Friday, March 22, 2013

Unexpected Twists and Turns

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Happy Spring, my friends! I am so sorry I dropped off the map this winter. Between moving to my brand-new house in St. Petersburg, FL, getting a brand-new job working in the Admissions Department at a guide dog school, and rescuing a brand-new stray German Shepherd mix named Lexi, it has certainly been a busy few months. But I am in a new space now, and it's good. Scary--and not at all the life I expected--but... good.

Lexi O'Kane! (Photo Courtesy of Rob and Melissa Zeno)
I was thinking about the unexpected twists and turns our lives make, and I realized this is exactly what happens in every single book I sit down and try to write. I believe my story is going to be one thing, and then it ends up being something completely different. Scary--and not at all the book I expected--but... good. You know what I'm saying?

Stephen King once said he views his stories as completed works of fiction when he starts writing them. He doesn't know what they are yet, but they exist somewhere--already laid out in their entirety--and it is simply his job to extract them. In his writing guide, On Writing (which I'm sure you've already read... If not, why not??), he uses the example of excavating a fossilized skeleton. Sometimes, you have to hack at it with a pickaxe, and sometimes you have to delicately brush it with a toothbrush. But when you're finished, you have a story. And it may not be the exact story you thought you were going to write, but it's the exact story you were SUPPOSED to write.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Do you guys think life is like this? I waffle back and forth between the idea that we are charging into uncharted territory and the idea that we are simply following a trail already created for us by *someone* or *something* out in the Universe. We don't KNOW we're on a trail, so we have the ILLUSION of free will, but it's not really free will at all. It's more like being fixed on an invisible train track, with all our twists and turns already prepared for us.

What do you think? Chaos vs. order, random vs. written? I am so interested to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope your spring is treating you well--predestined or otherwise. :)

11 comments:

Lora Rivera said...

I think it's like following a game trail. You don't know you're on a trail until you realize, "Hey wait! I'm on a trail!" You might not have known consciously. But somewhere in your feet, you knew -- the ground here has been trod before; the grasses bend forward in this place, as if someone has trained them by passing through; the rocks are depressed for better footing. Then, you spin around and start analyzing everything and realize, "Hey wait! Other creatures have passed this way before!" Then, just as you start feeling part of something bigger, you realize you've walked off the trail and are now blazing your own :)

(P.S. Lexi's a cutie! Congrats and Hugs)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome back! Lexi is a cute pup.
I think we have free will, although Someone already knows the paths we will choose. But it is a little like digging out that skeleton. Some people are successful and others break the bones along the way and never find a complete picture.
Glad you are back with us!

girlparker.com said...

Lexi is gorgeous! Exactly the kind of dog I'm yearning for... Oh to have the space. And I think your job sounds wonderful! I'm dreading the thought of getting another dead-end desk job that just shuffles paper.

Regarding your question, I am a firm believer in free will. We make our choices, whether or not we want to look at the consequences. I don't usually refer to my biblical beliefs, but the first thing that popped to mind on your question was the choice put to the Israelites by God at Deuteronomy 30:19-20. He laid out the blessing and the malediction and the choice was theirs.

Julie Luek said...

Welcome back. Love Lexi! We have a rescued Weimaraner and he is the best pest...er... dog we've ever owned. Kiss Lexi's nose for me.

I guess I have to echo Alex and girlparker-- I believe there are choices in life but I believe the trails are known ahead of time. Sometimes we're asked to bushwhack our way through them, other times--thank goodness-- they are already smooth and obvious.

I also don't so much think it's the actual paths we choose that are "right" and "wrong" but rather, how our hearts are responding as we hike them. (Can you tell I'm a mountain woman? LOL)

alexia said...

Glad you're back! What a cute pup :)

I think it's a mix between pre-destined and free will. I don't know if I can explain it, but probably we have multiple paths we can chose from (the destiny part), but our choices determine which one we head down (the free will part). Or something like that :)

Happy weekend!

Yolanda Renee said...

Free will, predestined? Such an interesting question -- I wonder about that too when trying to figure out my life. But I have no answer.

I know that when I'm writing the story, the characters guide me -- and I follow.

I'm so happy to see you back -- thank you for the wonderful comment. You brightened my day!

Happy Spring!

Mar said...

Congrats on the pup Lisa! And on the new job and move. I have to admit I'm a tad bit jealous over anyone that gets warm weather and sunshine. We're just getting sunshine and below freezing temperatures up here. It's such a tease!

Katie Slivensky said...

Nice to see you back and blogging again! And your pooch is simply adorable. :)

Life can be weird, and its fitting that writing ends up just as weird. I don't think anyone ever truly knows where they're headed (in books or in life), though some have better ideas than others. But even the best of planners have things thrown in that change everything! I find that the weirder things get, the cooler they often turn out. What doesn't kill you makes you more interesting. Likewise for novels.

As for the free-will thing in relation to novels, I don't feel like my novels are waiting for me to dig them up, but I do feel like my CHARACTERS are, if that makes any sense.

Shallee said...

Things have definitely been crazy for you! I've had a bit of unexpected twists and turns as well, and I think that's just how life goes.

Bethany Myers said...

I just go because most of the planned scenes I have in mind get changed anyway.

I LURV Stephen King.


Great Post!

Altha Fidia Oktora said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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