The Archeologist In Search Of A Story
He woke, ideas fresh on his mind. Rising from his location of slumber he wandered into the kitchen intent upon having his first cup of coffee of many on this day. His family was gone for the weekend, away visiting relatives somewhere. He is alone, and he intends to work.
Picking up the freshly brewed cup of caffeine, he made his way into his study to begin. Setting the cup down on a doily he reached over to open the drapes in order to allow the sunshine in and his gaze out. He pulled his chair away from his desk and seated himself comfortably into the cracked leather of the old desk chair. For a moment he remembered where he found it: lost in a yard sale years ago. Dirty, leather cracking even then it nonetheless was exactly what he wanted. It was a chair destined for a burgeoning writer like himself. Settling in he reached over and flipped on the power strip which controled his computer, printer, and various other electronic devices on the desk. Sliding his hand across the smooth grained wood of the desk he recalled when he built this monstrosity of a desk. Long before he found the chair, he dreamed of becoming a writer. Any writer worth his salt required a desk suitable for the words which would move mountains and inspire people long after his demise so he set out to design and build just such a desk.
Constructed over a winter years before, it was made of oak and maple, with some walnut inlay for good measure. Over the intervening years it had seen the components on its top move from anachronistic to modern. The age old typewriter had set alongside stacks of paper, and a goodly supply of correction fluid laid hidden within the drawers. These had given way to the modern era of computers, and from the old black screened with green letters monitor to the current flat screened laptops and such. The printer still set on top, reams of paper near at hand for those times when a printout was required.
Settling in, he allowed the ideas to tumble about in his mind, like a bingo cage tumbling the numbered balls about. When an idea fell out he scooped it up and began to work. Today he would write a new story rather than work on one of the many he had previously begun. His was a mind which always seemed to have new ideas and he was forever beginning stories only to allow them to fall by the wayside as the next new idea formed. He resisted looking at the stories he had already started; there were simply more than he cared to think about. Stories of time travel and times past; of villains and heroes and such. Of things he'd known and experienced and of things he wished he could have known. Some were quite good, others not so much. All were a part of him, and while he knew he should work on a story already in the works he chose, yet again, to begin fresh.
Carefully he placed the first words onto the screen. The title was important to him as he saw it to be the manner in which he could draw others to his works. The title must snare the potential reader and trigger an interest in the work. Once the title was chosen he set out his tools and began.
The tools he spoke of are a keen intellect, a vivid imagination, and of course words. He set his imagination to work uncovering the text hidden within his mind. He rarely made a conscious decision to place words onto the keyboard; rather he worked at the story as he imagined an archeologist worked: carefully, uncovering one phrase, one word, one letter at a time. He allowed the storyline to excite him, to pull him ever on in search of the conclusion which he may or may not ever reach. He tugged here, scraped there all the time uncovering the concept and laying bare the bones of the story.
After a while, he sat back and examined his work thus far. Moving the cursor here and there he corrected spelling errors and grammatical mistakes as he read what he had exhumed while he created. He never used the program Autocheck for he prided himself on his ability to realize correct spelling when he saw it, and to correct incorrect spelling. He would use it for some grammatical corrections as he was not the best at punctuation. After a few moments he shifted in his seat and began to flesh out the story with subtle touches here and there.
How do you write? Do you:
His story today was one of time travel, but in a most unusual manner. He decided he would create an inter-dimensional hit man of sorts; one who was alive at any given moment in time. He walked the earth constantly searching for injustices, for possible harms yet to unfold. Once he detected such a situation he would maneuver both forward and back in time in order to determine whether or not this particular instance provided more harm than good to the surrounding players. It he decided it allowed more to profit by it for humanities sake he allowed it to continue. There were times where he had to stand by and watch as hundreds and even thousands perished or were scarred forever in the moment. He had lost the humanity to feel compassion for those who were harmed in this manner. The good of the many outweighed the good of the few even when the few numbered so high. The overall good was what was at stake.
If, however, he determined that the cost of humanity was too high he had the choice to eliminate it in the here and now or travel back to an earlier period and see if it would be better to cause this person to disappear there. There were cautions to be concerned with in this manner. Was this person a parent? Did they knowingly or unknowingly create a life which would do great good later on? Or perhaps, if not them then perhaps one of their progeny at some distant point in the future? It was an ever reaching river fed by a seemingly unlimited amount supply of tributaries, and as such was something he rarely did. In the moment was usually good enough. If he traveled too far back he ran the risk of effecting others by the elimination of but a single entity.
Do you find yourself:
The man nodded his head as he read, enjoying the storyline. It was fresh, new, and allowed him to expand in an almost unlimited amount of directions. He settled back to the keyboard, continuing to uncover the past, present, and future of his character.
After some hours of dedicated work he decided it was time for a break. He stood up, knees creaking and complaining at his long hours of being in a single position and made his way to the kitchen. Finding the makings of a sandwich he poured a glass of milk and made his way back into his study. He settled in on the worn sofa which looked just as ancient as the desk chair but which was infinitely more comfortable. He set the glass down on a side table and the sandwich on his stomach. He picked up a book to read in order to re-direct his mind for the coming battle of continuance. The book, "On Writing" by Stephen King was one of his favorites. King told of his secrets in creating his many and varied works, and of his life before, during, and after some of his greatest creations. It never failed to center the man and allowed him to create works of art for himself. That most of them failed to be completed or viewed by the world at large mattered not. It was the moment of discovery, of creation that mattered the most to him.
After the lunch and a bit of reading he repositioned himself on the sofa and drifted off to sleep. Perhaps when he awoke he would finish his story this time, or at least continue on with it for the day. His track record was not too good in this as he more often than not woke with yet another great idea and began work on it. As his eyes closed he began to think about another idea, one that would take him to another culture and another time. Back to the Mayans and the possibility of them traveling north and east to the middle of the country. A smile played upon his lips as he allowed sleep to over take him.