Saturday, August 11, 2007

it's all in da know, babe, all in da know

i've heard for years from more people than i can name, "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW." & i've always wanted to write about what i know, i have the desire to pull from my life & my experiences to influence my writing, but i've also always thought that my life is boring. who would want to read about my life? it's an interesting dichotomy, the desire to use the things, people, & experiences that have brought me to this point in time, but at the same time feeling like all of those things are so ordinary, so completely blah that they would bore the amish to tears. but, somehow today, i came to the realization, that all of this only SEEMS boring to me because, well, because it IS my life. it's not really boring or lame, i just perceive it to be because it's the reality that i live with everyday of my life.

i am a big enough chick to give credit where credit is due, so thank you much josh for making me realize all of this! i was talking to josh earlier today & he was telling me a story about his night last night in philly & the realization of the actual fullness of my life hit me hard, as if i had been physically slapped, i actually stopped breathing for a moment. now, i won't steal josh's thunder & relate the story because he told me he's going to blog about the whole evening. so once he gets his blog posted i'll link it up & maybe that will be an extra little motivation for josh to post a new blog *winks*

but josh's story was just the catalyst, the blasting cap if you will, that made me start thinking about some of the other people in my life, the stories that i know because of them, & all of the amazing experiences, both large & small, that i'm privy to because of the people i've surrounded myself with thus far in my life.

for instance, jenn, who, even though she doesn't see it, has led an amazing life in her twenty-some years here on earth. she had a great paying very secure job straight out of high school back in vermont & she gave it up, sold most of her belongings, packed what little she had left, to move halfway across the country to build a new life for herself in minnesota. yeah, ballsy. she's one chick with moxie to spare. & if that wasn't enough, she knows some fabulous people, i won't drop names, but she's really close friends with some pretty big name bands, not just local to minnesota, but very well known. & even though she won't admit it, she is a great musician & a fabulous song writer (from the one song i was lucky enough to see of hers).

another one of my friends that i admire the hell out of is sinead, her blog is linked up to mine just off to the right there, it's diary of an irish woman. i first met her three years ago, when i was a mess, i'll admit that up front, still reeling from everything that went on during my seven years of hell with TSSOB* but trying to put myself back together. & she has been a big sister to me, a role model, a best friend, a mom, & everything in between. besides also being a chick with moxie to spare (read her blog & you'll see!) she is also one of the most loving people i've ever met. but she doesn't pull punches either. just like jenn she uprooted herself from her home in ireland, moved to the states, first to the east coast & then to the west. she also never settles for second best, she knew what she wanted out of life & she wouldn't take something less, especially in love. & she now has the best guy on earth & they're expecting their first baby in just about a week.

& then there's the fabulous miss tina, who means the world to me & i love just like she was blood. unlike sinead & jenn she didn't uproot from her home & move thousands of miles away, but she's fought for what she's wanted & believed in. tina is the first person in her family EVER to go to collage. she was a presidential scholar, graduated with honors, & worked her ass off. she's now a new mom with a beautiful baby boy. she's courageous in so many ways. for her job she works on helping abuse victims make their way through the court system, but she never brings that burden home. instead, she lives every day of her life full of love & compassion for each person she meets.

when it comes to stories & tidbits of life, no one tops my dad. he has lived about five lives in his 59 years. he was essentially orphaned at 13 & raised himself, he went to vietnam & came back without a single injury on him, he raised some other man's child as his own, he's met famous people time & again & has never been star struck, treating them all as regular people. he's had so many brushes with death that he knows death's first name is really jerome. & i have never met someone who knows how to tell a story with such grace & finesse that every person within ear shot is literally hanging on his every word. & besides that, he is fiercely loyal to his friends & family. when the chips are down & i need someone to have my back, i know that my dad will always be there for me in any situation, no questions asked, ever.

there are so many other little experiences i've had with different people i know. friends, casual acquaintances, even just work colleges & people i see only once in my lifetime. like matthew from the airport when i flew out to cali for my birthday. oddly enough i saw him in minneapolis, we were on the same san fran flight, then on my way back home, he was on the same red eye as me heading out from san fran back to the cities. both times we sat & chatted in the airport. a really nice guy going out to see his little nephew who was having heart surgery.

i have been analyzing the types of books that i like to read, the types of movies that i like to watch, the music i like to listen to, & i have finally figured out that i don't need to write for anyone else, but just for myself. if i continue to try writing in a style that i *THINK* will appeal to someone else, i'm never going to find my stride, i'll never get my writing mojo, or, my wr-jo. it's all about the beginnings, that's where it comes from. case-in-point: stephen king. when he first started writing, he did it for the joy of the craft, for the fact that it was the thing that he loved the most in the world. (yes, i do realize we're doing a flash back to blogs of christmas past here, but sometimes repetition is good for the soul).

now, i'm pretty sure that stephen king's prom didn't end in a blood bath, or that a deranged evil spirit dressed as a clown lived in the sewers of his child hood neighborhood, or that his car actually came to life & killed for him, but my guess is that there's a lot of the little details that are true. actually, if you read his book, "stephen king on writing" he talks a little bit about how carrie is a compilation of a couple of girls he really did know in high school. so that is sorta based on real life, in a way.

so, it's all in da know. i just need to use what i know to create a compelling novel. easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? well, maybe not so easy peasy, but yeah, that's the attitude. & obviously the raw material is all here, right at my finger tips. so, to all my friends & family, the question becomes: are you ready to be immortalized? *GRINS*

*the southern son of a bitch

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I get stuck in this world of living in other people's stories.. whether it's people I know, "once knew", or characters in novels, televsion or movies. I always think their lives are more interesting than mine. Which seems silly because I should be the center of my own universe, my stories and experiences should be most fascinating to me because I create them everyday.

I think to be a great story teller you have to realize how amazing your own everyday adventures are... if they don't seem amazing, find something incredible about them. I did the experiment myself one day, where I went on a walk in my neighborhood. I discovered 5 zany things that I had never seen before... and I've told the story again and again about these 5 things, everyone I tell "seems" captivated by the tale, but even if they weren't I'm interested in my story, so that's all that really counts.

Now, of everything I've read of yours on this blog... I will tell you what I found the most fascinating. It was your post about having 2 selves, one in minnesota, one in california, and how they are both you, but totally different people. I, myself, would love to read a book about that girl you portrayed in that post. Escaping to a different city to create a new life is something that many people fantasize about... and here you have lived that experience. You have 2 lives that you can jump back and forth between whenever you so desire! It seems borderline fictional, but you can draw upon your own experiences to fulfill the story. So, in my opinion it should be easy peasy for you since you already have what you've been looking for, which I know is the point of your blog, I'm just expanding on it here. :) take care,

Pensive Pearl

beckah said...

thank you miss pensive.

Diary of an irish woman said...

Hiya there sister chicka, wow I was so touched reading your blog and your comments re me - very very touched. I enjoy writing in my blog as well and it is true - write what and who you know - the story weaves around that. In Stephen Kings recent novels in the kick arse Dark Tower series he puts himself in the books, writing about his accident, his drinking, the writing - and interweaves his stories together from a lot of different books that will give you chills. I like pensive pearls idea as well, what would you be like if you had taken different roads and if those Beckahs met what would happen, to me you're on the road you are meant to be on and walking on the right path now. Thinking of ya and sending all our love!