Apr 25 2011

Metaphor for Writing

Melissa Crytzer Fry

I’m honored to welcome writer V.V. Denman to What I Saw this week. I hope you’ll enjoy her guest post and the visual and metaphorical feast she’s prepared below.

In response to Melissa’s invitation to guest post on her blog, I found myself wandering around my backyard, camera in hand. (It didn’t take long as I have a small yard.) I began taking random pictures when an idea struck me.

Here you see the skeleton of my trumpet vine. We trim it back every fall because it grows wildly throughout the summer. Click to enlarge.

The first sprigs of vine begin to grow at the top of the fence in March. Click to enlarge.

The vines currently boast blossoms such as these. By the end of the summer, they will go berserk. Click to enlarge.

Even though I keep mine trimmed back more than this, new vines will inevitably pop up all over the yard. Click to enlarge.

My trumpet vine is a visual metaphor of the writing process.

(Work with me here.)

We begin with a bare-bones outline and a tiny sprig of an idea.

Then the plot begins to bloom and before long it grows into a beautiful story.

After a while, the draft becomes too wild and we’re forced to trim it here and there.

And no matter what we do, new story ideas pop up all around.

I’ll look at my trumpet vine differently from now on.

Can you think of a metaphor for writing?

V.V. Denman is a Christian writer from North Texas. When she’s not feverishly typing at her keyboard, she’s rolling her eyes at her husband’s corny jokes or laughing with her five children. Her two dreams in life are to raise said children to be responsible adults, then maybe – just maybe – get a bit of her writing published. Visit her at vvdenman.com.

Full trumpet vine photo credit: Fourth Picture – Wikimedia, Annelis

Apr 18 2011

Foggy Isolation

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like it’s just you in this world? I don’t mean a down-on-your-luck day where you’re sure the world will never stop its relentless kicking at the seat of your pants.

I mean the kind where you’re physically isolated. No one around. Stillness.

I had one recently. Hubby had to work on this particular Sunday, leaving at 5 a.m., so I’d slept in a bit, lulled by the sound of rain the night before. When I awoke an hour later, a curtain of fog began its descent upon our house, whispering from the San Pedro River valley.

The fog transforms these saguaros into ghostly apparitions and completely obscures a large mountain range – The Galiuros – in the background. Click to enlarge. Click forward button to see all photos.

The fog moved quickly, engulfing our ranch within minutes. I stood in the middle of our quarter-mile-long dirt driveway (camera in hand), suddenly enveloped by this milky thickness, a rare occasion to behold in the desert.

I swear time stopped right then. Everything changed around me. I could feel the moisture on my skin. I was now blind to the behemoth train trestle beyond our wash. And sounds, noises – chirping birds, cars passing by – they were all suddenly absent. Everything was still.

I felt oddly insulated. Singular. Protected. Alone. The moisture clung in the air, forming a kind of shield, a thermal blanket that seemed to wrap its way around our property. All the background noise of the world was muffled. Gone, really. Vanished.

If you haven’t experienced this kind of wonder, I hope you do. It was nothing short of spectacular. Inspiring. Humbling, too. (Scroll below for more photos).

For Writers: As writers, are we too insulated in our writing lives? Is it dangerous to be too happy in our own heads? Or is it vitally important to have that “alone time” in the mind – on our own little island of ideas? What happens when the background noise in your life is turned off? How might you work to achieve that kind of solitude occasionally? Should you?

Our long and winding driveway disappears into the fog, though the horse stable is still visible. Click to enlarge

The sun struggles to break through the fog near the watering hole we dug for wild animals. Click to enlarge.