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.