Films, biscuits and shared ideas

I don’t need much of an excuse to eat jammie dodgers, but if I did I could use the first rejection from my batch of submissions this weekend (actually I usually just shrug and move on – often a story that one person says has no potential, another person is prepared to pay for). That’s good in a way, it means the story’s not tied up for long and I can try it again somewhere else straight away. Except of course we all know I’ll sit here with biscuit crumbs on the keyboard and think about it for a while, file it in the mental To Do list and get round to it in a few weeks.

In the meantime I’ve been scribbling ideas cobbled together from things that Mark and OneMonkey said yesterday: one muses on X and Y happening to Z, the other then says maybe X would happen to A and Y would happen to Z but in a different universe, and I take X happening to Z in the different universe and see where it gets me. I do that a lot with things OneMonkey says, he’ll mention a good idea in passing and I take the core, strip away the bits I’m not so keen on, add a few twists of my own and write something. I can’t decide whether that means I have no imagination of my own, or I’m just good at being sparked by snippets of someone else’s thoughts.

Which made me think of a film I saw recently, on Mark’s recommendation, called Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel. It had its flaws (the big one being why on earth would the other two hang around with Pete, but OneMonkey reckons it’s because they worked at the same place) but it was quite fun and strange. Three friends in the pub encounter a time slip, a time traveller, adulation, fear, the apocalypse (possibly) and out of date crisps. One of them is a struggling writer of speculative fiction who often works on ideas based on conversations the three of them have had, or things the other two have said. It’s British, it’s funny, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, and it reminded me of our Thursdays at the pub before French friend A (potential translator of Boys Don’t Cry) went off to do adventurous outdoorsy things for a few months (though in the film they have a drink each whereas we, being tight, had a maximum of two between four of us. And I don’t remember ever stumbling out of my own time). It does feel like a film that could have been written by three friends in a pub, and I mean that as a compliment.

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