Friday, August 20, 2010

Razor's Edge for 8/20/10

This week's theme is Strangers.

In keeping with the origins of the naming of my weekly prompts, this theme came about through what I can only describe as an act of synchronicity and, perhaps, fate. When I first came up with the name, Razor's Edge, I was delighted by this idea and was (still am) building my website and stacking up the concepts to create a whole. But, as anyone might want to do before you go public with a name, a little research is in order. First, to make sure it's not a trademark or copyrighted. Then to see what references you can find - is it used as a label, a movie, a book - what are the associations with the word or phrase.

I discovered that "Razor's Edge" was a book (later made into a movie) by W. Someset Maugham. It concerns a traumatized man in search of transcendent meaning in life. Perfect! I thought. That is what writing is - or can be. My plan was to keep the website multimedia, multi-experiential and experimental - in flow with the energies of life. So I went with it.

This website brought me a friend, via my posts about NaNoWriMo. Last year my now writing friend, Deb, was looking online for information about the November event. My blog came up. She emailed me. We corresponded and then met at the midnight write-in on October 31st/November 1st. Since that time we've met about once a month on average to write - with other correspondence in-between. We've found a comfortable balance when we get together of catching up on our lives, and writing, and drinking coffee or having dinner.

NaNoWriMo also helped bring me together with my good friend and nearly weekly writing partner, Jenny. Jenny and I were in an online workshop with Ariel Gore two years ago. November came around and there were several of us (who are actually scattered around the country - well, the world) were participating. Jenny and I emailed about meeting up locally since we're both in Portland, and we did. From there our friendship and writing commeraderie has grown and is fairly regular nearly two years later.

Then tonight Deb and I were at one of our local favorite writing hangouts to write. We chatted, had our yummy sandwiches, wrote. Then, about four hours later, just as Deb started packing up to go, a man came up behind us. He said he couldn't help but notice my shirt and asked if we did NaNoWriMo. I was wearing the brown t-shirt with the logo and "author" on the front and NaNoWriMo 10 on the back. He recently moved here from Tucson, AZ, and has done NaNoWriMo for five years. We talked for a while and the three of us exchanged email addresses.

He does NaNoWriMo and he's in my favorite writing spot - one of the only decent 24-hour places to do that. He can't be all bad, right?

He took the initiative to approach us and ask. And seems really nice. Thank you, David!

[1] Think about strangers - people you see around you right now and you don't know - in the cafe with you, walking down the street, someone on the bus this morning.
[2] Then listen to the Billy Joel song (a live clip from 1977).
[3] Finally, pick a number between 1 and 12. What you will do is click on each of these links and then, in each, click on the number you chose. You are going to use the people in these photographs by Serena Davidson as your Strangers.
Set a timer for about 10 minutes and write about these two strangers meeting. Where are they? Why are they there? How do they meet? Remember to use the same number photograph in each set.


Billy Joel performing "The Stranger" live in 1977