IWSG Nov 7: Has Your Creativity Life Evolved?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

The awesome co-hosts for the November 7 posting of the IWSG are Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Ann V. Friend, JQ Rose, and Elizabeth Seckman!

IWSG Question:
 How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?

My Answer:
Here’s what’s evolved since I began writing: I’m on high alert to records events in my life that strike my fancy as odd, unique, funny, or painful. The more creative my writing can be, the more compelling it is it is to read my stories.

My readers are curious and enjoy sharing my journey as a retired adventurous TV producer and writer living on a sailboat in a Mexico. From the safety of their armchair, my readers are invited to join my explorations.

Here’s a recent example.

While the interior of our boat, La Vita, is being given a new coat of varnish, we are renting a modest casa (house) in a typical Mexican neighborhood. The home is cozy, but boasts of a huge 75-inch TV. The air conditioning unit is mounted in the wall above the entertainment center.

Rick and I are enjoying a glass of wine while sitting on the couch facing the TV. We are talking about our plans for moving back on the boat.

Rick turns to his right and says, “What the hell is going on?”

I look up and water is pouring out of the face of the air conditioner. Water floods the wood shelves below and cascades down the face of the television drenching the everything in its path.

I look frantically for A/C and TV remotes and turned off the television and air conditioner. Rick moved what he could to reach plugs and cut power. We haven’t a clue where the breaker panel is.

Next, I raced around grabbing towels and tossing them to Rick. Rick is 6-foot tall, so he could reach the top of the entertainment unit and started mopping. When the electrical emergency was under control, I called the owner. He lives nearby and arrived within 15 minutes.

Turns out, the condensation from the air conditioner flows to a reservoir and drain in the driveway. The reservoir was full and the drain was clogged thus preventing the water from flowing to the street. As a result the condensation had no escape path and decided to flow into the house instead.

The owner bailed out the water and unclogged the drain. We all went back inside and turned on the TV and AC. Everything went back to normal. Until it happened again the next week.

As I return to writing, after a two year detour supporting my husband during his recovery from three spine surgeries in 2016, I am challenged to find the right words and phrases to hold the readers attention.

Any suggestions? What is missing? What could I add that would more clearly convey to you, the reader, what I was feeling and seeing?

Thank you for visiting and any suggestions you may have to offer. I look forward to returning the favor and commenting on your IWSG post.

13 thoughts on “IWSG Nov 7: Has Your Creativity Life Evolved?

    1. Hi Ann,
      Your comment brought to my attention that I haven’t shared my thoughts. For some reason it didn’t occur to me it would let others see the event from a different perspective. Thank you for stopping bye and taking time to share your idea.

      1. No problem Lynn, I appreciate you came back to share (smile) Depending on our life experience, perspective would be different. That’s the beautiful thing about sharing, we never know what resonates with someone and gives glory to God. It was nice meeting you. Blessing Lynn!!

  1. I’d put in more emotion. There’s a little in there already in dialog, the frantic search for the remote, but I recommend really putting yourself back in that room. What exactly did it sound like? It was water running, but could you be more specific? I’d avoid using the introductory clause “next” as it makes the story read more like a book report than a narrative. And I’d experiment with a different verb tense. Does it read better in past tense?

    Were you terrified that the owner was going to boot you out for endangering his tv? What happened in the fifteen minutes you were waiting for him to arrive?

    You certainly do have unique experiences to share with the world. It’s great that you’re writing them all down!

    1. Hi Joey,
      Wonderful to hear from you again and your comments are right on point. I find myself marveling at the difference between what I feel and what I write. The series of exercises you suggest will help me bridge that gap.

      I had to smile at the past tense suggestion. If I told this story to you, my tense would be consistent. When I go to write about the event, such as this one, in my mind it is in present tense, but I try to write it in past tense. As a result, I end up with a mixture. It’s a flaw that requires a second set of eyes to catch and fix.

      It never occurred to me the owner would be angry or up set. Of course, that was a real possibility. Thanks!

      BTW, we’ve lived in this rented casa (house) for six weeks. The air conditioner has belched water all over the 70-inch TV and entertainment center three times. One of the things that amazes me about Mexico is the general lack of maintenance. Without a doubt this has happened many times before we moved in.

    1. Hi Alex,
      Thank you once again for creating the IWSG blog hop. The input about my writing, from our group is invaluable. Reading comments that directly apply to my writing is priceless.

  2. All that is excellent advice. I am paying attention too.

    Writing in first person as if you are in the scene again right now, rather than reporting a incident to us. Bring immediacy to the reader.

    Word pictures example– to our horror a river poured out of the ac vent flowing on to the tv. We scrambled to shut things down. I felt a sinking sensation in my stomach as I hurriedly shut off the tv and ac. What next, what more?
    .—.Anyway action descriptive words and verbs. Short sentences for pacing, action and movement flow of the story. Your emotions in action words, even metaphors in your own as your thoughts.
    Breakdown: Horror describes the emotion, the river describes what you are seeing, scrambled gives a sense of urgency in action and movement. Short sentences, two word sentences or a single word can do that too.

    I think you did a good job. You got a reaction out me reading it.

    The Goodread book club just read this book last time, THE ART OF MEMOIR BY MARY KARR and it has some excellent advice for what you are asking about. I mean I don’t write memoirs and do not read often but there is stuff in the book that can definitely help me in fiction in writing and dealing with emotion and stuff. It’s a good read.

    Happy IWSG Day.

    1. Hi Juneta,
      Please forgive my late reply. We moved from the casa (house) back on the boat. Oh my golly whiz, what an enormous job finding a place for everything. Lots of stuff in the donation pile.

      I love the advice you gave me. Your comments on my writing is invaluable. I’ve read tons of “How To Write…” books, but having someone like you brings the advice home. I’m going to print your comments (and the others) and keep them handy as I rewrite this post.
      Muchas gracias, mi amiga (much thanks, my friend).

  3. Wow – what a story! I think you told it well. I could picture myself scrambling about to mop up the water. Lucky that the owner was able to come by right away.

    You’ve got such a great backstory (producer and boater) that can see how readers would be fascinated by your life and stories.

    1. Hola (hello) Ellen,
      We’ve been back on the boat five days. Good heavens, what a challenge it has been to settle into 200 sq. feet. Talk about a tiny home! I love being back in my own space, but where did all this stuff come from?

      I think my time in the film and TV industry developed my awareness of stories all around us, in our everyday lives. Now, the trick is to write the story that engages the reader. I believe I’m capable, but for me it takes practice, practice, practice and feedback. Such as the valuable comments in this post.

      Thank you for being a IWSG co-host this month and taking time to visit and comment on my post.

Leave a Reply