Monday, November 30, 2009

All fair in Love and... writing?

The house next door to mine burned down on Thanksgiving night. I mean it's gone. We stepped outside, heard the snap and pop and then saw the flames and watched as the fire department used pumper trucks because of a problem with the hydrants. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. My son video taped it - he just got a new camera - and after a little bit, he put the camera down and said he thought that was enough.
He just knew it.

I'm not sure that as writers we come with that built in, "that's enough, that's too far, that's not fodder for future writing" voice in our heads. My kids have had to, at times, warn me that whatever they had just said or done or were going through was NOT going to end up in my writing. I agreed and honored that but I didn't get it.

Myself, when I was rushed to the ER after a reaction to medicine stopped my heart, I frustrated the docs there because whenever they left me for even a few minutes, my sensors went off and they couldn't figure out why. I knew why. As soon as they left the room, I got our my pen and paper and took notes on the experience and when I gripped the pen, it compressed the sensor. I didn't tell THEM that, of course. If I told them that, they would have tried to take my pen away and I wasn't sure I was well enough to fight them off!

I may have known some writers who don't feel this way, that everything that happens to them and to most people around them is not just fair game, it's theirs, it's the stuff that inspirations are made of -I MAY know writers like that, but I can't think of any. Can you?

I have put off writing about the fire, and I probably won't say more about it here, but you know some day if I need to describe one...