Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in. (American Beauty, 1999)
Friends, don’t you just want to get out your butterfly net, snag those incredible moments of beauty, and pin them to a piece of cardboard so you can always remember how they made you feel? Tom Lowe at Timescapes managed to do it in video and I hope you’ll take a couple minutes to view his stunning work and then join me below for a discussion about how this all relates to my most recent manuscript.
TimeScapes: Rapture from Tom Lowe @ Timescapes on Vimeo.
Back in September I read John Green's Paper Towns and loved it. The nostalgia got to me in a big, big way. Shortly after finishing PT, I traveled to the town where I grew up and visited places I hadn't in years, relived memories I’d let slip away because they were too painful/too embarrassing/too whatever, and (to my surprise) began a new manuscript on the way home. I didn’t think it would turn into anything – just a quick little writing exercise that would keep me limber.
I spent the next six weeks writing, still expecting nothing much to come of it. On Tuesday I put down my pen (literally - this is the handwritten ms. I'm talking about), and not because the exercise had run its course, but because it was finished.
I think the combination of reading PT at the time I did and the trip home stirred something in me that allowed this book to emerge. I LOVE when just the right mishmash of elements come together to create something new, when you can point to a specific moment and say, “That’s it! That’s when the idea came to me!”
I won’t know if the manuscript is viable until I get into rewrites and edits, but I do know in writing it I felt my heart cave in a little, not from the beauty of my prose (Ha! Ha! First drafts are NEVER beautiful), but because in using a pen instead of a keyboard I more clearly saw each scene, each character flaw, each moment of discovery as if I was glimpsing something rare and wonderful. That is a true find and I will always be grateful for Paper Towns, my trip home, and a notebook I threw into my bag at the last minute – my own little moments that conspired to create, for me, something beautiful.
Any moments of beauty you've experienced lately, Killer Friends? Hmmmm?? Perhaps a new torture device for one of your exceptionally villainous villains?