Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Fantastic, the Strange and the Ridiculous.


You're crazy. Allow me to tell you, if you don't already know.

Writers are a confirmed bunch of crazy people. It's true. I've been told, so it must be. I don't mean the first dictionary definition of 1. deranged of mind. I prefer the next one down, 2. fantastic, strange and ridiculous. 

Known to dive into crazy situations, we whisper crazy thoughts and hunt down crazy stuff. We sniff out the crazy in others and revel in their stories, mentally storing details to savour later in our scribbles.

It's all part of the job description, and none of us would be game to deny it.

We hear a delicious phrase and tuck it away for our good pleasure. Ponder the title of a book from a list of thoroughbreds about to race. Lose ourselves smelling fruit as we contemplate what best describes late autumn.

We visit places far from home to taste the wind. Just to get the crazy details right. Revisit childhood to unearth emotions only God can strengthen us to navigate again. And let the moon rise, hours after our beloveds have fallen asleep, to continue writing until dawn nudges the sky.

While others go about their normal day, we wander down a pathway no one else can see. We dawdle there, and find something crazy enough to share with the dear one we call reader. And smile as we emerge with yet one more crazy thought.

Last January, as my kids swam in the waters of Phillip Island, I stayed ashore, shivering in the absent summer. I would not play in frozen water... until a crazy thought occurred to me. I wonder what it feels like to step in fully clothed? The way a character might in a moment of despair.


So I waded into the shallows and let the foam of the sea pull at my skirt hem with icy tugs. Let the waves assault my goose flesh until the black fabric stuck to my knees. To my children's horror, I ventured deeper and watched as my clothes billowed under me to the sway of the sea.

I just wanted to know. To feel the sodden skirt as it clung to my skin as I stepped out. To watch as tiny streams of water dripped down my legs and sand stuck to my hem as it dragged along the pathway home. Hours later, I looked again, to see the dusty salt marks in the creases of my skirt.

It was crazy and it was fun. And it was part of whom I've now become. A gatherer of details and experiences. A crazy writer.

Are you a crazy writer? Game enough to share a time when some craziness beckoned in your writing pursuits?

And if you're too shy to admit a moment of craziness, remember crazy also means, 3. very good or excellent. Ask any teenager. They're crazy too!

*******

Dorothy Adamek writes Historical Romance. Visit her at her blog Ink Dots.

22 comments:

  1. I like it crazy!
    But sometimes I'm too busy or too grown up (something i am loathe to admit!)to be the crazy that's required so my writing stays safe and stale. I read an online article lately about writers learning new skills, like kick-boxing or shooting a pistol - just so they can write authentically about them. A good challenge to me I think.
    Thanks for your post this morning, Dotti.

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  2. Yes, I'll admit to being crazy, although in my case the first definition may fit best! I do wonder how it looks when a PhD-qualified engineer is seen to read childrens' books to himself.

    As an aside, I malapropistically read this in the above: '...storing details to saviour...'. One reads what one expects to see — or maybe I'm crazier than I thought.

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  3. When I was a teen I told everyone I was weird - I guess that was the writer in me sneaking out! :)I've done a few things in the name of "reasearch", but none exceptionally crazy yet - I'm sure I will though, when the need arises.

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  4. Well, I'm not sure, Dorothy. I'm not crazy about the ocean at the best of times. Too much sand. I think up crazy things, to be sure, not quite sure I'm game enough to actually do them personally - but I sure enjoy making my characters do crazy things!
    Blessings

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  5. How awesome is that! So good. I'm inspired!

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  6. LOVE your style of writing, Dorothy! You have a rare gift. I visited your blog as well and enjoyed it immensely, particularly the lessons learnt from knitting needles. I sooo wish I had more time for reading... Thank you!

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  7. I loved your post. I was once thought 'strange' because I was caught sitting in a room for an hour doing absolutely nothing - when in fact I was writing in my head, stuff which would later go down on paper. Oh, the trials of being a writer!

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  8. Hey Dorothy!
    I loved your post. I put my hand up to agree that Yes, I am crazy! No doubt about it! And why not? It's fun isn't it? I agree that we writers are crazy people but then - am sure we have more fun than the rest of them! :)
    I think people have sometimes stared at me when I have stopped while walking on a busy pavement, pulled out my pen and a notebook and started scribbing an idea that occured to me. I do it often while shopping or meandering through Nature or wherever. Don't mind what others think - they may be right of course. And I may be crazy. But who cares?
    You write really well Dorothy. Thanks for giving me more to smile about this morning!
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  9. PS I wonder how you managed to put 2 pics in, at different places in your blog? I tried to do that in my first post but they all ended appearing in the top of the story - all together! So I gave up! Well done for having managed that too! :)

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  10. I felt crazy when on the train I was mouthing dialogue of my characters. I tried to stop it when the train got rather full.
    As writers we are different breed of persons. We think about things other people wouldn't ever dream of (how can certain drugs be taken, how can this person die) We take notice of little things in our environment and work out a way to put that into our story. We carry pen and paper everywhere as you never know when inspiration might strike.
    Crazy some might say, I say I am proud to be a little crazy, who wants the world filled with NORMAL people

    MEL

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  11. I don't think I've done too many crazy things.

