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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Friday, June 3, 2011

Do You Believe In Magic?

I was driving down Interstate 5 with this scene playing in front of my eyes. I knew it wasn’t real. I knew there really wasn’t a grove of trees or a high priestess on the hood of my car. But it seemed real. I called my best friend with my Bluetooth firmly ensconced in my ear, describing the scene as it unfolded and speeding down the road to an appointment.

For an intense five months the heroines in my stories appeared. I saw them, heard their voices and felt their joy and their fear. I watched them interact with each other, listened to their inner most thoughts and was privy to each of their dreams.

I am entranced with their stories. I dream about them (and I, who seldom remember dreams, have these etched in my soul). They go to the store with me, fold laundry and just hang out with me.

Writing their stories. Writing about The Circle. Writing about their spiritual practices. I read the story as it unfolds before my eyes on the computer screen.
Plot? The idea that I will shape their lives doesn’t compute. How can I? I am their story teller. My role is to show you their lives to the best of my ability. Perhaps when The Women’s Circle series is completed, I’ll need to explore another way to write but for now, these women, my friends in spirit, come to me when I sit at the computer, whisper in my ear and my fingers fly over the keys as I tell you their story.

Have you ever experienced a vision? Something so real and yet not? I’d love to hear about it.


minxlaurel said...

Maybe there's something about that stretch of the interstate because I too have had characters show up while driving.
Just south of Portland I suddenly had a clear vision of my newest hero, pinned to a tree by a quivering arrow. I was driving through farmland with only a few trees, yet there he was, in a grove of old growth fir trees, dying slowly. It was a vision so vivid (and distracting) that I had to pull over and write two full pages of notes before I could drive on. I love the story that has evolved out of that scene and am going to be querying it soon.
I'm in need of new inspiration. Maybe it's time to go for another drive. ;-)

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Laurel, There are those places along I-5 that encourage one's mind to wander...stretches south of Wilsonville toward Salem and then from Albany to Eugene are particularly open to my imagination. However, the place where this vision took place was coming off the I-84 ramp onto I-5 South and across the Marquam Bridge with merging traffic, lane changes, and curves in the road. Quite unnerving and Very unexpected!
Thanks for sharing and good luck on your query of this story.
Maybe there is something about visions that come when one is driving that are particularly vivid. That was certainly my experience too.

Sarah Raplee said...

What a fascinating post! I know that for me, freeway driving seems to open the floodgates of my imagination - but I'd have a heart attack if I had a vision on the Marquam bridge!

I had a title for a book (not one I was working on)come to me out of the blue, once. No idea where it came from, but it was as if I'd heard someone say the words. Those words inspired characters and plot, and that YA Steampunk book is in line to be written. Love it!

Terri Molina said...

I can't recall if I've ever had a vision but I loved this post! =)

Judith Ashley said...

Sarah, I'm not sure how I managed but I think being able to describe everything to Michele while I was driving (hands free cell) helped and then there are those Guardian Angels who were certainly working over-time.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Terri,
Thanks for stopping by and Congratulations on being Desert Rose's New President. Did you figure out which Circle picture was taken in Scottsdale last year (big grin) - hint, hint - it's the one with the cactus in the background (VBG).

Paty Jager said...

Interesting and so writerly!

I had a scene from a book so vivid in my head I was sure I wrote it in the book. But I hunted and hunted for the scene when I wanted to add something and it wasn't there. I'd held the conversation between the characters in my head, but I'd never written it down.

And on my drives to and from the valley for RWA meetings I tend to have scenes and characters play in my head as I drive. It's a great way to get to know your characters when there is little to distract you.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Paty. I love your story about hunting for the scene to add something and not being able to find it.
I also find driving on longer trips by myself opens my mind to a level of creativity that comes easily - that's the best kind.

Tam Linsey said...

@Paty - Too funny, to remember a scene so vividly you were sure you'd already written it.

@Judith, what is it about road trips that trigger creativity? Seems like a lot of us get distracted by our muse on the road! (I've even missed a turn or two while lost in my own plot) Great post. It lets me know I'm not the only writer out there who lives inside my own head.

Judith Ashley said...

I've also missed turns and freeway exits because I'm caught up in my own thoughts. No, you are not the only writer out there, obviously from the other comments, who lives inside your own head. For me that's rather reassuring!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Vonnie Alto said...

I get visions but I have to be in a meditative state. That means turning inward, quieting my mind, and listening so that they flow. That can mean gazing at a picture. Or sitting still. Or a rhythmic movement such as vacuuming. Or running or walking. Quieting the mind doesn't mean privacy. Often, I quite my mind in a public venue (ie. Reader's Luncheon or at the zoo) or at home doing chores.

When visions happens, it's a psychic experience. Sometimes the visions are what my life might have been like had I taken X road instead of Y road. Often the visions relate to my book. Sometimes they come while I'm dreaming but mostly, they're day dreams (flits of inspiration captured in the moment), so powerful and memorable that they are etched in my soul forever.

Judith Ashley said...

Thank you for shaing your visions, Vonnie. I think the best things about Visions is that they are etched in our minds and souls forever.

Anonymous said...

Um...with so many creative people visiting worlds that are waiting to be actualized via the written word, I think defensive driving or calling on the "keep me and everyone else around me safe" angels is a good plan.
As I drive along, wondering and wandering, with an open mind and heart, visions happen and I see worlds that are possible... worlds that I long for, where love is the focus. As I see the possible, I feel my heart taking up pen and paper, writing a new story.
I find that it is interesting that word and world are but one letter apart.
So as I visit visions and dreams, bringing worlds into being through words, I will also watch out for you as you watch out for me and we will continue to journey in mutual safety, as we keep one foot on the accelerater or brake and the other in a story waiting to be realized.
Michele Lauren

Judith Ashley said...

I'd forgotten that word and world are but one letter apart. Thank you for pointing that out. In the context of this post, that a fun fact.

Sorry you had so much trouble with getting your comment published. Thanks for your dedication to doing so.

In love and light,
Your BFF - Judith