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.