Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

a life path

 In 2001, I read about making inspiration boards. The goal was that from magazines, you'd cut out images that spoke to you-- without thinking what they had to mean. You then glue them to a board in patterns that are pleasing.

Over the next couple of years, I did three of these boards before it no longer was the right thing for me. I did not know it then, but I had said all I had to say. I framed them and hung them-- one in Tucson, one in Oregon and the last one ended up relegated to the attic. When I made them, I didn't know why I was doing it.

Only when I arrived in Tucson in the fall of '15, did I see how they spoke to my writing. The images could have come from any of my books. Were they pointing me toward writing or just showing me what was of interest to me? One thing I know for sure-- I'd been creating romantic stories all my life. It started way back. 

As a little girl, my idea of playing with dolls was making up stories. These weren't baby doll stories but boy meets girl. There were no Barbie dolls; so I made my own adult paper dolls with wardrobes to match their time period-- often historic. I was pretty good at it too and created my dolls nude, guessing a bit on the males. Unfortunately, when I got into my teens, I felt paper dolls were not quite the thing, and I burned them. A shame or maybe just as well as I may remember them better than they were.

Short stories followed, some of which are in a box somewhere-- maybe that attic. I doubt they are worth looking for as they were immature meanderings but clearly romances.

My first full length novel was written in my twenties. I didn't try to get it published. The goal was to finish it. Through the coming years, I wrote more manuscripts, most ended up on boxes under beds or in closets. Painting and sculpting came into the picture and looking at them now, I see the romantic themes.

The books accumulated, but I didn't feel any need to get them published. I did send off one or two and always got them back with a -- good writing but something was missing that they wanted for their readers. The quickly written notes indicated it was the angst of the heroine, her in danger, victimized, on the run, or somehow vulnerable if only emotionally. I didn't write that sort of heroine and wasn't willing to change it. My heroines might be leaving one life for another but never as a victim who needs saving.

The arrival of eBooks changed the game for writers. An author could choose from many small publishing companies, which were popping up everywhere. Authors could do it on their own. Whether they sold books would depend on the right readers finding them. It would depend on marketing-- something authors like myself had little knowledge of but were about to learn. 

Amazon and eBooks, had been out there a few years before I thought-- I have a lot of books, maybe time to see what I can do with them. It was in late 2011, that I brought out the first and have never looked back. If you are a writer, let me say, this is a great time for going independent. Writers can tell their story their way and sink or swim based on finding readers or not.

Looking at those early image boards, I see them all aimed at writing these novels. I realize that all my life had been aiming me in this direction. No one thing did it. All of it came together to show me my heart and what would be the passion of my creative life. It took some time but finally I got it and began to listen to my muse (discussions of that is have been earlier and doubtless will be again).

This board shows the love of nature and animals that always is in my stories. It shows the relationships that make up romance novels. They are not just about man and woman falling in love but about their friends and family, all the things that go into making up our own lives. 

The interesting part, for me, about this board, is how I didn't recognize what it was telling me when I created it. So often that's how life is. We aim in a direction but don't quite know why. When I am writing a book, I think inspiration comes from the muse. Others might give it a religious name. Whatever it is, whether from inside all along or outside, I believe life has more meaning than some would give it. It is full of lessons for those looking. 

The key for each of us is finding the thread in our own lives. For some, that thread will change with the years. For others, it's a straight shoot.

1 comment:

Linda Kay said...

What an interesting project. My focus so far this year is to write a Haiku every day. So far so good.