Monday, January 9, 2012

Turning the dreaded Facebook photo tag into something useful

     I have a growing collection of scenes without books to call home. I wrote one last night. See, what I do is when something happens to me or I observe something that strikes me as a good scene for a story instead of journaling about it, I go ahead and write a scene around it. Often it's just a kernel of an idea and writing a scene about it creates something noteworthy out of a moment that usually wouldn't be significant enough to remember for a journal entry at the end of the day. Sometimes these scenes give me ideas to build an entire book around and sometimes they just sit waiting to be fit into some WIP in the future. This is what works for me because journaling bores me and, later down the road, embarrasses me. Nothing makes me cringe more than going back and reading old journals. I want to die of shame just thinking about my angst-filled journals from the teenage years. Which are, by the way, missing since I moved. Oh yeah...THE HORROR. I live in fear of someday stumbling upon a recently-gone-viral website made up of my journal entries from ages thirteen to seventeen.
     Anyway, this is part of my writing process and below is an example which I wrote last night. Enjoy, judge, your own mind or behind my back please. Feel free to comment.

         Man! She felt good this morning. Energized. Ready to meet the day head on. She felt optimistic she'd just had the wind knocked out of her. There alongside her coffee and chocolate croissant, smack dab in the middle of her morning internet routine of Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, seemingly larger than life was an old picture posted by an older friend. In it she stood in a group, smiling, her ex standing next to her. Not just any ex...THE Ex. You know the one. That one Ex that everyone has that they never fully recover from, the "what might have been" Ex. What stopped her in her tracks and held her spellbound was how she was transported back to that exact moment. She remembered everything about it, the crunch of the white rock under her shoes, the laughing voices of the others in the picture, the quip of one friend as they shuffled into position. She squinted at her computer screen as she remembered the sun that day and how she tried not to blink as they waited for the photo to be taken. The content cheerfulness she'd felt that morning passed through her again like fingertips lightly brushing the rungs of a banister as their owner passes by. Then she recalled the joke she'd made to Him just before they took their places, that quip that would haunt her for years wondering if it was the trigger that began their long, slow demise as a couple. How odd it was to remember the exact moment captured in the image. How often does that happen? She couldn't think of a single instance before now. Her "can do" spirit of the morning was shattered and gone as she stared into the distance at nothing. Her memories swept her into familiar reminiscences and the same old questions and yearning she'd convinced herself years ago she was no longer holding onto. The bittersweet ache that filled her was actually a relief. It was so much more comfortable and familiar than the sunny optimism of moments before and the past five years.

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