Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weird Writing


So where is the weirdest/most interesting place you have ever written? In the base camp at Everest? In a submarine? In the Gobi desert? ( I have about twenty notepads stuffed full of ideas for stories. Many were penned in the middle of industrial plants while wearing full PPE -- ear muffs, steel-capped boots, hardhats etc. Probably more than one are technically toxic with smudged 'goo').

When the going gets tough and you are reduced to jotting down quick thoughts on a notepad, balancing the laptop on the bus or hiding in the emergency stairwell at work - what is the craziest thing you have got yourself to write to just get words on the page? Notes on Chinese-menu inspired operas? Soap opera scripts based on the lives of bacteria?

What are the best day-to-day activities that allow you to brainstorm while in autopilot? Doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, ironing, painting, handyman stuff etc

What is your best toy to get yourself in the mood for writing?

11 comments:

Rita de Heer said...

Notes written with charcoal on the tailboard of a Landcruiser, while camping. Notes scribbled in the dark, a power outage, measuring down the page with my fingers.

carlos de la parra said...

Just the feeling of hope.

MataPam said...

I don’t seem to get into weird places, these days.

Other than my mind.

In there, the weirdest was probably the Trans-mat accident that dumped three asteroid miners and a green-as-grass doctor in the mid-Pleistocene. Having cured old age, they decide to hide under the Antarctic ice until they get back to their own time. Of course, they’ve got to get everything from the Trans-mat from Europe to the Antarctic. And saving the Neanderthal lass from the dire wolves may have already changed time.

Or maybe the girl-raised-by-aliens who was released to the Wilds – AKA a suburban highschool.

Or WWI with werewolves and space aliens . . .

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Rita. Hey I love the charcoal on the tailboard! That's getting back to basics. I can see echoes there of the Neanderthals trying out a few bison on the cave walls and leaving their signature.

Writing in the dark like that shows real dedication. How did in look in the light of day? I have to really concentrate to make my writing legible, I think writing in the dark like that without actually seeing what I was writing would be a bit of a disaster for me:)

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Carlos. I know where you are coming from. I must admit I struggle to reach that sometimes. For various periods I have pushed myself on without feeling that, but I think the writing suffers.

Nice one.

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Matapam. All three sound great.

Maybe the future Earth crew finally awaken to find they are actually now aliens in their own time? And they release the Neanderthal (who they have raised) girl into high school? Sorry, can't help myself sometimes.

So who are the good guys in your WWI scenario? The werewolves or the space aliens?

Jim McCoy said...

The weirdest place I've ever written is probably at the Breast Cancer 3-Day in the tent with the foot massage machines. Doing a battle scene while surrounded by all of that happiness is a feeling that has to be experienced to be believed.

As far as what gets me in the mood to write, it's basically just having a decent amount of time to do so. I've always got something I should be working on and I WANT to be working on, but when to do it can frequently be a problem.

Favorite toy to get me in the mood to write...hmmm...

A good book to inspire me I guess.

Chris L said...

Hi Chris,

I've written in all kinds of deserts and hotel rooms around the place.

Once I wrote a short story in the back of a ute parked next to a drill rig. I reckon if you can write with that kind of racket going on, you can write pretty-much anywhere.

Back when I was traveling a lot (and hating the conference scene where everyone is always trying to schmooze up to someone better connected) I'd retire to my hotel room and just write.

But I actually found it was more productive for me to store up my ideas while I was traveling. Just let them stew a little, and then unleash then onto paper when I got back home.

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Jim. That tent experience really does sound interesting - a real juxtaposition.

I know what you mean about time. Why can't someone invest a machine that gives you extra time - a real time machine!

Pretty much for me too - some sort of Spec Fic, whether its movies, series or books - that's what really gets me into the mood.

Chris McMahon said...

Hi, Chris L. I can really picture being on the back of that ute:) I've gone my fair share of working with drill rigs (mostly for contaminated land work, not geology or site investigation).

Travelling really does lend itself to ferment in the brain, doesn't it? Something about it is exciting for you and ideas and story at the same time.


Hotel rooms....grrr. Gives me a cold shiver. I've seen way too many!

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Painting walls and ironing are my most "profitable" opportunities, writing wise.

I used to love being driven around at night (not driving because that gets hairy) but since my night vision went, I just fall asleep instead of plotting.