Friday, June 30, 2017

The Seeds of a Short Story

--Last night, at a wonderful dinner with my Hindu writer friend, I said, "I'm about to start a story that has a woman who teaches Animation at a for-profit art school who starts having dreams where God is speaking to her.  But God doesn't look like we'd expect--God is some sort of quilter."  I asked if she wanted to write a ghost in the machine sort of story--once we would adopt a theme or a symbol and then both write a story.  She told me about the various fragments that she still plans to write into individual stories.  She's writing about twins.

I thought about a friend long ago who was pregnant with twins.  One of them died while still in the womb, but the other lives still.  I've always wondered if they would tell the child about the long-lost twin.  Would the child feel a sense of loss even if she didn't know the story?  I assume she'd feel a sense of loss if she did know the story.  But at this point, I don't think I'll be using that nugget in the story I plan to write this week-end.

--Yesterday morning, I was thinking about the elements of the story about the animator, and I thought about including a summer trip to Mepkin Abbey as part of the story.  Here's the what I was thinking two weeks ago, in an e-mail to my Sociology writer friend:

"I am thinking of writing a short story while you're gone.  It will be about a research oriented, facts-based, very cerebral person who starts having dreams about God--God always looks the same, like a female quilter (I think she'll look like either you or me, because if I made her Indian or African-American, that might be stereotypical).  God will tell her to repair the frayed fabric, and the main character won't be sure of what to do exactly.
I thought about making the main character a Ph.D. in Psychology, so she understands that she's not having a mental breakdown, but she's also not sure what to do next.
I've also been playing with a story idea about a faculty member in Animation who decides to go to theology school.  Maybe I'd be repeating ground.  Maybe I should make the Animation faculty member the cerebral person who gets visions and thinks about ghosts in the machine."

--This morning, I started the story this way:

My family thinks of me as the creative one because I named my cats. So of course I wouldn’t tell any of them when I started having the strange dreams.
--These stories all have some sort of link to social justice/activist work, and this morning, I came up with the link for this story.  The Mepkin monks once raised chickens and sold their eggs in local grocery stores.  PETA accused them of cruelty, and either took them to court or threatened to take them to court.  And the monks didn't protest.  They simply stopped raising chickens and started mushroom farming.

--I've been incubating this story for a long time.  Back in October I wrote:

I'm also intrigued by the announcement that one of the Corporate highest of the higher ups will be on the campus of my current school on Tuesday.  I wrote this e-mail to the only 2 colleague friends who would understand:

"I bet I'm the only one in the whole organization who has noticed that the Corporate guy is visiting on the feast of All Saints.
Oh, I will have fun with this!  I'm already crafting a short story . . ."
And I am having fun with it--the main character will teach Animation, and I can have fun with the idea of what animates and what deadens.  I thought about starting it this morning, but it still needs time to marinate.

So this week-end, before my online class gets into high gear, I'll will grab some writing time and crank out a story.  It's been too long.

1 comment:

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This was a really interesting post to me, how ever i wish that you had posted some good pictures, with it as well, it really completes the post, but good job anyway.