Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sharing Big Moments by DL Larson

It's been a whirlwind for the Larson's this week. We are a close-knit family with a wide range of interests and hobbies, as well as commitments. I feel our calendar is not big enough to accommodate all that is happening. On my work side, Summer Reading has started and the high energy level at our library has taken on new meaning with our theme, "Feel The Beat In Books!" We sing, shout, stomp through the day and end with our Teen Advisory Board making ready for a Karaoke Contest. Good fun, but exhausting. But all that is daytime stuff. One of our BIG items to brag about happened on the softball field.

My nine year old granddaugther, Alex, made an UNassisted triple play! To say there was cheering is similar to saying fireworks pop. She still doesn't understand the rarity of her actions. She is tickled she caught the line drive to third base. Her grin was precious, but she only had a split second before both sides of coaches began hollering, "go back, go back," and "Tag her, tag her." Alex chose to do both. She went back to third base and tagged the bag, then turned and chased down the runner coming at her. It was all over in a heartbeat. The memory, I hope, will last a lifetime.

The other outstanding news is our son and his family have purchased a new home. It's taken six months of scrambling through financial dealings of paperwork, assessments and more paperwork with several detours along the way. It's time to celebrate! They will be leaving our home and moving into their own this weekend. Packing and moving has already started. It's thrilling to watch their excitement, note the touch of fear in their eyes and nod in understanding at such a step. I will have to travel a dozen miles to get a baby hug now. A bittersweet move indeed.

So how does all this have to do with writing, you might ask. The best writing I've written or read come from the emotions of the characters in any story. When meaningful things happen in my family, I tuck the emotions away to examine later and question their power. Drawing from personal experience is a strong asset for a writer. I enjoy cataloguing emotions whether they be from exhaustion, hilarity or life's big changes. The exhaustion of working with teens is certainly different than staying up with a fussy baby all night. Being turned down for a house loan and experiencing the dissapointment firsthand is devastating. Then to be a part of the hallelujah of a loan accepted puts everyone back on the pinacle of joy. Hanging on to that roller coaster of emotions, then converting it into a WIP is priceless.
Ordinary life becomes the training field for future stories yet to be told.

Where do you draw your wealth of emotions from? Is it from reading good books and learning from that? Perhaps from your family or work place? How do you keep your emotions fresh in your stories?

Please share your ideas with us!

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

We can pluck emotions from anything that has happened to us before and tap them for our characters.
Even if the circumstances aren't the same we can still portray those emotions.
Morgan Mandel

Debra St. John said...

Wow, great stuff happening in your family these days! Enjoy the moments. Soak them up and hold them close.

When I'm trying to describe emotions for my characters, I'll stop and try to remember a physically emotional reaction I had in regards to something. Then I try to express that in words on the page.

SBJones said...

I'm a big fan of spontaneous heroics. When a character suddenly finds themselves in a situation and usually w/o them realizing they are being heroic.

More than once in my life I have been in situations where there is no one to help until 911 arrives.

My favorite movies and tv shows have this in them.

Deb Larson said...

Morgan & Deb: you are so right. Different circumstances can still help us relate to the emotions that we then create for our characters.

SBJones - I too enjoy spontaneous heroics. It's those little things that suddenly become important and unexcpected. Makes for great writing!
Thanks for stopping by today ~
DL Larson