Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Image courtesy of Kamnuan
So, my friend Allison and I were hanging out at my house with the kids and husbands and we, Allison and I, were bantering back and forth stories from the comical to the grotesque and comically grotesque. I was regaling her with a story about a cat I had and how this cat would present me a gift on my birthday - a rat with the head still attached. Other times, she would present the rat without the head but consistently on my birthday it would have the head. So, I laughed and said that I Prefer Flowers to Rat Heads would be a pretty good title for a short story. We laughed. Then we noticed our husbands looking at us funny. They told us that we were dark and twisted. That made us laugh more.

I don't think of myself as dark or twisted but I do have, perhaps, a sideways view of life with an appreciation of the ironic and a sarcastic and cynical sense of humor. But dark? I don't think so. Twisted? Not really. But perhaps a writer's outlook has to lean more toward the dark rather than rosy.

Think about the stories you like. Every one of them has some sort of trouble/conflict/suspense/drama. Even the humor stories have some element of dark in order to show the light. It is the dark side of the story that brings forth the humanity, humor, love, or whatever the theme is meant to be. It is the twist that gives the story interest - showing the paradox or irony or duality.

So, maybe it's okay to be dark and twisted. Maybe that's what it takes to craft a story. Maybe, that's what it means to really see and experience all the emotions of life. And I do prefer flowers to rat heads.

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