When I woke up this morning, I hadn’t a clue what I was going to write about. Spring is in full bloom here in Austria and though it’s beautiful, my allergies are also in full bloom. This is the first year it has happened and I was somewhat surprised by them. So, taking them in stride, and with my husband gone again on travel, I got Pup Harry ready to go for his morning walk.
I jaunt down the single flight of stairs determined to ignore the pounding in my head and press the button to the elevator. Nothing happens. I press it again. Still nothing. I press it one final time and realize that it is broke. Again. Suddenly, my beautiful 5th floor flat with elevator has become a 5th floor walk-up. This may be a devastating blow because the dog does need to be walked a minimum of two times a day. With allergies, this may be downright horrid as it might impede me breathing. Suddenly, the day isn’t so nice.
I head down the stairs and before I notice, Pup Harry’s whole flexi-leash is extended. He’s not budging as he wants to ride in the elevator. I walk back up the stairs and lock the leash in so I can pull him down. When we’re home alone, he gets all sorts of luxuries that he normally doesn’t get. Things like extra treats when he gets his leash on for walks, extra treats when I have to leave him to go shopping and more train rides than normal as I try to take him to parks that are quite a distance from our flat. He’s discovered that the elevator is his friend and doesn’t understand why it won’t go. I don’t either but that’s another story.
This elevator thing was impeding our style. Then I started to think about some of my characters that I’ve been writing recently. I make sure I give them a rough ride as things don’t always go the way they want them to go. Heck, they don’t always go the way I want them to go in my books. But when looking at my PC friend, Marin’s post, I realize I am just like what George R.R. Martin said. There is only so much architecture that I can do on a story before I just have to let it come to fruition like the flowers in a garden.
Characters have a way of letting you know if you’re doing it right. Or wrong. They scream, curse, whine and just downright won’t budge when things won’t go their way. Just like Pup Harry. If I can survive that, I can survive three days of the elevator being out.
And such is life. There are so many, many things that we don’t plan for most of the time that happen. Some we can control, some we can’t…like the elevator…I mean, I’m sure the machine went out of its way to make my life miserable today. After all, it does have a stake in what I’m doing and how I act.
Wrong. So wrong. I am the one who takes action. I am the one who has a stake in how I look at the world and how I act in it. I am the one that is the master of my own fate and only I can decide the course. We as writers sometimes get so caught up in our characters that we forget the little things. The things that make life new and interesting and oh so not boring. Like taking a class or walking in a botanical garden.
Like elevator’s who break, making me a little heathier with each flight of stairs I climb. And those eleven flights can be hard or they can be easy. It’s all in the perspective.