Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chasing Dreams, Autobots and I-Deers

From a cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona, I'm trying to wrangle my muse into writing my latest and greatest idea for a book. But she has other interests, like autobots and chasing deer. The chatter around me is interesting and wildly distracting.

"Oh wait! There's a deer in the yard!" See how easily I can be distracted? Well, how often do you see a deer in the backyard?

I jump up to get some bread. But of course, the poor frightened deer has fled by the time I return. I have this crazy urge to hand-feed wild deer like my friend in Montana whose home backs up to a forest. There is a small group (herd?) of deer that trust her and rest frequently in the woods within sight. They have even taken food from her hand. It's a beautiful thing to watch wild creatures reaching across the invisible barrier of distrust. My friend says the trick is to remain still; be quiet; let the deer come to you.

I realize it's like nursing an idea for a book or doing something entirely new and different that you want to do. There's the risk, the doubt, then maybe, the moment of trust and reaching out.

People say to me, "I have this great idea for a book…" Unfortunately, an idea isn't a book, story, plot, or characters that interact. An idea takes time and needs to be nurtured and developed, like earning a wild deer's trust. You must shut out the chatter and distractions, get quiet, and let the idea come to you. Let it develop and mature. Visualize your dream for this idea. Maybe it's not a book but a painting, a creation, something to build or generate, or perhaps teaching a special class – anything new and different that  you want to create and do.

My Yoga teacher begins and ends every practice with a meditation, a silent time to shut out the chatter and think, "What is my intention today?" Try it. Think positively about your dream. Call it to you. Wait for it to come to you.

In EMBRACEABLE YOU, Claire is a minor character. I wanted her to be skeptical of my protagonist, Siena, to reflect her own self-doubts. But Claire liked Siena and considered her misguided, but clever. I thought, "Who is this Claire with a mind of her own?" I hushed the chatter of the story and visualized Claire, a girl in Ireland in the 1960's. Her father arranges a marriage against her free will and… what happens next? And just like that, CLAIRE'S EMBRACE was born, full of love and conflict and dreams and magical lace. All I had to do was write it.

So if you have an idea, get quiet, hush the chatter, and let your muse do his or her work. Mine is currently feeding an i-deer… while I'm chasing autobots away. "What are autobots?" you ask. They're just about the biggest, noisiest things around. Find out about them on the web. Then, turn them all off along with the chatter from the TV, movies, social media, even family. What happens is almost magical.

Have you ever visualized an idea and found it fun and easy to develop? Visualize me next time, here on 3rd Tuesday from the Sun. Meantime, I have this idea, set in France… about a woman who… oops, the story is still in the quiet, creative stage. Come along and follow my journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marytateengels

Au Revoir for now,
 Mary Tate

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