Friday, June 18, 2010

Fireflies and fireworks

The last time you watched fireworks, did you think about how pretty they were? Did you wonder at what made them work, or maybe notice just how prettily they offbalanced the stars? When an idiot guy who knocked over the rocket hevwas trying to light got chased by one, did you laugh? If you did any of those things, was the experience worth it? Or would you rather be writing?

Waiting for an answer. -hums along to my Ipod as I wait-
I think it's better to watch the fireworks and watch the idiot dive into a truck bed to avoid the bottle rocket (Because, yes, he was dumb enough to aim it at the truck that you happened to be sitting on) and maybe even look at the stars. I know, amazing, huh. But writing is words, and words only have power because they represent things. I don't think it's possible to be able to spar and weave and dance with words without appreciating the things they represent.

We take some things for granted without realizing how cool they are. You ever noticed that? Some things, sure, we do take notice of. For instance, we all adore Harry Potter, or maybe Twilight, or if you're weird, maybe you like Jane Austen or Faulkner. We've all had that 'W-o-w' moment when reading a book.
But the little stuff inside of a book, the actual corporeal objects, we tend to ignore in order to find out more about the really hot guy. Actually, the little stuff just gets ignored a lot of the time.

Like fireflies. We love to write about little bugs with lights on their rear ends, but when was the last time you just watched them? They shouldn't be so enthralling, so beautiful, and something that sometimes even looks like it's from a different world (don't mock me, child. It's an animal that glows. Think about every fantasy you've ever read--something, somewhere, will glow.) When you read a book that talks about fireflies, or hear a song about them (Hi, Owl City) you forget that they are really cool.

Or what about twilight? No, not the vampire novel. The actual time of day. It's the perfect setting, and a lot of do have those vague memories of thinking 'wow what a beautiful time of day' but when was the last time you were outside in it? Second question: when was the last time you wrote about the setting sun or even the rising sun and how magical it was?

Where do you live? City or small town? A small town has charm sometimes and aggravating slowness at others but it's unique. A city has a pace and hustle bustle that is the base for hundreds of novels, really great novels. But I don't think we really think about how amazing the place we live is. Even if you don't love it, there's something special about it.

The boy that broke your heart; you've written the scene three hundred times. But do you ever remember that day, the tears and his expression, and then the next week when you got over him. The boy that got you over the one that broke your heart--even if it was forever ago, do you remember him? You've written about a girl flirting with some random dude in a coffee shop, and even if it's not your thing, maybe it's worth it to as least hang out at the coffee shop or go find a random dude to possibly flirt with.

The best friend. Also in almost every story. But we don't always appreciate them the same way we should. It's like Kierstan White said in an interview she did with Maggie; we can't forget to live life. On the same thing, I think it's just as important to take notice of everything around you. Every moment can be put in a book, I think, and so even if doing random things isn't appealing by itself, then I guess you can chalk it up to your writing experience. You can't write a story without anything to draw on--well, you can, but it's way more fun if you can get inspiration from the stuff around you.

What say you? Is there a particular part of your life that you've drawn inspiration from? It can be as little as a couple of pretty sentences about fireflies, or even a story idea.

More later. And one of the 'more laters' will be an interview with Kody Keplinger! YAY!


cipherqueen said...

Ohh can't wait for that one!

In all honesty I draw most of what I write from when I lived in the city for five years, and then moved to the countryside. I'd never stayed in one area for so long in my life, so the people stuck, and it was right around the age when you pass into the double digits.

As for stepping back and enjoying life...-glances back- oh, right, I have summer hw. And a concert to perform in on the 4th of July. Whoa! I just realized it's been over a year since I started my blog!

Alright, back to seriousness. My mom's usally the one to get drifty when it comes to being on with nature and listening, watching, and existing in harmony. (I think that sentence alone needs to be said slowly to understand...)

Me? I'm the kind of person relating it philisophically to life and then pacing around my room until I find the right character to use that line.


Aspen said...

mmm... each sentence in this post was a french fry!

...ok, that did not come out right...

You see, I hate chocolates and sweets, I like Doritos and french fries. But to translate from Aspenish to Normalpeopleish:

mmm... each sentence in this post was like a little piece of chocolate! beautiful post!

But where do I get writing material you ask?

I take past experiences, either mine, or somebody else's, and exaggerate them and try to find ways to maybe make them more shocking or twisted.

Another thine I'm really strange about, is music videos. I normally don't like them. There are of course epic works of art that include both music and video like MJ's Thriller and Gaga's Telephone. But other than that, I want my music to stand alone, be a soundtrack behind whatever else I'm doing. When I like a song, it channels an atmosphere that I like, and very often, I get inspiration out of that atmosphere. I start visualizing a scene (kind of like a music video, most often tells a story) or characters who's theme song is the song. Then the darn music video comes along and it's just some chicks dancing or a guy playing drums. Yay.

So yeah, past experiences and music. And of course those little moments you have with yourself when your brain goes into some kind of massive trance of over-thinking, re-analyzing and challenging everything we know for certain in this life.

You've all had those, right?

*Looks frantically around with worried expression on face*

gina said...

wow such an inspiring post! I love the way you write!

me and my friend were just yesterday talking about story ideas, book ideas while sitting in her driveway during twilight watching fireflies. this post made me think of that.

and i think you are totally right about drawing inspiration from around you; it makes everything seem more authentic.

Lyla said...

You just shamed me into putting my book down for the sunset.

But no, really. Every word of this is true. And beautifully written!

Sam said...

Cipherqueen: I know! -squeals-
Hah, same here. We moved from southern california to missouri when I was ten. It's an interesting batch of memories.
YOU HAVE SUMMER HOMEWORK? Oh, the evil. Concerts could be fun. :P
Haha, there is something to philosophy. But you can have that and enjoy life. :P
Aspen: Past experience and music are both amazing ways, I think, to write.Music especially. And yes, I've had those moments too. :P
Gina: THANK you! That's like, the best compliment. :) And I love moments like that. They really do make writing more real.
Lyla: Thanks! And hehe, sorry for shaming you. But hey, sunsets really are amazing.

Maggie said...

First off, I'd like to state that fireflies and fireworks are two of my favoritest things. I love them both with a passion.

I think the simple things really make a story too. I think it's the small stuff that no one notices that make something special. Draw inspo. from the tiny critters, whether that be fireflies or me (this amused me for some reason, ahem).

That is all. I heart you. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to comment on things. My internet is jacked up, but you know this already, so I'm just gonna leave now...