(cracks knuckles and waggles fingers over keyboard, doing digit-aerobics before typing)
I’m undertaking a personal challenge: flash fiction based on the results of a random plot generator.
“The story starts when your protagonist swears to remain single. Another character is a school teacher who wants to break the rules.”
Well, now. Who will they be? Let’s see. A hermit and a rebel. A nun and a party girl. Heartbroken and heartbreaker.
What hijinx ensue? What conflicts, emotions, tensions? What consequences?
I got nothin’.
And that’s how it’s been for weeks. Months, even.
I carry a notebook and pen almost everywhere I go, prepared to record story ideas, but none have arrived. It’s as if my work — editing and critiquing — has cut a wide swath in my mind, not allowing the flames of creative thought to cross the fireline. In fact, the flames aren’t much of a threat, and the fireline has been there so long that weeds have grown between the edges.
There’s a short story contest deadline approaching soon. I have maybe two weeks to present a polished story. Six hundred words are written. Six hundred good words. But now I stare at the cursor blinking at the end of the last line, and can’t think what comes next.
The writer’s curse.