September 10, 2015

Where do the stories come from?

First, I want to direct your attention (I just wrote "tension" by accident) to a seriously sexy sale. 12 Shades of Surrender can be yours on Kindle for 99 cents. Cuffing Kate (one of my novellas) is part of the collection. This story has received more attention—and caused more tension (ha!)—than most of my other novellas. Readers seem to love it or hate it. The original title for the story was "Punishing Kate." This changed to "Debating Kate." And ultimately—Cuffing Kate.

I began the story on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 6:44 a.m. (Don't you love technology?) And at the top of my original file is this George Bernard Shaw quote: "A man never tells you anything until you contradict him."

Where did the story come from? I have a vague feeling I was inspired by a half-full basket I saw at a grocery store. But I don't remember why.

Graydancer posted an excerpt about writing which touched on an idea that was already swirling in my mind when I woke up. About muses. About where stories come from.

When asked, I used to say I bought my ideas from a guy named Zeke behind a convenience store. But I don't actually know anyone named Zeke. Basically, the stories arrive all the time. Unasked for. Unbidden. That doesn't mean I'm calm. Every once in awhile, I worry:

Will I run out? Is the jar empty?

And then the ideas pour out in a rush, so fast I can't keep up. (Part of the reason I pushed back on the putting-down prolific authors post.)

Last week, at the thrift store, I spied a slew of bandage skirts, those micro-minis that only barely cover your parts. Georgia said, "Someone got too fat to wear the minis."

But I didn't agree. And I told her the real story... at least, the story that arrived in my head. A girl—Maggie—had a different band-aid skirt for every day of the week. Her boyfriend, Ivan, wasn't pleased with the way she dressed. He was constantly telling her to put on more clothes. So when she met George—who appreciated her micro skirts (as well as her other charms)—she made a quick decision to leave. The trio of minis at the thrift store were the skirts remaining in the hamper on the day she moved out.

I could tell you more. I could tell you how Maggie met George at a coffee shop. How they flirted shamelessly, the double-entredres thigh-high while they waited in line. I could tell you how they made a plan to meet that afternoon, how he slid one hand down the back of her scarlet skirt and groped her ass while they were making out. How he pushed the hem up to her waist so he could eat her out in the back of his pick-up truck....

Recently, I was working on a fresh piece and the story took a turn in a strange direction. I could have stopped it. I could have fixed it. Changed the roommate to a boyfriend. Made the video purchased. But that wasn't the story. It would have been a lie. (More on this one soon. It's still percolating.)

Where do the stories come from?

I don't know. I'm just so fucking grateful they come at all.


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