Hannah Costelle’s story “Cactus and Lizard” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 9 October 2020.
“Cactus and Lizard” originated from a conversation with my brother Caleb. Caleb and I often brainstorm ideas for graphic novels or fantasy stories that we usually never actually getting around to creating. All we knew when we sat down this time was that we wanted a story set in a desert.
We came up with lots of ideas, including futuristic modified convertibles, cacti as big as redwood trees, and giraffe-type creatures that stick their necks out of the sand like gophers (that last one I unfortunately could not fit into the final story). We sketched potential characters and jotted down thoughts about plot, then stuck our notes in a drawer and forgot all about them.
About three years later, I happened upon these notes again. I liked what we’d come up with, but I still couldn’t really see a story in it. Then I read one line scribbled in the margins: “A false oasis, perhaps?”
And that made me think, “Huh.”
The moral? Keep all your weird ideas, your half-baked ideas, your bad ideas, the ideas you think are dead and buried. You never know what they might spark later on. You never know what might resurrect.
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