I have been working in the fields (strike up Soviet era peasant music) and filling my mind with ideas as I fill the Pecan beds with mulch. At first I was writing phrases, short cues, little jottings and jokes such as, oh, I better not go there. Anyway, I have found that if I take one of these fragments and expand it as I type, I can produce a paragraph of something, probably not art, that I will later try to assemble into a story. I do have a rough plot outline and thus I can try to focus my ideas on themes that might fit into a complete epic at some later date. The following paragraph came from two notes scratched on a Post-it, a type of sticky paper pad invented by my good friend Art Fry. Okay, so I met him only once, but I’m sure he forgot me as easily as I have remembered him. The two notes are below the paragraph for your psycho-analysis and amusement:
Amram used the old methylated spirits Banda copier in the Scout’s store room to produce three editions of his mixed language fly sheet, The Goblin. Mixed it was. He cobbled sentences together from English and Francais, soled them with Portuguese and Italian, and stuffed in a stately plump Romanian sockliner. As if such a venture in multi-lingual puns and acrostics wasn’t obscure enough, Amram embroidered latin motifs of his own invention into the uppers of his work. Puzzled recipients sniffed the heady pages, glanced at the hish-pash of words in their faded purple type, and proceeded to explore aeronautical origami.
James Joyce contemplated starting his own journal, to be called The Goblin, but nothing ever came of this idea.
You can combine mish-mash and hodge-podge to make Hish-Pash.
An open letter to the workers of the the Upstate Fiction Factory:
We write, right? In these days of wine and roses yet to bud and yet to mature, we are tested daily. So off to the test track I go and in these testing times, I test. As I test, I am tested. Not found wanting for anything except chocolate, I define my right to write as being right, all right. But seriously (as if ever), UFF is about becoming a writer. This group is a catalyst and motivator for those who write or would like to write or would like to write more. Our habitat is the Upstate: that north-eastern outcrop of South Carolina that, if the state were a slice of pizza, would be the place that drooped and the pepperoni fell off.
What is the purpose of the fiction factory? Ah, funny that you should ask. By a quirk of writing first and then not editing, I have already told you our location and goal. My personal blog entries here are probably going to look at the form of stories–what shape are they, why, and why not. There are all sorts of formatting tools on this blog but it is too much like a meal in a fancy restaurant for my liking; They lay out two or three sets of cutlery and three glasses around your plate. I choose the tools that work and ignore the rest. That should serve as a warning to not expect fancy bits of bold, italic, colored, indented, or quoted text in my blog posts.
Since UFF is a tool to promote the writing of fiction (narrative, poetry, plays, and those interstitial things that have no name as yet) in our third of SC, I plan to limit my blog topics to writing methods, creativity, publishing, and things that are, well, about writing I suppose would be the best description. That means no commentary on the views or subject matter in the work of any writers in UFF, and no off topic blathering — though I may give some leeway on matters that peripherally relate to writing, such as choice of munchies to be brought to the UFF meetings. I may agree or disagree with what you are saying, but I support and encourage you in your efforts to become a better writer because that is what I am asking you to do for me.
For your inspiration to write today, here’s what I was forced to get up early and type before it wandered out of my brain: a section of dialogue in which one person replies, “Mmhm.” to every question and comment from the other person. If there is a better way to spell that noise that means, “I agree, please continue.” please share it.