Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Author Dates - Week 3

Photo Albums ~ Crabapple House
Week three broke all weather records in Melbourne. Four days of blistering heat reaching 44C, which our Northern friends know as 111F. Awful in anyone's language. 

One of my Ink Dots readers, Jenny, suggested I might try Swim In Cold Water which is on the writer date list. But even the water in the pool was not really cold. More lukewarm, and I'm sure that would've been cheating, somehow. 

So I chose a date which took me no further than my stack of photo albums. Browse Old Photographs. Perfect for the kind of week where even moving our eyes from page to page had the potential to send us into a sweat. 

Browsing Old Photographs is like facebook. Just one more photo. One more album. Ok... just one more. By the time you've put them back on the shelf, the clock is shaking it's head at you. Hours can pass in the moments it takes to revisit life as we once knew it. 

My writer date instructions told me to ponder what a photo of one of my characters might look like. To consider the folklore passed down by generation to generation. To puzzle over a face I don't recognise in my own photo stash, and create their story. 

Finding photos of people I don't know was easy. A dear aunt gave me one of her albums when my uncle passed away, and it's full of people I've never met. So I peered at the unknown and wondered. But only for a bit. 

Right there on the next page, I saw myself. A speck of a kid dressed in my best party frock, poised to blow out my 2nd birthday candles. I know from other photos of that day, my parents and grandparents were there, aunts and uncles and even my one and only cousin (at the time) from Adelaide was there, too. 

But in this shot I stood alone, probably waiting to be told when I could mess with the cake. 

I forgot about my characters and their stories. I forgot about their histories. I found a piece of mine, and that's the photo I wanted to share with you. 

Me, in my ruby slippers. Yes, even at two... (thanks to my mother's keen fashion eye) I had a pair of red shoes to play with. And I'm not too different, now. 

Ruby Slippers for my second birthday 

I still like to wear red shoes. I still look at cake like that... with fondness and longing... and although the hair ribbons have long gone, I still live to write stories threaded with romance and tied up with the flame of God's love. 

So what did I learn from my author date this week? 

Sometimes the heat will keep you in, but the tiniest detail can let you loose and take you to memories hidden in someone else's treasures. 

So I challenge you... to escape for a half hour. Dip into the albums and see for yourself. I can't promise you won't feel sadness, regret, or even grief. You will see people no longer a part of your life, for many different reasons. And you'll celebrate the little details which became the best memories. 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,