As the indifference of an adult
For the achievement of a child
This museum in England has been collecting the used candles of the rich and famous for 20 years. The proprietor, Anne Wickham, started the museum in 1994 after a Women’s Institute meeting where she found that all her fellow members found it difficult to throw away their used candles as they were like dear, old friends.
Anne decided to keep those candles and to turn them into a tableau, which she entitled “Growing Old” drawing parallels between the ageing of the WI members and the way the wax had melted and formed wrinkles on the surface of the candles.
In my personal blog I recently posted a writing prompt:
You are having a dinner party for writers and you can invite five writers-
living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Then I posted my first round of picks.
It will probably surprise no one that I can imagine a second dinner party that would be just as interesting (to me, at least):
Skeletal– relating to or functioning as a skeleton. I think this word is best with the UK pronunciation “skel-EE- tel” rather than the US “SKEL-eh-tel”.
Amnesia– loss of a block of interconnected memories. The soap opera disease! A cliché plot point so hackneyed that it almost makes me want to use it, just in case it comes back into fashion. Even better is the adjective ‘amnestic’, as in “They were amnestic for the duration of their vacation on Secret Bloody Skull Island. They did not know exactly why. Privately, Charles suspected something terrible had happened.”
I spend the better part of most days reading and writing. In recreational reading alone, I average about 150 hours per month. (How do I know? My e-reader software actually tracks my reading hours.) When the time I spend reading things like paper books, the Interweebs, and work documents is factored in, I think the grand total would be closer to 275, or maybe even 300 hours a month.
Recently I performed a thought experiment on myself: if I had a whole day during which I had lost the ability to read and write, how would I spend it? What would I do all day?
The writing demon is with me always. From the security of her perch on my shoulder, she sporadically rouses from hibernation to taunt me with grand ideas and inspiration. “Come on, Joanne. Give it a go. You can do it.” And in that moment, I believe her.
Inevitably, each and every tidbit of fiendish encouragement and support is rapidly reversed. “Stop, stop, Joanne, stop! What were you thinking?” And in that moment, I believe her.
A man checks his roommate’s internet browsing history and finds searches for slow-acting, untraceable poisons and how long it takes to suffocate someone with a pillow. He knows his snoring’s gotten worse, but would she kill him for a good night’s sleep?
A woman asks her husband to duct-tape her wrists together and put her into the trunk of their car. Is she getting kinky on him, or maybe just losing her mind?
The role of research in my writing depends on the piece.
My travel articles are all written during and after my visit to a particular place. Sometimes it seems like I am an integral part of the story, such as when I write either about people I have met or about the effect a place has had on me. On other occasions, the story can tell itself without my presence. I don’t or can’t add anything to the story and so the description of the place is enough. My research will consist of writing down my thoughts in a notebook and collating these words later when I return home.