I was at my bookclub meeting last night (up above Sundance resort in Provo canyon), and Gideon brought up Nanowrimo. It’s just shy of two months away. I’ve thought about doing it for the last two years now, but never quite got up the motivation to try. I’ve even got a few “good” ideas floating around in my head. Well – I think they’re good anyway. But they’re longer novels – not something that can just be cranked out in 30 days.Back to book club. We were discussing the wonderful victorian-era adventure novel King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard. Afterwards, one of our members read a passage from the sequel (Allan Quatermain) which really caught my attention. More importantly – it gave me a germ of an idea for a short story! There’s still a lot of different directions i could take it, but hopefully i’ll either settle on one by November, or else the story will decide its own direction when i sit down to start writing. Here’s the quote that sparked my imagination (from the first page or so of chapter 2 – The Black Hand):
At this particular place [Charra, on the Tana River - in Africa] we discovered on a mound, covered up with rank growth and rubbish, two of the most beautiful stone doorways that it is possible to conceive. The carving on them was simply exquisite, and I only regret that we had no means of getting them away. No doubt they had once been the entrances to a palace, of which, however, no traces were now to be seen, though probably its ruins lay under the rising mound.
Gone! quite gone! the way that everything must go. Like the nobles and the ladies who lived within their gates, these cities have had their day, and now they are as Babylon and Nineveh, and as London and Paris will one day be. Nothing may endure. That is the inexorable law. Men and women, empires and cities, thrones, principalities, and powers, mountains, rivers, and unfathomed seas, worlds, spaces, and universes, all have their day, and all must go. In this ruined and forgotten place the moralist may behold a symbol of the universal destiny. For this system of ours allows no room for standing still — nothing can loiter on the road and check the progress of things upwards towards Life, or the rush of things downwards towards Death. The stern policeman Fate moves us and them on, on, uphill and downhill and across the level; there is no resting-place for the weary feet, till at last the abyss swallows us, and from the shores of the Transitory we are hurled into the sea of the Eternal.
Want to know my idea? Read the book