Sunday, July 10, 2011

When inspiration hits...

I'm out walking and the sky has a molting look about it, hanging between rain and sunset, giving off amber and scarlet feathers here, swirling with little cakes of bluish cloud there. I'm counting nesting birds (6) and chattering ground squirrels (3) and trying rather unsuccessfully to get my protagonist to tell me what exactly he's planning to do next.

ABC 1966 TV Shows
I'm just making the turnaround when WHAM! I'm struck in the back with what feels like a rock and a half second later, my whole right side is dripping in something wet and cold. I can't even manage to curse, and I merely make a kind of "Auargh" noise. My spine, where the thing hit me, is smarting like mad. Laughter roars past, and I see the truck blaring away, its bed full of people -- kids or adults, I can't tell -- among them the sniper who caught me off guard for shits and giggles.

First, I'm stunned, then angry, then (rationalizing and trying to act the bigger person) sorry for the stupid drunkards or gang members or whoever. To get your jollies beaming water bottles at walkers! Then, surprisingly, I want to cry. Just for a moment. Because it feels bad to be targeted like this, the bruise already swelling notwithstanding.

And suddenly I know that my protagonist, who's been singled out all his life because he's genetically different, must feel it a hundred times worse. When he's pegged with sanitizing spray bottles and sticky adhesives that ruin his clothes. When he runs across ALL GRUBS DIE carved into the wall... Oh, poor Jaffrey, I think, horrified. I begin the walk home, steeling myself in case the truck made a U-ey and is on its way back. My WIP? I know exactly what's happening next.


  1. It sucks that some random person pegged you, but at least it jogged your brain. :P

  2. I figured it could get me down or I could use it as fodder. :)

  3. Great story! Talk about a sign. Hope the bruise heals fast:( Karma baby, they have it coming.

  4. Such colorful and inviting story telling. I could listen to you for hours over a cup of coffee (black). And I should also mention you are very beautiful :)

  5. What a terrible thing to have happen! But sometimes I think that writers operate from two deep emotions: humility and empathy, and it sounds like that experience sharpened both for you. Btw, I am intrigued with this new wip--what is it about? Grubs? Do tell!

  6. Hi unicorna! *waves* I'm a black coffee girl in the morning, but sweet and sugary come afternoon. Thanks for your kind words.

  7. Kara -- It was so startling! I love your concise summation: Yes, it sharpened both humility and empathy in me. Imagine how your mind whirls, thinking of all the people who live in fear of a random attack, whether because of their location--middle east, Mexico, African hot-spots--or the color of their skin or accent or religion... Geez.

    My WIP is a MG sci-fi. I don't have anything as pitchy as Amber's summary but it's about a boy who lives with one foot in the real world and one in a virtual world--where artificial intelligence entities are perhaps more real, more dangerous, and more human than those made of flesh and blood.

    Drat, I'll have to craft a real summary now and post it up. Thanks a lot ;P