Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cobwebs, Stephen King and Imagination

Yesterday I was walking all over my home with a feather duster that does not have real feathers, getting rid of cobwebs up high in corners and around books in bookshelves. You know, the kind that you never see until you are sitting in your living room having coffee with company? 


These tiny, nearly invisible webs are built in areas that do not get much action, obviously. It's embarrassing to know that the intricate web between the fireplace mantel and the wall had to be a pretty complicated and time consuming project, and yet the little corner was left undisturbed and untouched for who knows how long. (We had 3 sets of overnight guests last month and I cleaned! I did, really!) 


So anyway, while I was destroying some poor little spider's masterpiece yesterday, I began to imagine living with less "stuff". Fewer unused items to dust and clean. I recently read a blog called ancndrv, about a couple who are giving up a house and living full-time in a trailer or RV.  Could I do this? Would I do this?


My mind took a quick detour just then, as it tends to do, and I thought about the great book by Stephen King On Writing that I just finished reading. Writer Son left it for me after his last visit, saying that even though it was aimed at fiction writers, he thought I would enjoy it. And I did very much! Even though I don't read King's huge list of books because they are too scary and bloody for me. I highly recommend it to all serious writers. 


Okay, so why did the detour take me there? Because the question I had been about to mull over while I dusted would require me to use my imagination. Would I, could I, ever live in an RV or tiny cottage somewhere? Imagination is the central theme of all fiction writing, but it is also has to be a big part of non-fiction essay writing as I am doing now. 


If I am not willing to let my mind wander through a new idea, such as leaving all my belongings behind and starting fresh in a smaller place, then I will have very little to write about. As a non-fiction writer I still tell stories and I need to learn how to describe my thoughts in a way that will help you nod your head with a yes-I-know-what-you-mean kind of agreement. (Actually this post is giving me some serious doubts that I am expressing it clearly enough to get that nod. But I will plod onward.) 


Meanwhile back at the ranch....Would I/Could I give up my beloved house and downsize (don't really like that word!) to a much smaller place? We are in our late 50's and the nest is empty, so theoretically it would make sense. Not that this house is terribly large, its just your everyday single-level track house. I do want a comfortable place for the kids and their families to come back to for visits in the years to come. But other than that, I could do it.......I think. 


I could do it if........and this is where the fiction-imagination kicks in.......it was in a beautiful setting. Along side some gorgeous wooded area, or on a beach or lake front. If our new downsized home was in a place that allowed us to use the surrounding outdoors as an extension of our house. Too crowded in the house? Then let's all sit outside underneath the trees overlooking the water. Hear that splashing? That's my grandchildren playing in the water. (No they do not exist yet, it's my imagination remember?) Pass the s'mores! 


Earlier that morning I could smell the pine in the air while I sat outside tapping on my Mac, accompanied by the sounds of birds up high and lapping water down below. When I'd climbed the four stair-steps back into the cottage to warm up my coffee mug, I had glanced at the calendar near the coffee pot and saw that my writing assignments were right on schedule. If I timed it just right I could fit a good swim in before the day got too busy. (hey, it's fiction!)


No, I will not follow the living-in-a-tiny-apartment version of downsizing. Nope, been there, yadda yadda. I am still not sure what the main purpose of this blog post is, but I will continue to ponder the relationship between writing fiction and non-fiction because I do not think they are very far apart in many ways. 

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13 comments:

  1. Oh, I have been there! My husband and I have regularly discussed "downsizing" and living in a small cabin near our #2 son in Maine...actually when he built his "shop" in his yard, we told him that would be our retirement home someday. He wasn't overly thrilled with the prospect. So what have we done? We bought a larger house in the forest still in Florida! why? because we enjoy having people in our home too much to downsize, and we have too many family "heirlooms" that we are not yet able to part with...so we compromised. I need to write a story about this instead of taking up all of your comment space! LOL!!!Keep dreaming...and start praying about the way to do whatever you feel in your heart you REALLY want to do! God will direct your steps...in HIS time.

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    1. Pamela, The pics and blog descriptions of your "new" place sounds so wonderful, I am happy for you! Thanks for your blessings and encouragement, it makes a difference.

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  2. ooooooooooooohhh a really long post for you my friend, the queen of all conciseness in writing (which I admire , mind you and am trying...ahem, to follow suit-unsuccessfully).
    I heard the King book on writing is great, from a number of others. He has a gift for sure...on a random unrelated note , my fave movie and actress is Misery and Kathy Bates...so...just random tonight. And, what will Layla do if you downsize? Have you even considered her in this imaginary setting? Hmmmmmmmm?And one more thing while I am so random. My BFF here in RI has a dog who is black, and crazy in her own right...her name is Lilly. Between Layla and Lilly I sometimes get confused. But now that I shared that with you I think I have conquered forever that issue. Layla= Eric Clapton, Lilly ...? um nothing. But still I think I can keep it straight now... long day.

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    1. HA! Can always count on you for a fun comment! You should read the King book, especially since you mention MISERY. He talks about it a lot, all his reasons behind everything in it. Really interesting.
      And yes, I did picture Layla next to me, next to the lake or ocean, just didn't want to get too long. Ha!

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  3. Re: downsizing; I don't think I could go to a smaller house. We are on the other side of 65. We have lived in the same house for going on 37 years. It's small. When our son had to come back home several years ago. My computer and his bed shared space. Hubby has told me, in the event something happens to him, I am to sell the house and move into an apartment. I don't know about that.

    Re: Stephen King; I don't read his books. they are too scary for me. I did watch "Misery" and thought Kathy Bates did a great job, then I found out it was a Stephen King based movie. I also have heard his book, "On Writing" is worthwhile.

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    1. Sounds like you are already in the perfect place for you.
      The MISERY movie was enough for me, no more King movies or books, too scary. I get scared of stuff already without any extra help. Ha!

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  4. Hi, this is my first visit here. I too have considered downsizing to a smaller house, but what a lot of work. We are happy here tho we also have an empty nest.

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    1. Welcome Terra, I love meeting new people here! Thanks for coming and commenting, I heading over to check out your blog next!

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  5. I loved ON WRITING (I am a writer of fiction, in my other life), even though I have never liked King's fiction. Anne Lamont's book, BIRD BY BIRD is also an amazing book for writers (of all kinds!).
    We downsized about nine years ago, because I needed to move to a one level home because of the difficulty of stairs and my chronic pain issues. Unfortunately we didn't downsize the amount of 'stuff'--we just shoved it in the unfinished basement. Yikes! Then continued to cram stuff in the house (my Beve has a 'thrift/Craigslist addiction--but don't tell him I told you!'). And I buy books. And fabric. And...Sigh.

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    1. Haha! Yep, the "stuff" can really add up can't it? Books alone are so irresistible!
      I love the Lamont books too!

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  6. Great post Suzie. Since I am also contemplating downsizing or as my husband calls it "selling it all on ebay and becoming citizens of the world", I found your thought/avoidance process spot on. I'm still there as well. One day I'm all in and the next day I have cold feet. That's why I started my own blog - to muse on all of these thoughts. Stuff - why we acquire it and what is really important is a real metaphor for life.

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    1. Thanks so much! I enjoyed your blog this morning and I appreciate your visit in return. I go back and forth on the moving subject too. I've had this fleeting thought most often while I am cleaning all our stuff. Ha!

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  7. when my mother in law sold her huge house and moved into a one floor town house she realized how burdened she was before with the demands of a house....gave ma a lot to think about...

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