I’m a writer. And when a writer travels, she is always on the lookout for stories. Watch out. Don’t let my blond, now curly, hair fool you. All my questions and chattiness are mere subterfuge for my greater objective: gathering stories and generating stories.
Beach Stories October 10, 2009
If you read yesterday’s blog, you’ll know that the story was not a pretty one. Someone died. And that was awful. But I hate to admit it, even out of that tragedy, my mind was already racing with ideas about the family and the family’s future. How would this impact the children (besides the very obvious, real and immediate impact) in the future. The wife? Would she trust the ocean again? What kind of stories were unfolding. I can’t help it. This is where my mind goes. I was walking today, very early, dodging the jelly fish washed up on the beach, and I generated a story.
Guess what I did when I got home to the hotel room? I sat down and typed out a basic idea for another series contemporary novel, or as my daughter wishes, a ST with very little sex, and an idea is becoming a story. Now, is it wrong for me to do this now? I don’t know. I know that when senseless things happen, we try to make sense of them as humans. As a writer, the only way I can cope with this real tragedy is to write a story about someone who will find redemption later on in life for this very real tragedy.
This is why I write. I write to give life to reality and offer hope.
There are other stories this week. Stories that aren’t as deeply painful to relate. There is the story of the family of four brothers (Nora Roberts would love this one) and the last brother is getting married. At the beach. And all the cousins are here; some poorer than others. In fact, one cousin said very enviously, bless her, “you have so much.” And the mom had to say something about how we all have different things that are good. But oh, I could see her desire for their lot in her eyes. Her need. And I totally understood her craving. She didn’t crave the material. She craved the sense of security it gave her cousins. She wanted it so badly, she articulated it. Oh, I have been there… as the poor cousin seeking family love. Oh, is she the one who will grow up to be the “spunky kid?” I don’t know. I do know she had a fever about her. Oh, I’d like to tell her story — as an adult. What will drive her? What are her conflicts? Will she hate the trappings of wealth later?
And the wedding? How cool is it to see a wedding on the beach? The stories grow and abound.
And then there was the dear 72 year old woman sitting next to me in an overcrowded shuttle bus on the way to a cool shopping center as well as dropping off people at their various venues of beach life. Well, she had a bottle of sand with her. I asked her why she had the bottle… and she very happily told me her story. This was her first time to the beach EVER!! Can you imagine? She’d never been to the ocean! Her joy was palpable. She had been invited to the beach with another family. They were staying bay side. She had a wonderful visit. She was so happy. And she didn’t look a day over 60 (as far as I was concerned). But I thought, how many of us take this simple gift of a beach trip for granted? And here she was so enthralled with her experience. And she wasn’t too old to be playful and young and a child at heart. A child would bring home shells and sand and plan a seascape. And that’s exactly what she planned to do with her sand and gathered shells.
There are so many other stories. But this is the one I will finish with… HOPE … if you’ve never been able to do anything or been thwarted from achieving your dreams. Remember my shuttle bus companion.
Start planning your seascapes now!!