Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Cave - Writing Exercise

The rhythmic sound of water dripping, echoing through the cave, creating a natural symphony known only to a chosen few.

Frigid air seeps into your skin, searching for your bones.

Gray weathered stone, decorated with limestone deposits create hazards and beauty.

A darkness beyond any black you’ve ever seen.

Complete, eery silence that will haunt you if you let it.

Silently, a bat grazes your shoulder, swiftly disappearing into the black hole.

The sound of footsteps startle you.  The light of a headlamp appears before the person.

"Who the hell are you and why are you in my cave?" 

The Door - Writing Exercise

The old, weathered cabin door swung open.  Its creaky hinges had withstood years of braving snowstorms beating against the door.  Hanging on a hook was a key to the cabin.  The twine from which it hung was scraggly from years of simply hanging.  The key was never used.  There was no need.  No one came here but her.

The window next to the door let in a small amount of light that reflected on the table in front of it.  This is where she kept her camera.  She reached to the right of the door to grab a light jacket.  It was spring in the mountains and there was a chill in the air.  Picking up her camera, she draped it around her neck. 

Before she ever walked out the door, she paused to take in what was before her.  The lushness of her mountain vista always took her breath away.  There was no one around but her.  She stepped through the doorway, onto the ancient porch.  Looking up, she smiled.  There’s nothing like a New Mexico sky, she thought.  From far down in the valley, the scent of pinon wafted up the mountain, ever so slightly, brought up by the gentle wind that sometimes interrupted the stillness.

She decided to sit on the steps for a while.  Bringing her camera to her face, she looked through the viewfinder to see things from a new perspective.  She could zoom in on the hawk sitting on the highest branch surveying the beauty before him.  She could take a closer look at the deer grazing in the forest.  There was a rustling in the distance that she couldn’t identify.  If it sounded large enough, she could retreat into the cabin for safety.  More than likely though, she’d go investigate to see what was there, taking her rifle just in case.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Writing

Image of Vintage Typewriter "Writing Machine no. 2" Fine Art 8x12" Matte Photography Print, Typewriter Keys,

Image by Anna Delores

Last night, I had my first writing class: Getting Started on Your Novel.  Considering that I have been wanting to write for around ten years and have written only three mediocre chapters on a book and less than one hundred blog posts, I decided that it might be time to get a little assistance...professional assistance.  I am also hoping to find that, perhaps, I actually do have the talent to write books that people actually want to read. 

Over the last few years, I have finally tapped into my creative side, dabbling in art, photography, and writing...perfecting none of them.  However, the writing and photography have revealed themselves to be the creative outlets I choose more often than the art.  Is it because I feel more confident with those or do I feel as if I reach a greater audience? 

I have been fighting the feeling that I must choose one mode of expression over the other, but have decided that maybe writing is more suited to me as a career.  The life of a writer appeals to me greatly and the art and photography can find a place alongside the writing.

Rather than be part of the group socializing, I prefer to sit off to the side, observing, listening, and nosing into the lives of those laughing, talking, and living…wondering what their story is. 

Everyone has a story.  Everyone.  Some people don’t even realize they have a story.  Most people don’t care enough to find out someone else’s story.  But they are there…the stories.  The stories that inspire us, infuriate us, break our hearts.  If only we all had the time to really learn about each other…at least those closest to us.  We would find greater connection, understanding, and compassion, all of which are critical to the success of the human race. 

It is the job of a writer to make the time to find those stories, to coax from Arthur the story of finding love in war-ravaged London in 1942.  Maybe the writer will learn of Maggie, who raised her seven brothers and sisters after their parents’ death and how it prepared Maggie for a lifelong career as a teacher. 

I crave connection.  I think most people do, but they don’t realize it.  People connect through stories.  They realize that they are not the only one who has experienced failure, heartbreak, or loss.  They understand that no matter how painful an experience, one can always rise above it.  By seeing themselves in another, they get a deeper understanding of this thing called “life” and just what it means to be here…experiencing “life”. 

When you take the time to delve into the life of another, you find yourself a bit more compassionate about other people.  Arthur, the 93 year-old man who lives three doors down, always sits on his front porch after dinner.  Recently he has been cranky when you and your husband take a stroll down the street.  Through neighborhood gossip, you find out that the love he found in London and who was with him for 70 years, recently passed away and he misses her terribly.  It pains him to see other people in love when he has lost his beloved Maggie.  Before long, old, cantankerous Arthur no longer sits on his front porch as you walk by.  He has found it unbearable to go on another day without her and has joined her…wherever she is.  Together, for seventy years.  How could you possibly go on without the other? 

Our ancestors passed on their culture through stories.  They taught the young ones about those who came before them.  They taught them of the sacrifices, the loss, and the triumph.  They inspired the youth of their people to do good, to contribute, to make life better for those they loved.  And then those young people grew up, had families of their own, and continued the tradition. 

The story. 

Everyone has a story.

I want to find the story. 

What happens when you take a break from Facebook?

Eleven days I ago I deactivated my Facebook account. The negative posts, political bashing, and idiotic memes were beginning to have an adve...