Tag Archives: internet

A Story a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

strawberry.jpgHappy Summer! It’s technically spring but it sure feels like summer in North Carolina! And the great news–besides a bed of strawberries now ripening daily–is that there are myriad things to write about. I decided to take Julie Duffy up on her creative challenge to actually draft a new story each day. I’m having a blast, and I hope, keeping the doctor away.

Here’s what I do. I rise first thing in the morning, and before the whirlwind of the day takes over (walking the dogs, eating breakfast, or painting shelves), I give my unconscious mind free rein. Yes, I do have an idea in mind, taken from an ongoing list, but I try not to think about it too much until I actually put words to the screen. It’s a crazy thing. The more I write, the more new ideas spring up.

As a matter of fact, we went to the flea market this morning, which is the writer’s equivalent of paradise. I often joke with friends that I’d love to one day lead a workshop where I take my fellow writers to Sophia, to the flea market off Highway 311. Among the ripe mangoes, rose and hibiscus plants, old books, movies and the strange assortment of someone else’s odds and ends, there is a plethora of random and intriguing conversation.

  • “There you go, getting all cynical again!” said a vendor, possibly to a long-time customer.
  • “She’s not really a people person,” said a little girl when we asked to pet the Dachshund puppy in a stroller. (Would it be a “people dog?” Not sure. :))
  • “Do you know where Bulgaria is?” asked a man in response to my question about his accent.

Today I bought a picture from 1908, when people printed images and mailed them as postcards. Where else can you find such a thing from more than 100 years ago? I’m sure that gem will also be a prompt of some sort in the future.

We’re almost halfway through the month, and I’ve drafted stories about a baker, a university town that pays its residents for their dreams, and two bickering sisters who accidentally leave their aging mother at a rest-stop. They may not all pan out as complete stories but as the writer Ray Bradbury once said: “Write a story every week. It’s impossible to end up with 52 bad stories.”

Here’s hoping your writer’s garden blooms with inspiration!

 

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Did the Internet Kill the Imagination?

Image“Why do some months have 30 days and some have 31?” I mused recently to my husband. “I don’t  know,” he said, followed by the growing catch phrase of the new century. “Why don’t you just Google it?” 

For information fiends and those with eternally curious minds such as mine, the Internet appeared to be a godsend. You can find out about nearly anything. Simple questions (“Did they ever find Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s plane?) and their answers (they think so, it may be in the Mediterranean) lead to a never-ending network of more, more, more. Was his plane shot down by the Germans? Did he really read novels and fly at the same time? What else is in the Mediterranean? Who else died at a young age? Is Tommy Bradford from Eight is Enough still alive? You get my point.

Sadly, in my obsessive quest for information, I’ve even found myself thinking that if something is not on the Internet…it must not be that important. Stop, stop! And this is what I don’t like about the Internet. There’s no filter and there’s absolutely no space for your imagination. Information is not knowledge and the Internet crowds your brain with useless (and many times, untrue) esoterica that leave no room for wonder.

For the record, I haven’t Googled the history of why months have more days than others. I’d rather ponder that question for a bit. Maybe the western calendar was created by a superstitious druid who measured the days of each month based on the droplets of wax that flowed from his candle on any given night. Or maybe March was a bad month for him and he just thought that April ought to be shorter.