Saturday, September 08, 2007

Writing snippets

Over on WrittenWyrdd's blog, she posted a few story ideas she's had over time that she contemplates writing up one day. I have these as well. What intrigued me was how different the sources of our snippets were (not that her post is likely representative of all ideas she has in any way...). Kristin, the BlueRidge Writer often mentions getting ideas from TV. Wyrdd's ideas this time happened to be stories she's heard from true life. Other people mention things they read about in the paper. My ideas come from various places, myths, historical fragments, or just images or emotions that sound like they are worth writing. Anyway, I decided to list a few here:

1) The Norse myth of Baldur. In the myth, Baldur is a beloved god who is the most gloriously handsome creature in the nine worlds. His mother, Frigga, Odin's wife wants no harm to come to him, so she goes around asking all the creatures of the world to promise to never harm Baldur. They all promise, but when Frigga comes to the harmless hemlock plant, she decides not to bother, because, after all, what could such a little plant do? Since Baldur is now pretty much invincible, the gods start playing games where they hurl dangerous things at Baldur which all miss him or bounce off, making everone laugh. Loki, however, somehow makes a spear with hemlock on it and gives it to Hodur, the good, blind god. Hodur throws it at Baldur killing him. Frigga goes to visit the goddess of the underworld, Hel, and asks her if Baldur can come back to life, but Hel says she will only allow this if every creature on earth wishes for his return. Again, Frigga asks everyone, and they all wish him back, but one old hag (often portrayed as Loki in disguise) refuses and Baldur must remain below until he is reborn after Ragnarok.

I don't plan on actually ever retelling this exact story. Instead, I want to grab the essential ingredients and make a new one. In this case, I view the myth of Baldur as telling of our own self-destructive nature. No one wants harm to come to Baldur (except Loki perhaps), and yet he is killed. Any story of someone that we all love meeting unintended tragedy is the Baldur myth.

2) There is a memorial in Fort DeRussy Park in Waikiki to the Japanese-American units in WWII who mostly fought in the European Theater. They volunteered to come out of internment camps and became some of the most decorated units in the entire war. There's definitely a story there.

3) When in college, a woman wanders by an old delapidated building and hears someone playing a piano. In my head, it's always Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. She listens in and quite quickly falls in love. However, things do not work out in many ways, and some 15 years later, she sees a poster for her old love, playing a concert tonight. Our heroine goes to the concert where as an encore the pianist plays the Moonlight Sonata in tears for her.

4) Reading a history of Korea in the 5th century or so, I read about their deer antler helmets and bone armor, and the amazing victory that tiny Koguryo achieves in fending off the mighty Chinese empire. There's a story there.

5) Man visits a used book store and finds a fragment of a Buddhist sutra in a book. Soon he's being chased by clandestine Chinese sects.

6) Something with Eugenie Danglars, cause she's just so cool.

You get the idea....

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