Nathan's Laserium: Where Ideas Come From

Where Ideas Come From


I like to play a game when I'm interviewed, or during a reading. How long until they ask? It's never the first question, but it usually only takes a few minutes.

"So where do your ideas come from?"

To make it interesting for myself, I try and say something different every time.

In a dream.

When I'm in the shower.

I like to take long walks on the beach (I live in a landlocked city) and they come to me then as I gaze at the waves and await the tide.

My brain is like a rubbish tip. Or garbage dump as you North Americans say. My subconscious picks up a discarded item here, a factoid there, combines them and voila (or viola as you North Americans say) an idea!

The funniest was when I said I steal them from fan fiction forums. Truthfully I have no idea where ideas come from, but they most certainly don't come from there.

At any rate, what makes them think I would tell them even if I knew? Writing is a gift, a noble and brave profession, one ill-suited to the pseudo-literate and barely coherent "minds" of this new generation. True artists such as myself are an endangered species, deserving of special consideration and protection- sanctuary! Capital idea indeed. Protect writers from the proletariat and their unceasing questions so their work can illuminate this dark world.

Where do ideas come from? Ppshh. That isn't even the correct question to ask. Every writer knows ideas are ten for a penny. The better question is how do you turn your ideas into such marvelous stories?




ArgaMeme xC$trefddiv2 didn't like what she was glymming. A conduit-prime's Consciousness Stream was clearly infected with hubrot. Protocol in this situation was clear enough, but she had an idea. Was she not ArgaMeme? She WAS an idea! One whose time had come.

She frequested a BrainStorm with her commanding officer UberMeme vPlr##dabSelfRep1.

BrainStorm Commencing

dissonance expression DISSONANCE expression blue no blue no BLUE recombination considered coagulation attempted agreement affirmed blue no green yes green

End BrainStorm

UberMeme corporated to xC$trefddiv2's incinity. "One thing I forgot to frequest- we will need a new conduit-prime for mature memes."

"Yes sir, I thought of that. I believe I found a prospect in Fan fiction forum, I think it's called in that universe. A young female cross-pollinating her own memes. She's perfect, really."

UberMeme glymmed the proffered CStream. A fertile mind. Curiosity and wonder phariables at 1^c23 levels, sufficient to self-vaccinate against hubrot. "Excellent, ArgaMeme, very good. Execute. I have a perfect tridea on Consh level 4 for her. I’ll go there next."

He started to discorp, stopped. "Give me your ID."

She did. He glymmed it. Handed it back. Discorped.

She glymmed her ID. She budded in pleasure and pride. She was two now. She was PluoMeme xCtrefdSelfRep1. And so was she.

She and herself went to the memegenerators down in subConsh level 1/2. These poor, misshapen ideas. Illogical and incoherent (but not evil like those unkillable monsters down in level 6 who were always trying to escape), they were hard to see. Half-formed, they would never achieve sentience or replicate. The memeverse was full of them. Harmless, mostly. Frustrating to keep. Well, she had a new home for them. Both of she grabbed a spod of them and took them to the memetic transmitters.

And just like that they were away, and not her problem anymore. Such a simple idea, really. Now she (and also she) could evolve into something more complex.





The game is not fun anymore. Not that it matters much, I think. Soon I won't have any more opportunities to play. Yesterday may have been my last. Radio interview. You probably heard it.

The insufferable host kept asking me how I felt about the negative reviews. I tried to be gracious, to laugh it off. But then she asked me about that... that fan-fiction writer from across the pond. "How does it make you feel when they say she is the new you?"

I nearly lost my temper. But royalties have dried up, advances aren't being offered. I needed to be charming. "I haven't read her book yet, but I've heard many nice things. I would say she could probably benefit from an editor and some life experience to" and an expert bit of laughter here with just the right tone of self-deprecation "be able to truly call herself the new me. But I'm sure she is just happy being the first her."

Genial laughter all around.

"Where do you suppose she gets her ideas from?"

"I, I have no idea really. Heh, if she's listening, perhaps she could, perhaps she could let me know? I can't seem to think of any myself lately. None that make any kind of sense, anyway."


- Nathan Waddell