“To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.” Alfred Lord Tennyson
Have you ever had this experience: you’re working hard on a project or a goal, you’ve got a bunch of pieces, but you haven’t quite figured out how they are meant to fit together, then as though you’ve found a long forgotten combination to a rust-bitten lock, everything clicks into place.
I know what you’re thinking. When does that ever happen? There’s no mystery to realizing a goal. It takes work and lots of it. Period.
Yes, I agree with you.
Except once in a while, not often enough, this sort of magic does occur. And when it happens to me, it feels as though someone is watching over me, opening whatever doors need to be opened, making sure I don’t trip over myself or any other obstacles put in my way.
Before you judge the validity of what I’m saying, let me tell you what happened. Then you can make up your own mind.
It started innocently enough. I came across an article by accident about an art show dealing with the 2008 Greek recession. It wasn’t the kind of article I normally read, but for some reason the title drew me in.
I went to the wrong museum at first (having read the article far too quickly), then found the right one some distance away. The multi-media exhibit allowed me to see, feel and hear the impact of the recession on Greeks and others, almost as if I had been here during that turbulent time. The 2008 recession and its aftermath are at the heart of my novel so this exhibit provided some useful insight to my work.
Then I started to meet different people to discuss some of the issues I was grappling with in my novel. They all provided great information, and confirmed some of the facts I felt I already knew. And along the way I met or saw some of the characters I’d created.
I know this sounds crazy, but then again when don’t I sound an itsy-bitsy tiny bit crazy? Don’t answer that question.
In my novel, I’d described one of my protagonists as having piercing eyes. I actually don’t remember seeing eyes so intense, but my imagination created them and I usually follow that instinct. Then I met that person, with those eyes. They stopped me cold, just as I was being introduced to the person.
Whole conversations I’d written in dialogue before I came to Greece were played back to me in a déjà vu sort of way in various interviews I conducted. Yet, I’d never met any of these people before. Details about a person’s background (e.g., growing up in an orphanage) shared in an off-handed way during a conservation turned out to be a detail I’d already imagined and written into one of my own character’s background. Again, I know how strange this all sounds.
You’re probably thinking: man that woman is working too hard.
You’re right on that front. I’ve put in countless hours on this novel both before I got here and while I’ve been in Greece.
More importantly however, is the fact that I made a commitment to my novel when I came here. I took a step I wasn’t sure of, and pretty soon, I began to run. Yes, I’m breathing hard, and I’m scared and excited by these experiences, but it feels good too, as though I’m in the right place at the right time, doing what it is I’m supposed to be doing.
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