Tag Archives: experience

Innocence to Import

I surpassed my writing quota yesterday, which was great, as I undershot the day before that. Sitting down to write continuously – rather than jotting down notes or writing different scenes (of which I have pages filled) – never fails to remind me just how little those filled pages are compared the enormity and complexity of the story. I see all the white spots – all the Unknown. It’s exciting, but daunting, if one dwells. But then, that’s only if I look at all the work yet to be done as if I needed to do it in one day. Instead of seeing it for what it is: a wonder-filled journey of discovery. Every day filled with possibilities.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon something unexpected. Nothing monumental, but still a mystery and a thrill. You see, I knew this place existed – had known for a few days about this one place in particular. But I did not know the main character actually entered. Once she did, I was perplexed. Now, what would she be doing in here? What could she be after? Confused, though I was, I continued writing. And then, there she stood: a new character. Again, nothing huge. Just a moment in Main’s life. I admit, I was curious about this new woman. Writing the exchange, I could see purpose in it, but nothing Main would not store deep in a closet of memory, probably never to open again. And then it happened. One line and the atmosphere changed. It was no longer merely an innocent, every-day (or, every other day) exchange. Suddenly, it was personal.

One thing I was fairly certain of: Main would remember this woman. This was a moment to remember, and someone to wonder about, here and there, over the years.

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Experience

The basic experience of everyone is the experience of human limitation.
– Flannery O’Connor

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Coincidences. Life. Learning. Vampirism.

Sun Rays Through The Clouds

When I was getting up Wednesday morning to take my mother to and from surgery and pick up her prescriptions, I did not realize I would end up with an eye infection and antibiotics (picked up yesterday, pharmacy was beginning to think I would be a regular) of my own. Fortunately, the infection lined up with my days off work. Unfortunately, it made me less ‘on par’ to care properly for my mother.

But it led to a rather interesting mini-experience. I was feeling drowsy a couple hours after taking my medication and, wondering if it was due to the medication or my own tiredness, I looked more closely at the bottle. (Note to Self: Always do that before you take the medication…) I assumed it was just another run of the mill antibiotic as I had experienced over the years. Mistake.

Sunshine

Clearly printed were instructions to avoid direct and artificial sunlight. No explanation. But I figured it heightened photosensitivity. I made a joke about bursting into flames in the sunlight, and moved on. It was cloudy after all. No reason to dwell.

English: Clump of trees with sun rays below th...

The following day I acted as usual, practically forgetting about the sunlight warning, and took my meds upon waking. It was not nearly as cold as yesterday and there were significant lengths of uninterrupted sunlight shining through the windows and laying like blankets on the floor. I was feeling rather good about the day. My energy levels were higher, inflammation was down. I was feeling almost normal (that is, my normal).

English: Sun rays and hedgerow, West Hay Rd, W...

About noon, my mother’s dogs wanted outside. I slid the back door open, my hand sliding into the hot sun (surprised me how hot it felt in October), and held for a few seconds while they clamored over each other out onto the wooden planks. My eyes shot down to my hand as it began to feel like it was catching fire and I wanted to be sure I was wrong. I jerked my hand out of the sunlight. The sensation of flames – a heat that seemed almost liquid and yet not – with spots of deeper, hotter flames persisted. With a swift reach of my other hand, I pulled the door closed. Only a few seconds. My hand had only been in the sunlight a few seconds. The ‘direct sunlight’ warning flashed in my mind’s eye. “Now I know why they said to avoid direct sunlight.” My joke about bursting into flames seemed about spot on at this point.

My hand was still burning five minutes later, though lessening little by little. “Well, I guess this is a little insight into what being a vampire would be like,” I thought.

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight.

Going to the grocery store about an hour later was interesting…racing the sun to the edge of the clouds. Seriously feeling some pity for the blood-suckers. The next several days should be interesting. (Praying for clouds….Oh, and I bought an umbrella. – No, I didn’t have one before.) 🙂

Ciao

(Thought I’d sprinkle some beautiful pics of sunlight through out the post…Look but don’t touch.)

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Return to the Land of Fiction

Wide open spaces of Colorado. (I miss you)

Wide-open spaces of Colorado. (I miss you)

So it’s been a crazy week. I have been doing a bit of writing, but, unfortunately, for work and not on my novel. It’s been diffuclt, having to sit on my creativity when I could have made great progress. C’est la vie.

But today I got the chance to read through some of my notes, indulge myself in my world, visit with my characters, feel the wide-open spaces whilst in the city.

On my drive to work, which is approximately thirty-five minutes, my mind is always working on some story or another. And my current novel always gets at least a few moments, though usually it is the main event like today. I jotted a few notes at redlights. Measured in sentences, most red lights are extremely short. Even the long ones. 🙂

Today, amazingly, I stumbled into a lull at work and was able to elaborate on my previous one-phrase notes. I enjoy the busyness, but today was the perfect time for a lull. My creativity was revved up, and I had freed myself of many tasks, finally completed, which allowed me to keep my creativity door open, instead of quashing it.

