Heads Are To Story Ideas As Dryers Are To Socks

I went to a wedding in Saskatoon, and at the reception afterward, this guy I didn’t know, who was the apparent date of an ex-stripper in attendance, an ex-stripper I sort-of knew from way back when — she’d been in a dramatic production that I’d been in, a stage musical, before she got into striptease, and I never got along with her, partly because I found most of her friends total freaks… wait, anyway, most of that is irrelevant to the story.

(And people wonder how come I churn out novellas, and tend towards long forms… It’s all about fixating on peropheral details and issues, friends.)

Anyway, the guy told this story about how his dryer kept heating up, how the plastic started to melt inside, and how he finally pulled out the internal drum and looked underneath.

What did he discover?

Loads and loads of chewed up socks and underwear. Apparently dryers sometimes do eat socks.

My head is like a dryer for un-jotted-down story ideas, it sometimes seems.

My Clarion West classmate Guy mentioned recently that Nature will stop printing short stories from non-commissioned submissions at the end of this year, and I decided that the couple of short-shorts I’d thought up might be good enough to make it in there — and if not, could after all be sent out elsewhere if not accepted there.

Given that I’ve been facing a serious blockage — of the Need to Go Back and Find Where the Story Went Wrong type — on progress for the Shoopahs story, I decided to try draft a couple of these ideas, see which ones worked best, and then pitch a couple and see which Henry Gee might be interested in seeing. I had four pretty-damn-good ideas that I worked up during travels, but of course, being that I was traveling, I just put them in the front of my mind, worked them over, and played with the ideas some.

Which brings me to now: I have two of the ideas written down, one of them worked into a second-draft story (I’ll submit it for crit sometime next week, after another once-over), and one idea to work into a story — perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow.

And two ideas totally lost, or at least for right now they are. I was sure I’d emailed them to myself, but nope, they’re not in my email. And I was just as sure that I’d jotted them quickly into my little notebook, but they’re not there — only the two ideas I remembered naturally were scrawled into those pages… which might be why I remembered them. Maybe they just weren’t such good ideas? Maybe if they were good, they’ll come back to me? I don’t know. But I do wish I’d reached for that notebook and jotted them down.

Ah well, enough other stuff to write, I suppose. Funny thing, this writing short-shorts: the things you come up with just as throwaway ideas for novels or novellas, they cen be the focus. It’s odd.

Oh, and that reminds me: I seem to be on a roll as far as drafting goes, and I’m going with it. Not revising much right now, as a result. I’m sure as I get busy when the semester begins, I’ll slow on the drafting a little, and that’s probably as good a time as any to start in full-force on the revising. I may even get around to the novel draft I have kicking around here, too, though if I participate in NaNoWriMo that may wait till December/January. I figured out where I went wrong with the novel, and it’s going to require some serious reworking, I think, from that point on (as well as at certain important points earlier on).

2 thoughts on “Heads Are To Story Ideas As Dryers Are To Socks

  1. I’ve never had the problem with the underwear, but if you put socks in mesh bags for washing, they don’t tend to get lost.

    (Pouncing on one detail. Just one. Notice that it’s just one detail I pounced on?)

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