Sunday, 10 May 2009

For Cloudy Mind Days

The perfect way to procrastinate without the guilt: make an ideas book for Cloudy Mind Days TM.

Everytime (okay, when I remember) I see a picture that I think will inspire a story I cut it out of a magazine or if it's on the web, I save it in a folder marked 'Inspiration' (what an inspired title!). Cyclone of Painted Shells Rosalind Red Stands in the Snow and Events at the Wigwam Rock Diner, Nevada were all inspired by pictures (I'm ignoring the fact that none of them have sold yet). Ditto with titles, if I think of something that I'm sure would make a fabulous title*, I jot it down for future use. The Unfortunate Tale of Captain Unworthy, In Silence we Stalk, Church of the Vacant Lot and Shiny Black Hearts were all scribbled down in a notebook before I had stories to go with them.

I've spent the day gluing pictures into a notebook, along with random words and titles. It's the silly things that make us happy.

*I also jotted down 'The Leaning Tower of TeaBags' when waiting for a kettle to boil - some titles you should never use. On the other hand, I have written three stories with the title 'Dead Marigolds' and one day I'll write a version that actually works.

16 comments:

katey said...

That's kind of the function my white board and cork board serve-- but leaves me much less room and certainly will not fill up a day... I think I shall add the Cloudy Mind Days (tm, Cate Gardner) book to my repertoire. It sounds lovely!

Catherine J Gardner said...

My whiteboard is covered in old notes that I can't seem to clean off and my corkboard is pinned with an angel, some aliens, a Rugrat, Elvis, my chapbook acceptance letter and a rejection from Asimov's - it really isn't serving its original purpose.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I don't have a corkboard anymore.
I have notecards and files all over my computer.
BTW- I love dead marigolds. It is a lovely, disturbing image.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Ah! The wonder of notecards. I go through packs and packs of those blighters.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Your 'inspriation' folder sounds a lot like my 'idea file'. I just jot ideas in point form as they pop into my head and then they sit in the file for awhile...I like your idea of starting with inspirational pictures and story title first, though. I will definately give it a try--Alan

K.C. Shaw said...

Ooh, now I have a fun new project! I need to buy a new notebook and a glue stick. You've just made my shopping list that much more fun too!

Danielle Ferries said...

I have corkboards on the walls around my desk for this kind of thing, but I love the Inspiration folder...hmm, might have to go buy some new stationery too.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Alan, my idea book is more an excuse to procrastinate than anything else. :)

KC, Danielle - do we ever need an excuse to buy stationery? :)

Carrie Harris said...

I have one photo that I always use for cloudy mind days. I keep wanting to write a story about it, but it's just too cool for me to crack jokes about it. :)

One of the few drawbacks to writing comedy, I think.

Aaron Polson said...

Fred is in charge of my idea file.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Carrie, I have one mental image like that - unfortunately mine is a case of an inability to write cool sci-fi.

Aaron, make sure he doesn't buy a shredder.

Rabid Fox said...

I tried doing something similar to this with a scrapbook last year. I'd clip out newspaper articles I found particularly inspiring, and taped them in for future reference. I've since stopped out of realization I can find most of the stuff I need with a quick search on CBC's or NYT's websites.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

That's a great idea, Cate...

Natalie L. Sin said...

Neat idea! I have a photobucket account for muse inspiring pictures : )

Horror Girl said...

I think it would do me good to keep a folder. i just write ideas down on random scraps of paper and then forget about them until i find them in the laundry a month later, and they say things like "dogs but not dogs," or "make it in India" and I get confused.

Danette Haworth said...

I must say, I like all the titles, especially Shiny Black Hearts!