Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sound waves: Life, please stop imitating me!

You ever have this happen? You're writing along, minding your own business. You get plot ideas that you work into the story, they fit great, maybe you tweak and then you set the thing aside for a day or two. You pick up the newspaper, you tune in to the tube, you read headlines on the internet. And there's your plot idea. No, several of them. How rude is that?

In my Work in Progress, I have a story about a guy in Los Angeles, California (by the name of Neal) getting out of a gang and becoming involved with musicians. This story has been in my head since at least the early 1980s. In January 2010, I hear about a former gangbanger in L.A. who is organizing bus tours of some of the roughest neighborhoods in order to show people that those areas are actually vibrant with life. Several months ago, I wrote a scene where Neal hauls the fictional mayor of L.A. into the barrios to show him pretty much the same thing. At that point in the story, Neal is already working with a charitable foundation aimed toward helping street people. In order to raise money for their various efforts, he has to bring sponsors into the streets to show them the potential the neighborhoods have.

Okay, Universe, I thought of it first. Get your own ideas.

Keep in mind, Neal is friends with a rock band. Their drummer, Sandy, co-founded the charity with Neal. In February 2010 I read that Jon Bon Jovi is visiting homeless shelters during his current tour because that's his social issue. Okay, now, hold it. I thought of that first too, back in the '80s when Jon was still struggling to keep the band together and didn't have time for a social conscience.

My band's keyboardist is Lennie Barrett, who drives a Maserati. Last week I stumbled across the name of a Maserati dealer in Texas: Barrett Motors.

One of these things at a time would be a little annoying, but really, I think I'm being abused.  How can you fight the Universe?

Coming soon: observations triggered by reading "Self-editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King.


  1. Wow! That sounds weird. I've never had that happen to me, but then, I mainly write sci-fi and fantasy :S It's harder for the universe to copy that ;)
    Oh! By the way, I tagged you (for some reason or other--a lot of strange stuff going around lately, isn't there?) see my latest blog post for details.

  2. Hi Spammy. Believe me, the Universe is just letting you get overconfident. Someday, one of your plot ideas will be converted into reality by NASA or ESA. Fantasy is not immune the whims of the Universe, either. Watch your back ;)