It is far better to create content of questionable value
than it is to absorb content, even excellent content.
– From the notional publication,
“The Provisional Proverbs of Vin Reilly”
When I first started going out on the World Wide Web, sitting in front of my Packard Bell PC clone in the evening, I would start clicking link upon link, getting lost on the Internet. I felt like I was running myself ragged going from one article to another, one photo to another, one graphic to another until I just had to go to bed. It was exhausting, and I realized that I had been using my time and energy to experience the work of other people, many of whom were no more professional in what they were doing than I was. I wasn’t cured of spending time in this fairly ludicrous way, but I did start to resist. This was when I started to put some ideas into my journal, ideas for stories and articles – much better than the god-awful boring accounts of my daily life and irritations. And now, I might need to use some of these ideas in order to take up the 30-day writing challenge. I have given myself a daily writing deadline. As editor and publisher, it is now my job to sift through the slush pile, the slush pile of story ideas that idiot writer I employ keeps submitting, all to ensure that I have something to post. Here are three from my slush pile, with working titles.
Pearls before Swine – a man claims that he has been abducted by aliens. He says that they had cured him of some inoperable cancer or other deadly disease, shows his medical records to prove both assertions, writes a book, goes on talk shows, only to be disbelieved and mocked as a fool.
Considering that the passage from Matthew says … “neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” I think it would have to be a tragedy.
Queens of Denial – science fiction story of alien beings who believe they are angels who do not eat, fight, or reproduce. They are adamant that this is the case, and it has become the chief tenet of their religion. It is only after humans make first contact and show them video of what they do not remember they do in the middle of the night that this becomes a problem. Just like in Pearls before Swine, they refuse to believe this and things get very hot for our intrepid heroes.
Iceman – you remember the Iceman, the frozen, mummified ancient shaman, whose clothes and accoutrements taught us things about early man that we had never thought about. I had this idea of the story behind the shaman’s death in the mountains – that he was going there knowing that he was pursued, because, as their spiritual leader, he was sacrificing his life to save his people. But reality completely trumped this imaginative story. It turns out he did not just wander away and freeze to death – he really was murdered.
The very few stories I ever completed were closer to essays or poems than they were to short stories – no character development, just setting out a situation and writing stuff that would make one think about that situation. But I have to say, I did enjoy coming up with these ideas!