Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweat, Tears, and Story Ideas

There's a creative writing contest I'm interested in entering which calls for a short story with a maximum word count of 2000, inspired by this quote:

"The key to to let go of fear."
-- Rosanne Cash

I've been chewing on the quote for a couple days now, but no characters have whispered to me and no story lines have wiggled their way into my imagination.  Until this morning.

There I was, on the treadmill for the first time since before my trip to France, going at a much slower pace than what's "normal" for me but getting my sweat on just the same.  (How come it takes so long to get INTO shape, and such a short time to fall OUT of shape??)

And a story began to reveal itself, a tight skein of fiction unraveling with each quarter mile into a colorful pile of plot and character threads, ready for sorting and weaving.  I was so inspired, I almost pushed the 'end workout' button and dashed for my car.  But how ungrateful would that have been?  My faithful writing partner, the treadmill, deserved a full visit, especially since it's been so long since we last enjoyed each others company.  So I finished the program, happy, my heart rate elevated and skin glistening with sweat.

And then I dashed for my car.

I'm off to bang out my first draft of the new short.  (*raises arm and sniffs pit*)  ...And then I'll really need a shower.

I'm often inspired to write when I'm on the treadmill.  Where are you when story ideas frequently come to you?