Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photographs In My MInd

You've reached a point in your novel where you are stuck. Usually it's right around the 8th or 9th chapter, which is right about in the middle of the story. You like the first part of the story, and you've already figured out the ending, but now you have to get from the beginning to the end, and you're stuck.

What do you do when this happens? And don't fib, you know it happens to all of us! Do you get up and take the dog for a walk? Clean the kitchen? Do some much-needed laundry? Or perhaps you just sit and stare into space...or maybe, at your screen saver.

I'm at that point...9th chapter, right on schedule, now how the heck to I get to the ending I have all planned out? I sat without hitting a key for so long today that my screen saver came on, and I found myself staring at some really lovely pictures.

Now those photographs are carefully saved in the back of my mind, and everywhere I look, there they are...

...a beautiful field, heavily covered with delicate, fern-like grasses, deep green in color. Tracks cut through the field, narrow, the dark-brown-almost black color of rich dirt, curving and finally disappearing in the distance...

...two tall trees, standing so close together their long slender branches and pointed leaves mingle with one another. You can't see the bottoms of these trees, for a thick fog rises from the ground and distorts everything it touches...

...a long pier rises from out of nowhere, and stretches far out into the sapphire-blue ocean, ending is a small gazebo...

Photographs in my mind. What stories they can conjure up! Who was driving through that green field, and where were they going? The tracks were too narrow for a modern car, so it must have been in the early 1920's when automobiles were just coming into their own. A young couple, seeking some privacy so they could spoon awhile?  A moonshiner sneaking out to his shack to see how many bottles he had stashed away that he could sell that night?

The thick fog rises from the ground to cover the bottoms of the trees, but what else does it cover? What secrets lie hidden beneath that seemingly benign element of weather? Will a runaway teen or an abused wife or a fleeing convict seek cover within that fog?

The long pier that seems to go on forever has its own secrets, as well. Who walked that endless length of wooden planks, only to stand beneath the gazebo and gaze out upon the water? Someone facing  her own mortality, as an incurable disease wracks her body? A young teen who has been bullied to the point of considering self-destruction? A writer who seeks the peace and solitude offered by the quiet waters below?

Photographs in my mind. Or in yours? What do you see?

Until next time,
That's a wrap.