The Writing Process

“Where do you get your ideas?”
Non-writers often ask that. Real writers know where they come from: from John Lennon’s “man on a flaming pie”. In other words: we have no friggin’ idea.
At least I don’t.
Sometimes I can trace an idea back to the source – or several sources. But the entire process of development – the character, the plot, the theme, the frame of the story… Got me – have no clue.
But for the sake of anyone still reading this blog, I shall try.
My latest short story in the writing process: “Phantoms of War” – a Gothic erotic short story set during Sherman’s march to the sea in 1864.
I “friended” (or she friended me) another Mitzi on Facebook – an erotica writer from England.
She also has a site that publishes erotica and she sent out a call for submissions – Gothic erotica.
As “Macie Carter” I had some very mild success with an erotic romance.
I love Gothic stories and was in the middle of reading a book about Mary Shelley.  I blogged about that book and my reaction to it.
I read the Shelley book during a week I had to stay at home because of asthmatic bronchitis. I felt like crap but I loved the book. Once again I was seeped in the wonderful world of the Romantics and the beginning of classical Gothic writing.
Maybe I should try a story for the English Mitzi’s call for submissions.
I had an idea – vague idea.
And then Friday, after trying to stay an entire day at work, I went home and sipped on some Wild Turkey with honey. Nectar from the Goddess. I hardly had a shot. But with the bronchitis and feeling so tired, it did me in. So I did what I usually do at the beginning of writing a story. I laid down, thinking: work out the plot of the story…
Maybe Hemingway and Fitzgerald had it right – maybe it’s the booze.
Or maybe I’d fermented myself in the time period (Victorian) and the theme (the phantoms of war are not always visible) and the characters (lovely Southern women and war-weary Yankee soldiers) and it came to me – or rather, the man on the flaming pie came to me.
It may not ever be published, but it will be written.
Where do I get my ideas?
Maybe they are always there in my subconscious and something brings them forward – like Michelangelo carving away the marble surrounding the statue of David.
How do I write?
I let ideas ferment – with or without the Wild Turkey.
Mostly without.


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