Today we are digressing from our usual look at real life news items that could be story lines.
This morning I was awakened to a discussion on the radio about Google and Free Speech. The issue was that google decided to follow the high road and ban certain URLs related to an extremist situation. The discussion is that in banning something regardless of content we are giving up our right to Free Speech and that is a horrible thing to do.
You know there are wiser people out there with a great deal of clout who remain silent on this.
Societies built on some kind of moral fiber thrive. There has to be a right or a wrong to things. Morals go out the window and society goes into decline when our foundations are cast aside
I know! I know! There is a large percentage of people who hate Mondays. Really hate them. That first workday of the week signifies the end of weekend fun and the beginning of toil. Now you see, for me, Mondays have always been about new starts, list of goals and objectives to be reached. A day of such optimism. Fridays conversely are not so much as I must come to terms with what I did not achieve.
Today ( Monday) is always ‘Oh The plots We Weave’ day when we look at a couple of actual news stories and comment of ‘what ifs’. This sort of came about when I would post on a news piece and generally rant or comment. Then I got thinking, this is where stories and books come from. News stories, observing momentary interactions and letting our imaginations fly.
So first thing right out of the front page of the HAMILTON SPECTATOR there are 2 items which caught my eye and my ‘Oh Lord where is the sanity when you need it’ button.
1) FATHER SUES PUBLIC BOARD OVER ITS GAY EQUITY STAND Oh Boy, this isn’t even some backwoods notion, it comes straight from the mind of Eustathios ‘Steve’ Tourloukis a dentist in Smithville. His claim is that as a praciticing member of his Greek Orthodox Church his rights are being violated.
Now now children, play nice. Would someone please point out to our dentist that this province provides a large number of Christian Churches with the sole purpose of raising students in the environment you desire and that his child or children are part of a PUBLIC school. You know Public as in every one of every denomination is free to attend.
‘ What if”? What kind of plot could we develop from this little bit of information? Well it could be the father has to loudly decry the learning material because he is in a personal secret struggle from these very urges…nah that is too common a thread. ‘What if’ ..ah you know what? Whichever way this plot goes it could be trouble. Can you think of anything provoking?
2) COURT ORDERSLONG-GUNDATA TO BE TRANSFERRED TO QUEBEC I have to admit that there are a couple of things about Canada that make me squirm a bit perhaps even to the point of embarrassment and the Gun Registry is one of them. Several years ago a registry was put in for guns. It was badly managed, very expensive and about as effective as flying into the sun. So now in a fit of rare insight it was decided to take down, nullify, disband, destroy, the long-gun registry. In doing so the government continuing of its life long mission to give meaning to ‘stupid’, ‘most stupid’, decided to also destroy all the information they had gathered on the registry quest. One province spoke up – Quebec – who is trying to keep its portion of the registry alive. The Quebec court said the government has no right to destroy registry data….
‘What if”? We created a super hero to fight stupidity – faster than a speeding bullet? Where to start? Where to start? Well first there will be the need to gather up all politicians and give each one’s head a good shake so they in fact will have their heads on straight. Could you imagine a world where everyone was sane in political arenas?
What if then our dentist had the same thing happen? Hello! A moment of clarity! I think I will send my child to a school that does meet my requirements for education.
**Please note there are far and wide implications in each of these cases. There is also more detailed info that one needs to consider before being pro or con. The only consideration I have presented in the subject matter as a possible story line or plot. Besides the fiction will certainly be more interest than the reality of it all. I think.
It seems there is so much to tell you about my week on the prairies and so little time. Actually I’ve figured there has been lots of time but I am using it poorly. Definitely unproductive. Why? Because of my old friend Fibromyaligia who insists on showing up and demanding attention every time I take flight, whether it is for two hours or eight hours. My energy levels are depleted and probably floating at 35,000 feet looking for a home. So there you go. By last evening it looked like Mr. or Ms. F. might have just a short visit, but this morning I knew….
Enough of the Whining and Snivelling. I shall try to at least get back on schedule so we now look at a couple of true life reports from our local newspaper The Spectator.
1) London England hosts a $250 million tantrum between two Russian Billionaires. This could be a rather dull story of he says, she says, however being at the billion dollar level the extravagance and the Scarlet O’Hara drama of it all it may make a good movie. So to start:
At the cost of $200 – $250 million dollars in legal costs Boris Berevosky is pouting that he was ‘menaced’ (brilliant word here), into accepting $1.3 billion dollars from Roman Abromovich for his Sibneft holdings. Abromovich then sold his shares four years later for $11.9 billion dollars.
I am thinking that the only person who could make a good story about this, as at its base it is such a pathetic nauseating story, would be Quentin Taratino who could pulp up the fiction and turn it into a dark comedy with a get what you deserve ending.
