Saturday 5 October 2013

The Twilight Zone

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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