“It’s an image, but it’s an image that has a kind of a ‘glimmer’ to it that suggests itself as worthy of being written about and of having metaphoric potential. I don’t really want to know what that metaphoric potential is. I just know that it glimmered at me. I don’t want to think too much about that, because I don’t want to use this brain- that big analyzer – because I don’t want it to lose its magic its power, before I’ve had a chance to combine it with other unlike objects.” – Pam Houston
“For me, the combining of those glimmers is what makes the potential of a story different from the potential of real life. If you go out in a boat in Alaska and see a pod of orcas, that’s a really powerful experience. And there’s no way that language is going to live up to that: theres’ no way that I can describe that in a way that is going to be better than the experience of someone actually going out and seeing the orcas. But if I can put those orcas next to a conversation about, oh, let’s say imminence and eminence, some conversation that’s got tricky word play in it; if I can put that next to a seven year old with three dozen balloons, well, all of a sudden I might have something. ..And then I can make something explosive and beautiful in its own way that is no longer dependent on what it feels like in a boat to be with those orcas. It’s about the combination of the orca and the burrowing owls and the little girl with the balloons. So I go in there, with what I think of as legitimate pieces, these glimmer things, and I know they all have power.” – Pam Houston
Make a list of glimmery things in your life. Think of moments of travel. Places. Animals you’ve seen. Objects, a view, two minutes of overheard conversation, an image that seems incredible. In the list, describe each one in a paragraph.
Now choose three separate "glimmers" to connect in a little vignette. Don’t think and don’t analyze. Just write and surprise yourself as they come together without effort.