Most of the time the last half hour to hour before I get out of bed in the morning I do two things; I pray and I think. My thinking rarely has anything to do with the up coming day’s schedule. My thinking is a meandering trip through thoughts most people would call a waste of time. I like to pick up ideas as if they are objects and turn them around until I see them from a new perspective. Then I get up and blog about strange things.
While it’s my pattern to handle my early mornings in this manner (Isn’t retirement wonderful), not so much over the last few days. The prayer is there but the inspiration and mental exploration aren’t what I’m accustomed too. This change seems to accompany my sudden desire to write material I might be able to pull together into a fun anthology. I’m not sure how long this new direction will last; I’m not good at long-term inspirations. In this regard I’m a lot like my dad. Mom use to say he had wonderful ideas that sounded very practical and do-able then three days later he’d tell her fifty reasons why his idea wouldn’t work, and he’d head off in a new direction.
The point of all of this is to let my friends know why I’m sort of absent from blogging and Facebook. If you see me back like I have been for the past two years it means I found at least twenty-five reasons why this anthology thing isn’t working.
God bless you my friends.
God created me with a specific personality, with a distinct set of skills and limitations, and in a time and place of his choosing. I was raised by the parents he intentionally selected for me and I’m temped not by God but by Satan but only to the level God permits.
God doesn’t expect me to be anyone but the person he created me to be. I sometimes wish he would give me this or that skill or personality trait I admire in someone else. Yet I know superhero’s only exist in fiction. My desire to have the whole package is the same temptation the serpent used on Adam and Eve and the one that caused Lucifer to be cast down from heaven. Superheros are substitutes for God and he won’t allow it.
God expects me to be the best me I can be. Unless the Holy Spirit gives me a new gift I won’t be replacing Billy Graham nor will I ever run for the presidency. Those are not in my DNA and so I should focus instead on other matters like faithfully writing a blog and giving people encouragement.
Being under control is usually a good thing, but not always. Total commitment is being all in and involves the risk of being out of control.
My father compared himself to my younger brother. He said “I don’t like to lift with all of my strength but Mark does.” Mark was a really good high school wrestler because he would use every ounce of energy he could summon to defeat his opponent.
I know a young woman who is very photogenic and has a beautiful smile but it is always a reserved smile. I’ve never seen a photo of her experiencing a real belly laugh. I see this because I’m the same way. I’m seventy years old and can only recall three or four times that I laughed so uncontrollably that my jaw and my stomach ached from the experience. Like my dad, I like to control myself and that makes me stop a couple of steps short of total commitment.
Those who will totally commit themselves to something are more apt to develop addictions than those of us who are under control but they too are the worlds most successful individuals. Total failure is often a challenge for them to get up and try again.
So here I am debating the pros and cons of control verses total commitment.
Conjunctive people connect people to people who wouldn’t ordinarily stay in touch with each other. We are fortunate to have three of these people in my family. Aunt Joyce, cousin Gladanne and my daughter Lisa Kay keep our family connected. Friends Bob and Mary do the same thing with a group of mutual friends as do friends Ross and Nancy with a different circle of friends. When I was working Norma kept track of everyone she ever worked with. Two friends have created Facebook groups that do this sort of thing as well, thank you Marsha and Stephen. I’m sure I’m missing others but this serves to explain the concept of conjunctive people.
Connecting people to people is a wonderful gift not only have but to receive as well. I have numerous on-line friends I’ve never met because we have mutual friends. We first got to know one another by commenting on our friends on-line postings. Two ladies in particular come to mind and now Jeanette and Donna are good friends because our mutual friends Terri and Lauren connected us.
My friend Torry spends an hour a day making a conscious effort to connect people to one another.
I’m not good at being a conjunction but I truly appreciate people who are. My conjunctive activity is more on the order of “but as opposed to “and.” And people are wonderfully inclusive people but, but people not so much fun but most of us don’t mean to be bad. We just aren’t naturals or intentional about keeping us all in touch.
Is this story best told by sticking to the facts or by treating it as a work of fiction? Would it be wrong to tell it as a combination of fact and fiction? These are questions I ask myself. Frequently my choice is the combination of the two but not all publishers like this alternative.
I love to begin with real events, expand their limits, exaggerate personalities and dialogue and add the feel of the event. In other words make it a story as opposed to a report. It turns fact into fiction but unlike reporting it allows the reader to experience the event just as if they’re there. I like it when my audience can experience what I’ve lived.
Of course I’m responsible to accurately identify my work and that is the reason so many stories are labeled based on fact. If I’m subtle in entering my fiction it can be misleading, that’s why I try to be over the top with it. If it’s a big enough exaggeration almost everyone gets it and I don’t need to take up people’s time to identify the liberties I’ve used to turn my manuscript into an enjoyable story.
I worked with a woman who frequently quoted her grandmother. “As Monday goes so goes the week.” As the first sentence goes so goes the article. That’s a double, possibly a triple whammy; today is the first Monday of the new year and I can’t write an interesting opening sentence for the life of me.
I’m going to nap on this and see if I can dream myself out of this funk.
I’m awake now, tried Crest Complete toothpaste with Scope. It didn’t work. I told a friend to tell lies till the fiction came but it’s too cold go to Burger King for a Whopper.
Linda just came in to tell me about a lady who considered herself the Picasso of Pasta. Wow there it is Picasso of Pasta…
Now all I have to do is worry about the second sentence. Got any suggestions?
When you’re flat you’re flat…me and Wiley Coyote.
Forgive me please…Spell Check aint’ workin.
Writers with much more experience than I have, say: “Real life is boring.” Of course they are talking writing fiction and not embellishing the truth. Who in their right mind would call a one pound trout a forty pound barracuda, or a spike horn an eight point buck or would question the parentage of the guy who cut you off in traffic? I use to be six-foot half an inch but when asked I always rounded it up, I still do the same thing now that I’m five foot eleven and three-quarters. I had a friend who claimed he had to shave twice a day and change the blade after every use.
Of course real life is boring if you insist on living like Jack Webb: “Just the facts ma’am.” There are however times and places to jazz it up, dress it in a tuxedo and parade it through the mall and there are times and places where it needs to be as naked as a turkey before you roast it.
Life is a story and it is meant to be told and re-told as a story. Most of life can’t be told accurately unless the senses are tickled and the imagination is stretched with the smell of coffee brewing and sound of the snoring ghost in the closet is made to come alive.
We have imaginations that need to be assaulted with stories and the person who can do that for us will be a blessing rescuing us from the boredom of real life. Most of us live on a two lane country road and we need a fourteen lane expressway or the Daytona 500 to wake us up. Our breaks need to fail on a mountain road and the ice cream must be shoved in the bosses face from time to time. We gotta laugh till we pee our pants, and the preachers zipper needs to break on Christmas Eve. We need these interludes so we can go back and endure yet another day living with Jack Webb and our Drag…net lives.