But they were careful to point out that only 1 in 20 stories make it from the short list to actual publication, and I'm now trying to convince myself that my story will end here. But still! I almost made it! Squeal!
In the meantime, I've been thinking about the "sparking" process that helps me come up with new ideas. Several years ago, I discovered a digital radio station called BBC Radio 7, which has since been re-named BBC Radio 4 Extra. They broadcast comedy and drama, and the thing that first drew me in was the fact that they broadcast audio productions of Doctor Who! I later learned that I can download these episodes, and anything else I want from BBC radio, via a nifty tool called Radio Downloader, and ever since then, I've been listening to many episodes of various audio productions while I go on my daily walk, or do that onerous housework. Aside from Doctor Who, I've also listened to adaptations of books from many genres, such as mystery, sci fi, fantasy, and even some classic literature such as Charles Dickens, C. S. Lewis, and Elizabeth Gaskell. This week, I've been listening to a production of The Railway Children, by Edith Nesbit, and one line in particular got me thinking. One of the children said something like, "It must be more fun to be a dragon than to be a parlour maid."
I immediately started thinking about life from a dragon's point of view, which of course reminded me of the BBC series Merlin (would be cool if they also had audio productions of Merlin, but so far, they don't, or at least not that I know of.) And eventually, in the fathomless depths of my brain, these two experiences combined and an new idea for a story was sparked into life. I've been thinking about it all weekend, trying to figure out an ending (very important for me, as that's where I most often fail) and now I've started writing. And I will not worry about the word count!
I suppose most writers go through a similar process, combining various elements of everything they've read and seen and heard, letting them get all jumbled together inside until --presto! -- something new and different pops out. It's just astounding, isn't it? Now I must work on not comparing the jumbling ability of my brain to that of other people, such as Iain M. Banks, Brandon Sanderson, Nancy Fulda, Emily Mah, or anybody else. I can already tell it will be a difficult task.
Actually, maybe I should give up chocolate instead. That'd be easier. ;-)