Wednesday was certainly a scary day – New York was orange, smoky-scary bad.
Photo by Anthony Quintano
It’s interesting from my perspective as a writer to observe how I dealt with the toxic smoke attack and then compare it to what my main character would do.
I always say that I’m someone who would never write a book or make a movie about myself because my life is too boring. For example, on Wednesday, I woke up with a terrible cold which forced me to cancel my day. I kept the window closed because I was sick, so I never experienced the awfulness of the air until I went downstairs to get my mail. Then the horribleness reached me. It felt like I was in some kind of apocalyptic TV show because it was dark, it was hard to breathe, and there were no people on the streets. I checked my phone to see what was going on, then turned around and went back upstairs. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What’s next?” But I must say thank you to whatever force caused me to wake up coughing and sneezing and so saved me from the toxic air.
If I used this magical intervention in a story, I would accuse myself of making it too easy for my character to escape. What I can do with my good fortune is contrast and compare what could happen to the character in my story. I could flip it over and make the character have to go out into the worst of the bad air, get stuck somewhere outside, have a respiratory problem, and not be able to tend to it until after some chore had to be done.
My point is that regardless of whether you have an easy time or a hard time, you can flip it over and use it as material in your current or new story.
Word of the Day Webinar
This week’s webinar on June 7 was wonderful but plagued with technical problems, probably due to the smoke from Canada. People couldn’t get on; Zoom kept throwing me off, people were freezing in midsentence, etc., but somehow, we got through the workshop, and what resulted was pretty great. If you’d like to get a copy of the webinar, please email me.
The cliff notes are that we talked about how to get into a “feeling” place where we created with ease. We did a WOTD cluster using a word that would give us each a feeling of joy. Two minutes of clustering brought the feeling deeply into each student. From that place, the students then wrote for five minutes about whatever the images stirred up within them. The level of the work was truly amazing – polished, original, grammatically perfect, and well-organized! This was because the students were able to maintain the feeling of joy and peace that the word of the day cluster had provided. I personally was thrilled with what I wrote.
Take the 5-minute challenge! Do a WOTD cluster using a word that gives you joy. Then write for five minutes about whoever or whatever the images or feelings the words awaken within you. I’m sure you’ll be amazed at the results.
I invite you all to join me at the next webinar on June 21.
We will do another exercise to inhabit a creative space where we can all do a little writing. The more you experience this joy and peace, the more your subconscious mind realizes that this is an essential component of your survival, and you will find yourself being much more supportive and helpful to yourself!
See you then!
I’m sharing some new and interesting contests that will challenge all of us to try new things. Don’t be afraid to try working in a different format and entering one of these contests. Sometimes working in a different medium brings wonderful new ideas to the forefront!
Here’s to your writing success,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz