Monday, March 06, 2006

"That ought to be an easy picture to write to," I thought to myself as I pulled the photo out of my directory of stand-bys. It depicted three persons on top of the Empire State Building, a man pointing out at something, and two girls, one staring off to the side - but not at the view, and one staring straight and somewhat impertinently into the camera.

Sunday night came, then Monday, and still no story. Sure, I'd written stuff down, but it was, all of it, lame: some nonsense about spirits of concrete having to leave their building after it had been demolished, then deciding which high-rise to move into next. Who would believe such a thing? I thought of writing a story about how hard it is to write a story, but I remembered from a writing class that this was the one topic authors should avoid. Nobody wants to read stories about how hard it is to write. Besides, I'd done one of those already. So you see the torment of my dilemma.

Monday drew to an end, and still no story. The worries pursued me into my sleep. My ideas formed into lame, limping gremlins parading before me, sticking their tongues out as they passed. Then I was falling, tumbling endlessly through dusty urban air. I looked above and saw faces everywhere peering from the rooftops, pointing and leering as I toppled. When I awoke I knew what had to be done: slip into that photo and find out what those people were really up to.

I merged into the scene from behind the camera, and stood off to one side, so as not to disturb the harmony of the actual photograph. But it went badly. The transition unsteadied me, causing me to slip and bump my head against the tourist telescope. The loud bong attracted her attention. She looked straight at me, smiling at some secret idea. My head turned to her like a magnet and I was so stunned even my thoughts were stuttering.

"Say, you two," she called to her friends, her captivating gaze never leaving me once, "Who says we have to possess a building? Let's possess him."

Story #342

The contributions have all been reposted at

Original post: Should I try for five stories next week, or switch to three a week? Do the stories turn out better if there's more time between them? Does it make it easier to follow the blog if posts aren't as frequent? Was it better when I was posting a story a day, seven days a week?


Anonymous said...

"Look! Oh my God! It's--it's a UFO! I can't believe it!"
"Out of towner," said the woman on the other side of him, nudging her husband. "Come on, David. Let's go."
But their way was blocked by Bill and Larry, who, under the influence of Agent X29's eyes and Agent VR7's whistle, were mechanically compelled to approach the mother ship.
The agents high-fived one another as Bill and Larry were beamed aboard. Two more accountants collected for study.

Unknown said...

"Why would I look over there when the camera's over here?"

Indie, daily posting helps me a lot. It's easier when I don't give myself a choice.

Unknown said...

Of course, only writing one sentence helps me a lot too.

Anonymous said...

Alojando, Kintrisha, and Chuvanice are triplets connected at the hip.

A. was the most active one. Pointing out girls with the most beautiful set of hair laces. K. likes to wear red bra. C. just likes her mole so much that she faces sideward just to look at you.

--Taorist's Never Believe It or Probabably Not Archives--

I like your posts whether three or eight times a week. It's your choice storymaker!

Anonymous said...

Whatever works best for you Indie. I think that everyone has a routine of sorts that keeps them going.
The questions is do you feel better doing three five or seven stories a week?

It's all about you indie.

I don't know how you do it all anyway.

Indeterminacy said...

Hey Cooper (Alice): We can't call you Alice anymore? :-(
Anyhow, thanks for answering. I don't know how I do it either. I don't want to go back to seven a week, because that would mean leaving out the weekend stories thing, unless it became independent, which would then mean 8 stories a week! Maybe I should have put it this way: How many of my stories can you put up with in a week!

The Mushroom said...

Caption: What makes for interesting scenery is in the eye of the beholder.

It's your call. Three times a week is probably less strenuous: a new story Monday, Wednesday, and write-your-own-this-weekend Friday. I look here twice a day so anything works. :)

admin said...

I wonder how many stories a week you would write, if you wrote as many as you really could... ;) The number of the stories could be greater than now but it also could be less.

