Everything Becomes A Story by Debra H. Goldstein
What do you get when you add two type “A” mothers, a would-be bride and groom, and two somewhat laid back dads? Answer: Some Mamazilla moments, a couple who describe their wedding as “awesome,” and two still somewhat laid back dads with emptier pockets. What do you also get if you’re a writer? Answer: Much joy and a lot of fodder for stories and maybe even a book.
Since I’ve taken the writing game seriously, I find that even chance meetings with people or overhearing random comments have become possible story material. Nothing is sacred. I think I’m either possessed or my brain has been rewired. I’ve always been one of those people who don’t see much of what is going on around me, but now my ability to notice and sense incidents that can be retold has become heighted. Things I once would have passed off as insignificant are what I now zero in on as if each tidbit is the prize in a Crackerjack box. This is a problem.
Raw emotion and reaction has given way to an analytical approach that furthers my writing but minimizes the moment. My lens of pleasure has become narrowed as the details outweigh the bigger picture. It reminds me of when I got my first video camera. That camera was supposed to be the smallest SONY videocamera being made, but by today’s standards it was a monstrosity. It became my prized possession. I filmed everything our kids did – playing ball, acting in plays, getting awards. At least, I filmed constantly until one day I realized I was only seeing these activities through the narrow lens of my camera. I wasn’t watching the entire stage during a play or my son’s best friend steal second base because my camera was aimed at third base. I put my camcorder away. I hated missing the bigger picture.
If a writer succeeds, the writer conveys emotion and fact to the reader. Each reader must have an individualized sensation of feeling the work through their own five senses. But how does a writer create a work and still enjoy life’s experiences? A balance or harmony has to be found – a difficult state to achieve. I’m working at reclaiming the sense of being me versus being a writer. Perhaps though, the same limits in vision holds true in the lives of non-writers, but to what degree? What do you think?
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Debra H. Goldstein‘s debut novel, Maze in Blue, a mystery set on the University of Michigan’s campus in the 1970’s, won a 2012 IPPY Award. It will be a Harlequin Worldwide Mysteries book selection in May 2014. Her newest short story, “A Political Cornucopia” will be the featured in the Bethlehem Writer’s Roundtable November issue.