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, September 21, 2016

patterns

  September 16th, harvest moon from Oregon Coast Range
This month I've had several nights where I woke at 2am and instead of falling back to sleep right away, would lay there thinking. One night it was about patterns and how they impact our lives. When a life pattern is undesirable, we call it a rut. When we like it, it's a routine. Patterns are how we develop skills by repeating what we've learned and adding to it as we grow in abilities. Wanting to break a habit requires breaking a pattern. When it's an addiction, it's tough but only a minor challenge when it's something less-- like say making the bed every day instead of leaving it for the night. 

One way patterns interested me was in books-- as both a reader and an author. When I choose a book to read, buying one by an author I already know is encouraged (or discouraged) when I know the basic patterns I can expect to find in their books. There will be certain elements, types of characters, challenges and action, which I can expect.  Of course, if I've read an author enough times to know their pattern doesn't deviate much, I likely will quit reading them because I know how it's going to go. Only a few authors have I liked so much that I've wanted every book they ever wrote. It's not easy to provide the pattern I'll enjoy while still keeping the book interesting.

September 16, Harvest Moon after clouds passed on by
As a writer, even choosing names for heroes and heroines can end up with them too much like earlier books or even secondary characters. I tend to like certain sounds. The letters that make those sounds tend to appear again and again as names. I have to fight against that as it gets confusing for the reader.

I also like certain types of heroines and heroes for their character traits. That's good in that a reader can know what to expect, as I said above, but bad in that I can feel I am following an old pattern that needs to get rejuvenated. There are authors who have written many more books than me as in hundreds and yet manage to stay fresh. It's got to be a gift as I feel myself having to fight for new ideas after writing only 26. One way to do that is to change genres where new elements come into play as challenges for the characters and the writer ;).

As part of breaking patterns, I've changed the way my blog roll looks. For one thing, I moved it up to the top of the page. For another, I removed the images because so many of the blogs were putting up images that were read as huge. I tried adding the option of snippets instead and found I like it better as a way to see what the bloggers are up to. I also decided to add some new blogs from full-time RVers.

When our kids were small, we had a 15' vacation trailer with no inside bathroom, but we used a porta-potty in what was also a clothes closet. When the kids were small, we had a rope barrier to prevent them from falling out of an upper bunk-- while Ranch Boss had a big knife always ready to cut it if needed to make a fast exit. That trailer took us camping around Oregon as well as Arizona. At that time I read a magazine called Trailer Life which had a section on full-timers, who were mostly older. 



Today we had realized, when we traveled with our travel trailer (which we are thinking of upgrading to a fifth wheel trailer) that there were a fair number of people living relatively full time in RV parks. Young couples, singles, as well as older folk are doing this. The appeal is downsizing as well as the freedom to move around the country. 

So I've added, for now, four blogs by those living in their rigs. I plan to keep the list a little more flexible as I see something new that seems upbeat. I don't read blogs everyday, know a lot don't, but it's nice to have it there.

3 comments:

Tabor said...

My love of words means I read blogs at least every other day if not everyday. I do not write as often...have plenty of time...but my creative flow is slow. I really liked this discussion of patterns/habits. It is so true and worth a ponder now and again. Have you written a love story about people in an RV park? "only 26"...egad you are a lazy one!

Rain Trueax said...

I only really understood who they all were in those parks when I got into facebook groups, which led to some of their blogs. It could be a good story. I think there is a writer who might have used that setting-- Ann Charles. I haven't read it but Winnebago is in one of her titles ;). I've read some of hers set in Deadwood. She's very popular with a lot of people for her quirky mysteries.

I read newspapers more than blogs but there are a few I read regularly like yours, Tabor. I am in the midst of my new book; so it takes a lot of my thinking-- when i'm not trying to decide if a 5th wheel would be worth our while or if the cats will eventually get along better or... is it worth the time to go to Arizona his fall or.. ;)

Rain Trueax said...

Tabor, have you ever thought of being a beta reader or editor with your love of words? The thing you said above about a romance set around an RV park gave me a great idea for a short story I was needing to offer to an anthology for a charity. It just came together afterward (well still needs editing) but you gave me the start for it. I appreciated that a lot. Fun writing-- if not on the book I've been on ;)