    I have asked the manager of a store whether he thought a body would smell if stored in one of his containers.

    To his credit he didn't bat an eyelid, and for those that want to know, apparently that particular drum doesn't allow smells to escape, and it's big enough to hold two bodies.

    I've also been known to ask my dentist on good torture methods with extracting teeth and a ships purser on what would happen if a person was thrown overboard from said ship. He advised they'd be sucked under the ship in no time flat.

    He also made a point of seeking us out the next morning and inquiring after my husband's health. LOL

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  12. Dotti, great post! I tend to live a sensible life and leave my characters to do the crazy stuff :) Although, on the weekend a few people thought I was a little odd because I only took my handbag and a half full backpack to Brisbane. I thought that was logical because I had less weight to lug around, space to bring books home and only had carry on airline baggage. Maybe I am slightly crazy and just don't realize it, lol.

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  13. Ahh, you beautiful people made my day yesterday! Thanks for reading and commenting :) You're great sports to align yourselves with the crazies of the writing world!

    Penny, you're my kind of girl. Crazy enough to admit you 'like' being crazy! If you ever get to shoot a gun or do kick boxing, you must tell us about it.

    Peter, I loved it that you read, 'storing details to saviour'. Not crazy at all! God is the keeper of the writing life when we commit all things to Him.

    Amanda, I KNOW you!! You are one crazy chick, and that's just how I love ya :)

    Meredith, I'm with you on the sand thing! I love it while I'm there... but hate dealing with it later.

    Jo, so glad to be able to share and encourage one another :)

    Margaret, you blessed my soul! Thanks for the encouragement. My knitting article is being published in Footprints magazine soon. Not sure when .... but it's humbling to see God take and lift others with our words, isn't it?

    Debbie, I love it that you 'write in your head.' I do this as I drift into sleep. People may think we are up to nothing, but the crazies know better :)

    Anusha, I love the idea of a writer's notebook. I have one too and it's full of crazy scribble. I love it that you embrace your inspiration right when it strikes. They're God moments, don't you think? As for the two images.... I think I dragged the second one to where I wanted it with the cursor. :)

    Melanie, I love it that you call writers a different 'breed.' That made me laugh! So true. And I'm glad this makes you proud :) We don't need to be ashamed of our quirkiness. We are shaped that way to do our writing job, right? (wink)

    Lee, suspense writers must be the craziest of our 'breed'. And I'm sure you had more crazy questions for your dentist and purser! I loved the detail about the poor man overboard. Sucked under in no time flat. Who would've guessed? Not me. I imagined him floating about and waving to the ship as it sailed away. The things we discover when we ask crazy questions! I know where to go for ideas when my heroine needs to dispatch a pesky villain. :)

    Narelle, less clothes in exchange for more books! You are the smartest one here!

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  14. Dorothy, I love this sentence "Revisit childhood to unearth emotions only God can strengthen us to navigate again" - that is what I have been doing on my blog of late.

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  15. Hi Janet, so glad you popped in :) Yes, there are some days in our history we can only revisit with God beside us. Not just in childhood.
    Blessings
    Dotti :)

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  16. Crazy is fun, I don't think I'm crazy. Better yet, I think I am overly serious :) Love this blog post, great writing, made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

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  17. Marja, lovely to see you here! So glad to make you smile.
    Blessings
    Dotti :)

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  18. Lovely post! Makes me want to be crazy all the time.

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  19. I prefer the term ‘spontaneous’ to crazy – probably because it’s a more grown up version of crazy. I can tell you that I am most definitely crazy if I can’t get to the ocean. The sea is really important to me, so I crave salt – I love it. I even relish the smell of pilchard bait in the sun – especially if it’s on the end of a fishing line – so perhaps I am just plain crazy (but I wouldn’t be any other way).

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  20. Hi Ceemee, lovely to see you here! I'm glad you're another crazy like the rest of us. Hugs and blessings, Dotti :)

    Hi Rose Dee, 'spontaneous' is another great word. I bet you were one of those kids who sucked the salt out of their hair after a day at the beach! Or perhaps you still do. (wink)

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  21. Hi Dorothy,
    I've always suspected the truth and now you've confirmed it, LOL. We are a strange, colourful and interesting breed. I love your experimental style of hands-on research.
    As for me, anyone might have thought me crazy who overheard me asking my husband and kids on a hike whether I thought a particular overgrown site might be suitable for concealing a body for some time. It was a sort of a research trip and I did use it.
    Blessings,
    Paula

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  22. Hi Paula, I find research as addictive as the writing :) You and Lee must have a great 'dispatch' file. I'll know where to come for ideas if I ever need to kill someone off and make it look like an accident! :)

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