are always points in every story that I just need to print it out and feel the pages, see the whole story at once, remap scenes by physically arranging the pages all over the dining room table. No big surprise, I love books and reading, too.
In fact, when asked, “If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?”
I blurted the first thing that popped into my head. “Alone on the beach with a book.”
Unfortunately, this hurt my husband’s feelings a little. Perhaps I should have thought more before answering and said, “Alone WITH MY HUSBAND on the beach . . .”
Live and learn. He knows I still love him!
However, I hate paper, too. It buries me every week. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by it and part of me is embarrassed—ashamed even—to admit it. Paper threatens to swallow me whole.
I take in the mail. It contains coupons, catalogues, magazines and umpteen bills. Oh and of course, the mail holds stacks of self addressed stamped envelopes coming back to me from literary magazines and agents. The paper keeps on coming. I sort through the piles. Most of the catalogues and coupons go right in the trash. I track the responses from agents and magazines then trash the rejections. I save the envelopes because my mother uses the stamps in her artwork. The bills go in a “to be paid” stack on my desk. The rest goes in a pile in case I might need it someday.
But there is more: I am buried in print outs of my own manuscripts-in-progress, scraps of paper and notebooks with story ideas, to do lists, others’ stories to critique, flyers advertising my writing group at the local library, and receipts for writing-related expenses I hope to be able to deduct.
I don’t want you to think I’m the only contributor to my paper mess. My three sons’ homework assignments, tests, report cards, newsletters, book order forms, field trip permission slips, contracts for musical instrument rentals, and art projects galore.
So if there is ever a time you don’t hear from me for a few days, please come dig me out from under the mountain of paper in my house!
Come on post your gripe here! Challenge me to give the characters in my next short story the same problems and annoyances and see how they handle it.
There is madness in my method. You may think that I am merely giving you a little writing prompt or taking a poll about these little slices of life. But there is more to it than that.
My plan is to request little anecdotes and favorites from you on one topic or another a couple of times per week through the month of November. Then, I plan to take all of the little tidbits you share of favorites, fears, annoyances, and more and incorporate as many as I can into a story that I will post here.
So, check back often, have fun answering the questions, and challenge me to be creative!