Sometimes ideas just kind of come to you. They’re not necessarily ideas for writing, but they are ideas to be pondered, mulled over, tasted and tested.
The other day, I was thinking about my business. It’s a small shop in a tourist town, and due to the pandemic, we, like most of the establishments in our town, are closed. It’s hitting all of us really hard and what makes it even worse for us right now is we JUST moved to a new location and signed a one-year lease. If we hadn’t moved, we could have just had a big sale, closed our doors and walked away.
But the lease means we’re kind of forced to make decisions. I’m not really good at that. I tend to make snap decisions, push forward on them until they pop into place, then discover they probably weren’t the best things I could have chosen. Although, to be fair to myself, we had to move. The ceiling in the old place was leaking and the landlord was refusing to repair it permanently. Mold was a problem (no surprise there) and there was no heat, so winters were ugly at the shop. Summers weren’t much better, with no ventilation to move stale air.
So we moved. We pushed forward and moved. Kind of the way we pushed forward and purchased the shop in the first place. If we’d known that my parents would become unable to care for themselves and need 24 hour care, I would have not purchased the shop, but sold my home and moved in with them.
There were other incidents that sparked this theme of missed opportunities, missed chances, missed turns, whatever. And as my thoughts kept spinning around the drain of my brain well, a character came into play. The Goddess of Near Misses, Missed Opportunities, etc. She stood there, looking calm but tired. Her clothes were plain, spots of dirt here and there, some ripped places and a smudge of something on the back of one hand. Her shoes were worn down and there was an air of, “oh well” about her.
It made me kind of sad. No one is going to honor the Goddess of Missed Chances, in fact, she’s a deity that most would prefer to avoid.
“What do they call you?” I asked.
“I have many nicknames,” she said, “but the most frequent one used is Karma.”
“Oh. What name do you prefer?”
“How about, Teacher.”
I looked at her again. Her clothes were worn, but comfortable and serviceable. They were stained with the things she had been doing to keep going, despite missing a chance. Her shoes carried her to places she hadn’t intended on going, but she was making the best of wherever she went.
“When you move too fast and don’t think things through, you start to think you’ve missed your chance. But maybe you haven’t. Maybe your life wasn’t supposed to be the way you always envisioned. Maybe you are where you need to be, if not for you, then for someone else. I can teach you to accept and work with where you are. It’s not where you planned to be, but you’re not alone, you have tools available to make this place better.
“Or, you can fuss, fume, and regret, deeply regret your choices. That’s when the tools rust, the chances fade, and the cage door closes.
“But remember, there is no lock on that door. Once you learn some lessons, you can be free to make better decisions, and if you learned from your past errors, then your decisions will be more beneficial.”
So, that’s kind of where I am right now. I’ve made a place for myself, wallowed in a cage built of self-pity and regret, until the Goddess of Miss Chances came along and handed me the key. I have some time now to focus more on my writing, to become serious about it and stop thinking, “As soon as this is over, I’ll REALLY get serious about finishing my series.”
It is time to get serious and use this opportunity to examine the possibilities at hand, those tools the Teacher carries, so I can use them to make something better.
I haven’t forgotten about the word prompts, so here we go. Let’s create a setting, a scene not yet populated with characters, but let’s set one up because they’re about to enter.
Here are six words. Let’s use at least four of them in the scene: Juggle, fabulous, miniature, wind, tree, hole.
See you Wednesday with your scene. Feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don’t have one, just leave your scene there instead. I look forward to reading them.