Family And Ideas

Posted: May 11, 2013 in ideas, Living and Life, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

The second post I wish to finish tonight (assuming SNL doesn’t distract me too much) was inspired by both my dad and my friend and author Pat Bertram (you can read her blog here). I was talking to my father earlier this evening and we had an interesting conversation. He walked into the living room while I was sprawled out on the couch reading a graphic novel and told me he still had his mother’s phone number, the number belonging to my Savta, may her memory be blessed, in his phone even though she died several years ago.

(Savta, for those of you who don’t know, is Hebrew for “grandmother”, and is what I called my paternal grandmother from the time I was young.)

At first I thought he was going to ask me for advice about whether or not to erase the number. But then he asked me what would happen if he called that number…and Savta actually picked up the phone.

I grasped the idea pretty quickly that my father, ever supportive of my dream to become a horror writer, was trying to give me an idea for a short story. I also figured out pretty quickly that my dad had given me an excellent idea for a short story…but Stephen King had already done a similar idea. Well, when I told my dad that, he looked a little disappointed, to the point of crestfallen. I wasn’t sure if he was sad that King had gotten there first or that I had rejected his idea for a short story. Whatever the case though, I tried to let him know I wasn’t rejecting his idea or that it was useless. On the contrary, even if I couldn’t write a story based entirely off of that idea, it was likely to appear in a short story or a novel of mine someday. The idea of the dead picking up the phone would probably swim around in my subconscious for a while before finding itself in a story I could actually use. In fact as I was talking about it, I realized there was a story that the dead calling would work perfectly in and told him so.

Of course, being me I told him in a way like this: “Oh, that could go in that story…yeah, definitely there…uh-huh…definitely could work there.” That and the hand motions I used probably confused my dad and made him want to move the conversation in another direction. But even if I can’t use his idea for a short story, it’ll still probably appear somewhere else, and that would mean my dad contributed something to my creative process.

My friend Pat Bertram recently did a post where she remarked how some writers will give up time with their families to devote to their writing, and how she advised doing the exact opposite of that. Speaking from personal experience, Pat said that she found every moment she spent with her late husband important and stimulating and a boost to her writing (and I am so sorry if I am misquoting you in any way, shape, or form Pat).

It’s moments like the one illustrated above that makes me agree with Pat. Family and friends, whether or not they drive you up the wall, are important and you should spend as much time as you can with them. Because when you make it as a writer, you want these people to be behind you and support you. And in cases like this, they really give you some awesome ideas to incorporate into your work.

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  2. Melissa Boyd says:

    There are so many things to love about this post and here are a few of mine: Rami you are so articulate that it is absolutely effortless to read your work; your father’s support of your goals and dreams is priceless and precious; that you have writerly friends that offer you advice and guidance; and that one leaves the experience of reading this post completely confident that you will achieve exactly what you strive for.

  3. Pat Bertram says:

    Good to know you’re not sacrificing family time for your writing. Family time makes writing time all the richer.

  4. karmicangel says:

    What a nice daddy to be thinking of you and coming up with ideas for your stories. Honestly, that is so lovely.

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