Monday, January 02, 2006

Leftover Story Ideas

Dry skin is uncomfortable any time of the year, but winter is especially miserable. I have dozens of partially emptied bottles of body lotion in my bathroom. I find a new brand or scent and buy the lotion, use it for about a month, and then lose interest or just grow tired of it. This month's winner is a brand from Tigi's Bed Head for Body line called Creamy Dreamy Orange. Really good stuff! I hope this bottle (at $12.95) will get used in its entirety. But the truth is, I only empty about one out of ten or so and the rest get stashed away in the cabinet and forgotten.

This is similar to what I do with story ideas.

I have journals full of story ideas. Some of these ideas, I've fleshed out into articles, columns or short stories. A few have been developed into screenplays. Others lost their charm the moment I pulled my notebook out at the stoplight and scribbled them down. Some made it halfway through the outline. On average, I would say I only fully develop one out of every ten or so ideas.

About once a year, usually right after Christmas, I clean out my bathroom cabinets and box up half used body lotions along with cosmetic mistakes, nail polishes, and frangrance gifts I didn't like, and I let my sisters and nieces take what they want. I never have leftovers and they get some very cool stuff that they would have never bought themselves like that great smelling Mimosa body butter by Ulta that I was so fond of a few months back.

Not so with my story ideas.

Periodically, I look back at my story ideas and am inspired to finish outlining one, adjust one, or combine a couple of them. Sometimes, I actually flesh out an old idea and wonder why I ever set it aside or I rough out a draft of a story that I never outlined. But, in this instance, the rough draft actually serves AS an outline. Whatever becomes of them, story ideas don't leave my possession.

Some day, probably when my bones are dust, somebody is going to find my old journals and either think I was a cockeyed genius or a mad eccentric for keeping them the same way a little old lady might save margarine containers, hat boxes, latex gloves, and bread sacks.

Speaking of gloves, I really must tend to my chapped hands now. Thirty degree weather one day and eighty degrees the next plays havoc on my hands. I wonder if I still have any of that Mimosa body butter...


Anonymous said...

2 tricks u could use..rub oils into hands eg. coconut and leave for 5-10 mins before washing off w/gentle soap.

Or leave an aloe vera based handlotion on @ night. Mine bled till I learned to take care of em'.

What on Asgard is Mimosa body butter?? Sounds like..something else!! ;)

green said...

"cockeyed genius or mad eccentric"

Maybe there is some truth in both of those things....maybe not.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Body butter is what the Whoos in Whooville or the Snobs in Snobville call very thick body lotion which is probably little more than regular lotion with half the water. Mimosa is the fragrance that I grew tired of months ago and relegated to my body lotion morgue under the bathroom sink. However, thankfully, I was able to pull out the half empty bottle, like many of my half fleshed out ideas, and enjoy it again.

Yeah... body butter.. has a porn site sound to it...

oneslackmartian said...

Maryan surges into the lead for making odd connections.

I love the "idea" phase of writing. No limitations. No character or dialogue worry. Structure doesn't exist. It's like a 1000 mph rush.

I wonder if when my bones are dust, if my kids will think my story ideas are a real-life journal. "Wow, Dad once shot a guy for snoring, went to outer space, was a spy, and defended a guy against murder charges. I'm now just starting to read about his cowboy phase where he spent a summer on a mountain with some old friend."

Ah well, at least I'll have a captive audience.

Anonymous said...

Maryan ~ ja, it does, doesnt it? ;)

Oneslack ~ methinks i gotta get cracking on that future 'biography'
the one my future nieces and nephews will read!!