I found a brownie recipe and decided to try it. The batter stuck to the pan. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t get the squares back together again. Crumbs! That’s what I got. Delicious crumbs to use as a dessert topping. Between sessions of pushing and scraping in the pan, I busied myself straightening three boxes of cards and clippings, trying to file them in sensible-to -follow folders. These boxes were crammed with years of collecting little ideas, memories, and articles that “someday” I might be able to use in my writing.
A writer’s life is this way. We jot down ideas and stash them away. We clip articles from the newspapers that might serve as the impetus for an article or story. We stash letters thinking we may use them to augment a character or plot development. These crumbs of life are rich and wonderful. I had a grand time—frustrating, to be sure--, but a wonderful time forcing myself to toss away old writings and notes that “once upon a time long ago” seemed priceless. I now can boast two boxes, not three. Moreover, I have sorted and alphabetized these left-over writings into folders with titles such as “About authors,” “About books I’ve read,” “Aviation history,” “Ideas I might someday use,” “Family and Genealogy Facts,” “Letters from friends, old and new,” “ Pets We’ve Had,” etc. You get the point. Now to figure out where to store the boxes! And there are other shelves with boxes yet to be tackled!
These saying by famous people, recipes, and slivers of facts are the delicious elements of a writer’s life. Much like Midas counting his gold, writers treasure these artifacts because these are the threads of gold we weave into the fabric of our writings, details to be imagined then worked into the mosaic of a story or play.
Imagination may be fanciful or empty. It is, according to the dictionary, “the ability to imagine things that are not real: the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced. It’s the ability of think of new concepts. It exists in one’s mind.” Children seem to have it in abundance. In adults it sometimes becomes diminished because much of life is hectic, chaotic, too fast paced. We become dependent on our technological gadgets and phones. A person needs time and silencc to allow the mind to roam. As this Christmas and holiday season eases upon us, I wish you crumbs of imagination, that curious ability to consider how life would be without artists, musicians, writers, and dear people who bake pies, breads, and brownies