Monday, February 15, 2010

If I Were a Salmon Windsock

What do you write about when you don't know what to write about? This is one of the perplexing questions writers face every so often. You're stuck, stalled, dry. Nothing is happening on your laptop because nothing new is flashing across your brain. In my case, some of that may be due to looking out my window and seeing more of what we've been seeing for weeks now. Snow. And on top of that...snow. The world looks bleak and devoid of color.

However, there is one item outside my window that is colorful. I brought home a pink and green salmon-shaped windsock from my trip to Alaska last summer. He gleefully floats in the breeze on mild days, and thwacks my picture window with ice-covered streamers on cold ones. Mr. Salmon sees all. He keeps one large fishy eye on the finches at the feeder to his right, while staring at me through my picture window with his other eye. As I watched him, my strange imagination took over. Besides the birds outside, and the people/cats inside, what does he see? How can a fishy piece of polyester help me get unstuck from my current work-in-progress romance novel?

As I pictured Mr. Salmon floating from a high pole in my fictional love story aboard a yacht, I tried to focus on occurrences from his viewpoint. What does he hear? The breeze? Ocean birds squawking? Does he see the secret glances the hero and heroine slide one another when they think they're hidden? Obviously in my story, the windsock won't have a voice, literal or otherwise, but just imaging him on the yacht, taking in the scenery and listening to the interactions of my characters, my mind felt freed and refreshed.

Next time you're stuck in a writing rut, just be a windsock for a day.

No comments: