The Vortex

Blackhole Mind

Trent was in his second floor study staring at a blank screen.  Not quite blank, for he had brought up a picture for inspiration.  After a moment’s hesitation his fingers began to fly across the keyboard.  Many of his short stories were created in a similar fashion, looking at a blank screen pushing thoughts and ideas through his mind waiting for something to stick.  Usually something did come up and a story would write itself.

After a few minutes Trent stopped and frowned.  The story was too stiff, too clichéd.  Perhaps a rewrite would fix it.  He deleted the story and started again.  Nope, not right, so he did it again.  Then again. No, it just didn’t work, the story was horrid.  It was a cool picture, but no good ideas were emanating from it.  He had posted forced ideas in the past, but most of the time after the initial spark the story would grow organically, taking a life of its own.  Not this time.  It seemed like his mind was caught in some type of vortex, swirling around without hitting any real point.

Trent sat back and though about it.  He didn’t have much time as he was just taking a 20 minute break from work.  Not much time, but perhaps 70% of the stories and 90% of the other posts on his blog were written on such 20 minute breaks.  He had already wasted the first 10 minutes and needed to get something written to post.  It was Friday, so it was fiction day.  He needed a short story.  Truthfully, he hadn’t written a real short story in weeks, just a handful of flash fiction stories.  Those were easy, a dime a dozen.  He wanted something more substantial.

And then it hit him.  A self-referential little story about the story.  Maybe he could include some time travel, like “Future-Trent” came back in time to tell “Present-Trent” what to write.  Cool.  And then after it was written, “Present-Trent” never thought of going back and telling “Past-Trent” what to write, so it wasn’t written.  But it was.  The paradox caught “Alternative-Trent” into a time vortex and he ended up going through the little loop of writing the story, going back and writing the story and going back and…  Cool.

So “Present-Trent” wrote all of the above.  Yeah that’s the ticket.

Have you ever had one of those days that the ideas just don’t flow no matter what you do?  Seem to be caught up in some downward spiral?  Yeah, it happens.  But that’s where I come in.  I’ll come back and help give you silly ideas.


This was the picture silly “Past-Trent” was staring at.  Yeah, he should have picked something different:


And the picture at the top?  That’s “Alternative-Trent”, stuck in his loop forever, like some sick Groundhog Day.

11 thoughts on “The Vortex

  1. roweeee

    Trent, I usually experience the opposite, which I call “creative over-stimulation”. I actually have to be really careful not follow all those “creative inspiration, anti-blocking” tactics or I go loopy lou. I am still somewhat out of kilter after photographing the beach through the fog on Thursday.
    On the other hand, I am a bit blocked when it comes to the book project but I also put that down to avoidance and roadblocks like the storm crashing through the roof and the hard disk crashing straight afterwards and the heat, my kids. It’s an extensive list of justifications, procrastinations. The usual…!
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      There are times I’m overwhelmed with ideas, and then there are other times ;) Of course, one problem is I can usually only keep so many balls in the air, so if I’m work real hard at music and work-work, it’s hard to say, “OK, I have to write 1000 word short story in the next 20 minutes.” Sometimes I cab transition smoothly, write the story, then transition back. Other times…


  2. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee – 3/12/2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I usually take a long walk or something, but as the story said, “Present-Trent” was supposed to be working when this was written ;)
      I miss being in a place where I can decide on a whim to go to art museum and go. Or a cultural event or whatever. Oh well, what I gave up to be surrounded by trees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yep, too many spirals spinning me out of control… Sometimes if I have no inspiration whatsoever I just have to shrug my shoulders and be silly ;)



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