20171204_091327

We writers love to talk about finding our literary voice (good piece on that here), along with our favorite tropes, motifs, and images. Basically…stuff we know.

We’ve all heard the “write what you know” advice, often attributed to ol’ Papa Hemingway. What he really said (and more Hemingway writing advice here):

Write about what you know and write truly and tell them all where they can place it…Books should be about the people you know, that you love and hate, not about the people you study about.

So, we read, travel, meet, live, repeat, and read some more–to amass the places, people, and ideas that we know fully, that become an integral part of us. So much so that these places, people, and ideas pop up in our writing as setting, characters, tropes and all those other fun literary terms.

All that’s to say that our writerly voice and our place in the world (weekly photo challenge) go hand-in-hand. For me, the way to discovering my literary voice–my place on the page (definitely still a work in progress)–and my place in the world are parallel journeys. And both follow water.

They say the apple doesn’t fall far… My dad, a lifelong Lake Erie boater, went around the world’s waterways as a young man in the Navy and still didn’t get enough of the stuff. Being landlocked makes him itchy. (Here he is on his 1942 Lyman he restored himself.) I suppose I inherited some of his itch.

20170927_155709

From the Great Lake of my girlhood to the river I’m on now (header photo)–water makes its way into much of my creative writing. Not only as setting and a handy trope, but I’m interested in water’s relationship with our human bodies (which are so much water!), and I wish I could fish and swim and dive with an expert’s ease. And there’s where I write what I don’t know, because I want to know more.

This summer I will do more to know more to write more. How’s that? And I’ll do it in a dinghy! Yep, we bought a dinghy–my little family’s first foray onto the water.

Does your place in the world inform your place on the page? I’d love to hear about it and to see pics!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Our Place in the World: Water Ways

  1. That is a great boat and really terrific that he restored it himself! To date, my novels have been set in the area where I live. My current project is veering farther afield – England (but I have some help! And really, I should take a trip for research, right? 😃)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s just something so soothingly elemental about the water, isn’t there? I wish I knew how to sail! Even though I grew up near Lake Erie and my dad (and brother) sailed, I never learned. Our new dinghy (we can’t get enough of dinghy jokes around here!) has a centerboard and a sail, so we’ll get the feel of that a little. Plus, we live on a river that leads to the Chesapeake Bay and there’s lots of fishing and crabbing. It makes our river not so great for swimming but fun for fishing, so we will get our boys fishing poles (and maybe a trotline for crabbing) and do that too. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First, kudos to your dad, that is an amazing and beautiful boat, yes I’m jealous! Second, it’s never to late to learn how to sail, it’s magic … no motors, nothing mechanical … but when the wind catches your sail, when the canvas snaps and you start to glide across the water … it’s a feeling like nothing else, a connection that people have shared for thousands of years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you (on behalf of my dad). He bought it for $3,000 I think it was (in the 80s)–sold his Austin Healey to do it (we’re still not sure they was a good idea). And he probably overpaid, since he and my brother (who helped him restore it) discovered that it was mostly rotted out. So they had to start from the ground up–steaming and bending the new ribs and everything. It’s always been a labor of love and my dad’s fourth kid! I’ve never tried to sail at all. Being near Annapolis, Maryland, I must try. Hope I like it! Thanks for stopping by!

    Like

  4. Great post. I think location definitely impacts writing. I’m in New England and it informs my style for sure. There’s a lot of horror writers in these parts, and New England is full of lore and old spooky stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely dinghy ⛵️. I liked this post. I’m a Caribbean girl who over the last 20+ years lived and is still living close to the water and witnessing the most spectacular sunsets 🌅 and yes this does influence my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s