Sunday, August 11, 2013
Writing Material or Kindling?
Last night we got home from a family camping trip to the Uintahs. For two days we sat in the sun reading books and relaxing, spent hours around the campfire laughing and eating s'mores, and went fishing in the Provo river. Oh... and there was also those few hours in the middle of the night where we counted down the minutes to our sure and painful death.
I know I shouldn't complain. It's great to find writing material in real life. Authentic moments that drive gritty and real stories can't be bought, right? But I'd rather not find mine at midnight in a remote camp site in the middle of the mountains.
A little past midnight I woke to the sound of a gunshot echoing through the canyon. Of course I nudged my husband awake and a moment later when the next shot sounded he mumbled in agreement, "Yeah, sounds like a gunshot." Already I was on high alert, but a few moments later when a woman's bloodcurdling scream traveled down the canyon I bolted up, ready to get in the car RIGHT THAT SECOND to drive down the canyon. Forget our camper trailer, forget our camping equipment and clothes. We would leave it all behind.
In my mind, a pair of murderous thugs were already making their way towards our camp site to take out our family next. I saw it all: their stubbled faces, the terror in my kids' eyes, our last minutes together as a family.
I love having an active imagination, but on occasion it can be an almost lethal power. For hours my mind circled through scenario after scenario, not limited to: deranged murderers, killer mountain lions, and zombie apocalypse.
After hours of staring at the dark ceiling, I only started to relax after I began composing a short story in my mind. Maybe I'll put that material to use after all...