A few things about the desk where I do most of my writing. It’s a tight space, but that’s just part of the way things are laid out in our home. Not much room when I need to work from edited hard copies. But it’s in a quiet room, next to the peaceful backyard, in the rear of the house. The bulletin board is empty because I just finished Book 2 and removed all the 3 x 5 note cards. It’s a blank slate, awaiting Book 3.
Above the bulletin board is a photograph of Fenway Park, home of
the Boston Red Sox, titled “86 Years & Worth the Wait.” It was taken during game 3 of the 2004 World Series. I grew up in Boston and am a lifelong fan. To the left of the desk is a picture of Ted Williams, famous Red Sox slugger. His bat swing was famously smooth. He had intense focus, and it reminds me as a writer to stay with the ball, in the moment.
I have a (barely visible) microphone I’ve borrowed from a friend. My intention is to record portions of my book. One problem is that Light Runner is mainly from the point of view of a teenage girl and I’m a guy, so maybe that wouldn’t sound quite right. It’s not first person POV, but still… On the other hand, I’ve got a Jamaican Rasta character in Book 2 and I’ve been practicing a Jamaican accent when I read for my critique group. I’d love to try it out, plus some of the other voices (Russian, etc.).
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of ‘magic in the moment,’ how if we are living totally in the present, we can open the door to key experiences.
I was in Hawaii one time with my family. I’d never jet-skied before, but thought it would be a good father-daughter activity (my daughter was a teenager at the time). I had a vision of doing some sort of free-range jet skiing, skimming over the water wherever we wanted to go. But instead, we were confined to a limited section of water and ended up just going in circles around a large raft. It got kind of boring. Jostled and pounded by the swells and wake from other jet skis, I also found jet skiing to be uncomfortable.
We’d jet skied for a while, and I kept wondering when out rental was going to be over. I think that sense of boredom helped me to focus on the moment because I was just looking at the water in front of me, navigating the jet ski, modulating the speed, when something shiny caught my eye. I looked more closely, and it took my breath away—a school of flying fish was swimming just ahead of my jet ski. Silver scales flashed, caught the sunlight, blended with the glittering water, leapt through the air, and splashed back beneath the surface.
I think writing is sometimes like that. The page can be confining, and you feel like you are just going in circles. Then, into the field of vision . . . something silver flashes over the surface of the text for just a moment, disappears, then another and another, until all of a sudden the page becomes alive with sparkling light.