This isn’t a typical post for me in that I have a few thoughts today instead of one theme.
Today I wrote in a large whelping box, with a pig pile of three-week-old Irish Wolfhound puppies scattered on and around me. The quiet was warm and soft, not like the quiet when writing at the table at home. The air smelled of goat’s-milk belches, and that clean distinctive scent of new puppy. For two hours it was a peaceful place, and words flowed. Of course that was followed by a frenetic, charged, insane fifteen minutes of bottle feeding those same puppies, as they scrambled to gobble as if afraid I was going to take the bottle away too soon. But once the tummies were distended, they made their grunting way back to sleep, and gave me back the quiet inspiration to write. Who would have thought any writing could be productive in such a place?
Lisa, from the satsumaart blog listed on the sidebar here, sent me a writing prompt today. I agreed to be on a list and when I opened the email I saw, in huge letters, ‘Write Lisa! It’s what you’re here for’. Okay then. Something that strong begs to be answered. The prompt was ‘salvation’ and I was only supposed to write for 10-15 minutes. I remembered that twenty minutes later. I’ve never been a huge fan of prompts, as mentioned in previous posts, but who could ignore that opening. Write Lisa! It’s what you’re here for. I need that branded in a place I’ll see every day. On the back of my hands, maybe, visible as I stretch for a pen, or a keyboard.
Titles are challenging. I have one story that is in its final critique phase, and I have started a sequel. In the sequel, I wrote a description of Burke, Idaho, that read like this (remember, the sequel isn’t finished or edited):
‘Back yards were canyon walls, and front yards were littered with rocks eroded away from the cliffs above. There were even stones scattered over pitched roofs, like some weird mountain rain. Some day the canyon would simply topple over on top of the houses. Cody thought that dreams under those roofs would speak of being buried alive.’
When I wrote that, there was this epiphany moment, ‘Mountain rain’! There’s the title. It would mean more than just the expected.
The problem is, I can’t come up with a title for the first story. Initially I called it Left in the Dark because of the theme of the story. A girl left in the dark about her life, a grandfather left in the dark about his parentage, a town in the dark about murders, a woman left in the dark at the bottom of a mine shaft. The title would mean so many things.
I didn’t get favorable comments on it though, and someone suggested Blood Bonds because of the bonds of family. Those who didn’t like the first suggestion liked the second. But since then, Twilight has come along, and every time I see that title, I think vampires are going to fly out of the laptop screen. Yet I can’t come up with anything else. To be honest, I still like the first one.
Titles. Blah. Back to writing and listening to new music suggested by friends.