Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Trip Back in Time

A lake along a loop drive in Banff. I was going to write something metaphorical, but it's too much work.

I had a reasonably misspent youth, and I mean that in the good way. Reporters, we heard in J school, are supposed to have life experiences. I can’t remember the exact reason given though it is moderately obvious. The more you experience, the more you know, and the more you will question. You’re less gullible if you’ve been around a bit.

You never know when an experience from the past will work its way to the surface and be exactly what is needed.

My current WIP is about a mirror. This lets me write short bits in the lives of many characters. It’s fun and I get to use fragments of life from overheard conversations to stuff that really happened.

For example, back in the Pleistocene epoch my best friend and I stumbled into her house at 4 a.m. stoned out of our gourds. Our tummies cried for attention. We sacrificed dill pickle potato chips to the munchies gods and giggled in terror that the crunching echoing in our ears would waken her dad.

I’m tickled silly that I can now call this moment research.
I suspect as the writing continues so will the mining of the past as well as whatever I can scavenge from the world around me.
Everything has a purpose; it is just a matter of discovering what that purpose is.

What about you? Has that thing you did all those years ago proved to be something you need now? Or as you still waiting to see the good side of it?


Miz said...

I love your way with words. your posts---even when briefbrief---are far better & more thought provoking than many (ok mine).

I find I revisit my youth on a daily basis when I work on my tween fiction.

its amazing to me that with all todays tweens have (from electronics to fancy designer drugs) the underlying struggles and issues are all the same.

Leah J. Utas said...

Miz, thank you for the wonderful compliment about my writing. It's good to hear and it gives me incentive to keep at it.

The exterior stuff changes, Miz, but the interior stuff never does.

the Bag Lady said...

Oh my goodness, cousin! I'm casting my mind back, wondering which of our escapades are going to resurface..... :)

Meh, now that I think about it, we were pretty tame! (Unless my memory really IS gone!)

Good post!

Leah J. Utas said...

dfBag Cousin, if you think of any good ones I can use let me know. My memory has failed me on this, too. Probably for the best.
That said, if any come to mind I'll let you know first and then disguise them enough to protect the guilty.

David Cranmer said...

It seems like every decade that passes I add new experiences that find themselves into my yarns. An example is that I don't care for golf but end up being asked to play wherever I go. So out of dislike for the game, I came up with "Vengeance on the 18th" that was published at BEAT to a PULP.

Oh, and 4am in Pleistocene epoch sounds like fun:)

Leah J. Utas said...

David, that's a good way to deal with it.
No point having life experiences
if you can't use 'em.
And yes, it was fun.

Polly Kahl said...

I love your writing too, Leah. I love your description of being stoned out of your minds. Even though I personally wouldn't go back there for all the tea in China, I wouldn't change a thing about it either. Like you I think the point is to get as much out of it as we can today. Hugs to you!

Reb said...

I'm still waiting to see the good side of a few things, but for the most part, well, I was pretty tame.

Leah J. Utas said...

Polly, good to see you here. Thanks for your kind words about my writing. I agree. I don't want to revisit the Pleistocene except in memory, but I am so very glad I have those experiences to draw on. Hugs returned.

Reb, even the tame stuff has it's place. In fact, I was thinking I might work in that time in the tunnels in Grimshaw.

Barbara Martin said...

I did a quad-zillion things growing up, some bad, some good. One was taking short walks in the mountains wherever we stopped along the roadside. I never went far alone due to finding oneself face-to-face with a bear or elk. My three older brothers went off alone alot: it's a wonder they ever came back alive. There are horror stories from camping in the mountains during my childhood, but I'll save those for my own blog.

Some of my mountain experiences will be written into my current WIP, but most of it is the sense of being in pristine wilderness...alone. The nearest person miles or worlds away.

Leah, your posts trigger my curiosity and nostalgia which are part and parcel of a good writer. Thanks for that.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Barbara. That's good to know.