Change of Place

When you’re feeling stuck, not finding anything new or interesting to write about, pick a new location to write from. The neighborhood coffee shop, the local gathering spot for breakfast, your public library, the bus or train station, traveling on the bus itself, the park, pretty much any place you can park yourself for an hour and not get your laptop or pen and paper wet will work. Try a few and see what works for you.

There are endless options if you don’t even need to run on electronics at all. Bring an old fashioned notepad and pen and just write notes, ideas as they come to you. Just make notes you can decipher later if your hand starts to cramp. It’s funny how we have become such typists versus traditional long handed writing.

A new location can inspire you in great ways. It works well for me. My favourite is the mega bookstore andcoffee shop. First I wander around and look at what’s new in the world of coffee, new flavours, new designs and logos on the mugs. Then I pick my latte. I might bring it along to look at books. (I’m very careful and very conscious of the fact that I have brought a loaded weapon into the world of crisp, fresh, white pages. I browse slowly and find a safe shelf space to park my latte any time I want to look at a book). I write down URLs which I find in magazines and from the authors of books that interest me.

Then, back at a table to pull out my old dog-earred notebook and write. By the time I actually sit down I have several ideas percolating. I have to write quick notes before I lose track of them all. Sometimes they even begin to merge and that creates all new ideas and possibilities,

Horror Show and Tell

I got the idea for this when I read a title “Horror Hotel Show and Tell” at Nippleicious.

It’s almost Halloween so when you notice an odd little Gothic-looking boutique on the main street of town You decide to go in, just for a quick look. On the outside it was tidy, whitewashed with wood trim of spirals and skulls and carved jack-0-lanterns along the front of the shop.

Inside the shelves are floor to ceiling tall and cover all four walls and the spaces in between. It’s cluttered and dusty, even the air seems to be foggy with dust. There are so many items on display you couldn’t see them all if you spent the whole day in the shop. But, now you’re curious enough for more than a quick peek at them all.

One whole wall just has old books. Really old books, the kind you usually only see under glass protection at the library or museum. The other three walls have signs on each display: Gifts for Friends, Gifts for Family, Gifts for Yourself. There are six shelves free standing in the room and each has it’s own sign as well: Gifts for Annoying People, Gifts for Greedy People, Gifts for Rude People, Gifts for Sloppy People, Gifts for Angry People, Gifts for Jealous People.

In one corner you notice a gargoyle. It seems to be breathing. Although you don’t take a step closer you are drawn to it, pulled somehow to stand next to it. The gargoyle opens it’s eyes and looks up at you. It’s alive! As your heart jumps into your throat, keeping you from taking a breath you are unable to move no matter how much you really, really want to leave now.

“What do you require?, asks the gargoyle. It patiently waits for you to answer. After awhile, you lose some of your panic and begin to feel you should say something… anything.

“I just came to browse. The shop looked so interesting from outside. I’ve never noticed it here in town before.” One you start pushing the words out talking gets easier and the gargoyle almost seems to smile, glad to be talking to someone.

“The store is only here for the day. Then I move on to another town. Just for the month of October. I’m retired, mostly.” The gargoyle waves a hand towards the shelves of goods. “You are welcome to look, let me know if you would like to know more about any of the items.”

When it finishes speaking it just goes quiet, reading a book you notice. What else can you do now but look around. Which shelf do you start with and what do you find there?

Does Isolation Breed Contempt?

My mind is in the gutter today. I am just thinking smutty thoughts every time I get some quiet time to myself. I’ve been babysitting, cleaning and cooking so there hasn’t been much time to myself. Sometimes that makes me feel trapped. I don’t mind being a loner type, in fact, it’s just fine with me for long periods of time. I can keep myself amused and busy.

Can you? If you were the last person on Earth, or believed you were, how would you spend your time when not doing things related to safety and survival? Would you chess yourself to death? Would you invent better mousetraps? Would you read every book in the library?

How would you keep yourself from having nothing to do if you were alone on the planet?

Keeping Down the Leprechauns

You finally catch that snickering little leprechaun. This time he won’t be getting away. He’s caught in a small steel cage and you’ve even got it on wheels so you can just tow him along wherever you go. He’s not liking it. But that just makes you feel better after listening to him laughing at you all these past months.

You can’t take a caged leprechaun many places without someone else wanting to steal him away and you need to have quiet to hear when he tells you the secret to his treasure. Reading a book would be a good idea but you forgot to stash one in your purse. Going to the library or a coffee shop won’t do cause he’s making way too much noise arguing and complaining and trying to trick you into letting him go.

It’s going to take some time before he breaks down enough to tell you where his treasure is… how do you pass the time?

Lost in the Pages of a Book

At the library, your favourite librarian is there… the one who screeches each time someone makes a little noise. To get out quick you return your book, very glad it’s not over due, and head to the shelf where you know the sequel should be. It’s not. Someone else must have gotten to it first. But there is another book, one you’ve never seen before in that section. It looks old, really ancient almost. The cover isn’t paper-based, it looks like leather. It feels like leather too, warm on your fingers. The pages are stiff, you need to run your fingers through to split them, as if something had become stuck between. Maybe sap from pressed flowers, drips from teacups or just dust.

The first story is about a dragon. You skim through and see more which mention kingdoms, shapeshifters and you’re surprised to notice one about traveling through space and another about traveling through time. Kind of advanced concepts for such an old book.

The books absorbs you. The librarian forgotten. Time passes. You look up and discover you’re not even in the same library. Now all the books are covered in a layer of dust. Some shelves have fallen over scattering books all over. There are no people. Weird. Closing the book you hold it and walk out into the next aisle. Still no people, just dust and debris. Was there a World War Three all of a sudden?

Outside on the street all the cars look like they’ve been sitting in a junkyard for decades. The tallest buildings look like skeletons, windows smashed. Some missing chunks and tottering over, beams exposed. Something happened while you were lost in the pages of that book. What happened?