Not that this will become a series of writing about writing, but I thought I’d follow up my last entry with the news that I did actually make some progress storywise yesterday. It was a long day of fairly mundane driving through Minnesota and Iowa, pretty but staid country, and among listening to my music, Benjamin’s music, and the first few chapters of Robert B. Parker’s “Rough Weather”, my mind drifted back towards stories.
My old thesis advisor and writing mentor, Ernie Hebert, once told us that if you get stuck in a story, or can’t start it in the first place, you should take a drive and your brain will work things out as you go. At the time, I thought this a prescription for distracted driving, but I’ve really come to appreciate this advice. In particular, driving with evocative music can be a great jumpstart for my brain. Music that tells a story or sets a specific mood (see Tom Petty for the former or The Clientele for the latter). After a good seven hours on the road, my mind was raring for the next opportunity to write. Almost as soon as we checked into our hotel in Omaha, I sat down at the desk and set to Sea Story No. 2.
Now, in a noisy cafe, I may pop on my headphones and move Sea Story No. 1 forward, just for yuks. There’s a conundrum to solve on a sinister coast, and I know just the characters to tackle it.