Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: Hooking Ideas

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Earlier today I had a concept for this post that was just perfect. I remember clearing that feeling of aha that's perfect for Friday Foray's in Fiction. But by the time I sat down to do the post, I could no longer remember what it was. I remember so much else with great clarity. I was on my mini-tramp. I was still half asleep and gluey-eyed and holding a big tumbler of ice-water with both hands against my chest listening to the ice-cubes clicking to the beat of my feet's gentle side-to-side stepping. I remember that I had been thinking about my experiences with Ed's laptop last night and about the post I wrote about it in anticipation just before. (see yesterday's post about making oopsies) I remember I'd also been thinking about the latest pages I'd read in The Weekend Novelist and planning to make this week's post about it for the third time. But for the life of me I cannot remember what the 'brilliant brain flashing concept' was that had me all excited for all of two or three minutes.

It might seem reasonable to think that if it had really been that good I'd not have forgotten. But I know that is not necessarily so. I know that this kind of thing has happened to me on many occasions when I've had ideas but nothing handy to record the thought. It happens a lot when I'm thinking about my WIP when I'm away from my computer and notebooks. But the really interesting thing about this particular occasion is that I've lost count of the number of times it has happened to an idea that came to me while I was on the mini-tramp just since I got it last October. Way more often then any other place or activity. I don't know if that is because there is something about being on the mini-tramp itself that is conducive to idea generation or if it is because I never have any way of recording it with me and resort instead to turning the idea over and over and making a mental mantra of it so that it sticks long enough to get back to my laptop. That does work as long as I'm left alone to my thoughts but if something intrudes, whether other thoughts or events outside my control (like the arrival of my in-laws from their overnight trip while I was occupying their tiny front room with my tramp), then I don't get a solid hold on the idea and minutes later it's gone like a fish that's slipped the hook.

My instinct is telling me that it's a combination of both the activity of moving on the tramp and the lack of means to record. So that means I need to make more time for tramp work as it's good for my art as well as my heart. And I've got to figure out a way to record my thoughts that won't interfere too much in their generation nor in the tramp work itself. Writing on paper is not going to work. I would have to stop moving and I seldom have enough light anyway.

A couple of concepts come to mind. Something like an electronic PIM with a thumb driven keyboard--a cell phone, blackberry type device or possibly the Amazon Kindle which is also hand held and has a tiny keyboard and allows for note taking and then emailing your notes to yourself. Another concept and possibly less expensive upfront would be some kind of very small hands free recording device that I could talk into. That last would entail me getting over my shyness about speaking into it. But that's probably a worthy goal in itself.

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