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March 1, 2010 @ 11:08 am

Strange(r) Theme For NaBloPoMo

I know; I must be nuts.  I’m seriously planning to do NaBloPoMo this month, despite the zillion and one other things I’ve committed myself to.

It’s the theme for March that got me.  The email announcing the theme said, “The theme for next month’s 31-day blogging challenge is STRANGE(R). All kinds of oddities are up for your blogular examination. . . If strange doesn’t strike your fancy, remember the old saying, ‘Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet’–there are billions of them on the other side of your door, maybe one (or thirty-one) of them is worth a look?”

There are so many days when something a stranger says or does will touch me, or make me smile or laugh, or make me wonder how some people manage to live to whatever age they are without any common sense and/or consideration of others (that last one is something I find myself thinking on my more stressed and judgmental days).

I think that makes a fun topic to blog about, and the act of consciously looking around and paying attention to things strangers do and say is a good exercise for any writer, to get the ideas flowing.  It’s also a good thing for me, specifically, given that I spent much of the last three-plus years (until a few months ago) in my semi-hermit state, hurrying home every day and symbolically barricading myself into my apartment, keeping the world and all those strangers at bay, feeling as if I just didn’t have what it took to offer anything to anyone.  It’s good to have some sense of participating in life outside my living room, and although I fiercely disagreed with everyone who told me this during those years, interaction with others, including strangers, is a healthy thing.

But back to the fun part, relating to writing: People-watching and playing “What If” (“What if those two people over there who are whispering to each other are talking about a robbery they’re planning?”, “What if that couple is having an affair and the woman walking in the door is the guy’s wife?”, etc.) are great ways to knock loose some ideas when one is stuck.  One of the reasons I enjoy writing in coffee shops is that sometimes, even without purposely trying to listen to others’ conversations, a few words or a sentence will jump out above the din and catch my attention, and will remind me of something else or will plant a new idea into my mind for whatever I’m working on.

So, hopefully, something I blog about this month will be useful later, when I’m back in the noveling mode again.

And it should be fun.


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