I took another think day yesterday and it took. I went for long meandering drive out west of town to enjoy a warm late summer day and see the early changes in the colors.
I went down some roads I hadn’t been down in years and stopped along the North Saskatchewan River a few times. Running water is good for the thinking process.
I realized on a much deeper level the problem I had with writing my memoirs was structural. It’s a story and like any story it needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.
This was my problem. It has no end. I had absolutely no clue how to close off that particular story.
I thought it over as I ate my lunch. I was standing near a spruce forest along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The sky was a clear, magnificent blue. Sunlight danced off the gently rushing water. Two empty vehicles were nearby, but I was gloriously, magnificently alone.
The sun’s warmth was calming and soothing and I breathed deeply of the fresh air.
I don’t have a middle either.
This was my second problem.
Structure it like a novel, I told myself. Well, sure. But I don’t write novels.
You studied how in English class. Sometime between Grades Eight and Eleven.
And that’s where the hawk came in. On my way down from the highway to the river I’d seen a hawk circling intently. As I drove closer it widened its circle but still seemed quite intent on finding something on the ground.
It was up high so it could get a good look over a wide area. It was taking an overview of the situation.
The hawk is my totem bird. I’m sure someone was trying to get across to me that I need to step back, be objective, and take an overview of my story.
I’d never set down what goes in Act One, or Two, or Three. I know the story. At least I think I do.
Last night I set down a few scribbled notes for Act One and the characters. I'd never set anyone down as protagonist or antagonist or supporting characters or anything like that.
I know have a notion where Act One ends and what should happen in Act Two.
I finally have a reasonable notion as to where Act Three ought to end.
I had a lovely think day yesterday and a productive one as well.
Now to put all that thought to good use.