Friday, February 18, 2011

Who Knew?

I was not a great student in school.  Throughout elementary and high school, my parents tired of hearing "She's not working up to her potential." I don't think that was a surprise to them after several report cards.  When I was interested, I made As.  Most of the time, I was more interested in the people around me.  And the art work on the bulletin boards, the change of seasons displayed through the windows, and what everyone in class had stored in their cigar boxes.  I wasn't even close to what is now called ADD. My "condition" was and is what I'll call Creative Observation.  I'm fascinated by people, nature and objects around us.  They used to call people like me "Dreamers."  I'll take that.  I like the quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men."

I've told my husband (who listens to me patiently trying to "get me") that I see things sometimes in a movie format.  If I were directing, how would this be shot?  What kind of lighting would it need?  Sound effects? What would be in the next scene? I suppose that explains my love of writing.  I can lose myself in the scene on paper.  I want the reader to feel as if they're in the moment.  I relish a good book that takes me there; when I can see the thunderous sky, feel the scratchy sweater or smell the bubbling stew.  I just wish I were more of a wordsmith to accomplish that.  It's fulfilling for me to try and whether my efforts travel anywhere outside this blog, I'll continue dreaming on paper.

Writing at home is usually in vain.  The phone rings, the dryer buzzes, the dog wants to go out, email consumes my time, and snacks are far too easy to divert.  But, I've found an oasis for me, a secret hide-out where I nestle in with laptop, a tall travel mug of coffee or ice-tea and a blank screen.  It's a small room at my local library that can be reserved in advance.  Free wi-fi offers me a chance to turn on gentle background music as I write and plenty of research material for my efforts.  There's a window looking out on trees and another showing library patrons in the main room.  I shut the door, put the "Reserved" sign in my window and head for destinations only my imagination creates on paper.  I'm lost.  Engulfed in a world that I create and it fills me with satisfaction.  At this point, you may think I'm a little too out there, but I ask you, "What childhood book took you to a place you remember with fondness?"  Was it fighting pirates in Peter Pan?  Traversing the woods with Winnie the Pooh?  Did you smell the grass in Little House on the Prairie or cry at the end of Old Yeller? Who wasn't mesmerized by the imagery in the  Harry Potter books?

I'm heading off to my writing hide-out now.  I've allowed myself two hours to dream today.  I'll shut the door and open my mind to all I stored there in those days of Creative Observation when I was a student of fluctuating grades.  Isn't it ironic that the room I now use at the library - the place where my mind seems to expand - is called the Study Room?  Here's hoping I work up to my potential!


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  2. Amy Meredith3:15 PM

    I loved reading books by Eugenia Price as a teenager and adult. She wrote historical fiction mixed in with a few real life characters. Most of her books are in set in the Savannah, GA pre civil war period. I was so captured by her characters that I would just bawl when one died. I remember reading her last book and for some reason skipping to the back and reading that she died which writing that book. It made me so sad that I had to put the book and grieve just a little.
    Thanks for making me recall those memories:-)