Helga’s Post # 88: Friday already? My posting days come fast and furious, especially at this time. What will it be today? I will try a slightly different topic. I feel like story-telling.
Busy times for me. We are in moving mode. Or I should say ‘mood’, because that’s what we were gearing up for until two days ago. Alas, the stars are not aligned just yet. We thought we were moving, in fact in less than three weeks. Turned out the prospective buyers of our house got skittish and walked away from an accepted offer. So, after cancelling the moving company, cleaning staff and miscellaneous helpers, we’re back to the drawing board: open houses, showings galore, and keeping the house pristine 24/7.
But every cloud has a silver lining. We are not homeless! Not yet. We can still enjoy the magnificent west coast summer in our own place instead of frantically searching for a place to buy or rent, all within a ridiculous deadline. The moving boxes are piled high in the garage, but they will just have to wait for their content. We can actually do fun things now, like attending the annual Harmony Arts Festival at Lawson Park at the beach. It’s a really cool event for great music, visual arts, delicious food and it’s free (well, not the food). Terrific live concerts by popular bands on an outdoor stage, free outdoor movies, a serious art market, local art exhibitions, innovative food events and more. If you are visiting Vancouver at this time, make sure to drop by. None better.
There is even a special event on tap for writers. It’s a free workshop titled “Writing for the Faint of Heart”. Its promise is to ‘Enjoy learning to ‘free write’ with Fran Bourassa of the North Shore Writers Association. This workshop will demonstrate how to write by triggering memories, strong emotions, and eliciting ideas for story and poetry. The method is quick and powerful and everyone can do it. Perfect for all ages and levels of writers.’ (If you click on Fran’s link you will find she also has lots to say about getting published)
Nice. Not to be missed. Just steps from the ocean in a picture-perfect settings. Views of the Lions Gate Bridge, and to Stanley Park across the inlet included at no extra charge.
So we would have missed all this fun if our prospective buyers had been less skittish. The Universe works in mysterious ways.
Talking of writing, I have time again to sit down and create stories instead of pounding the pavement to find us a place to live. Yes, stories. With that in mind, I’ve been rummaging through my e-storage boxes on my Mac and reviewed some of my start-ups from several years ago. Just to see if anything might grow legs and could morph into a novel. Good grief, did I really write this?
A sampling: A teenage adopted girl, half Caucasian half Indonesian, living in Vancouver (of course), finds out her boyfriend impregnated her fourteen-year old half-sister. She plots revenge with the help of a Muslim man who exploits her for his own deadly agenda.
Another start-up, about a ‘travel’ agency that is in fact a purveyor of body parts for well-heeled patients waiting for organ transplants. Hmm, maybe this one could grow. Such as, Chinese prisoners getting executed so that their kidneys, corneas, skin, bone, heart, ligaments, liver, pancreas, bowel, tendons, in fact pretty well the entire cadaver, can be ‘donated’ to wealthy westerners. Sound familiar? Because you may have heard it on the news. (Go on, open that link above.) All I have to do is invent the characters and a plot to wrap this up. Such as, what if…. a ‘nice’ young Chinese man is in prison for something minor – shoplifting, stealing pigs, whatever – and gets the death penalty. What if…. our heroine, a journalist, is doing a documentary at that time in China and hears of the story. Meets the boy’s family. Meets the young (handsome) man in prison. Tries to save him by exposing the scandal. Etc. etc.
But wait, there is more. A missing husband. Missing in Thailand or Indonesia (I happen to have lived there, so no coincidence). Wife goes in search for him. Adventures, kidnappings, betrayals abound. She is caught in the riots of 1998 when Jakarta is in flames during Suharto’s forced resignation (I was there).
How about a wine mystery set in the Okanagan valley of British Columbia? About a Picasso drawn wine label and of course murder? (Just ask Paula if you want to know more).
I could go on. There are more skeletons in my attic. But I better spend the time deciding, and then writing one, and only one (the bane of all writers).
So for me, the whole question of publishing and marketing is a while off. But I will have to keep my ear on the ground, as all writers have to, because that day will come when we have to chose which fork in the road to take. Or take both and become a hybrid author.