It is so difficult, and painful, to smother that fire (I know, multiple metaphors, sorry). It holds so much potential. It’s tantalizing with possibilities. But it will come again. Gotta do what I gotta do. (Which includes work.) I believe it will help in the end. Experiences – pleasant, unpleasant, and indifferent – are research for the land of fiction.

Ciao

(Written yesterday)

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Dreams & Life: Truly Living

English: A cruising sailboat at Green Island, ...

English: A cruising sailboat at Green Island, in the San Blas Islands, Panama. The mainland of Panama is in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll tell you something I’ve always wanted to do, like millions of other people: travel. I love an adventure. I love spontaneity. Setting sail with no notion of where you will end up three hours from now, that night, the next day, or the next week. If I was free of responsibilities, I would do this. I would accept the challenges I have dreamed up for my free, dreamer self.

Do you ever wish you could split into two versions of yourself, like a choose-your-ending mystery, and decide later, at a convergence, to become one again, but with twice as many experiences and memories? One’s night can be the other’s day.

One challenge I would accept is traveling cross country with an allowance to kick-start the journey and having to utilize my creativity and talents to reach each subsequent town. Delving into America, meeting and learning about the multitude of people that share this country with me. And learning about myself. How strong will I stand when met with a challenge?

Another dream I have is to travel in search of ‘Good Samaritans’, and give them the credit they deserve through a blog/e-newsletter. I want to share their stories. Show the world that they exist. Inspire the world. Inspire myself.

Not the billionaire that gave a million dollars to a charity, or a variety of charities, and had his/her name splashed across the front pages. But the everyday folk that go above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow human beings, and all living creatures. It’s the everyday folk, the people like us and with less than us, that inspire us most with their willingness to give and sacrifice for the good of others. It tells us that we can do the same, and inspires us to follow the intentions through with actions.

Eventually I may see these dreams, and more, birthed into reality.

And I know these dreams are not original ideas. But they would be original experiences to me. I don’t want to read about how someone else did it, how it changed them, and what they learned. Well, that is, I do want to read about it, but I also want to experience it for myself. I want to give, I want to learn, I want to experience, I want to live.

Too often we rely on others for our lives. We live through the actors and writers of television and movies, through the characters and writers of the books we read, through what our neighbor did that was broadcast on last night’s news, through our relatives who have far more interesting lives than we do. We try to add their experiences to our own without leaving the comfort of our pillowed seats. To experience the height and depth of emotion from security.

And, yes, that’s one of the reasons I want to write: to transport people to another world, to give them experiences they may never have, to let them see, walk, and feel through someone else, beyond themselves. But not, certainly not, as a substitute for their own life. It should be a supplement.

Go out into the world and experience, feel, live!

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Ciao

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Tunnel Vision

Old Amagi Tunnel which is famous for The Danci...

Old Amagi Tunnel….Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ll find out soon enough, so I might as well let the cat out of the bag. I’m pretty crazy. (Pretty: word used to soften and dress up the truth.) Or maybe I’m pretty and crazy. 😉 (Haha.) “No, Officer, on my honor, I have not been drinking. I did have a little Chinese though.”

With that ridiculous, just-to-prove-I’m-crazy introduction, I will move to the main event. I wanted to share a story with you.

I’m not the only character in this tale. You see, I have a partner in crime, and she’s just as crazy as I am. I mean it. We once stumbled, giggling, down a hotel hallway – bumping into walls and everything – at 2 o’clock in the morning – quiet as possible – each with a bottle of root beer in our hands. (Yes, I said root beer.)

But that’s not this story. For the sake of the story, for now, let’s call her Stupid and me Darlin’. Now, before you throw rotten tomatoes in my face, let me explain that these nicknames do not necessarily have any bearing on our personalities and were gained quite spontaneously with neither deserving our respective titles. I was not being a darling (happens more than I’d like to admit), and she was not being stupid. Then. Uh, scratch that. (Then.) *cough* 😉 But that is a different story as well.

This story took place several years ago. It’s probably not the best story by which to introduce Stupid and Darlin’, as it paints us as such idiots. But, I think, everyone has their idiotic moments. It keeps us humble, and interesting. 🙂 (Please, don’t ever be this interesting.)

Back then we enjoyed taking drives, taking the long routes and enjoying the journey sans map. We would still enjoy these, but we don’t seem to have the time anymore. (Note to self: take a drive with Stupid.)

