Feeding your Characters, Part II

What sparks your creative juices?

 

Waves of Emotions, Does the Moon Affect them like the Tides of the oceans?

Many of you know that I have been dealing with the loss of a close friend who recently passed.  The things in life that we take for granted, the smile, knowing look, the chuckle that you caused,  and that voice on the other end of the line that you come to know as your lifeline to reality, those are precious… When those are gone, and you are left alone…the tides roll.

As one who has always “adopted” older friends it has been my privilege to know and care for many that have since passed. Each and every one unique and precious and missed.  Two of the last three I was asked to do their Eulogy, which if you have never done, try and get through it without becoming a basket case in front of countless people.  It is not easy.

The more you care, the more it hurts, and the harder it is.

Spending days writing it I finally had to remove anything in it that would trigger me, and then it was still a challenge.

Today I was dealing with their family trying to be of some assistance, and it brought back the pain all over again.  Facing the “residual” of a friend trying to assess some monetary value to it as to assist their survivors is just miserable!

The “things” the treasures that charmed them and we are now relegated to boxes of stuff waiting for an estate sale.

I often go to antique malls looking for trinkets that “charm” me but more often than not I look for things that might inspire a story.

From strange tools to old tchotchkes that someone treasured a long time ago interests me.  I once bought an ancient relic that looked like it belonged to some tribe in some dark jungle as I thought if I could imbue it with magical properties it might make a story.  Who knows.

I sift through old black and white photos of people who have long since passed that have found their way to the antique malls and make up little stories about them as I hold their picture in my hand.  If the story sounds good, I buy the image, and he or she becomes a character in a novel.

Many of you can relate to the loss of a loved one.  You know that the waves are real and sometimes they can bury you.  I keep some memento of them around me as they were important to me for decades.

How do you deal with loss?

Stuff cannot replace them.

The things we find in antique malls are just effects that meant something to someone long ago.

On multiple occasions, I have purchased boxes of “things” on eBay.  This one box I bought the person who sold it took care to wrap each individual thing in tissue.  There were old lenses from glasses.  There was a model of an old delta airplane. There was a marionette that is probably from the thirties. There were some timeworn cufflinks, a watch and just basically a drawer of someone’s stuff that was put into a box and sold. There was even a broken glass figurine of a toucan. Where did that come from and how it did come to be in that drawer and how did it get broken.

I got the box and looked at each and every little thing including the old glasses.  This was the residual of a life. The old airplane they probably got when they flew.  The little marionette might have been passed down to them from a grandparent.  The watch was old and well-worn but, it too told a story.

I carefully wrapped the stuff back up and stored it away for a future day when I need an idea.  Those trinkets will live again in some story and by them becoming part of one of my novels, the previous owner in some small way will also live again through my words.

If you are a writer, go visit antique malls.  Spend time looking at the trinkets on display, and if something sparks a thought,, you know what to do.

Some things I snap a picture of as I have no desire to haul some piece of furniture home but….I found an article that I will tell you about.

In this old downtown store, there was this small desk that belonged in a classroom from eons ago. The chair was in front, and the actual desk with the writing surface that lifted and a place to store crayons and such were underneath the writing surface.

This was designed very differently in that the chair in front of the person who used the surface of the desk was contingent on the person sitting in the chair not moving the desk.  It was, in fact, a piss poor design to get the maximum amount of students in one small space but…Wow!

I immediately thought of “Good Night John Boy!”

Many of us go into such places looking for something to charm us to purchase it.  I look for fodder for stories.  I never know what will “trigger or spark” an idea.

Search “box of crap” on eBay and see what comes up.  I used to challenge people to pick up an item and write a story about it.  I would have a box of stuff and tell them to reach in and grab something without looking.  Take it back to their desk and write.

To you my pretties, feed your characters.  Find an item and write something on your blog, and tell me about it.

 

Much Love -TW

 

Author: AuthorTWScott

Author, Writer, Artist ... Over 30 published novels crossing many genres. www.authortwscott.com

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