Clarissa Johal: #Paranormal Wednesday-Skipping Around the Maypole

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#Paranormal Wednesday-Skipping Around the Maypole

Photo Courtesy of Gabi Witthaus via Flickr
Last March, I was fortunate enough to speak at my daughter's middle school on Career Day. They had the usual questions one would expect: "Do writers make lots of money?" (hahahahaha!) "How did you get started?" (I wrote a play in high school) "Which classes were the most helpful?" (all of them) "Have you ever seen a ghost?" (Yes, right behind you) and the big question: "What advice would you give to someone who wanted to be a writer?"

The most important advice I can give to someone who wants to be a writer isn't "just write" or something equally as ridiculous. It's to let your mind wander and "what-if?" Writing is kind of like a maypole--you grab one ribbon of an idea and skip around and around until it starts to weave itself into something coherent. I think the middle-schoolers were somewhat surprised at this advice. A grown-up telling them to day-dream? Shocking.

My mind wanders and "what-ifs" constantly. Some "what-ifs" grow into stories and some remain on the back-burner. And some skip around the maypole until they get dizzy and fall over. Here are a few "what-ifs" that were skipping around in my head as I was writing this post.

What if everyone had amnesia at the same time?
What if the leaves that fell from trees were the souls of faeries? 
What if the ghost of an unknown writer couldn't "move on" until someone read their book?
What if our universe were a glob of sand on a beach?
What if I'm dreaming?
What if everyone on the planet were granted one wish...and one minute to make it?
What if you were a ghost's sole form of entertainment?
What if UFOs were really angels dabbling in technology?

And yes, it's a weird place in my head sometimes.

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