Peril & Perspective

Posted: March 11, 2012 in Inkspots, Musings
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been haunted this week by a tree.

You read that right, I’ve been haunted by a tree.

I drove by it on my way to work and would be bathed in the most glorious early morning light. I drove  by it on the way home and it would be silhouetted against a sunset. In the rain it looked like the perfect mournful tree. At night the stars tangled in its branches.

This tree had a kind of wonder-pop power.  It needed to be photographed.

I had  three problems, however, in photographing my wonder tree; it was on private property behind a newly planted farmer’s field, the field bordered  a very busy road, and there were no side walks.  I had to drive past the tree and park,  and then walk back along the busy road and then  find a way to take the photographs without  damaging the field and also avoid being hit by a car.  As I got out of the car and looked down to the tree I wondered if the light was really the best light (bright and sunny but no sunset) and if the increasing afternoon traffic meant I had better put it off until another day.

Those are the same kind of decisions that I wrestle with in my writing; do I risk,  do I  play it safe, or do I call it a day and not write at all. There’s always a risk when I try to  chase down a new idea, or put together a new character.   What if what I write bombs? What if the characters that I think are fascinating, aren’t?

There are only so many hours in the day. There are all ready millions of books crammed with thousands of words wrapped around hundreds of plots. Or variations on a plot.  Why should I wrestle and  sacrifice to put my own  tale down on paper amid a flood of stories all ready available?

The short answer to all of those questions is the same reason that I decided to risk the road, the tricky traffic, and the newly sewn field.



I want to share something that I take great delight in, with you.




  1. Kathy Black says:

    What a spectacular tree and a beautiful post. Sharing something of yourself takes great courage, and I too, have felt with so many books out there, what do I have to say that is of any interest or hasn’t been said before.

  2. Gee says:

    Another great essay, Michelle. Stephen King says that he writes because he has no choice but to do so and insists that he would continue to write even if he were paid nothing for doing so. You have a noble motive for writing: sharing your delights with others so that they, too, may be delighted.

  3. Gee says:

    P. S. I see what you see in the tree.

Be brilliant, be peculiar, be peculiarly brilliant.

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