Omir the Storyteller

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

About Self-Portrait


Inspiration strikes in the strangest places and at the strangest times. Last Thursday morning I was up for a half hour at about 4 in the morning. Sometimes I can't go right back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night, so I got up and worked on the new computer I've been setting up for my wife and made a post here. Then, after I'd shut off the monitor and was halfway up the stairs on my way to bed, the first line of the story above came to me.

Now when you get a line like that and you're a storyteller, you have to start thinking, why were things not going well? Even at 4 in the morning. And one thing led to another, and I was awake far more than I should have been fleshing out the story. I went to my day job Thursday tired but happy.

Then the real work began. I've rewritten the story four or five times since then, and I'm still not absolutely sure it's the best it can be. But sometimes when you're a writer, you just have to quit editing, send it off, and hope for the best.

The reason I called this "Self-Portrait" should be obvious. On Daily Kos and Booman Tribune I called it "The Weapon" because I didn't want to give too much away. Not that it fooled anyone who read it, I'm sure. I don't travel around on a donkey or wear motley, but I do consider myself a vector for the weapon.

One more thing I should mention about this story. Now that I think about it, there's a similar story from China:

Once upon a time there was a master thief. The authorities knew he was a master thief, and searched him every time he crossed into and out of the city, but they could never find what he had stolen. One day, as the master thief lay on his deathbed, the chief constable asked him what it was he had been stealing all this time. His answer was a single word: "Ideas."


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