That girl on the picture reminds me of an old friend... Ksenia was her name. She was my roomate in a boarding school for one year. I remember how I got really angry at her when she returned to the room in the middle of the night, drunk. She and her friends had broken all the rules and got out. As soon as she arrived she fell on the bed and threw up. I was 17 back then and had never drunk alcohol or had any sort of weird experiences. So the whole thing scared me. I quickly jumbed up and got my shoes off the way. She then immediately fell asleep. I left and went to the other girls to think of a plan, my other 2 roomates refused to follow but they inevitably got out when the whole room started to smell. :)) I though Ksenia might be as well dead in there. I know that none of us really slept that night. The lady on duty found her in the morning when she went in for the wake up calls. She was alive :)). And that was the end of our "friendship". Strangely I couldnt forgive her for braking these rules. After all these years I realize that it wasnt such a big deal.

Sorry, since I didnt have a story for the picture I told you a real one that is not as exciting as an imaginary one.

Jamie Dawn said...

It's been a busy weekend here. I can't think of a story this time.

I enjoy the weekend story because others participate & then you add yours to the mix. I like reading what people come up with from the same pic.
I think you should write as often as you are comfortable.
If you press yourself too hard, then writing here will become a chore and not a pleasure.

Indeterminacy said...

Hey everyone, I know there are some stories there but I don't want to peek yet, until I've written something. I'm behind this weekend - my excuse is I was translating more Tucholsky. Maybe tonight I'll think of something for this photo - it's hard.

Indeterminacy said...

Well, this is as late as I've ever been ;-)

I wrote something but I want to sleep on it.

Anonymous said...

doh! i wanted to write something, but i just keep imagining the girl with the pursed lips "calling the rocks" like the goofy goblin in Labyrinth...and then i get stuck on Bowie's insanely skinny legs in tights and his inimitable intense look...and then i think about the girl's horrible shoes (they really bugged me)...and then i'm back to how horrible the 80's were...
it's hopeless really.
and yes. i AM this much of a goofball. ;oD
ghostie alix from wunderland

admin said...

I wonder if you really didnt want to be possessed. ;)

Indeterminacy said...

This photo was so hard, and you all did great with it. I'm amazed. I should pack up my blog and move back to Cincinnati.

Mrs Weirsdo: What a happy ending that was! It's kind of a reverse thing to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where this one culture sent all it's accountants, hairdressers and marketing assistants into space, just to get rid of them.

Doug: I know what you mean. Once I break the rhythm of daily posts, it gets harder to keep it up. And your caption captures it perfectly. Really funny.

Taorist: Your story made me laugh, too. So funny "faces sideward just to look at you".

Viruswitch: I especially enjoy autobiographical stories, even if they have little to do with the photo. But I just had a horrible thought. Could you be Little Bar of Soap in disguise!?!?!?

Mushroom: This photo was so easy for everyone. I think I must have tried too hard.

Jamie: You are so right, too. I don't want blogging to become a chore, which it sometimes feels like if there's little time left over after the rest of the day to write anything.

Alix: I just should have run away with you rather than tried to write something. It would have been more fun ;-)

Viruswitch: I never want to see this photo again but it will probably follow me into my dreams - those dreams I wrote in the story, I made those up, but I'm sure I will have them tonight!

Jamie Dawn said...

Your story emreged after some turmoil. Sometimes ideas just aren't there, and then just as you're about to give up on it, an interesting idea takes shape.
Well done.

admin said...

ME LITTLE BAR OF SOAP IN DISGUISE? :(( You are right :O! I am shocked, now I realise my true mission.
I will wash the filth out of this world.



I remember what this " Besides, I'd done one of those already." refers to. Wasnt it that great story with the building and the ideas?

Cori said...

Damn You!!!!!!

Great as always!!!!

Indeterminacy said...

Cori: Thanks so much. Just when I think a story doesnt work you come along and tell me it's great. I want about five thousand Coris.

Jamie: Thank! Five thousand Jamie Dawns would be great, too. I think I'll have to miss posting today. I'm typing in my next Kurt Tucholsky translation from the rough draft. Hope to post that this week.

Virus: I don't know if that story with the Idea Agency was good. Everyone seemed to like it, even if I thought it could have been better. I'm wondering what five thousand bars of soap would be like? Disneyland?