Life stays with me in still shots. Vivid photographs develop in my memory which I neatly catalogue for later reference. When I write about a past event, a slide show runs in my mind until I find just the right moment. Then I hit the pause button and recreate the event. I can again feel annoyed that my hair, carried on the hot breath of summer, whips across my vision. I relive instantly the parental frustration of hearing another chorus of “I’m bored!” My eyes water once more with chlorine burn from staying in the pool too long, trying to decipher the rippled words spoken under water. Not all writers work in this way, but for me, searching for that word or phrase that allows me to translate these pictures into someone else’s vision becomes an obsession. If I create a new world or character, I want my readers to experience my imagination with me. If they catch their breath at the turn of a phrase, or blush at an intimacy, or feel the flash of anger at an injustice I’ve revealed, then I feel triumphant.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman