Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Debt Crisis, Amy Winehouse, Norway; it’s all material

We’re surrounded by stories. Between the loss of Norway’s innocence (or naivety, however you choose to view it), the fall of a young U-Tube icon, celebrity’s dark queen Amy Winehouse, and the potential of a respectable (?) news paper like the LA Times potentially paying Casey Anthony $1 million to tell her story of narcissism and child abuse, neglect, possibly the bumping off of her own child, it’s all a day in our very own human-made hell.

Bad hair day in Morrocco

Add to that the United States debt crisis and the scary, confusing global economy, let’s face it, it’s a good time to be a writer. We’re surrounded by stories. Whether you’re a journalist, non-fiction or fiction writer, stories abound.
There’s much about this world I don’t understand and never will. But by reducing a world event to how I think one of my fictional characters may experience it, I garner a kind of global understanding I otherwise wouldn’t have. I realize how alike we all are and what a small, small world this really is. That’s why personal interest stories are so critical. Okay, climbing off my soapbox now.
Back to writing. There’s no excuse for writer’s block in my opinion. If you’re blocked in your own story, write another to break that obstruction, then return to your original work – unblocked. Make like John Grisham and create a quick legal or political thriller (in 30 minute timed writing like Natalie Goldberg teaches in Writing Down The Bones), or a spin on a major newspaper locating a sought after princess/monster in a swank hotel, or develop a personal interest story about a fictional day camp counselor in Norway who senses something is wrong. Or a fictional story about a dark queen, rock and roll icon’s last day. Stories are everywhere. All you need do is look.

For example, right now there’s a young twenty-something Middle Eastern couple sitting next to me here at the coffee shop. She is speaking in English, he is not. She is telling him in hushed whispers that she likes it here in the US and will not return. He says something I cannot understand, but it appears he’s disagreeing and telling her they are returning to wherever they came from. She is shaking her head ‘no’. He grabs her hand and shows her her wedding ring. She hangs her head. He whispers into her ear. She jerks her head up, yanks her hand out of his and leaps to her feet. Her dark eyes have deep circles beneath them as if she’s been crying for hours, days. She looks outside to the parking lot to a sedan with three small children inside. The children wave.

There’s a story there.
Just look around. There’s stories everywhere. Just keep writing.
BTW – the Middle Eastern woman hung her head, walked out to the car and opened the door. She hesitated, then got in the front seat and closed the door. Decision made. I wonder what the end to her story will be.


One comment on “Debt Crisis, Amy Winehouse, Norway; it’s all material

  1. Sara Will
    July 24, 2011

    Love, love this post. I needed inspiration.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on July 24, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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