23 January 2007

American Inks: The Project Continues

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it. ~ Elizabeth Drew

I am now 810 words into my version of the Amer. Inks new writing project. I know, it does not sound like many words after two and half days of being snowed in. What can I say? In Virginia, one inch of snow, layered with a nice thin sheet of ice constitutes getting "snowed in." Add to this fact that my car did a little icy pirouette on the way home and gave my nerves quite a shaking and I have since been severely under the weather with a bout of either the flu or a nasty little cold with an attitude.

From late Sunday evening until late Monday evening, I have plied this little cold with honey, tea and whisky - not necessarily in that order and a single malt of course. ;-D I don't know about my cold, but it has been a tremendous boon to me! I stayed abed most of Monday and almost all of today. I did not feel as weak as I did yesterday - hence 810 words later, I feel my time in the sick room has been justified.

This short story that we were supposed to simply finish has turned into a prologue and a chapter. What in the world has happened here?! My characters have happened, that's what. They practically shouted at me in a Highland accent: "this tale cannot be told in short story, lass! It needs to be a whole bloody book!" Ah yes - my characters are Scots. At least some of them. Big surprise there if you know me. If there's one accent that makes me weak in the knees besides Gothic, it would have to be Scottish. ;-)

If these characters continue to carry on like this, I may have to come to the meeting with yet another unfinished story. I don't have a choice ~ the tale cannot be told in a short story!

Oremus pro invicem,

16 January 2007

American Inklings in McLean

The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.
~ Thomas Mann

The first meeting of the American Inklings in the new year took place last night at Corkies ~ a cozy place where I am a regular Sunday brunch-er. The charm and atmosphere immediately said that the A. Inklings would be at home. And though they closed at nine, they graciously allowed us to stay until after ten.

We began by discussing creativity: what it means to be creative; whether there are boundaries to creativity and what creativity is not. Then we engaged in a writing exercise. We each took a piece of paper and wrote down one sentence, then passed it to the person to our right and they wrote a second sentence. We continued passing the pieces of paper around until Sullivan said stop.

Out of four beginning sentences, three of the unfolding stories were quite melodramatic and silly. I only claim responsibility for two sentences that took a story from a horror to a farce. But I must say the end result was humorous. :-)

The fourth story we all agreed we were intrigued by. It had the best flow; it made sense and we all wanted to know what happened next. How was it going to end? And there in lies our next writing exercise: to take that beginning and write an ending. And it does not have to be long nor does it have to be short. We put no limits on word length. Just write an ending and however long it takes you to get there, so be it. I can’t wait to read what the others will come up with. And I’m looking forward to seeing what story the characters are going to be telling me to write down!

Oremus pro invicem,