Finding the muse after so long

It’s been a good eight or more years since I put word to paper in an effort to actually write a story. I’d like to think I’ve learned a lot since then, but it seems there are some things I had to learn all over again.

Back in the day, I didn’t make much, so we didn’t have much in the way of fancy toys. My dream back then was to get a laptop some day – I’m a pretty speedy typist (true), so I reasoned if I had access to a laptop I could dash of a short story, or at least work on something, anywhere. It’d be great! But while we waited to hit that jackpot, I wrote by hand and transferred.

The sad part is, now that I have a laptop, the muse still only speaks to me best when I have a pen in hand (and not any kind of pen, but a pen where the ink rolls off the tip) and a notebook in hand. Bah – then why do I have so many ideas when I’m on the road??

So, to counter that, I thought I’d try out the record functions on my mp3 player today. Turns out my muse didn’t like that too much either. While I have all of these ideas driving, desperate to be put down, trying to talk them out loud ended up with a lot of stammers and “oh, change that bit a little bit ago to this…” Not exactly conducive to writing if I’m trying to transcribe this and don’t remember that I changed my mind six times later on.

So yes, that’s what I’m playing with right now. That and gearing up for Katy’s first day of Kindergarten next week, Tara’s first birthday, and the wrap up of the big review at work. Joy!

Writing rambles

So the mood is descending again (the weather’s starting to turn cold again, thank goodness), and I’m in the mood to write some science fiction. I have this notion of writing about the era following our breaking out of the light prison that is Sol system, about the discovery that we have been trapped in a light speed inhibited zone because millennia ago the remains of an exiled race were sent here to die for their crimes. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but I don’t want to give too much away here.

But my thoughts keep returning to an Asimov quirk, reminded by watching episodes of Firefly. The gist of it is pretty simple: Man is a complex enough creature without trying to introduce some alien element to it all. Just about anything you can imagine using an alien to introduce, a man could do in the story too (n.b. – man refers to the species, not the gender; n.b.2. – if a man can think of it, then it isn’t that alien, is it?).

Yes, some stories can only exist with the introduction of an alien, non-human interaction. But, and I do believe this was part of that Asimov note, if only I could remember where I read it – aliens are too easily used as a escape device. Can’t explain it, blame the aliens, the perfect scapegoat in a story.

And believe it or not, I have some stories in my head, and some of them just might be original. Maybe.