When I decided to participate in the WIM writing experiment, it was a daily leap of faith encouraging my inner muse to be brave and to believe in myself. I knew the prompt was coming, but could not have imagined or visualize such a beautiful setting. Moments of apprehension ensued. Can I do this? Can I write a short story of 1,000 words – reimagining, interpreting, or otherwise, the details or nuances of this picture?
The brainstorming process for me starts with that familiar feeling that takes hold of my mind and body, imagining myself becoming – another me, a character, an object, a deity, an apparition.
The image depicted with its otherworldly glow, dark and bold and shadowy greens, spectral mountain ranges, shrouded trees, undergrowth, with bursts of light white flowers – all setting the stage, illuminating a structure, against a placid skyline – intrigues the senses.
How does it make me feel?
The emotions evoke thrills my senses. My gaze is captivated by the distant echoes of the mountains, yet my feet sink into the brush, the undergrowth, my hands caress the limbs of trees, and the satiny leaves smooth and velvety to touch. My senses parse the details.
Do I want to be there? What would it feel like? Would it feel cold, hot, humid? Would I see only dark, gloomy, or aggrieved circumstances in a blight infested coverage? Or would it be a feast for my senses, a buffet of nature’s best courses?
Would my ears hear the torment or laughter of the crickets, battling bullfrogs, or the mating calls of insects, musical, comparing them to the lyrical cadences of Reggae or the Beatles, or the foot-stomping Soca rhythms?
Would my nose discern the different scents that permeate – the dank dirt, mosses with that weather-beaten rain scent, or some honeysuckle or peppermint geranium, hoarding secrets in the undergrowth.
Would I feel comfortable just standing in the rain, soaked, arms out in praise, face upturn, and welcoming the drops with tongue outstretch?
Could I be renewed in a place such as this?
Gain energy from the elements, the purity, sanctity of this space, regain a part of myself, be nourished… or would visiting this place be the impetus to seek revenge, gather for the coming storm, sow seeds of further discontent, or depressed to diminish.
Who, What, When, Where, Why?
My characters are now taking form in my head – a couple – with problems of course – conflict – human vs. human, human vs. nature, human vs. self. A midlife crisis? This time last year I visited Canada. What about the undeniable beauty of Albany, New York. Yes! My first time passing through Albany I was astonished at the beauty of the region and how nice the people were…
Would my MC experience a rebirth, some transformation? What would they sacrifice? Ego, dignity, career? What would they gain? Love, career, ego, independence, freedoms…
Secrets – confusion. It’s all about secrets. Those we hoard believing that they are only ours to share. Secrets we do not dare share to explore. Secrets we would deny to our last breath while standing on our pedestals of shame still judging and abraiding to keep… secrets.
I love a happy ending or a satisfying ending. I cannot wait to see where this goes… all love is madness and madness is human. This is my mantra for this WIP.