Sometimes there are awesome ideas that you think up with your very own brain & you do a metaphysical victory dance and reward it with a Cookie.
Sometimes there are ideas that are REALLY awesome. Like… Giant Crystal Panda Alien awesome. And it gets to the point where you are SO intimidated by the idea that you run away and hide your brain under a big, slimy rock.
You see, I’ve always had this notion that someday I’ll make something of a certain Giant Crystal Panda Alien that’s been living in my head for a while. You know, something along the lines of a tome of some sort where you turn the pages and follow a narrative. I hear they’re all the rage these days.
In recent days (I’m about to get mushy so if you can’t handle the mush please stop reading at once.) I have been having this serious bout of ’20 foot wall Syndrome’ with the whole thing. I’d like to say that the syndrome was brought on by a reason that doesn’t concern me. Like… I was a surviving victim in a landslide accident at space ski resort that kept me buried under a mountain of Candy Floss for weeks. Or a telepathic Buffalo in high heels invaded my mind and physically built the wall himself with the help of his entire extended family who only talk about crackers.
Obviously, the crushing reality is that I’ve just been engaging with an inferiority complex and totally over-analyzing the entire ordeal of actually writing this Giant Panda Alien. Oh, and I’ve also been really fucking lazy.
But I have these really sparkly people in my life that keep telling me to do things. One of them gave me an assignment. I know. I nearly fainted. He asked me to write a character outline and story arcs…but when I sat down to write it. The following madness came out.
It’s not a actually character outline, or a story arc.
I think it’s a small story about thinking about writing about brainstorming a character outline and story arcs.
Actually, I’m not entirely sure what it is.
But the person in question read it and really liked it. In any case, it seems I really needed to get it out of my system. Because I’ve actually started writing things down! Proper things! On real paper! So I’ve decided to share this story about thinking about stories with you guys. Because I like ya.
It was as if something had stopped inside of her head. Consciousness flowed still and yet when she put pen to paper there was nothing. Nothing to put down on a page that she felt needed to be there.
This was strange because her hand gave off signs of an addicts need. It quivered around the biro. Her grip pulsating with a cramped tightness in one moment…and then slacking for mere seconds before she almost thought of something. Something. Something.
A sentence that could change the world.
A proverb that could shape a life or a thousand lives.
A story that would be told forever.
Castles danced on cow legs in her head, led by winged spoons to marvellous crystallised feasts that glittered in an alien world filled with tribes that worshipped fingernails. People walked with their eyes and saw with their feet. The universe became a snooker table for gambling gods. Fields became battlegrounds for constantly sparring Wraithwits and their senile foes the Palyx.
Hadn’t she heard this story somewhere before?
The imagination was, in one sense of the word, functioning. But something still lacked…spirit. Something still lacked… strength. There was no energy within her simple, weak human form that could withstand the power of such vast and exquisite creation.
A dot of ink and a cramped wrist, nothing more. What could be wrong with this supposed ‘craft’ of hers? Why would it not show itself when so many felt she was reasonably good at it? Everything else was functioning perfectly, right?
Maybe this was the penalty for having a normal life.
The penalty for not living in time when society was a prison that needed to be broken out of, when reason needed to be highly unreasonable, before the bar was raised so very, very high above her tiny pathetic head.
So she dropped her pen, in a mild shame. The sound it made shook her to the marrow.
The bump of steel on soft white.
It overwhelmed her.
It made her afraid.
And she was, once more, discomforted by her staggering sense of humanity.
Why did she have to be so aware?
Why did she have to be so lazy?
The mind can be a cage. It can rattle and moan with what grows within. Sometimes it could get so hungry you may just forget yourself. She shivered at the presence of this thought. And squeezed her eyes shut to prevent it from prodding any further.
Yet, she shivered still.
She shivered, opened her eyes and decided to think.
Properly and without distraction.
Just to think would be a wonder, would it not?
It would probably not be a very pretty, shiny thought.
But it would have to do for now.
It began with a series of questions that bubbled forth like a simmering broth.
What if it was the future?
What if the world thought like her just now?
What if the world was aware…hyper aware?
What if a man in a big, important hat decided that nothing was new?
What if this world was incredibly sensitive to the notion of recycled ideas?
What if it longed for a truly new, unique and original thought?
What if it tried to achieve this by the base human action of sheer force?
What if descendants of visionary artists, revolutionary scientists and dreaming poets were kept in cages and asylums?
What if they were monitored everyday?
What if their brains were constantly scanned?
What if they’re minds were constantly psychoanalysed?
What would that do to them?
Who would they become?
Who would they be seen as?
How would they deal with this situation?
How would they react?
She pushed the thought a little further and realised something.
Their reaction might have been quite similar to her own reaction earlier. That’s what happens when you put a high price on human thought and creativity…isn’t it?
A value… an icky, sticky number that glares at you from the labels of un-bought books and works of art.
It was just then that she made another very conscious decision.
She was selfish to act and think in such ways.
She was not Bronte. Or Carroll. Or Tolkien. Or Kafka. Or Anderson.
But she would settle for what she already knew.
She would work with the dot on the blank page.
It could get bigger.
Maybe, it would never be profound. But she would make it bigger, and longer.
She would pour herself into it.
Because these people who did wonderful things, made her an oddity unto herself.
She became inspired and motivated.
She became stuck and confused.
She would inevitably become a question in a glass case.
And people would stare at this creation. They would recognise something. They had to. They were like her. And then they will say, ‘Oh’ and walk onwards.
And she would be happy.
To be so removed and yet so familiar.
To be… a small curio in a maze of so many wonderful things.
So she decided to stop being so morally pedantic and read the questions that were written on the piece of paper in front of her.
Even though she was not entirely aware of how they appeared there.