Calvin and I just watched episode one of "Abstract, the Art of Design," a Netflix series on different artists. The first one was the designer for covers for the New Yorker magazine. I won't go into the show, but the artist made a statement that struck me as a writer. "If athletes and musicians practice everyday, why shouldn't artists?" He was referring to taking time to play at your craft while still working to improve. If we aren't working toward a deadline, we're challenged to take an idea and play with it.
An idea--an old one--has been residing in my brain for four years, commanding more attention. It was a writing prompt from a writers' group Calvin and I went to every Tuesday evening. The prompt? Tell about someone finding something hidden in a tin can in under 500 words.
I love finding things. Don't you? I also love the idea of discovering something hidden from another generation, a time long past, and bearing the imprint of someone's soul.
So, the writing prompt appealed to me. I was still writing, but it was for fun. No pressure. A couple of hours and I had it finished. I kept thinking...wouldn't this make a good romance? It would need to be expanded. Characters would require developing. Other decisions would need made. Would the romance take place in the Vietnam War era for when the letters and bracelet were from? Or should the romance take place in modern times between the carpenter, who found the tin and its contents, and the granddaughter of the woman who's heart was broken? Or a combination of both time periods?
Will "The Golden Charm" become my daily practice like a musician running through his or her scales?
Scales. Repetition of notes. Day after day before a new harder lesson can begin. My son, Steve, after 21 years of daily practice. By turns, he loved and hated his art. Just like he loves and hates teaching. He loves the students, but hates dealing with parents. I tell him it's because he has a childlike mind.
Ryan asked the coach, "How will I grow stronger if you encourage me to run from those better than I am?" The coach warned him he'd be pinned in the first quarter. "It won't be the first time. Besides, no one will expect a freshman with a record like mine to do well. The pressure will be off me. I can just relax and have fun." And he did. He almost got pinned twice, but he almost pinned The Beast, too. The crowds in the bleachers stood and cheered. Ryan kept plugging away. He had a rib injury, but he wrestled on. Like we do after a couple one-star reviews--or am I the only one who's gotten those? Ryan on the left lost 11-8. He said it was the kind of match he liked. One where there was no pressure...only learning.
Who knows, maybe sometime you'll get to read "The Golden Charm."
Read more about my writing at www.vonniedavis.com