Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the Name of Research

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without the drive to write. I certainly wouldn’t have tried half of the things I have done if it weren’t for my ability to rationalize that it was for “research.” I wouldn’t have walked into that shooting range and signed up for a gun class. I never would have known I would love…love, the smell of the oil and the feel of the metal weight in my hand. Never.

Afraid of heights, I never would have climbed to the top of that thirty-foot tree and zipped down a metal wire with nothing but some canvas straps and a prayer to keep me safe. I don’t see myself as the adventurous type. But I am very goal oriented and that has been God’s gift to me.

I love to incorporate adventure in my stories and part and parcel with that is having some thrills of my own. Not too many mind you, I am a suburban Mom with six kids, my poor husband’s heart skips a beat when I talk about evasive driving classes, but enough to keep the creative juices flowing. I am currently writing a sequence with skydiving. Now, as a responsible mother I’ve promised my husband not to jump out of an actual plane until all of our kids are in college. But I live near a great facility that lets you approximate the experience of a skydive free-fall with a giant indoor fan. I have already tried to talk a friend into going with me. She’s on the edge but, we’ll see.

My question to you is this: What would motivate you to step out of your comfort zone? Is it a painting class? Do you wish you could ski? How about something personal? Is there a fear you long to conquer?

I encourage you to try something you’ve secretly dreamt of doing. Don’t tattoo your knuckles or anything, I’m not taking any angry phone calls from family members on your behalf, but consider it.

The great inventor Thomas Alva Edison once said, “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” I hope you astound yourself this coming week. Until next time, my friends, you are on my heart and in my prayers.


Carlos said...

I remember when you strong-armed me to go to the shooting range! That was so crazy, but in a edge-work kind of way. More recently I have decided to run an 8K race in May (having only ever run before, when chased by dogs or to get something for free) which will be my first ever race besides the ones you used to beat me at to ride shotgun in the car when we were little. Its been rough, but I will finish what I started and be better for it. -CF

Megan said...

Being able to write a list of things to do in order to accomplish a new goal is what gets me out of my comfort zone. If I can see all of the things I need to do and steps that have to be taken, then it doesn't look so daunting anymore.

Anonymous said...

I consider the fears I have to all be good. I’m deathly afraid of spiders, and I even shiver when I have to suck one off the ceiling with a vacuum cleaner. I suppose if a deadly one were about to munch on one of my children, I could muster up the courage to confront it. Sometimes being in tight spaces makes me feel a bit claustrophobic, but something in me does want to learn spelunking. Then when I hear a news report about death-related cave exploring, it crushes (pun intended) my desires. I guess that why I love a good book that can take me to all those places I’ll never actually go.

Anonymous said...

In the name of research and to break free of the safety bubble in which she lives, your friend officially has decides to tackle indoor skydiving with you. SB

Linda Glaz said...

Great insight into building your characters.