Floating aimlessly down the stream

Warning: today’s post is an exercise in stream of consciousness. I wrote a long post for today, but then decided it was too personal, probably better suited to an essay or even memoir. So now I’m left with no topic. Hence …

The post I had written was about how it took most of my life to understand my mother. That was because I didn’t know of an important event in her life. Now I’m thinking how this applies to writing. It’s important to give your reader the right information so they can form a true picture of your character. Then again, you don’t want to give too much information and bog down the story. It’s hard to learn that balance, I think. I tend to fall in love with my protagonists and want to gush, talking endlessly about them, like a teen with a crush.

Do you ever think about how odd writing fiction really is and how it began? I know storytelling began as a way to record the history of a people, as well as teach, I presume. So it would seem embellishing history was the beginning of fiction—instead of this is what happened, it became this is what could have happened. In the same way, morality tales could stem from a real life lesson or a possible one. Fiction is lies, but not pathological ones. Fiction is logical lies, with reason and purpose. Don’t you think?

When you’re actively writing, do you read less? I’m concerned about how few books I’ve read in the last two years I’ve worked on this novel. I have quite a stack of books waiting, but I make little progress on it. I recently started a Goodreads list, in which I’ve listed too few books. I should make time to update that—this week. Or not. But really, it’s rather egotistical to expect anyone to read my books, if I won’t make time to read theirs. Right?

I woke up hungry this morning, which is unusual for me. Do you ever get so hungry you can’t think what you want to eat? Today, my husband offered to take me anywhere for dinner, but I didn’t feel like going out. So then he offered to go pick up food from anywhere, but I was so hungry I couldn’t decide what to eat. That reminds me of a time I took my seven-year-old granddaughter to the pool. After a while, she said she was hungry, so I gathered up our things and told her to get out of the pool so we could eat lunch. But her blood sugar was so low she couldn’t comprehend me. She just kept repeating “I’m hungry!” until she was in tears. I had to physically lead her out of the pool. It was rather frightening how unreasonable someone with low blood sugar can be. Hmmm, maybe I’ll use that in a story sometime.

Okay, this is ridiculous. Sorry, nothing worthwhile floated up out of my stream. Next post will be better … I hope. What’s on your mind today?

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22 thoughts on “Floating aimlessly down the stream

  1. Finally got over writer’s block and wrote a story, put it on my blog, and got one very nice comment. It seems that people don’t like to read anything long. It’s only a couple thousand words. I put two other stories out in segments, which worked better. More people read them when they could do it in segments. I may quit putting them on my blog and try to get them published. It’s been a lovely day. Thanks for sharing your float downstream.

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    1. I’m glad you had a lovely day yesterday, Carol. I’ll have to click over and read your story. I used to have flash stories and poems here, but took them down. I don’t think anyone comes here to read any of my real writing. But I’ll admit, I find it really hard to read a long piece online.

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      1. I discovered about myself that if I couldn’t see the end of a post, I really didn’t want to read it. Tsk tsk, I said to myself. This was the reason I put my other stories on in segments. Thank you for stopping in to read it if you have time. If you don’t have time, I understand. It’s hard to find time to write when we do the blogging thing, too.

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          1. I always read yours. Don’t ask me why. Yours are always interesting, maybe. It’s the “short stories” that I have to push myself to read. Of all people. Shame on me. I do read most of them.

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          2. Whew! 😀 It’s so much harder to read more than a page online, isn’t it? I think that’s one of the things that makes me leery of e-readers, though I’ve been told it looks much more like paper and is not nearly as hard on the eyes as a monitor. I guess I’ll have to actually read on one to be convinced.

            But another aspect of what you said is scary. Are our attention spans truly becoming so short? I confess, when someone recommends a 700-page book to me now, I shudder inwardly. I wonder if the popularity of flash fiction has grown rapidly in recent years.

            Bah! Too many bad thoughts today. Sorry.

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  2. No this wasn’t ridiculous. We all need these vent times. No much really tonight. I am not going to need shoulder surgery. That makes me a happy camper.

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  3. I come to your blog and read what you write and it resonates, and yet I wonder why I am here. I think I first landed here because of a comment somewhere or others re gray hair, lol. I recognize the power of words and enjoy crafting them, but don’t think of myself as a writer per se, yet I love reading your thoughts about yourself as a writer.

    I REALLY want to know what you were originally going to say about your mother, lol. Do share whenever/wherever that becomes published.

    This summer I have read Mayflower to my 22 yo and The Last Full Measure to my 15 yo. I love the power of the written word, and recognize it’s value. Yet, I have also spent this summer burning the journals of my youth because of gush and blather. Because I genuinely see so little of value in them. Have not burned them all, but much. I spent way too many words writing about writing about how I felt instead of just how I felt, and what happened. I hate the blather.

    You make me think about such things!

    Thank you!

    b.

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    1. No matter why you come here, Brett, I’m glad you do. 🙂 I go to yours partly for the gorgeous photos.

      I think it’s wonderful that you still read to your children. I wasn’t familiar with the titles you mentioned so I went to Amazon. Mayflower is the pilgrim book, and The Last Full Measure is the Civil War book, right? Both sound like good fodder for conversation.

      I’ll bet there were some stories hidden in your “blather.”

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  4. Stream of consciousness; ah, the place where my mind and my writing take residence on most days. I’m 40+ and still have not outgrown my childish mental meandering. As long as I maintain a firm grasp on the ability to accomplish my daily goals, I’m A.O.K with the rest of the day floating downstream. I think of it as stress management.

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      1. I hear you there! It’s a scary place inside my brain. I often wonder if I should be allowed to write at all. The premise in some of my work is disturbing to say the least. But, I suppose that is what editors and agents are for; to weed out the weirdo’s like me.

        Funny how on my blog, where I could say just about anything, I’m overly cautious and reserved.

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        1. “Funny how on my blog, where I could say just about anything, I’m overly cautious and reserved.” Isn’t that the truth! I sometimes fantasize (because God knows I don’t have time to actually do it) about starting another blog anonymously just so I could say whatever without worrying how it reflects on me. And judging from some of the things I’ve said on here, you can imagine what nonsense would be published on that blog! 😀

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  5. As we write about different topics I think it is vital to never lose that childish curosity about things. One thing for me that helps is that I am good at visualizing things.

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    1. You have to be curious to be a writer, Duke, and the easier it is to visualize, the easier it is to write. That’s my experience at least. I wonder if writers just find it easier to call up their inner child than others.

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  6. Ladies ( or at least I think you are) you are so right. Blogs are one place that you can hide everything about you and yet we hesitate. I’m less careful when I write something for church. I also think as a writer you may in many ways be more open to different ideas. I’m always asking people how they got into one job or another. For me I don’t have many black and white situations anymore. That also may come with age.

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  7. i found having children changed the way I saw my parents – suddenly I understood them so much better…..
    stories, well we need them. i think it’s as much apart of us all as is the need for human contact, touch, sight, etc…
    i’ve been thinking about the paradox of the one of a kind joy of being a mom to new baby, and my other intense need to write…i’m floating with you.

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    1. Unfortunately, Jennifer, my becoming a mother made it even harder for me to understand mine.

      I have to agree that we need stories because humans have created them since the beginning, haven’t they? And the birth of a child is such evidence of creation I think it inspiring you to create in other ways is natural. I hope you’re finding at least a little time to write.

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