Monday, April 23, 2007

Hidden Assets

Good morning. It's a bright sunny morning in Victoria. I'll digress for a few minutes. I walked around Government House grounds this morning. It is quietly beautiful. Flowers are blooming. The ducks are pairing off. If they are lucky, they will raise cute little ducklings but the odds are against them. In and around the duck pond the predators await! Rats eat the eggs. Raccoons do the same. And swooping down from the skies, eagles and hawks. I didn't intend to be gloomy but that's life, isn't it. The dark side of beauty can be ugly.

I can see the Olympic mountains in Washington from across the Strait of Juan da Fuca. By the way, Government House is the official residence of British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor, the Queen's representative in BC. The position has no executive power unless something dire happened in the BC legislature. The park like grounds are opent to the public from sunrise to sunset. When Her Majesty visits Victoria, she stays at Government House. The place crawls with RCMP security then.

I'll jump off from there to Hidden Assets. No, no, I don't mean those interesting visible physical assets. I mean the hidden asset inside our heads. Our wonderful brains. On a previous post, one of the Goddesses mentioned how her characters often have minds of their own and she has to pay attention. It's fascinating what goes on inside our heads. We create movies in full colour. We hear words. We hear accents. We sniff and sometimes conjour up a scent. If passersby could see inside our heads they'd send for the men in white coats. Thank goodness, the handsome guy I saw the other day working on a construction site didn't know I was planning to make him the hero in my next book.

But did you know that some people cannot make pictures inside their heads? Ask someone to visualize what he or she had for breakfast the previous day and they can't do it. If pressed they might remember but can't run the movie. We are authors because we have tricky brains. My unconscious mind wakened me in the night and warned me of a mistake I made in my writing the day before. I'm revising a Time Travel I wrote several years ago and had forgotten to change the date when my hero found himself in the present time. A full moon glowed overhead. I had an old full moon date in my manuscript. Thank you, brain.

I'm not a plotter. I have a vague outline where I start and where I end up. I know the characters. I've often had a full opening sentence drop right into my head. "You will, of course, accept my offer." It came out of nowhere. I liked it so much I started a contemporary romance with it.

Next time you see a flower, stop and look at it. Touch its petals gently. Enjoy the moment.

Anita Birt

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