Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Freewriting, Ideas, and the Big DUH!

OK, I got quite a few Ideas from my free-writing yesterday. That's what always happens. Sometimes the ideas come together during free-writing, and I get that "AHA!" flash of insight where everything comes together. That's coooool, because then I can just follow the flow to wherever it goes, riding the wave until it ends, enjoying it all the while. It's great, and I get a real charge out of it, because I don't know where the story is going or how it's going to end. I work furiously to finish it, so I can see how the characters get out of these impossible situations they get into. Also, I need that sense of completeness that comes when I finish. If I don't finish, it feels like a baby that's only been half formed, and been aborted before it could have life.

I've actually written a couple of books and dozens of short stories that way. Right now, they are sitting in a box in my Mom's garage, along with all the rest of my worldly possessions that I left behind when I left the USA. I'm not going to say I will never go back, but if I do, it won't be soon. At least not until that evil clown in the White House leaves. I would like to get my notebooks back, so I can work on getting my writings together. How I will get them, I'm not sure. I'd hate to have what happened to Ernest Hemingway happen to me. Early on in his career, his wife Hadley packed all of his writings, including carbons, into a suitcase, to bring them to him while he was assignment. The suitcase was stolen off the train. All his early writings were gone, and never were recovered. Man, what a blow that must have been! It must have been like someone had stolen part of your Soul!

If I don't get that "AHA!" flash where it all comes together, the other way my ideas come to me is after free-writing. That's when the ideas have had a chance to play around inside my head, chasing each other around like happy puppies. Then I end up with so many ideas that I can't keep track of them all. The best I can do is reach out and grab a hold of a few of them, like trying to grab leaves in a hurricane. Much is gained, but much is lost. If I am lucky, when I start writing what I remember, most of what was lost will come back too. If not, then I can just take the major ideas I remember, and build off of that.

Right now, the major idea I have is comparing the Malaysia to what's happening with it's football team, and Airasia before Tony Fernandes came in and made it the highly successful Airline it is today. These things are a microcosm of the country. Malaysia will never be a great nation, because of the way things are run, and it's leadership. They turned Malaysian football into the laughing stock of Asia with their nepotism, political patronage, and incompetence. The same thing happened with Airasia before a competent leader with vision bought it for 1 Ringgit, after the government had run it into the ground.

You can't be a first rate country with fourth rate leadership that can't get it's mind out of the Kampung. My ideas are all in my head, ready to go. As a matter of fact, I have been obsessing about this for the past couple of days. I will have to write it out somewhere just to get it out so it quits nagging me. When I will publish it here, I don't know. It may have to wait until I leave this country, which will probably be when my contract ends at the end of this year.

Now for the Big DUH!

Speaking of having part of your Soul stolen: I was writing my posting for this Blog at work, in the Makmal Bestari (computer classroom). Since both the technicians are away at a conference this week, and I use it more than anyone else for my classes, I have the keys. I was alone, having chased the students away. Of course, the Internet connection was acting screwy. I decided to reset it by flipping the breaker switch. Which I did. Which cut off the power to the computer. Which made me lose the post I was deeply into working on, about working in ESL hell, Korea. You can imagine how I felt when all those ideas that I had down and ready to go disappeared in a flash of stupidity.

Flipping that switch was not a good idea. It made me lose a lot of good ideas. It was like I had just killed some of my best friends.

So I came here to the Internet cafe to see if I could revive some of the corpses.
They are still lying out there somewhere, dead.
In their place, is something else that has new life. While I am not over the hurt of losing those dead ideas, it helps me feel better.