Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Ideas, Rare and Precious

It's rare anymore for me to find a story idea that takes hold of my imagination and hangs on till I reach "The End." I feel like I'm floundering about, pretending to be busy with a great idea until a better one comes along. All the while, the mental tentacles are feeling around for that new inspiration. It's a murky sea, with low visibility most of the time.

So I was checking out the upcoming themes list on Duotrope the other day and came across an anthology by Dead Robots' Society that grabbed hold of one of those mental feelers and wouldn't let go. The prompt for Explorers: Beyond the Horizon is "characters forever changed by their discovery of lands and worlds beyond their own." I have rarely found a prompt more suited to my taste. Half a dozen possibilities rose amid a frenzied brainstorm session. I finally went with one and started typing. The only problem is that the word count must be under 5000 words. I have trouble keeping stories under 8000, so this will be a challenge. Even if the anthology doesn't accept the story, their prompt gifted me with the brainfood that those mental tentacles were grasping for.

Granted, I undertook this brainstorm session while sipping tea laced with cold medicine. Does anyone else find that while on cold medicine their inner critic shuts up and ideas flow? Or is that my lame equivalent of an LSD trip? Ah, well.

Here's some art to ponder:

by Adelaide Labille-Guiard, 1785

We don't hear about too many women painters before the modern era. But this one is a jewel. That fact that Labille-Guiard featured the two future female artists under her wing in this grand self-portrait lets us know that they were out there, creating beautiful things in the vast shadows of their male colleagues. Though I seriously doubt these women painted while wearing their finest. :D Enjoy!

(Click on the pic twice to blow it up all the way. The lady even painted the seam in that shiny dress. Fantastic)


Anonymous said...

"Their prompt gifted me with the brainfood that those mental tentacles were grasping for" -- nice! I plan to do some anthology-hunting next year for Write1Sub1 if/when I get short on ideas.


That's great that you were able to find inspiration that way. And the painting is absolutely gorgeous and inspirational as well. I like the calm look of confidence and self-reflection on the seated lady's face, as well as the rush of curiosity on the onlookers. Thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it.