Certain images and ideas transport me to story mode. This may be similar to Emily Starr’s “flash,” and this is my explanation for it in my own life: “As a writer, I have experienced something similar, though not so powerful. I see an object or hear a word, and a whole beautiful scene or story bubbles up around it; I love getting to commit to writing what comes to me, but it seldom satisfies me, and those sensations surrounding the thing stay in midair, always to be returned to and longed after but never fully captured.”
So I thought I would write posts from time to time on “things that inspire in me a story” -- things that have found or will find a place in my stories. Sometimes it’s a scene I have to describe; sometimes it’s an image that conjures a feeling that needs expressing. Sometimes it’s an object I just have to explore more, to know in depth … and, for me, the most comprehensive way to do that is by writing about it. An example of that last one is dolphins.
I’ve recently figured out that I tend toward “delayed gratification.” Some people just like to save for later things they’re looking forward to; the enjoyment of anticipation might have something to do with it. Anyway, that’s me with story ideas -- I like working in order, not moving on to something else until I have a good grasp on the first thing. So that’s why many of my Story Inspirations don’t get touched until I’m good and ready to devote my whole mind to them. Delayed gratification. That is the situation behind dolphins.
I’ve been in love with dolphins ever since I was … I don’t know … six, maybe. I’d never met one, and still haven’t, but my fascination with them has only grown. Intelligence … playfulness … beauty … personality … agility … the ocean. And characteristics that are perhaps anthropomorphic but seem attributable to them: friendliness … devotion … heroism … perseverance …. The list goes on.
They capture the imagination of many. Just look at these paintings, worth a thousand words:
This is my favorite … it inspired a scene, and almost a whole story. (Who knows? I may use it yet!) I haven’t been able to find the artist or anymore of their work. It reminds me of Christian Riese Lassen.
My imagination captivated, I wish to apply my reason to dolphins, too. I bought a book that explores the mysteries of dolphins because I don’t want to be guilty of “gushing fanatic” stories that have no basis in reality. (Which I am quite capable of writing, let me tell you!) I want to know the real story behind dolphins. I hope one day to meet them, get to know them -- and so be able to write a story that will be a true tribute to them. But in the meantime, maybe this book, and others, will aid a short story or two: Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication, by Kathleen M. Dudzinki.
When I read it, I may return to the subject of dolphins here to share some things I learned! On my next post, I’ll review my favorite dolphin movie. And, I just had to include this little guy's picture ... the tiniest dolphin ever! And it's mine. : )
What are some things, single objects or images, that have drawn a story out of your heart?