Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August Challenge: Summing Up

My big challenge for the month was to get up and get moving. While I was housesitting I did some exercising, 'cause they have machines for it in the basement. No dice. Back home again, I made some bread and did some cleaning. Again, no dice. My hopes of thinking while moving didn't quite pan out.

However, I have realized that some of my best thinking about stories time comes in the car. The chicken heart story was born during a trip across town. Then I got to thinking some more and realized that one of my all-time favorite characters, Kelda, was born a few years ago on a trip across the country.

So, while taking a walk might not be the ticket for me, driving apparently is. Belonging to a writers group in another town is proving doubly beneficial, not only do I belong to a writers group, but I have that drive to do my thinking during. And here, I never quite thought about it that way. Now, if only gas weren't so incredibly expensive I'd really be in business.


-John said...

You know what you must do: drop out of school and become a truck driver. Take a tape recorder with you, and you'll have a best selling series inside of six months.

Ali said...

As tempting as that sounds, I just don't know if I'm fond enough of truck stops to make it work. Although, they do tend to have nifty breakfast food, like cinnamon rolls as big as your head. Hrm... this warrants a bit more consideration, I think.

Mishell said...

I did most of my best thinking when I used to drive 40 miles to and from school, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I think I wrote every one of my paper in my head as I took to trips. (I don't know about the truck driving thing, though. Dad's a truck driver, and he says you have to worry about running over cars--they tend not to realize that trucks are big and often get in the way of turning and backing up and such.)

Debbie said...

Any food as big as your head is good. Burritos, cinnamon rolls, cantalope.

If you were a cross-country trucker, though, you'd probably miss a lot of our gatherings. Not good.

But carrying a tape or digital recorder in the car might be a good idea.

Ali said...

That is true, trucking = no socializing. I think that may be a deal breaker.

Jenny said...

Now, truck stops are most interesting as far as picking up stories goes. I have a plan for a one-act play that's set in a truck stop. (Because writing--wrighting?--plays is not my big thing, it's rather on the far backburner)

Maybe we should have a meeting at a truck stop...head-sized food, really interesting folk, serial killers...it'd be fun.

(Oh, and I did swim quite a bit this month. But that wasn't incredibly conducive to writing.)

Whittaker Luckless said...

The trick with creative juice stimulating activity is finding something which engages your mind enough that stray thoughts are suppressed, but your imagination can still...what's a good word? gambol? Frolic? Scamper? Barrel around? Trodge--the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a mind which has nothing left in the world but to simply soldier on, and suck a few toffees, maybe have some vegetarian meatloaf, tea with Hitler. A lot of my thinking I find impeded by the ideas that I don't want anything to do with just at any given moment, or by the things going on around me. So if I read a book, it keeps my thoughts in the story, so I can think about other things. I could go whole chapters without absorbing a word if I wanted to, but that would turn out some fun stuff. The problem being that on some level what you're reading is effecting what you're thinking, and so your writing might end up with a sort of Lloyd Alexanderish feel to it...depends what you're reading.

Strikes me as odd.