I remember attending a local southern authors’ convention held in Asheville one year. After listening to several question and answer sessions with recognizable authors…one, less-known, writer responded with a memorable answer to this question ….“Do you always have your ending in place before you start writing?”
“Initially I did,” she replied with some deliberation…”I would work backwards…creating all kinds of different scenarios with the characters to get to the set ending.”
“Until one day…I overheard a conversation in a grocery store that sparked a great story idea….but no conclusion or ending. I didn’t realize that I had put myself in a rut by relying on my “backwards writing style.”
“I was terrified about the direction my imagination would lead me without an ending…yet, as scared as I was…suddenly I felt freer than ever before in my writings. It was exhilarating….like real life…riding the highs and lows without warning or preparation, yet still managing to land on my feet in conclusion. Since that first experience I never relied on an ending first. I still write by “the seat of my pen.”
The audience laughed and quite frankly… until I saw the title quote for the blog post today… I had forgotten this incident. After reading the ‘chirp’ it came flooding back.
“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” Bob Goff.
Immediately I thought of yesterday’s post where I shared my one and only nostalgic memory of my “Pop.” (my father) For decades there was no “title” to the childhood remembrance until I gave it a title “The Double Lollipop and Pop.”
Don’t we all live our lives without knowing the ending…each of our stories is made more precious for the not-knowing. It forces us to live in moments instead of minutes, hours, day, months, and years.
If we want our stories to be remembered, re-told at family gatherings…then we better live life as colorfully as our imagination allows….remembering not to get stuck in the “Land of Usually.”
Haven’t you ever called someone, excitedly, to do something spontaneous at the last moment…and you get a response that the person can’t go because they “usually” wash their hair on Thursday nights or have a television show they watch on Wednesday afternoon or vacuum on Mondays? Really?
“Usually is the enemy of Adventure.”
So until tomorrow…
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” Helen Keller
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Let’s hear a Big Shout-Out to my third “son” John…my wonderful son-in-law…he finishes out all the Dingle-Turner birthdays on the last day of September.
I love this birthday greeting Ginga Wilder sent me….so I will pass it on to you.
“BLESSINGS ON YOUR NEXT TRIP AROUND THE SUN”!
My new neighbors, the Smiths, Fin and Virginia, stopped by yesterday with mums in a pumpkin container…adorable…I just added them to the other side of the porch to balance out all the fall flowers. Loving it! Thank you so much Smiths! Have fun visiting that beautiful grandchild this weekend in Augusta!