Today I have a guest post by Kenneth Weene
I’m a writer, which makes for some difficulty. You see those ideas - the ones that start a good story, a novel, or even a poem – don’t just flow from a magic tap. It isn’t like my drinking water: turn the valve and out it comes, safe, satisfying, and abundant. Nope, writing ideas come in fits, starts, and explosions.
Sometimes those ideas lead on and on like the legendary snipe – those birds I was encouraged to hunt as a kid growing up in Maine.
'Let’s go on a snipe hunt,' somebody would say; and off we’d go even though we’d never seen one. We all knew that snipe were to be found just around the next corner of the road.
'Perhaps the grunion are running,' another jokester would offer. Down to the beach to search the shoreline, small box in hand. Grunion made particularly fine eating. Ask anybody who’s never had one.
What do kids know? Off we would go on one of those hunts – knowing, just knowing that around the next corner, beside the next rock, the quarry lay. Press on!
So it is that I follow that story idea. I write. A thousand words, ten thousand, even more. Then, exhausted, I sit on a wayside stump and laugh. The prey has eluded me. No matter, tomorrow will come – a new idea, a new beginning, a new hunt.
At least now I understand what kids know: They know it doesn’t matter if there are snipe and grunions. They know that it doesn’t matter if at the end of all that typing there is a story or perhaps not. The fun is in the chase.
Luckily I’ve had a few of those story hunts actually work out. At the end there have been real stories – even a few novels (two of which are currently available to readers and two more ready to publish). Which brings me to a wonderful part of writing. Those ideas, the ones that have actually worked: they never end up where I think they will. As I chase them through the dark woods which is my imagination, the stories twist and turn. I start out with an idea for a love story; it ends with pain. I start with the idea of people breaking out of a mental hospital and it ends with pregnancies, elephants, and sex scenes.
In that way, the creative process that generates those ideas is in no way like the water faucet, but it is a lot more fun to use. While the water may flow tamely into my cup, there is no advantage to having that cup run over. But the fitful spurts and false starts of creativity allow my cup to truly run over.
Wait! An idea. The Navajo masks that hang by my desk. Why are they arguing? I bet there’s a secret. Can I chase it down?
A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Kenneth Weene is a teacher, psychologist, and pastoral counselor by education.
Ken’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Sol Spirits, Palo Verde Pages, Vox Poetica Clutching at Straws, Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Daily Flashes of Erotica Quarterly, Bewildering Stories and A Word With You Press.
Ken’s novels, Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum are published by All Things That Matter Press.
To learn more about Ken’s writing visit: http://www.authorkenweene.com