Writing Stories

I'm thinking about writing more short stories, as practice for my writing in general, and especially for my ability to achieve cogent plots. For inspiration, I'm turning to something my friend Abigail did recently, which is write short stories based on images. This week, my image is Dali's Pink Knot and Shell on the Seashore.

So far, what I'm thinking is an interaction between the modern world and ancient mysticism (a theme in keeping with Dali, I think).

So far, I'm thinking about a young man, fresh out of Harvard, who joined the peace corps for lack of other attractive options, and is sent on a cultural mission to Africa, to be a translator and general help to a tribe there. He discovers they have an odd tradition of burying sticks in the beach sand and then giving them mystical names. He, of course, takes this from a post-christian western perspective, and silently mocks it, especially their idea that some of them have that certain sticks go straight to the center of the earth, until, during a tryst with a woman, she ties her hair-ribbon around one of the sticks to go swimming, and he feels the stick plunge right to the center of the earth metaphorically.

That's pretty much it. Oh, and he's friends with a translator from the tribe who is old, who he calls Bwana for no apparent reason, and who smokes a pipe.

Where shall I go from here...

Metaphors. Lots of metaphors.

Ultimately, I think I want to achieve a feeling of two cultures clashing and neither having the upper hand (unlike so much other "tribalism" literature), but still effecting the destruction of a human's value system.

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