Friday, February 27, 2009

Night of the Living Story Ideas

You know how I described the idea center in my brain as like those hoppers they use to pick lottery numbers, with the little balls all being blown and bouncing around until one pops out? Well, that's what was going on in my brain last night, those little balls flying around, popping out and bumping into each other. I haven't been sleeping well all week, and a lot of it is that my brain wouldn't shut up, but last night, it seemed like every idea or idea fragment I've had in the last couple of years suddenly popped up and demanded attention. I had scenes from stories I'd only roughly outlined playing out, complete with character voices. I had one case of two idea fragments colliding violently to create one story that I think now makes a lot more sense and really works. But it was like mental whiplash, going from genre to genre, all with totally different settings and totally different character voices. I went from a steampunky mystery to a time travel to modern day high school to high fantasy, and in between I think I even "wrote" an episode or two of various TV series (I believe I fixed House back into a show I actually like). It was like channel surfing in my head.

As a result, I woke up utterly exhausted. It didn't help matters that I'm currently reading a book about someone who gets locked away in a "home" because she's seeing things that aren't there -- only to find that she's actually seeing things that are there but that others can't see. So it was a little unnerving to have all these vivid voices in my head (maybe I shouldn't be discussing this so publicly ...). I had hoped that because of post-ballet exhaustion, last night would be the night when I finally got to sleep, but it was even worse (though I got a lot of work done).

I'm thinking about going to a movie this afternoon to try to clear my mind. The thing about seeing movies at the theater is that it's forced unitasking (well, unless you're a text-messaging-addicted teenager, apparently, which is why I generally go to afternoon matinees on school days). I can't do anything but sit there in the dark and watch the movie, which is one of the reasons I don't go to many movies. If I'm watching something at home, I'll do crossword puzzles, read or brainstorm a book while I watch. I almost feel like I'm wasting time by going to a movie theater, but it does work for calming the brain down. But I'm also tired enough that I might fall asleep during a movie. On the other hand, there's an errand I need to run that I could take care of at the Wal Mart next to the movie theater, and I wouldn't have to get in the car. Or I could skip the movie and make a quick trip to Target and then take a nap. Decisions, decisions.

On the up side, I have enough ideas to last me for years. Now, if only I can sell them.

No comments: