This is week 8 and I’ve meandered the internet halls wasting a good portion of the morning, when I should have been writing, but seriously, that is what happens when we avoid what we should be doing.
This coming week, Sweet Hearts of The Rodeo will be active once again having taken off the week of Christmas, oh, by the way our dear co-leader (who is a sweetheart but a serious taskmaster) has set a rigorous schedule. Our quest is to listen to lectures 3 and 4 of Robert Olen Butler’s session, then comment on what we have gained as he continues to write a short story online. I have yet to listen to the Butler’s lecture, but I have chosen a few historic postcards to write my thousand-word story or rather the beginnings of one. Out of my historic postcard search, I have chosen five possibilities the first is four young ladies resting on a mountainous ravine and the caption reads, “Have just heard the news (? I leave a question mark for I’m not sure what the word is but will call it news,) Accept congratulations from the girls you left behind.” The second image is a mental institution or rather as stated the west wing of Bryce’s Hospital for the Insane, the hospital is vast, so undoubtedly at the turn of the twentieth of century there was a multitude of insane people, no captions, but an imposing looking place just the same. The third is a Negro Shack and as I stare at the images of the man in his Bowler hat looking quite the dandy and she in her white dress to the ankles and the round brimmed hat upon her head along with a ribbon tied around it, I can’t help but wonder how they stayed warm, the shack is of log and presumably quite breezy considering the large caps between each. I’ll not mention the other two for they are simple images in comparisons of a house and a train station with little flare.
Questions that come to mind, as I stare at the postcards deciding which one I should choose is what is on the people mind as they stared into the camera? The young girls are saddened perhaps; maybe it’s that a fifth girl should have been part of the group sitting there with them, but she is on her honeymoon with the beau they didn’t capture.
Now my quest is choose one postcard and enter the dream state, the zone as Butler calls it to write from the unconscious, and never willing the words to come. I have a choice of using a story that I am already working or start the beginnings of a new story. I don’t think I’ll use the one in process, for I hope it to be either the beginnings of a novel or a very long short story.
Robert Elsie (1950-2017)
4 hours ago