Someone name Peter Schmidt photographed his travels with his little green companion, Gumby, to Florida. I guess Gumby could work as a travel guide. Maybe not.
During the holidays, I thought about Gumby rarely, I must confess. I started to wonder if I had picked the right character for my next short story. I can’t imagine why now, but at the time in Santa Barbara, I felt a zing in my imagination, and said, “Gumby could be the ONE. Noodle some ideas around in your head and see what pops.” Nothing popped. In fact, Gumby fizzled. Gumby, Gumby, Gumby. Judy, Judy, Judy. Character. Imagination. Plot. Imagination.
Gumby went to Florida. Stood by a palm tree. No coconuts hit him. He pointed out the swimming pool. No one kicked him in. He swam at the beach (or kissed the sand), and didn’t drowned. He rested in a beach chair to get some sun and a deep, deep forest-green color. No one sat on him. What next?
A symbol of what I should do with my idea of a short story involving Gumby?
No! This is the beginning of how a short story forms. Anything goes, until something hits and whala! Maybe I have to look more into the heart of the character. It can’t be fun being so small and green, not to mention not even being alive. There is no heart in this character. Now I have to create the heart.
I’ll have to noddle this some more, maybe even get Pokey involved. Pokey was a horse, his friend. Pokey is female, well, I don’t know that for sure. But in my story, Pokey will be a female. She’ll be fun and feisty and full of herself, and an energy that introduces his boring world to vim and vigor. Hey, I can make them characters! Vim and Vigor are twins. Parents of twins often do that … like Janet and Joan … Peter and Paul … it’s a shred of believable reality that we can pull into the story. Yeah, I like it. I’m feeling invigorated again. Okay, so Vim will be impulsive, not thinking things through before acting, a bit weak when it comes to confrontation, but fun. Vigor will be the essence of the action, the strength, the grounding rod for Vim. So now we have Gumby, and Pokey (his best friend and one of his few), who acquaints Gumby to Vim and Vigor.
Gotta get Gumby out of the travel business … get his head out of the sand, and into something much more exciting.