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How a Writer Sees the World

In addition to creating plots, characters, conflicts, taking out a bad day on a character, perhaps of the coolest things about being a writer is how the every day mundane situations can be fuel for a story or portion of a novel. It’s not something anyone taught us; it’s simply the way we view the world around. I’ve done it since I was little. Growing up in the country gave me tons of fuel for my imagination, as did reading Piers Anthony novels.
Rich and I went on a walk Saturday morning on the Audubon Trail. This is a portion of an extensive trail system that runs along the Colorado River. It’s amazing how such a wild area can exist right in the middle of Grand Junction. And while this time of year isn’t that great for wildlife viewing or taking pictures of the flowers, it’s still good exercise and there’s always a chance of spotting some Great Horned owls or Blue Herons.
For a writer, a simple nature walk becomes something altogether different, something magical, fantastical, and maybe even frightening.

That's no ordinary bridge!!

This wooden bridge takes on a sinister air when a writer comes upon it. Their hearts race, wondering if perhaps THIS time when they cross, a scaly hand will reach up to drag them to be tortured in the underworld. Or perhaps the monster under the bridge is hungry and waiting for an unwary passerby to tromp across.
As you pass by the tamarisk and oak brush, you hear the dry rattle of leaves. Something is moving about the undergrowth. Is is merely a robin or a pine martin scrambling in the dead leaves? Or is it something more dangerous? As you stare into the thick growth, you can picture a centaur moving amongst the trees, bow at the ready, meeting your eyes with his steely gaze. Maybe a creature that you can’t put name to will burst forth from the leaves, declaring that you are the one his people have been waiting for, the one prophesied to save their world!
A branch arching over the trail becomes a portal. Anyone passing underneath will be transported to another world, where you must use your wits to save yourself from danger. Hopefully, you will meet some friendly folk on the other side that will offer aide.
A patch of standing water with ice beneath the surface becomes something more noxious and poisonous. Best hold your breath when you walk by lest you be overcome by the vapors!
An outhouse becomes the quaint hut of an herbwoman. Can you see the smoke rising from her stone chimney? If you walk closer, you can smell the duck she is roasting. She is expecting you, you see. The bones told her you would be arriving this day.
Another of my favorite things is driving through fog that is so thick you can barely see the front of your car. What terrible monsters lurk in that swirling greyness, waiting to snatch you up, car and all? What if you drive out of the fog and find yourself in another city? Or another time?
Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the insight into the strange mind of a writer 😉

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9 Comments on “How a Writer Sees the World”

  1. Liv Rancourt January 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Love the pictures! And some day I want to go on a walk with you so you can tell stories the whole way.

    • shayfabbro January 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      My sisters and I used to that when we were younger. We’d always make up stories, making our play time very imaginative 😀

  2. S.Z. Williams January 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I love your descriptions and photos! They make me want to get out of the office and take a look at the world around. Though, one isn’t safe from dangers and wonders indoors either; maybe there are file fairies laughing at me from the cabinets and giant office leeches with soul-sucker mouths slithering through the building vents even as I type. 🙂

    • shayfabbro January 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

      Exactly!!!! It’s amazing how often I worry about vacuuming under the bed where I can’t actually see…maybe I am sucking up a dust bunny princess!!!! :O OR I could be sucking up the evil dust bunny shadow Lord and saving the princess 😉

  3. Diana Lesire Brandmeyer January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I love how each writer sees something different. I get the scary stuff but I see someone on horseback coming to help my heroine who has tripped and twister her ankle just on the other end on that fallen tree.
    waving from wana112

    • shayfabbro January 25, 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Oooooo, a handsome prince, ready to whisk us away from it all!!!!

  4. Barbara Forte Abate January 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    These photos are stunning. Each seems to contain a world of tales to be told. I, too, grew up in the country and I am certain it was being in such a setting without boundaries that initially opened the door for my imagination to run at a gallop.

  5. Cas Peace January 24, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    That’s the most wondrous thing about being a writer – or any creative, really – each one sees something different in any picture, scene or situation. My parents once had a picture hanging on their wall, quite a cheap one I think, of a woodland pathway strewn with golden fallen leaves. Each time I looked at it I saw a gorgeous black stallion galloping toward me. That stallion became Drum, the warhorse in my Artesans of Albia series. Now, each time I think of Drum, I think of my parents’ picture!

    • shayfabbro January 25, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      What an awesome story Cas!!!!!!! 😀

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