Monday, February 1, 2010

{Well, seeing as how I never use this thing}

I guess I might as well start.

I have so many blogs that I create, yet never use. I need a place I can just write freely, without anyone knowing who I am, or potential nosy family members judging every little word they read searching for hidden meanings. Not that most of my family would even do this, but I know there are some out there who might. Needless to say, this won't be linked to my facebook page.

Anyway, on to what I would actually like to write about. Things have been on my mind....musings, ideas...sparks. Yet I can never quite realize them. It's so frustrating; to have so many ideas, so many beginnings, or middles, and no where to put where to go. I don't know how to construct a story well. And it bothers me. I know a good story when I read one, and I can even tell you what makes a bad story bad...yet when it comes to writing my own, I'm at a loss. My own plots seem contrived, my characters convenient. I wish I could make them leap out of the page, make them truly real. But the plots I put them in....I need a reason for the action to start, or I need a place for it to go. Sometimes I have a destination in mind, but absolutely no idea how to get there. Or I get a perfectly wonderful beginning, and no plot. None whatsoever comes to mind. It's so infuriating sometimes.

And at one time or another, anything, and everything can inspire me. Flashes of characters always pop into my head. A bumbling little man who works for a top secret government agency, whose family assumes he is a very successful intelligence officer, but who is in reality, a mere cook. That came from an actual story from my fiance's cousin's family. Although I doubt he was bumbling. But there was a misunderstanding about what he did in this very important government company, when in fact, he was actually the cook. So the spark came, but nothing else.....

Or when I visited a little pizza parlor in downtown Seoul. It was run by 4 what looked to be teenage girls. It was very cutely decorated, and they had a tv above the small fridge playing Taiwanese dramas. It got me thinking about a story of girls who run a pizza shop, or coffee shop together. But again, plot problems...Where do they live? What do they do? How did they acquire this shop, and who runs it while they are in school? So maybe they are in college? It has to be in a big city, and yet I have never lived in a big city, and I have never run a small business. It would be hard to come up with specifics needed to make the story believable.

Then, there is one about a woman whose fiance leaves for a long journey. She promises to wait faithfully for him, and every day she ties a piece of cloth to a little tree outside her house, as a marker for each day that has passed, and also as a prayer that he returns safely. Perhaps if God looks down and sees her faithfulness to her love marked on the tree, he will return safely to her. One day she receives word that he has been lost at sea, but she will not give up hope that she will see him again. Months pass, and soon years. She gets older, yet he does not come. Others suggest that she stop her hoping and settle down with someone else, before she is too old to marry. She refuses to give up hope, never failing to tie a ribbon to the heavy laden tree, that has now grown much bigger. The bottom branches soon don't even produce many leaves, since they have been covered in tightly knotted cloth. Other ties have been broken through by new strong shoots. Still, until the day she cannot walk outside of her house any longer, she ties her linen to the tree. Neighbors begin to tie for her, as she is too old to do it herself, partly out of pity, partly out of duty. It has been done for so many years, it is almost unthinkable that it is not done. Other trees begin to have their branches covered. One day the lady passes away, never seeing her love again, never marrying, but the people of the town still tie a piece of linen to one of her trees as they pass by her sad old little house...remembering her lonely faithfulness to her lover drowned at sea.

Now I don't know why, but I really like this story that popped into my head as I drove around the Korean countryside. The only thing is...what is the moral? What is the point? It's so sad, and yet, there is barely a glimmer of hope, a spark of meaning. So it sits here in my head, and now on this blog...a sad little tale of love lost.

Then, there is the one of a sweet little orphan girl named Leonora. She lives in a house above the sea. I mean, RIGHT above the sea, not on cliffs or anything. Her house is on stilts, above the sea. She lives above a mine that brings up minerals from the sea floor and is hauled away on baskets tied to pulleys to the shore where the apothecary makes them into medicines, builders mix them into their building materials, and cooks even use certain ones to season their soups. Leonora is an even tempered girl, with brown hair past her shoulders, and a red ribbon tied neatly above her bangs. She lives all alone, and is happy that way, enjoying her visits from the postman, and other townspeople who occasionally venture out to see her, carried in by the baskets on pulleys. She has a small animal friend that keeps her company, and is a very clever sort of girl. She loves to invent things, and has many inventions and contraptions around her shabby, noisy little house. Every night she looks up at the moon, and talks to it like her closest and dearest friend. .......and is where the rest of the plot is supposed to go...something needs to happen, needs to start, and yet nothing comes to me.....sigh...

Or the image that popped into my head of a cold, closed hearted young woman who is blind, who meets a young man who could really care less about other people. The image in my head is when he steps out from the darkness, into the warm, magnificent mansion where she lives, and hears sweet music. He tip toes into the house very carefully, following his ears to the source of the sound. He slowly peers in to find a beautiful girl singing a hauntingly lovely song. He stops. He barely breathes, just wanting to hear more. And she doesn't look up. He is entranced. That's about all I have, except that whatever happens to them, she wants nothing to do with him, and as much as he tries to convince himself that he couldn't care less about her, there is something that pulls him in. She is dark, she is mysterious, and she haunts him in her cold and unflinching, lonely manner. Something bad has happened to her, and although I have a good idea what, I have no idea how to incorporate it into the story. I have no subplots, and no idea exactly where it should all go. Subplots, and how they should intertwine with the rest of the story to make a comprehensive, collective whole, I believe are going to be my undoing.

There are so many of these snippet stories floating around in my brain, I could go on for hours. Almost quite literally. Sigh....I wish I could really sit and write something fantastic. Something that leaves an impression on a reader. Something that takes them on a journey, and sticks with them for a long time. Not just some random piece of pulp fiction that will be in fad one minute, made into a series of mediocre movies the next, and in 10 years almost completely forgotten and made laughable. No. I want to make something that lasts.....But how to do the next question.

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