To all those of Irish decent, and all those wishing they were, happy St. Paddy’s day to ya.
This weekend Darren and I went to go visit some friends down south in Brampton. Previously, we had lived there for a year. It was a huge learning experience for me, and this visit reconfirms those lessons learnt; I am not a big city girl, but a small town mouse. I don’t like the air down there, it is not fresh enough and the whole place smells like a locker room/kitchen gone wrong. I don’t like the multicultural society, because I find them very ignorant and rude. I also just find it not personal and cozy enough and so very detached.
But despite all of that I do like visiting. I like the city for a visit. I like to go and see plays and experience the fast paced atmosphere for a weekend. Then I like to go home were the pace slows down to a level I can deal with and I feel safe and secure in my corner of the world.
We did much pre-St. Paddy’s day festivities. We went to Orleans to here a friends band play were they played much Irish music, and Great Big Sea, and music that makes my heart sing and my soul soar. We also went to an Irish pub on Sunday for a meal that could be categorized somewhere between lunch and supper, slupper maybe. Good food, I would go there time and time again. We also went ten pin bowling, and while I am not much better at it than five pin, I find it infinitely more enjoyable. My only wish is that I get three balls instead of only two.
However, I would say that this weekend’s biggest accomplishment for me was the amount of writing I accomplished. While I didn’t actually set pen to paper once with the intention of writing a part of my book, I had brainstormed a whole new novel/idea. It started off with an inspiration for a tattoo Friday while I was at work that had something to do with the cut of my sweater I was wearing that day. By this morning I had the beginning of a novel set out in my mind. A prelude and the start of how it would begin, a setting, and a couple of chapters planned out.
I have always wanted to write, but was in complete aw of how they came up with concepts for there books. I was also in complete aw in how they managed to manifest whole worlds that are completely believable. The histories and rich textures that coincide with the style and genre of novels I enjoy most and aspire to write.
What I have discovered this weekend is the pre-process to writing a novel. I thought it would be more difficult, like digging for water in a desert. I thought that because I read so much that I would be stealing ideas from another author. That all possible stories have been told, and that even if I was to write a book, I would find it already on a bookshelf somewhere. What I discovered is that once I tap into that well (water well), the ideas kept flowing, and while I do not have all the answers yet, I definitely have the questions involved with finding the story.
And then the next faze hit me. Research. I have to answer those questions. And parts of the answers are founded in research. For those authors who create a world based on our own, and even for those who create a whole new world, part of there inspirations come from what we have here. Science fiction is indeed based on science, even though it is fiction. No author has it any less easy in the research department whether they are using our current society as a landmark for there novel, or creating a whole new world.
A part of me would like to shy away from this task. Because as far as time management goes, I am really trying to do this all in my spare time, which to be perfectly honest, is not a whole lot of it. And there is an even greater part of me that not only wants to research, but wishes to travel and make experiences in which to base this research on.
I want to write about pirates, yet know nothing about sailing. I don’t want to read about ships and how they work, I want to work a ship. A big old fashioned wooden one. I am sure they have a name, but I don’t even know that. I feel so ignorant. Yet what it really leads me to believe is that an author is a Jack of All Trades. They must know enough about everything in order to have accurate information in their novels, even if they are writing fiction.
I think of the old adage, write what you know. A part of me knows that this is true, but another part of me says know more. Learn more, never stop learning. I have years ahead of me to fill my brain with knowledge. There will never be a point were I can say, “yes, now I know everything I will ever need to know, for this novel and every novel yet to come.” The world it evolving and we must stay on top of that knowledge, because something as simple as a light bulb changes the setting entirely of what you are writing. It goes from being medieval fantasy, to modern fantasy.
Another adage that comes to mind is, Make every word tell. This also I am in aw with authors over. I read, and I think wow, how they mince words, and use descriptions I would not have thought of to paint this picture. They are word smiths. They know words that while yes I am familiar with and understand, I would not always think of using. Instead I would reach for a familiar cliché, because of its convenience.
For the amount of time and effort, the sacrifices made, it doest not even begin to compensate authors for their work and efforts. Truly it is a career of love, for it is not for wealth, fame, and fortune. It is a passion, and drive larger than any tangible gratification.
And here I am caught up in its maw.