How a Story Starts {and note to email subscribers}

Some days, it is just clouds: the way they gather and shift, bluster like words across my mind’s eye. What is the mind of a cloud?
Other days, it is all tone: the way a certain image feels (it’s weight, it’s brightness, it’s simple poetry) alongside the voice of a newly formed character talking into my ear.
Still other days, it is the voices that surround me: the books I’m reading, the words of a friend, the advice that filters through my dreams.
Most days, it is the endurance of it all: the way the sun rises and sets in constant chase with the moon, the way there are always cars coming and going, the way the leaves blow and blow and blow as if nothing will ever stop, the way there is always something to be desired and how desire (and its cousin, suffering) are the engines for story.
It is also the collage of memory and imagination: a line overheard at a party (“This is not how it’s supposed to end!”) enmeshes with the postcard image of last night’s sunset (earthy purple, anemic yellow), and gets set to the backdrop of some distant hybrid place in my mind (Appa-lask-egon).
And then I have it: a first line I can believe in, a character I can empathize with, the frantic, infant pulse of a new story.

Note to my email subscribers: I’m considering switching to a new format that would arrive in your inbox once a week with links to the previous week’s posts. If you have strong objections or suggestions, please let me know. Otherwise, expect a change in the coming weeks…and thank you for subscribing!

  • Lucricia Hall

    Katey, this is so beautifully written. I really enjoyed it. Thanks!

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