It’s time for THURSDAY THOUGHTS, where I share with you random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. I’m loving these posts and the stories that are coming out of them! What typically happens is I write the post on Thursday and allow the thoughts to roll around in my head for a couple of days where they can pick up some history and some gritty details. Maybe make some connections I hadn’t thought about before. Then over the weekend, I’m able to carve out a story draft. We all have our own way of using inspiration, but if you’re on a dry spell or just can’t seem to get motivated, I highly recommend it.
And now for the thoughts:
- Scraps. Specifically this scrap of paper I found while out walking the dog earlier. I can make out the words ‘sharing’ and ‘love of food’. Was it an advertisement for an event? Or maybe to join a specific group? I believe every object has a story to tell, even the little crispy burnt ones. Who did this belong to? Did she or he go to the event? And why is it burnt? Did the evening end in catastrophe? Or just the memory? What’s fun is I think you could put this little scrap of paper in front of twenty writers and end up with twenty fascinating stories, all different. Which always amazes me. It’s like the stories aren’t just inside of us, they’re outside, too. Thousands of them floating around in the air, waiting for us to put the words on the paper and breathe them into life. Something else to think about — what memories of ours have been burnt around the edges and tossed aside?
- Dragons. Maybe it was the burnt crispy conversation that did it, or maybe it’s the Screaming Death that’s sitting on my desk waiting for my husband to fix the tail so he can join the rest of my daughter’s plastic creatures, but now I’m thinking about dragons. This can’t go wrong. Dragons always fit in any story. Don’t believe me? Take the book you’re currently reading. Open to a random page. And imagine a dragon flying into that scene. Livens it up, doesn’t it? The only problem with dragons is they’re so predictable, aren’t they? Show up, fly around, breathe fire, stomp the village into wee broken bits. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But I want the unexpected, so if I put dragons into a story this week, I need to do something different with them. Maybe they’re pranksters like little garden gnomes. You wake up because dozens of knee-high dragons have surrounded your house, raided your garden and are now flinging vegetables at each other. Or they’ve taken all the shingles off your roof and used them as targets in a game called ‘Torch the Square Thing.’ Or maybe instead of guarding treasure, they guard zebras because they like stripes, much to the horror of zebras everywhere. I don’t know. I’d have to think about it some more.
- Metal rings. My husband paints miniature people and then he takes them into battle against other miniature people. A man’s gotta have a hobby and when he isn’t working ungodly hours, he enjoys it. He’s tried to get me to do it, too, but I already have like six hobbies and I barely find the time to enjoy any of them. He also likes to save all sorts of knobs, wires, caps, small broken bits, fake plant leaves and other knick knacks to re-purpose as terrain for the little people. So one day I picked him up these little metal rings, thinking he could use them on a tower or to make a strange robot or something. And now I’m thinking about metal rings in general. Big thick metal rings, tiny ones, rusty metal rings, shiny carbon steel rings, so many possibilities. And I love how different emotions and themes can be wrapped around these rings, too. Innocence or danger. I think I like the rusty version, maybe because I know there’s a story there. But shiny metal rings could surprise me. It’s so exciting when ideas start to run around in my head!
- Blue. I normally add a texture, but today I’m choosing a color instead. We watched the film Inside Out the other day and I love the subtle touches throughout the entire movie to highlight the interaction between Joy and Sadness. Both have blue hair, while the others don’t. Both have blue eyes, while the others don’t. Joy even has splashes of blue all over her dress. And it’s those little touches that tend to stay with you, even subconsciously. Unfortunately, I paid so much attention to it, now that the movie is over I keep seeing blue everywhere! Blue Christmas trees keep popping up on my Facebook feed. Where did they come from? The background on my computer is blue. My daughter’s bathrobe still on the floor from this morning has blue stars all over it. And I know this might come as a shock to many Stockholmers, but yesterday, I saw the sky and it was blue, not white. Colors are fantastic. The trick is to highlight the colors of things that matter in writing. In other words, maybe it’s not so important that the dragon is blue, but maybe it is vitally important that the stone he eats is. You get the idea.
I think that’s it for the moment. Other than all the normal daily thoughts — get kids, library books, grocery shopping, why do I weep for humanity whenever I read the comments section on any internet post, things like that. I’m sure you have similar thoughts running around in your head. While they are so very important in our lives, they’ve become commonplace and they don’t help much with my writing so I’ll leave them out of these posts =).
I like today’s thoughts. What do you think? Do you think there’s a story in there? About dragons, burnt crispy memories or scraps of paper, some old metal rings (or new shiny ones) and something blue?
I think so, too. I can’t wait to see what comes from this =).