Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bowling Alley Mystic

I've had a strange shift in focus brewing for about a week and a half now, and instead of fighting it, this week I just sort of ran with it. That's how I found myself scribbling towards my word count the old fashioned way: with a pen, in one of my notebooks made from bizarre but designer materials (moleskine?), about bowling alleys.

Yes, dear reader, this week I became creatively obsessed with bowling alleys. For ROW80 folks, that's the sum total of my mid-week update: one writing day about bowling alleys. That is all.

I can't claim that this has nothing to do with my work in progress, because all my WIPs are setting- heavy; although the characters and stories change, Whitfield is the one constant in everything I do. So perhaps there's a bowling alley there. Or there's about to be, in the version I'm writing now. Maybe it's worldbuilding, or my muse playing a joke, or maybe I just want to go bowling and I'm overthinking it all. I just know I was watching Fringe (I love Fringe), and one of the characters was getting all this sage advice from the bowling alley attendant. There was this very specific music, ambiance, and decor: laid back 70s but not obnoxiously so, which led me to thinking about perhaps the greatest movie of all time, The Big Lebowski, which is all about bowling. Before I knew it I had framed an idea about the bowling alley as a timeless space, a refuge from modernity, and then I had an entire playlist called "Bowling Alley Mystic" and was thinking about Indie musicians I knew who I could con into doing loungy covers and an anthology of short stories to go with it.

Which is what a former professor used to call a mushroom cloud.

So I have to rein it in. No way am I doing all that. But I am doing some of it. S' ok. I got a new playlist out of it, which I badly needed, and Whitfield got a bowling alley, which is pretty cool. Not just any bowling alley, either. Like everything else in my nowhere town, it's more than it seems- if not magical, then mystical, at least. Beer and clarifying questions for the down and out, with low lighting and that song you've forgotten but always loved.

So, to sum up for ROW80: That's one substantial writing day about bowling alleys. Maybe a larger project for down the line. And, honestly, that's really about it. Hope everyone is having a happy and productive mid-week check-in.

Clip from the Coen brother's The Big Lebowski, one of my favorite movies: (WARNING: clip contains @ 1 second of mature content at the 2.55 min. mark)(And music. There's always music on this blog.)

Gutterballs from Marty McFly on Vimeo.

ROW80 Folks, blog on!


  1. I like bowling alleys. Maybe it's like the diner in Stargate SG1 where Daniel runs into the ascended beings. Hmmm.... Happy writing!

  2. I love the bowling alley angle. So random and seemingly irrelevant, but like so many seemingly irrelevant things, it grabs your imagination by the hair and drags you off on some brand new adventure.

    P.S. @memomaya: Another Stargate SG1 fan. Yay! :D

  3. What a great way to immerse yourself in the scene and make it real in order to give your work a true sense of place. Your approach strikes me as method acting for writers. Neat!