Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pickled Herring and Oysters

By Nichole Giles

When writers get together, they look like any other normal bunch of people. But looks can be deceiving. We are anything but normal, and proud of it.

Who but a group of writers can get excited telling each other about the night they dreamed a great story? Of course, then the discussion veers to the topic of how to record your dreams in the dark. We get excited about that too.

Often we are thrilled when we hear a great line on TV, or when we accidentally eavesdrop on the argument being had by the couple sitting a table away in a restaurant. What kind of people besides writers would get into an hour-long discussion about the last paragraph of a children’s book? Or write pages of emails debating the use of the word “said”?

Why would anyone who wasn’t a writer argue the use of active versus passive verbs? And who but writers would use the phrase, “cut it.” Or the phrase, “lose it” with each other, and have everyone in the group know what they’re talking about.

What kind of diversity we must breed to have running discussions going on about lost socks, character flaws, buried kilts, and dreams of pickled herring and oysters…all in the same day. Not to mention the current debate on the Beatles versus the Monkees. Seafood cravings and boy bands named after zoo animals aside—how many people do you know who would jump at the chance to have a famous name, and an unknown face?

Normal? Not likely. Creative? Absolutely. Published? Future bestsellers. Until then we’ll keep up our unusual chats. Creativity is exercise for the brain, and how much more creative can you be than a plot involving pickled herring and oysters?

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