If gambling means throwing your own or someone else’s money at the odds in a casino or at a horsetrack, I’m definitely not a gambler. While I can relate to the thrill it must involve, it strikes me as an odd way to find the edge and throw your challenge out to it. That may be simply because roulettes and card games hold no magic for me. If they did, I’d probably say something like: “I can’t explain it. It’s just something I have to do.”
I’m definitely a gambler if it means taking everything you’ve ever managed to achieve and saying: “I’m glad I did those things; now, let’s try something else.” I could try to explain it to myself or to others; I could relate it to childhood experiences, genotype, astrology or a slew of other Theories and Explanations. I’m not particularly interested in doing that these days because I’ve found something better than a casino; better than a confessional or a therapist’s office. I’ve found a way to keep myself on the metaphorical edge of my metaphorical seat. It’s quite simple, really: every day (or just about), I push the characters in my story along to whatever brink is lurking at the edge of the page, or of the screen. Every day, I do with the story what a troop of actors might do if they had an open-ended script, and it was their job to find the next part of the story in the performance itself.
It’s scary; some days, it’s worse than that: it’s downright depressing. Personally, I’d rather be scared than depressed, any time. Mostly though, it’s fun. For reasons I feel no need to explore, I’d rather have fun than be scared or depressed. An oddment, given the times. I could explain it through Jungian, Freudian or Adlerian psychology, food preferences or any number of things. But basically, I’ve never met a good story I could resist telling my own way; nor a bad one I didn’t want to tell differently. Maybe I should set up an altar to thank all the elders who ever called me a liar. They didn’t know it but they were pointing the way to my true calling. Once you relabel it storytelling, there’s no end to the fun. (Note: as much as humanly possible, I limit the storytelling to storytime. As much as humanly possible.)
The photo above being a prompt for one of my characters who has her work cut out for her this morning. Whether she’ll go with it right away, or let another character speak up, I have no idea. It’s a crazy way to write. Call it the Sisyphus and the Rolling Barrel of Monkeys technique. Where the barrel will stop, that’s where the story will end. I guess. (Who knows? Plus, Sisyphus and etc sounds like a rock group doesn’t it?)
Right, I’m out of here.