You can’t run out of blog subjects but you may risk repetition. So - today - nothing about swimming, ski-ing, life in the USA (a veritable encyclopaedia), singing lessons, journalism or corporeal decay. But what about a cry for help?
A short story idea has been buzzing round my head. A 47-year-old single woman, X, has, against her own inclinations, decided to use an online dating service. I see her physically because she existed in real-life fifty years ago. Thus she fits scenes I have in mind. Other than her appearance X bears no resemblance to the woman in my past whom I knew only glancingly.
Here's the kicker. The story ends as X leaves her London flat for the rendezvous. This may annoy some readers, as I know from past experience. What happens next? they ask. My reply: If you care enough to ask then I've done my job. Raising reader sympathy for a fictional character is a worthwhile goal in itself.
Narrative tension will depend on the conflict between who X is and what she is about to do.
Time is slightly out of step. X is considering wearing outmoded dangle earrings. Somewhat cumbersome, in heavy silver, they are the last material link with her late mother who experienced an unhappy marriage. To do this X must first have her ears pierced and is apprehensive, despite reassurances.
I want to write this story. But should I do so? As I see things it demands some pretensions on my part about the inner nature of being a woman.
In four out of my five novels women are central and this was intentional. But in almost all my forty-plus short stories men dominate the plots. I’m not sure why.