One lovely day, we were taking one of these long-route drives to meet some family. We didn’t have to get there immediately, so we took side roads virtually the whole way. We would look down a road, think, “Hm, that looks interesting” or “We haven’t been down this one” or “Let’s turn left this time”, and off we went, always moving in the general direction of the selected meeting place.

One such turn lead us down a road we had been down before, though it had been a long time. It was a straight shot, and we would not have gone all the way, but we spotted a dark, arced area where another road rose into a bridge.

Stupid or Darlin’, not sure which, said, “Look, a tunnel.” Now, maybe that’s selective memory. But, no matter. Whoever said it first became irrelevant as we both jumped on the bandwagon. “I never knew there was a tunnel under ‘Baker’ Road.” “Has that always been there?” “I wonder where it leads.” “Let’s find out.”

Excitement swirled in our stomachs. Another adventure. We had discovered something new in our very own stomping grounds. Something we never knew existed before and we were off to explore. The excitement made its way into my foot and we accelerated, though not too much as we were in a neighborhood. We were zipping down the road, eyes trained on the tunnel, when…

BANG

The car slammed into a bump and heaved over it at suddenly alarming speed. (No, we did not speed up, but it suddenly felt way too fast.) Our bodies jolted, heads touching the ceilings as our insides were stir-fried. The next second was slowed down by the speed of my now-turned-on brain, which was realizing several things. (1) That ‘bang’ had been a curb (meant to be slowed down for) that served as a speed bump for the entrance of a parking lot. (2) I was now in said parking lot and nearing the end fast. (3) There was no tunnel. That was brick with windows and a door and cars parked in front of it. The sharp inhale next to me said Stupid had realized the same things.

My foot stomped on the brake, and held till we came to a complete stop. If anyone happened to look out their window at that moment, they would have been wondering why two people were parked in the middle of the lot, sitting ridged in their seats, mouths hanging open, eyes wide and staring straight ahead. One gripping the steering wheel in a death grip. The other with a stiff arm to the dash and a similar death grip on their door handle.

Our ‘tunnel’ (unlike the one in the picture) was an apartment building. And there was another to our left, and another to our right. Nice, sturdy brick buildings with automobile bodyguards. We would not’ve had a chance. But we had noticed none of this till now. Gives new meaning to the term tunnel vision.

Now, if we had been in our right minds (if we have those) and thought it out, we would have realized a huge flaw in that ‘tunnel’. Namely, if there was a tunnel and we did drive into it, we would have dropped smack-dab in the middle of the interstate. Not a good adventure.

Back in the parking lot: We looked at each other, eyes still wide, hands still gripping, and dissolved into two puddles of laughter in the front seats. After a short while, we decided to spare ourselves the feeling of multiple sets of eyes from a multitude of windows, turned ourselves around and got out of there. We laughed all the way to our destination. I had to keep wiping tears from my eyes so I could see the road (not that it had been much help before).

Many times throughout the evening, and for several days to come (and, even now, years later) the image of our ‘tunnel’ and what we must have looked like flying into that parking lot comes back to our minds and we find ourselves puddle-ing again. Rather difficult to explain when someone walks around the corner at work and you burst into laughter. Turns out, they aren’t too eager to believe that it was just a memory and had nothing whatsoever to do with them. Alas, some things can’t be helped.

This has been an episode with Stupid & Darlin’. I hope you enjoyed. 🙂

I think every experience we, all living beings, have is sewn into our story of life, and, for writers, into our fiction. It has an effect. It gives us an insight, even if it is merely into the day-to-day ‘stuff’ of different people, or the kerfuffles of unsuspecting humanity, or even the hilarity two crazy kooks manage to talk themselves into.

Sometimes the gathering of info is so subtle we do not even realize we are doing it (*cough* Miyagi *cough*). But down the road (not the tunnel), when we need it, it bleeds into our story, adding the smack of authenticity. It really is a beautiful thing. The subconscious is an amazing tool. But let’s not fall into that deep rabbit hole of thought. 🙂

Ciao

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Insight FreeWrite

I am writing my first draft entirely by hand in notebooks (current one is almost full), and I am letting myself write the worst crap ever. Trying not to get too sick about it either (remember…obsessive). But there are some diamonds buried in the crap. I am no literary writer by any means. No one (I don’t think) is going to buy my books simply for the writing, but I pray to God they buy them for the stories.

As I write forward on my draft, my mind works, consciously and subconsciously, on the issues of the previous and of the future. When I hit gold, or a rock that might turn into gold, I record it electronically in my notes. I don’t want to lose any gems (some of which may become excerpts and premises for other books). And with my memory, I know better than to waste time after an idea, no matter how small, hits me (not on the head again, please).

Hopefully those I lost will circle back around eventually. And maybe at a time when I could find a depth in them that wasn’t there before due to some experience I have had since. Here’s hoping.

Ciao

PS: Some beauties dropped down from the storks today and ‘write’ into my notes.

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