Inspired by Surfers…
No, not the bronzed demi-gods who frolic under the summer sun.
Maine winter surfers. The wave-junkies clad in thick rubber suits. I see them before, during, and after every winter gale. Out there in the seething gray ocean, with the wind shearing the tops off the whitecaps. In fact, I was watching surfers last Friday at the beach near my house and that’s what got me thinking. Some are young dudes, but many are guys in their 40s and 50s. They live for the thrill. Not even freezing cold water can stop them. And believe me, that water would be frozen – except that moving salt water simply can’t freeze.
Some might call them brave. Others might call them crazy. I think the same adjectives might be applied to writers. We can’t give up the rush either, not even when conditions are, um, gnarly.
I’ve just plunged into writing a new book. It’s exciting and scary. I’m not in the water literally, but I am floundering around in a sea of words. It’s not so much that I’ll be searching for perfect waves – I’ll be trying to create them. Individual words, that when combined, offer speed, amplitude, and a glassy face that is both superficially beautiful and translucent enough to let the light shine through. The waves that will carry my story to its final destination with power and grace.
I’m no longer a “kook” (newbie just starting out) so I know what to expect…
Wipe outs–massive deletions of entire chapters and character eliminations.
Riptides–wayward characters and unanticipated subplots that threaten to carry my story far out to sea, or onto jagged hidden reefs.
Acid drops, when the lovely wave drops out from under me and I’m suddenly free-falling — aka plot holes.
And let’s not forget about undertow — that writerly crisis of confidence–those this whole freaking thing SUCKS moments.
But, I’ll take my chances, for the moments when magic flows through my brain and onto the page, when thought and language form a perfect union, when writing is a transcendent experience.
So, who’s ready to hang ten (fingers on the keyboard) with me?
Here’s a video about winter surfing in Maine. This beach is about half an hour from me.
And here’s one shot at the beach in the town next to mine
taken at Kennebunk Beach
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