Itâ€™s really difficult to write anything good in a black-hole. I read a great deal, Iâ€™m constantly listening to music, watching movies, itâ€™s all fuel for writing. Old ideas create new ideas.Â
Experiences are also important, more important than anything else. Reading, watching movies, swallowing pop-culture, itâ€™s all definitely valuable, but I donâ€™t think anything can replace genuine first-hand experiences. The best fiction always has some roots in non-fiction.
So, everything I do, whenever I leave the house, Iâ€™m thinking about ways to write about my experiences. I try to put myself in odd situations, bizarre places, because chances are, Iâ€™ll be able to write something amazing later. Hell, even as my last girlfriend was dropping me like a sack of bricks, over AIM no less, I thought to myself, â€œone day, this will be great for writing.â€
A few months ago I was out one evening, I wanted to find a totally ugly, totally depressing bar. I found it, I wrote about it…
by: Michael Phillips
The place is awash in dull-red and sickly-yellow light. A confederate flag is tacked toÂ the ceiling,Â unimaginativeÂ lingerie hangs on a wire aboveÂ the bar, bras of black and white. It’s loud, musicÂ you hate,Â so loud you can hardly hearÂ the little voice in your head telling you you’d be happier leaving.Â The woman behindÂ the bar has long hair, dirty-blonde, dressed in faded jeans and a white half-shirt. She’d almost be pretty, if she were really there, if her pale-blue eyes really saw you.Â You order a drink, a Cape Cod. It’s a classy drink for such aÂ classlessÂ place.Â The woman, in fact, has to ask you what it is before sliding it to you in a cheap plastic cup. It’s mostly ice and cranberry juice, the vodka merely an after-thought.Â
You sip your shiny red attempted alcohol, hoping to feel something rather than nothing. Johnny Cash begins to sing about one tragedy or another, you’ve heard them all and you don’t care. However, as the man in black tells you his troubles,Â the woman in white takes to dancing on the scuffed wood bar. You look up, she’s all motion and no life. She’s an illusion of sex, no heat, no kisses that feel like bites, or bites that feel like kisses. She’s a golem, a machine set to task. Her black leather boots slam and skitter, scratch and further scuff the pitiful bar, home to so many weak drinks.
You leave your still-born Cape Cod, barely touched, but it barely touched you, which seems fitting.Â The surrounding emptiness is too much,Â the golem too sad to watch. Lifeless life, stopping when the music stops. You leave your cash on the bar, probably too much, but enough to getÂ you somewhere else. You don’t know whereÂ you belong these days, butÂ you know it’s not here. You leave and don’t look back.
The night air is cold on your face, cold likeÂ you, through and through.
Any experience, good or bad, can be useful later.
What inspires your writing?