Friday, February 18, 2011

The Writing of an Adventure

Just over a year ago a thought crossed my mind for a story idea. It started like this;

   "Once upon a time, a young woman sat waiting for the call."

The story featured a young woman who was on the road to adventure. At the beginning she wasn't very excited about it. I wasn't sure if I would have anyone interested in her story either.

The first comment I received on the post was this though;

   Me said...


     You forgot to write: "To be continued..."
         You *are* going to continue, right? ;)

    And continue I did.

    Since that first warm reception, I went on to add 55 more excerpts to the story I began on February 12, 2010. While the story started in the style of a fiction piece, and a few wondered if this was a dream of mine, by the fourth excerpt I let my readers in on the fact that this was indeed a true story. In fact, the story was my own.

    In case you haven't followed any of it, the story is of my travels through Africa several years ago. It took a few entries to test the water and see if my story was worth sharing, but it has been obvious to me that it has. Friends have been awed by my adventure, grossed out by the food I ate, and worried for my security in dangerous situations. Lovely visitors have thrilled me by sharing that my tale has been passed along to curious family and friends. Others have expressed jealousy at my far-flung adventures, wishing that they could claim the experiences as their own. I take it all as compliments and allow it to fuel the fire in my brain to keep the story flowing.

    When I first started writing of my travels, the entries were sporadic. I began with a burst of writing, with excerpts three days in a row, then slowly tapered off. Some weeks I posted two days in a row, other times it would be almost two weeks between adventures. On average though, I continued my story about once a week.

    In 2011, I decided to give myself a schedule for my tale. You see I was gone for ten months, so my story holds many adventures in its pages. Some particularly gripping tales have even required two or three entries to conclude a section of the tale. As of January, I decided that I would post once a week and selected Monday as a good day to fly across the world for a spell of African Adventure.

    You know what I am personally loving about all of this though? Aside from the fact that the telling of the tale is helping to hone my writing skills, I am loving stepping back into this adventure. My wandering ways are like a pleasant dream from another lifetime ago. It is so hard to imagine myself as this girl sometimes, but indeed it was. Life has held many other adventures since then, many not nearly as pleasant, but many moreso. As I re-read the journals I kept during my wanders through Africa, I step right back into the pages of that life. This winter with wind howling outside my window, I have walked the African savannah, awed by the animals just outside arms reach. The dry African heat has warmed my soul, despite the deep-freeze outside my door. As soon as I open my journal to read a few sentences, I find myself smiling. I am no longer in this chair at this desk, but rather half a world away and gone more than a lifetime ago.

    What I do have to thank you lovely people for though is your support in all of this. This story has been aching to be written for many years. I believe that I came home knowing that I would write of my adventures one day, but never guessed that it would take this long to come to fruition. I even started the tale several years back, but quickly lost the drive to continue. Finding this venue for my tale has been exactly what I needed though. I write in snapshots, filtered through my journals and through my life since then. I try to stay true to the tales, but know that small details can be added or removed not harming the telling of my story. The snapshots I capture within a blog post are perfect though. I can build drama, paint pictures and be informative, all within the confines of several hundred words. The pictures in my mind will always be mine, but in the sharing, they come alive all over again.

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