My writing students found out it was my birthday recently and today in class they presented me with a surprise gift: a book they’d made for me called Instant Pulp: Just Add Water. Subtitled “Ideas for a stopped and stalled creative mind.”
I was very touched. I don’t know where they got the idea that I might be stalled creatively (yeah, my daily writing habit has been a bit sluggish lately but how would they know that…?) but anyhow Instant Pulp is a delight. The students had passed a little blank notebook around amongst themselves and filled it with story starters, writing prompts, scenarios, bon mots, and encouragements. There are some really brilliant, juicy ideas in this wee tome, and at least one so far that strikes me as the solution to a long-standing problem I’ve been having with a particular story. An idea I should’ve had myself but didn’t, and now here it is. Fiat lux! This truly is a gift.
I made sure to ask the students if by giving me this book they were giving me the right to use any of this material in my own work. They said yes, that was fine, although one of them added “We kept our really good ideas for ourselves.” They only asked that if any of the ideas in Instant Pulp proved to be the seed of a book that I should thank them in the acknowledgements. Fair enough.
I’ve decided to start by taking a couple of the writing prompts and using them to generate stories for this blog. So that’s what’s coming up soon here on “Notes for the Perilous Realm.”
Since I can’t tell for certain from the handwriting who wrote which prompts, I won’t be able to credit people individually for each idea as I use them on the blog, so I will just say a collective thank you, students of Write 395, 2012-13. And don’t forget to read the story I assigned for next class.