5 Miles of Country Road


It was a normal day.  A day like any other day.   Typical  things to do: groceries, pay bills, post office, the gym.   I do the circuit, plotting my course to the most effective route, saving the groceries for last because  well, I didn’t want  my cold stuff going off.

The trip home is about 7 miles.  ( 6.78 if you want to be specific.)  I pass the office where I used to work, and traffic stops.    It’s not like a traffic jam in the city, no. We are still moving but at a snail’s pace of about 30 miles an hour.   A tractor was in the road about 5 cars ahead of me.  It’s a straight road, I could see all the cars lined up in front of me going down the hill.

Minding my own business, listening to my daughter recap her day at school – with a few minor extractions,  An idea struck!  I don’t mean popped in there, turned on like a light bulb I mean WHAM!  Like the impact of  when the Hulk smashes.

An idea, a twisted horrific idea  pops up from one of the dark recesses in my mind.  A terrifying scenario in a completely  different genre than I’ve ever attempted.   The bad thing is, I’ve got this full-blown evil  malevolence with  the power to deceive its prey, the power to absorb its  prey,  and the means to dispose of without detection. The problem is, how to  have someone figure it out before it’s too late and we are all alien bug food.

Is it not enough that I currently  have too many projects  that are unfinished?  Is it  too much to ask for ideas to  stay within the bounds of the current project?  NO!  Like a  piece of Johnston grass, this  thing pops in there and is invasive.  One little tiny spec   and it has taken over a good portion of my conscious thought.

I’ve jotted  some notes down, drawn out a few pictures, and even come up with the character for its first victim.  I’ll have to do some research don’t we always?

Horror would be a totally new direction for me.  Not being a fan of horror flicks,  or books I don’t know where it came from.  I suppose it could be a residual from the books I used to read back in  my college days.   ( Stephen King, Love craft, Poe, Anne Rice)

In the meantime, I jot down my  few notes and try to focus on the manuscript at hand.  Revisions: to add some depth to my story,  get out of my head the back-story  that helps with the world building and explains why my characters behave as they do.  It would be so much easier if I could just plug in a flash drive and download  the entire  story that’s in my brain.  But, if  that were possible I’m afraid some of those other ideas would download as well that aren’t even half-baked yet.  That wouldn’t be good.

What do you do when ideas strike you? I’d love to hear from  everyone on how and when your ideas  pop up and  how you handle them.

Write on my friends, write on!