Thursday, June 30, 2011

Plays well with scissors...

...or should that be, runs well with others?

Whichever it should be, they both bring to mind the current writing activity in which I'm involved. More of that in a moment.

When I think, or certainly thought, of writing, a solitary time at a keyboard, typewriter or pad and pens are images that spring to mind. Ideas, words, worlds welling up and flowing (or trickling sometimes - blood-from-stone-like) onto the screen/paper/page.

And so it's been mostly. Me, a pen (or several), a writing pad (or several) and away I scribble, long into the night. The results have not been bad. Sometimes, even, they've been good. And once or twice, only a few times, they have astonished me.

Of late, there's been something else. Absolutely. She who signs herself, Absolutely*Kate, and who writes and showcases writing at At the Bijou tapped me on the shoulder (virtually that is - and on my virtual shoulder at that) and suggested a duet, a sharing of the writing task.

*Kate is fond of my writing style and it is to understate it to say I am enamored of hers. *Kate has a fluidity with language that inspires - and makes me laugh (when it's not making me envious.)

I had an opening scene with some strong characters, sent it to her and got by return mail (e-mail, that is) this impassioned plea to be permitted to play with these characters. I am many things, stupid isn't one of them (mostly), and so I said "Yes".

We've traded stanzas of this evolving story back and forth between us - all the while maintaining a correspondence covering/suggesting back story, time and place, and about whom the story will finally be (that's still on-going, I'm not sure the characters are ready to tell us yet).

Characters have come bounding out of the woodwork to take a twirl on the dance floor (there was an actual dance floor in the 2nd and 3rd stanzas).

What is surprising to me is the in-tuneness that *Kate and I share about the story. I had thought two of the characters would need to talk, only to find that the meeting was set up by *Kate in her stanza - without discussion on the point between us. There have been other such serendipities.

This collaborative (co-laborare - to work together if I have my Latin correct) approach is new for me. We moved the home state of some of the characters and shifted time back some thirty-odd years - all without a hitch. We're still hunting around for the thrust of the story, which promises to grow to quite a serious length, but are piling up potential - the discharge of which will provide a very satisfying plot (I think).

I do not recommend this approach to anyone - because I do not recommend any approach to anyone. I don't know enough to make recommendations (other than to write - for that is what writers do, write, and we short-change ourselves when we don't.)

But, should some collaborate in a similar or dissimilar way - I can only wish that you enjoy it as much as *Kate and I are enjoying it.


  1. I found this a very interesting post. I can't imagine sharing my characters with anyone yet, not even for them to read, never mind play with. I will obviously, eventually relax this stance, but I'm not confident enough to do so yet. I love the way you feel you can work fluidly with Kate. Wishing you lots of luck with it!

  2. Rebecca - Until the moment I sent *Kate the scene of Carolina Beatrice Templeton (how I do love that name) and the other characters with her, I couldn't imagine sharing my characters with others before they were all well turned out and in a completed story.

    So, in a sense, I wouldn't do it till I did it. It is in the doing we learn, and we stretch. And, it does help to have a writing partner of the artistry of *Kate.

  3. Sounds like you two are having great fun with this. It's a wonderful thing to work with someone you are simpatico with. You two really seem to gel.

  4. Thanks Jon. Yes, *Kate and I do seem to be having a ball with this. Luck of the Irish.

  5. I can see you and *Kate blending that certain flair for words into a swelling symphony of novel proportions!

  6. Naturally you two would have fun together!

  7. @Laura - I'm just chasing after *Kate's flair, I can assure you. But it's fun!

    @John - it's impossible not to have fun writing with *Kate.

  8. Collaborating can be fun or frustrating, depending on the interaction between people. I'm very, very happy for you and *Kate to have had such syntony in your writing project. :D

  9. Sounds like this process has been a huge sucess. Its great to find a person that is similar to you, but also bends and circles your thoughts as well. Wish you both the best with this endevour!

  10. Hi there Kevin! I have a little something for you back at randomities. ;)

  11. @Mari - this collaboration is great fun and not at all frustrating. I am very fortunate to be in this dance with *Kate. Thank you for the award - I'll go back through your interview questions for me and see if there's anything I can salvage for "things to know about KjM" :-}

    @Lara - thank you, yes, the process is going on really well. *Kate certainly knows how to bend and circle - and weave. I'm just hanging on for the ride!