Saturday afternoon, during a drive home from somewhere, my kids played a game with me to see if they could pick a topic I have not yet written about.
Here is an excerpt of how it went:
I wrote a story early in my writing life that featured a talking deer, but I never really liked how it turned out, so it is now in mothballs. I do have a story in my “ideas” folder that features two dogs and a cat working together for a common goal, and I have been looking for an excuse to begin work on it.
Verdict: I got the point on this one.
“The Demon You Know.” Already published.
Verdict: Easy point for me.
Well…I don’t know if you could call it love, but the main character from my young adult Metzgerhund universe, Billy Mecklenburg, definitely experiences—uh…infatuation towards a girl in his youth group. Of course, it could be argued that he feels emotions bordering love later on in the novel…a novel which, by the way, I haven’t quite finished writing.
Verdict: The kids let me have the point on that one, anyway.
They got me on this one. I’ve never written anything from this genre. I’m not ruling it out, but I’m also not going out of my way to artificially manufacture one, either.
Verdict: my kids rock!
This game turned out to be a bigger benefit than simply breaking up a monotonous drive. I’m certain that, if we were to play it again, I might hear some topic or setting from my kids that could very well spark a new story idea. It’s not like I need yet another method for generating ideas, but I like new ideas, so there will be a rematch.
As is ice hockey tradition, players begin growing their playoff beards when their team starts its first Stanley cup playoff series.
As is a ritual for many of ice hockey’s fans, we let our beards grow for as long as our team is still in contention for the Cup.
I began growing my beard at about the same time my team, the Washington Capitals, played game one of their first round series.
Everyone who knows I’m a Capitals fan believed it was just me following the ritual.
The truth: I had just dedicated myself to completing two flash fiction stories and one novella length young adult story.
My completion date kept getting pushed back because I insisted on watching all the games instead of writing and editing.
Bummer of all bummers, the Capitals were eliminated from the playoffs this past Monday night.
My beard is still in place.
It’s starting to itch in the increasingly warmer weather. And, it’s ugly as hell.
I’ve been too busy writing to shave.
The irony cracks me up.
A periodic change of perspective and/or direction is almost always a good thing for an artist of any medium, so I have decided to pause on the longer stories and concentrate on completing two of my flash fiction stories and get them out the submission door.
The first is a story I wrote over a year ago, about a girl who unfortunately got exactly what she asked for. I didn’t like the first version of it well enough, so I put it back on the shelf until I wanted to expend the brainpower to create a new direction and tone. That time has obviously come.
The second is a story about honesty…or, lack thereof…and what that ‘lack thereof’ can cost you. This story has never even been seen my critiquers, so I’m curious to see how it will be received.
After these two stories are done, it’s back to my longer pieces.
Until I decide another change of perspective and/or direction is in order again.
Which I might, at some point, evoke on purpose. I’ve got plenty of flash fiction story ideas to choose from.
I recently got into a conversation about favorite movies based on or in the world of music.
As expected, the usual suspects were mentioned. “This is Spinal Tap” for the rockers, “The Bodyguard” for the mainstreamers, “The Sound of Music” for the lovers of the classics…
You get where this is going.
My list was quite a bit different.
I never gave the blues much thought until I saw this movie in the theater way back in the mid 80s, but I walked back to my truck with a better appreciation of the craft and the aspect of life that it came from. The ‘deal with the devil’ scene, and the subsequent ‘contest,’ still play in my head to this day.
Watch the Cuttin’ Heads scene
I played in a percussion line as a marimba player for five years, and percussion does run in my family, so it is no surprise that I liked this movie. How the ending came about and how it played out were also of no surprise, but it was still fun to watch—and listen to.
Watch the drum line showdown scene
My next selection is simply a series of clips from the movie Jackass 2, accompanied by a CKY song I really like.
Listen to the tune, laugh at the insanity
The flick Disaster Movie, in my opinion, more than lived up to its title in an unfortunate way, but the Chipmunk concert cracks me up every time I see it.
Chipmunks in concert
If anyone has some favorite music movie scenes to share, I’d like to check them out.