marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Person From Porlock

Ah, the Person from Porlock who so rudely interrupted Coleridge and kept "Xanadu" the fragment it is. (Or so he claimed. I have heard there is evidence that this account -- is not true.)

Such events are a good reason to lug about a notebook in which you can quickly jot down notions before they evaporate.

OTOH, there is more to be said for the Person from Porlock that that account may make it appear. Odd and unusual things perturb your thoughts and feed your muse with possibilities. Can break deadlocks when you are unaware of how what you just did managed to produce that piece of inspiration. And even when you do know, it can be astounding.

I had an idea for over a decade about a wizard using Egyptian magic and could not write it -- could not even outline it. Then I read a book on Victorian travelers, and a character I thought was a man living in the ancient world, a recluse in the wilderness, filthy and unkempt, metamorphosed in a proper young Victorian Englishwoman. I wrote it soon after.

Random reading in the library or on the Internet, random conversations, random visits to strange locations -- all is grist.
Tags: inspiration, reading

  • where you are going

    If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. Yogi Berra

  • first lessons

    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is…

  • law

    The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. Tacitus

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded