I am not imaginative, unfortunately. Neither creative nor inventive. Begrudgingly infertile with ideas. I envy the writer who wastes ideas like the autumn maple wastes leaves. Perhaps ideas are like anything else; they take practice. But perhaps too, I am not willing to put in the effort. You see, what I read, what inspires me to write, I do not choose for the story. It is for something else.
Hemingway wrote a book about a man trying to catch a fish. Salinger wrote one about a kid, wandering the city at Christmastime. These are not necessarily stories built to enthral, yet enthralled are their readers!
I like pretty writing more than pretty plots. Some magic mix between lavish wordplay and simple meaning. Writers who make poetic that which is mundane. If you can at all empathize with such a perspective, then perhaps you’d be interested in some of the favourites from my past year as a reader. Thomas Wolfe’s Letters to His Mother. Colin McAdam’s A Beautiful Truth. Norm MacDonald’s Based on a True Story. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
Just don’t ask me what they’re about. “It doesn’t matter,” I’ll say.