2) And then of course also from Russia with not so much love there is the ‘Pussy Riot’ message in blood story. Seems a Moscow university instructor, Igor Danilevsky killed two women in an apartment and left a message in blood to free members of the Pussy Riot feminist punk band who had been sentenced to two years in prison.
First ‘What if’ : Igor claims he wrote the message to mislead police when in fact it was a simple crime of passion. Now this could be plot twisted every which way from Sunday but suppose it was a cover up of a cover up. It was a crime of passion but not involving the victims but the members of the punk band as originally presented but not for obvious reasons. Hmm I wonder…..
Second ‘What if’…Igor made a statement saying ‘I confess to everything.’ I don’t know about you but left over sentiment of the cold war and James Bond would deem this statement as manufactured. Too clean. Too easy. Intrigue is just oozing out of each printed word begging to reveal….
Third ‘What if’…. What if Igor had discovered indiputable proof against both London case Russians Roman and Boris that would have lead to each of them having to play nice in the sand box of billionaire lives, who had poor Igor framed and having to live life forever associated with a punk band of less than charming title?
Congratulations again to Katherine Gordon Levine for being last Friday’s FITFS hero. And condolences to Celi and all the fans of Mary’s Cat who is MIA. I still remember when Mary’s cat showed up at the farmy. I like Celi’s advice not to be sad and regardless of the time together, “This is just as great a love. One years is as good as twenty, if we are wide awake.”
Mondays are Plot days. Stories from the press with a few ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ which could be the makings of a possible story line. A bit of creative brain exercise. Yes I know this is Tuesday but since the last few days have been spent with my Scots Cuz Rachael and other family members, ‘making merry’ as Bob Cratchit would say, I have seen neither newspaper or telecasts.
So today’s ‘What ifs’ are really one line from two different stories, one last week and one from ages ago that I tucked into my grey matter for future use and wonders of wonders was able to extract.
The first was a headline in our local rag; MAN ACCUSED OF ARSON AND MURDER A NORMAL GUY. Huh???? For some reason the press decided to lead with a statement from the accused’s brother. Being a wordsmith my response remains ‘Huh”????? I mean I suppose there are some possible ‘what ifs’ but geez (wordsmithing again) they pretty much only extend to alien or evil possession and that story has been told time and time again.
The other line from a past story concerned a man whose office was relocated to a very high newly constructed building. Some of the office staff were apprehensive about safety issues. The man said he would show them how safe it was and launched himself against the plate glass which promptly broke and he fell to his death. The statement in the article was, “He was a very smart man.”
I’m sure he was but the statement begs another big ‘Huh’???? I am not sure I can even come up with a what if for this one. Can you?
Have you witnessed or read anything in the last week that got your mind churning with ‘what ifs’. They are all around us just waiting to be snapped up. My hero Stephen King does it all the time.
Now for that less than delectable lunch of crow:
My sibs and I are very close and really like each other. My brother Keith who is less than a year younger than I is more like me than not. At least that is what his wife says. I have always placed my brothers on well deserved pedestals, but there is one specific situation in which we clash. It has now happened twice in the last two years now.
Here is the scene: five people are driving in a car to a specific location. The same location as two years ago. Our destination is in an area I frequently drive through. He does not. I am sitting in the back.
Me: Keith what route are you taking?
Me and my sis in unison: FIFTY-TWO??????
Through further dialogue not necessary to record here he finally goes my suggested route. Once we arrive at our destination he madly drives first down one road and then down another until he in fact finds 52. Not a word is said as we proceed back to our target. When we leave at evening’s end he quickly heads down the road to 52. Nary a word is spoken by me. Somewhere in the conversation earlier he said something to my cuz in the front seat about not having duct tape when you need it.
Okay here comes the Crow eating. Ahem (clearing throat).
Dear Brother, whilst my directions did get us there I have to confess openly, and generously, and modestly, that left to your own devices you would have reached your destination just fine.
PS (not for Keith’s eyes) I still could have gotten us there more directly.
PPS Next time I shall supply the duct tape and apply it to myself prior to launch.
PPPS I just love how magnaminous I am!
PPPPS I guess 2 head-ons in 2 years isn’t so bad.
***It is highly unlikely that my brother will not read this as he does not read my blogs. However there is a chance my cuz may.
Stephen King explains in his book, ‘On Writing‘ how he comes up with some ideas for plots or characters. In the course of his day he is acutely aware of people and events around him. It can be a furtive glance from someone or and interaction played out and while he may not know what is truly happening his genius mind begins to question – what if?
So let’s take a look at a couple of possible fiction opps out of this week’s news.
