I will never stop being amazed at the hidden treasures so near to my home in southern Arizona. Take, for instance, this interesting geologic formation that rests near an ancient Native American Indian site.
My scant geologic knowledge tells me it’s nothing more than brittle, sandy earth, trying to become sandstone, but eroding too rapidly to achieve such permanence. But what I saw was a desert version of the Liberty Bell, crack and all.
Friend-neighbor-tour guide extraordinaire, Mark*, saw something else entirely. In the next photo, you can understand why he envisioned a medicine man, perched atop this silo of earth, summoning the spirits for rain, food, good health, shelter.
When we shared our visions, it struck me that, as humans, we so often see the same things, but see them so differently. We also have the lightning-quick ability to drawn upon our own personal experiences and instantaneously weave them together with our imagination. The end result: one-of-a-kind hypotheses, tall-tales, stories … So, in a way, I believe we are all natural-born storytellers – especially when given the liberty to stretch our creative muscles and let our minds wander.
For Writers: Liberty. It’s really a key component in all writing, when you think about it. Consider, for instance, the liberties you let your characters take (or don’t). Do you rein them in or cut them loose? Do you allow them to say things in your novel that you’d never say yourself?
And what liberties do you take, as an author, in borrowing from real-life? Is your real-life Aunt Ethel really the driving force behind your crazy antagonist? Were you really the one who drove your car across your college campus quad and nearly got arrested – not your protag (I have no idea who might have done something this foolish in real life)? Ah, liberty … it’s such a good thing. So lucky to have it! So grateful.
Many thanks to Mark. If not for his generosity, hubby and I might not even know that these local gems exist.