Thursday, February 3, 2011

They Call Me A Day Dreamer

Welcome to another edition of Writing Wednesdays...except this week, it's on
Thursday. :) As promised, today's entry includes another article that I
wrote 2 years ago for Poetic Monthly Magazine

[They Call Me A Day Dreamer

The sun is hot. The ground beneath my feet is also hot and so dusty that
each step I take stirs up a cloud that inevitably covers me in dirt. I
attempt to wipe the perspiration from my face, but only succeed in making
muddy tracks down my cheeks. All around me I can hear men and women
shouting, "Woe there! Git up, now!"
There are the subdued sounds of the women and children talking on the trail
ahead, carried back to me on the slight breeze. Fainter still is the sound
of cattle balling, and always there is the creaking and groaning, as the
wagons jolt protesting along on their way West. Any minute now, I am hoping
to hear our guide call out, "Make camp!"
Instead, however, I hear faintly in the distance, "Shannon! Shannon!"
I blink and suddenly, instead of being a preacher's daughter driving a wagon
toward Oregon Country, I am just me, Shannon Wells, Terry's wife and mom of
two little girls. I'm not walking in the midday sun, but in the mall in the
middle of Charleston, WV. In actuality, the year is not 1842, but 2009. It
takes me a good long minute to adjust.
If you are a writer, you know what I'm talking about; you've been there
before. I get an idea in my head, start cultivating it, and suddenly, I am
no longer in this world, but in one of my own making. I usually write about
people and places that exist only in the past, but even when I am writing in
the present, I can still be transported in my mind to whenever and where
ever my characters' lives take them.
This not only happens when I am creating, but when I read a good book, as
well. Reading is a pass-time for me, but it also can be an obsession.
Here's how it usually happens. I hear about a good book. Then, I start
reading. If the book attracts my attention, transporting me to another time
and place, well then. So be it. I am known for staying up all night, just
to finish a book. When I am in the midst of a really great book, it's hard
to concentrate on anything else. In fact, my daughter has learned to say,
"Mommy, take off your headphones!"
"Headphones?" you ask.
Yes. I am an audio book enthusiast. I download digital versions of them,
listen to them on CD, and even own a few on cassette. I borrow them from
libraries, borrow them from friends, by and download them from the internet,
and occasionally, buy them from stores.
Seriously, though, the best audio book for me is the ones created in my own
head. When I can't sleep at night, I mentally pull out the stories I'm
working on and imagine what should happen next. If I happen to be attending
an event that requires sight, I usually get pretty bored and go back in my
mind to one of my creations. So, whether walking through a mall or trying
to pass away the time until morning, I allow myself to leave the present and
enjoy losing myself in another time, another place, and another person's
trials and triumphs. Maybe, someday, if I ever get it all down in book
form, you too, will lose yourself in the imaginations of my mind.]

What did you think of the girl headed West to Oregon? Want to know more
about her? Well, so do I! lol Her name is Clarissa, I can tell you that. I
can also tell you that she and her story are sitting on a back burner in my
mind. She has a story, a good one, too, and I plan to tell it...sometime.
Clarissa, when she first came to my mind, was a preacher's daughter. Her
family came from New York and were looking for new opportunities in the
Oregon Country. Now, however, I think she is an English woman, out searching
for her long lost husband. Think arranged marriage, hasn't seen her groom
since they were wed as children...blah, blah, blah, and you'll be thinking
like me. Of course, this is in no way set in stone; it's just a thought that
needs cultivating.

like Clarissa, all my characters go through a lot before their story comes
out. I guess that instead of writing character analyses, I write lots of
different analogies. Take the characters in "To Tame A Heart" which is on
the virge of publication. Deric Christy almost moved to Texas. His wife
almost had a baby. He...oops! Can't tell you no more, or you won't wanna
read it. lol Suffice it to say, I do a lot of writing before a story is
born, and a lot of that writing never makes it in to the end result, but
that's all right. I am getting to know my characters.

So, now you have a teensy glimpse in to my world of writing. Come back next
Wednesday to read more about writing. I promise another Poetic Monthly

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