OH ODA – Skip the Juice
Canadian Politics and its politicians are in my opinion dull, classless, lacking luster, crooked, self serving…um better skip this part and contine on…
Bev Oda was most recently Minister for International Co-operation. HUH? Me too.
Anyway she ended up resigning from the government for putting a $16 glass of orange juice on her tab. Oh and $1000/day limo costs. Oh and she apparently altered a document which resulted in denied funding to an ‘aid agency’ (whatever that is). And I have not read yet anything about her general work quality performance.
Possible What If Fiction ideas (if it isn’t already)
Perhaps Oda had a highly classified job so secret it cannot be divulged to the public and suppose she came across information vital to the survival of mankind. But just suppose those in power decided to take her out. *In Canada we don’t ‘take people out’ if you know what I mean. We just make them blush out of shame, lower their heads and shuffle out the door with their $52K pension in their back pockets.
Hmm on second thought maybe this is not the best story to do a ‘What if’. How about this one?
LUNCH ON THE GO
A woman in Georgetown was sitting eating her lunch at her desk which was located in the foyer of a fitness centre. An SUV crashes through the large window, strikes her carrying her in the desk chair through the back wall into an office where she was found under the SUV but still in her desk chair. No mention was made of what happened to her lunch.
Possible plot ideas?
There are quite a few that come to mind but consider:
The driver’s husband was having an affair with the lunchee and while the wronged woman had no planned intent to attack when she saw her enemy so clearly framed in a wide picture window and spotted her smug smile as she ate her lunch with relish (ha ha) the jilted wife found she had no control as her hands gripped the wheel and her foot put peddle to the metal and before you knew it the deed was done.
Of course in another scenario it is possible the driver saw the lunchee pick up a glass…a glass of orange juice..and assuming it was one of those deadly $16 glasses of OJ she sped through the window to prevent the woman from committing a Bev Oda!
Some of you have noticed my sporadic attendance in posting these last few months, and I thank you for your encouraging words. I have been occupied by an annoyance of sorts: no not defending the universe from hoards of bad guys, not working out twenty-five hours a day to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, and certainly not sitting in my vault at Gringots counting my wizard gold.
I have been facing an impenetrable wall called The Fear of Excellence and trying to figure out a way over, under or through.
When I first started posting on WordPress.com I had no idea what I was doing and frankly the first couple of months were nothing. Aimless actually. Then in February 2011 I started getting comments. Well first it was ‘comment’ and that came from Tricia at the domestic fringe on February 25, 2011. Then Joss popped in, then Pat Cegan and then Colleen. That original group is still with me along with a few others. That’s when I started writing to an audience. So for the rest of 2011 I started posting whatever popped into my cranium. I cheered on my blogging friends who achieved the sacred Freshly Pressed status and began to toy with the idea that I too might make The List. Then the persistent thought became rather annoying and I decided not to focus on it at all.
I kept reading successful bloggers trying to determine exactly what ‘successful’ meant.
The IT happened. The Wall. The Wall of Excellence. Well I was thrilled! I spent days reading every post, my heart pounding with excellence as I viewed HER body of work.
First emotion – Joy – – Inspiration, excitement.
Second emotion – Laughter -Yes! That is the standard I seek!
Third emotion – thread of caution – um….maybe
Fourth emotion – Fear – I can’t do that! (this one lasted quite a long time)
Convinced I wanted to raise the bar, but gripped by The Fear of Failure or The Fear of Success I stopped regular posts. And even worse I stopped working on my novel, ‘Propagation’.
Have you ever lost your footing? Your grip? Your mind? Due to fear?
That Fear, that Excellence has a name and it is Cecilia at thekitchensgarden.
After wrestling with the demons of the dark side I finally found inspiration again. I discovered I wasn’t afraid of Celi or her talent. I was afraid of myself but succeeded in calmly thinking things out. Now it might seem that calmly thinking took but a few minutes but it took ages. Simply ages.
Finally going full circle I decided I could raise the bar by working at getting better.
First I needed a theme and to find it started a series of FITFS – following in the footsteps – writing about bloggers I admire and discovering what makes them successful.
Second for the ‘Oh The Plots We Weave’ series I looked at news stories and considered the possibilities for fiction.
Third I discovered a desire to do a ‘This Writer Series’ for all other subject matter.
Next I needed to commit to a schedule. Three Themes – Three days. It will look something like this:
Monday Mayhem – Oh The Plots We Weave
Wednesday – This Writer
Friday – FITFS
With a number of changes, challenges and events I have not been able to think about Propagation for months. Characters and story lines sit patiently waiting to be given a voice. Now that I am doing all this bar raising I have a sense of purpose and direction.
So what bars are you raising?
*I know this is Tuesday not Wednesday but ‘This Writer” just could not wait one more day. When a plan comes together, one simply must act.