Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Suicide is not poetic"

I keep a little notebook in my room and when I have an idea, or more often, a line that is stuck in my head, I write it down. It could be anything: something I overheard; something inspired by an event or things I have seen or done; or something I simply came up with out of the blue. Every now and then, I go back to this little book, just to see what's in there, and I'm always pleasantly surprised.

The last thing I wrote in there was inspired by something I'd seen on Facebook, about a week ago. It was a list of mental health issues and their resulting actions that some people think there was something cool about, basically saying that people who think there's something cool about them are idiots. Somewhere in that list, a line jumped out at me and glued itself inside my head, so I reached over to my little notebook and wrote it down immediately, knowing it wasn't going to leave my head until I'd done so.

"Suicide is not poetic," was the line. I don't know if I'll ever use this line, or if I'll ever be inspired to write something because of it. I'm a little conflicted about drawing inspiration from it, considering the whole point of the post was to say there is nothing 'cool' about such things, but then again, the post itself was ironic in that it had placed these things in a poetry of sorts. I guess with the right intentions being conveyed, I would be doing basically the same thing as whoever originally made that post.

On a related note, I drew a bit of inspiration from an experience I had over the weekend. I was at a party with some of my writerly friends from university, it was dark, and the party was located on a small farm. The back paddock was full of really tall pine trees and there was a trampoline. We wandered up to the trampoline in the dark, save for our glow sticks and occasionally our phone lights, and we sat on the trampoline chatting away. It was creepy out there, to say the least, and of course us writerly folk were speculating what would happen if it turned out we had just stepped into a horror movie. Our mistake! It wasn't all that terrifying, but part of the group supposedly headed back towards the house before the rest of us, and then we noticed people without lights moving through the trees a little later. Of course we knew it was just our friends trying to scare us, but we all played along and tried to find them. We turned our phone lights back on and started wandering in the direction their voices and silhouettes had come from... and then we stumbled upon a small grave site, where there were crosses made of sticks in the ground. Oh my, that was a little creepier than I had anticipated. I mean, I'm pretty sure it was just where some dead pets had ended up, but still! The shenanigans in the back paddock ended shortly after that and we all went back down to the house, but it was heaps of fun despite the mild creepiness and I'm sure a few of us present will write about it at some point.

Where have you gotten some of your inspiration from? 
- Bonnee

20 comments:

  1. So, you were at a party, with glow sticks and, I assume, a fair amount of drinking. You found a trampoline--and you sat on it? Oh, writers. I would think it would be cool to watch glow sticks jumping up and down in the dark. The grave thing is a bit creepy.

    "Suicide is not poetic" is a great opening line for something. I expect you could write something based on that in a way that is respectful and does not glorify suicide, or make it seem noble.

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    1. There wasn't too much drinking, but yes, we sat on the trampoline.

      I do like that line :) If I use it, I would endeavour to be respectful. Thanks for visiting, Jeff.

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  2. I used to keep a notebook like that too, full of all those inspired flashes of thought. I'd also keep newspaper clippings of things I thought would make a good fictional story some day.

    And how creepy to end up staring at graves after playing at "horror" movie. That ironic moment is exactly when the mass murderer shows up!

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    1. I think it's especially important for a writer to keep a little notebook like that, otherwise we forget so many of our good ideas!

      That was basically our reaction when we saw the graves, we all sort of grabbed each other and wondered if we were actually about to get murdered haha thanks for visiting, L.G :)

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  3. I get a lot of story ideas in school. In fact, I came up with a good setting seed for a story in Sociology class today. Last year, several cool ideas struck me in Honors Geometry.

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    1. I think I'm getting more ideas in university than I did in high school, but that's probably because it was a very small school. It's great that you're getting ideas where you are though, Patrick! :)

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    2. How small? Mine has only about 400 students.

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    3. Probably about the same, except that my school stretched from Prep (5-year-olds) to year 12s (final years? I don't know how this stuff translates outside Australia...) And years 11s and 12s were kind of segregated from the rest.

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    4. In the U.S. we start with Kindergarten (it's a German word, which is funny) at five years of age, go to 1st grade, and end with 12th grade. The high school (with about 400 students) contains 9th- to 12th-graders. We call 9th-graders Freshman, 10th-graders Sophomores, 11th-graders Juniors, and 12th-graders Seniors.

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    5. Ah, yes, we have Kindergarten when we are four years old (I think there's a kindergarten for three year olds too). I've lost track of how many times someone has explained the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors thing to me...

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  4. I keep a notebook like that, too -- and a lot of times, my phone also ends up cluttered with lines/ideas/notes, because they always pop into my head while I'm driving. I can't tell you how many times I've pulled over into a parking lot to jot something down!

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    1. I need a better phone, mine doesn't have any sort of notepad on it and it won't let me download an app for one either... I have to resort to texting myself :P But they are handy little devices when they work like that! Thanks for sharing, Shari :)

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    2. Ha, I do the same thing! I save them as drafts in my texts, then recopy them into a notebook when I get home. I keep telling myself that one day I'll get a smartphone ... if only there weren't so expensive, right?!

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    3. I know! I have a really old smartphone that isn't very smart, which is probably why I scored it so cheap...

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  5. Don't have a notebook for ideas, but every time I read pages from book I have a paper and pen ready to write sentences that I like. Then with changes I tried to insert them in my novels if they fit with the story line. And right in your post I found a sentence I like and wrote it down:
    "A line jumped out at me and .... glued itself inside my head."
    Never heard the second part and like the words "Glued itself inside my head (or my heart)" to describe a thought or feeling that get stuck in someone head or heart. Cool and thanks.

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    1. Aha, you're welcome. I love it when that happens. Thanks for visiting, Giora :)

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  6. Wow, you keep a notebook for writing down ideas? Oh my god, I do too! It's like that kind of thing is... really common. :D

    I wish I could say that I found inspiration for my stories from interesting and out there sources like really good books and movies (which some of the time, does happen and then I feel guilt that my story comes off as a thinly veiled rip off of it, which funnily enough afterwards they never see the light of day again), but really - most of my inspiration comes from really badly written stories that disappoint me more than anything because there is such great potential in their idea that just gets hacked up in their execution. But hey, that's just how I roll.

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    1. So common, right? Ha, I guess it was kind of redundant to put that in there :p

      I don't think there's really such thing as a completely original idea anymore. Everything seems to somehow be a rip-off of something these days... it's whether or not you do a good job of it that matters! But I can see how you could get inspiration from stories that have disappointed you. I've lost count of how many times I've heard the advise "Write what you want to read."

      Thanks for visiting! :)

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  7. Hey there new follower here I love your blog.

    This is so true I also keep a little notepad full of things that i was briefly inspired by. I mostly have it on my phone. Sometimes i even wake up in the middle of the night to be inspired of plot twist or a poem or topic in general; these are the type inspiration that i tend to press on because if i'm waking up at 4 AM and i have brilliant idea its probably a winner lol.

    I definitely find inspirational from my own life and from the stories from others. I rarely seek inspiration from a book or song its has to be real and raw straight from the source kind of thing. I even inspire myself when i'm just reflecting and relaxing lol.

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    1. Hi Wildflower,

      The ideas at 4AM are always keepers, so it's good that you've got something to write them down on.

      Inspiration can be found anywhere, and it's good that you've got a few places you know you find it most. I love it when my own thoughts and reflections create a writerly spark.

      Thanks for visiting, I look forward to visiting your blog soon. :)

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