Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Streak

"* cue ray stevens and his song of the same name "

No, I am NOT about to strip to my bare nakeds and run about outside, at a cricket match or even a ping pong tourney. If nothing else, it's too Bloody cold. No. This is another type of streak. (Have written about this before, but I have a habit of harping on things ...)

Inspiration. It comes and it goes. Where and when, nobody knows. Maybe I'm a lucky one, because I can walk down the road on any given morning and have three good story ideas before I get home. In all probability tho, by the time I sit down I've also probably forgotten all of them, or the thread of them. It's a little annoying.

I remember once, a fair while ago, I used to walk six k's along the highway to work. On the way I wrote the perfect story, one I'd had in my head for ages but could never get it just right.

You know what I mean? It's there, it makes sense, but it's not

It's called " The Cruise", and it's about youth in the country towns, the car culture that grows in small country areas because it's the only real route to freedom, and how some people build these cars, these wonderful, perfect pieces of automobilia and having spent their lives, their savings building what is - in their minds - the perfect escape machine, never going anywhere, except maybe around the block, or down the street, with a dozen others just like them on a Friday or Saturday night.

The story is beautiful. It has angst, pathos, feeling, heartbreak, you name it. And in that six k walk I had IT!! Did I write it down?
Did I record it, at least?

No. I still have the story, mostly complete, but what I have has no edge. It's not perfect. It's flawed. It isn't the story I told myself on that walk to while away the time before work, a story that just held me, and I was telling it to myself.

Back to inspiration.

I never feel at a loss for inspiration. Walking in a field one morning gave me a line. "The last of the summer spiders." All because where I was, the ground was covered in these tiny cone shaped webs strung between tall stalks of winter grass. Hundreds of webs. There was a story there, too, but all I have left is the line.

Ideas bounce through the hollow of my brain like dust motes, blown by a gale. I have tended to wait and see what takes root, what says a week. if it finds a home in one of the cob-webby corners of my brain, if it maybe grows a little, and if, only if it still grabs me after a week, it gets page space. sometimes it grows from there, sometimes it stagnates and just sits there, becalmed in a sea of ideas and thoughts and no wind of creativity to propel it further.

Sometimes it just gets forgotten.

Oh yeah, the streak.

In the past three/four weeks, I have written down maybe tw hundred bits and pieces that will maybe becoe stories. At the moment they are just germs, seeds waiting to burst forth and grow the roots I need in my mind to pay them some attention and nurture them  little more to fullfilledness (is that a word? should be!). I have had a creative streak that is second to none in the past three years. I can create anything I want anywhere. It is that good at the moment.

But have I done anything? Have I tended the garden of creativity and brought forth a bounty of stories to amaze and astound? Have I?

Short answer:    No.

I start, I stop, I move on to the next.

And I don't know why.


  1. Barry, your life at the moment is full. How you even get time to THINK creative thoughts is pretty amazing.
    I know how you feel. So often I wake after planning a story, plot, scene or just dialogue, ready to pen it down 'cause it was memorable. But by the time I have enough peace to recreate the gem, it's somehow jaded and lost its edge.
    Scary isn't it? Scares me. I need time. The ideas are bouncing but the time to get them onto paper flees before those gusts of life.
    It will happen. Maybe not overnight. hehe. But it will happen. I promise myself that. Every day.

  2. Barry,
    You have just proved the importance of keeping a jounal no matter how rough. When it's all boiled down we really do 'write what we know'. It's the silver cobwebs in the dew and scent of new mown grass that give 'the edge', as you say, to our stories. It provided you with your impressive sentence: Ideas bounce through the hollow of my brain like dust motes, blown by a gale.

    Good on you for writing down those 200 bits and pieces over the last few weeks. You haven't stopped have you?

    My June writer's workshop on the Muse blog was Write What You Know. If you are interested it's at http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2011/06/write-about-what-you-know-part.html
    It's in 2 parts.