Burning Trash in the Backyard

burning trash

If only the creditors would go away this easily.

One of the great things about writing is how it makes you take a careful look at what things you choose to do and why–and what reason you give yourself for why. So part of burning some trash this afternoon was the usual catharsis, but also gave me an insight into why it would make sense to want to burn certain things, or just anything at all: the sheer physicality of transforming paper into smoke is overwhelming. It also gave me a few good jumping-off points for stories:

1. A detail in a story where a witness can’t remember what the fleeing suspect looked like at all; but when the wind shifts and she catches the breeze from something else, she remembers he smelled just like he’d been standing next to a campfire. Only quite a bit later do D/M associate this with the neighbor who was burning trash in his yard.

2. Someone who enjoys burning trash in the backyard, and since the body is missing, the cops wonder if he might have burnt it. So they turn his life upside down and find something else horrible that ruins him (0r ruins someone else he’s covering for) but no trace of the missing girl.

3. He did burn her there. Or someone else burnt it there, and left him to be convicted.

4. In a fantasy series, a type of nature magic where the wise woman clears a small plot of ground, then burns certain rare items on that ground for a prescribed period. Then, she douses it with some special oil, all while chanting. In that soil can now grow some sort of magically augmented plant.

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