Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writerly Wednesday ~~ Birth of a Story

We're stoked about our new blog series "Back Story" over at Rose & Thorn's blog. In this continuing stream of posts, contributors of both prose and poetry tell readers how their published pieces were born. Cool, no?

In the kick-off post, Eirik Gumeny shares the journey he took in creating his powerful short story Ballpoint & Boredom. (Read the story in our winter issue HERE.)

Enjoy a sneak peak at Eirik's "Back Story" whose own Blogspot address is HERE ~~~ 

Like a lot of writers, a large number of my stories are based on real life. Unlike a lot of writers, real life sometimes entails the voice of a grizzled old man telling me what I should be doing myself.

“Ballpoint & Boredom” was based on a real job, a real girl, and a very real fear of rejection. It was also based on a real pep talk given to me by a real voice inside my head.

For what it’s worth, I’m referring to something more akin to a conscience than an actual schizophrenic hallucination. Although, for what that’s worth, I never did bother to get tested.

To this day I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard the voice in real life—and, if not, why my subconscious chose the dialect it did—but I really and truly heard it tell ing me to get off my ass and go after the girl. On a fairly regular basis.

The girl was a friend of mine and we talked occasionally, and being younger, shyer, and male... er, that was enough to convince me that we had a shot at a real relationship. The voice seconded that assumption. He also hinted that, in order to facilitate that, I should, you know, actually ask the girl out. As with most advice I give to myself, though, I ignored it.

Instead, I sat in my cubicle answering the phone, staring out the window, doodling dragons on scratch paper, and staring at the girl as she walked by. It was a short jump from there to a full-on daydream, most of which entailed winning the girl over in a spectacular fashion, the two of us then going on to live happily ever after.

The voice insulted me the entire time.

You can read the entire post HERE. And while you're visiting our Roses & Thorns blog, look over the various topics there. You might just find some inspiration, hints or ideas for your own prose and poetry!!

Share a memory about how one of your works was born, why don'tcha? :D


Angela Felsted said...

This is great and so funny. This guy talking about the voice in his head.

rosaria said...

What a fabolous idea!

Madeline Sharples said...

Okay. My latest poem (that I just shared on my blog: was inspired by the car that gave up its life to save my son's last Wednesday night. Though I wrote it with a humorous bent, my son and his wife thought it was quite moving. Well the serious part is that it saved his life. The car was totaled and Ben walked away with out a scratch. Please go to my blog and read it.
And, the moral of my story is there is a topic for a piece of writing out there everywhere.

Terri Tiffany said...

I'm trying really hard to NOT write from real life but all of my work has come from incidents--maybe it's supposed to work that way???

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