I've never watched The Twilight Zone. I hate horror movies; watched too many as a preteen. But I imagine what I am feeling right now is something like what the show is about -- a strange otherworldly experience, uncomfortable, slightly thrilling and just plain weird. I currently have no book to work on. I am not writing, re-writing, editing or reworking a book. I have no new short stories to work on. I must face the questions that other writers tell me they worry about. As a novelist I rarely think about it because it is not the issue. That heady, prospect-laden question is: What am I going to write about?
Will there be another novel? I’m sure there will, but I don’t know what it is yet. I remember this Zone of Twilight from other years. It generally arrives in the fall. I usually start with short stories. At first, they were mostly retellings of my life and then I started to use story prompts to get outside of my own experience. I must say, I prefer this. My life, even cloaked in a short story, embarrasses me on the page. Perhaps this is the hangover of being shy. We use story prompts in my writing group. I think they are wonderful and I look forward to trying new genres, but I always wonder if I am cheating. Can I be sued some day for using someone’s online story beginning? I read recently that The Book of Negroes began as a story prompt. Wow.
So wish me luck as I wander this peculiar territory. I’m not really frightened, though a little worried that maybe I’ve used up my imagination. It sparkles with possibilities and whispers to me with a little thrill. And so, I begin. . .
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