Scottish Folksingers, Sliced Tomatoes

The title is a play on a recent dream. I dreamed I was assigned to do a non-fiction piece about Julie Fowlis, the traditional Scottish folksinger and instrumentalist. No mystery there, I’m a fan. (If you don’t know who she is, I’ve included a link to a YouTube video below. She also sang the theme song to Disney’s Brave, though that one’s in English.) Regardless, the catch was that the article also had to include a link with sliced tomatoes. Specifically of the heirloom sort.

I blame the Benedryl. It has that effect on me if I take it before bedtime. You’d think I’d have learned by now. So what do a folksinger and sliced tomatoes have in common? Fortunately for me I woke up before I had to know the answer.  Good question, though,because it’s always a good question which suggests another. This one got me thinking about fitting together the pieces of a story.

I know there are people who plot out anything they plan to write ahead of time, which will never cease to amaze me. I never know what I plan to write until I’ve written it. Which sounds all mystic and ethereal but, in its own way, is a colossal pain in the ass. That’s mainly due to story segments one writes not knowing what it has to do with the story. The sort where you feel compelled to write it exactly how you’re doing it, but have absolutely no clue how it fits into the whole. And it has to fit for the story to work, and all those weird bits which felt like asides or tangents at the time are absolutely crucial.

But how?

That’s the hard part. Writing them, by comparison, is pretty easy. Yet by the time  you’re done the reader has to see the piece as a whole, seamless, as if you could stand right there and place your hand on the book or story and say, with a straight face, “Yes. I meant to do that.”

No matter how ridiculous or far-fetched an individual scene or plot line is. In the current, slowly-progressing project, I have three members of the Fae community, each with their own unique skills and attributes, who must combine those skills in a specific way to solve an intractable problem and avert disaster. Which I’m very sure I’ll figure out any day now.

Like Scottish folksingers and sliced tomatoes.

Julie Fowlis, sans tomatoes.