The Literary Voyeur

I see him. He watches me from the apartment across the way. As I walk past the floor to ceiling windows in the New York City apartment, I catch a glance of him. He looks out of the his window and his stare remains fixed on me at the moment of realization that he has been caught. My heart jumps quickly when I realize that I have been on display in the fishbowl that serves as the apartment. I quickly dart from the window and protect myself from exposure behind the comfort of a wall. As I continue to walk around the apartment, I nonchalantly glance over at the window and surprisingly his stare remains penetrable. In any other similar circumstance, I would become uneasy in this sort of situation. But not in this one. And you ask, why is that?

My voyeur is a dog.

True story, my friends. I am visiting in New York City, staying in a beautiful apartment, and there is this wonderful dog across the way that sits at his owner’s window all day long and stares across to me. The ironic part of this is that my own black lab lays on the couch ten feet from the window and is completely ignorant to the fact that she too has a secret watcher. And if I am being completely honest with my myself, my furry friend is truly seeking to see her, I am merely a second glance. 🙂

Consequently, as I build my blogging experience, I have learned that I now walk through life with a different view through my “writing” eyes. We come across random life experiences and think, “Wow, this is a great topic that someone will want to read about. I need to write about this!” So this was a moment for me.

However, I am also learning that when you have a blogging audience, you need to keep their interests in mind. My audience are primarily writers so if I blatantly just write about voyeurism, those of us writers that don’t have wild sexual oddities may wonder off. 🙂 So to keep that from happening, here is the connection from my story to writing.

As a side note, I am using the term voyeur loosely as I am extracting the observer portion of the definition and leaving behind the sexual pleasure component behind. Us writers can do that, right? 🙂

I am a reading specialist and in my education, it is engrained into us that reading influences writing and writing influences reading. Good readers become good writers and via versa. The reading to writing to reading connection is a cycle. I look at my above experience and make this literary connection. When we read, we are in essence voyeurs. We are looking into the lives of fiction and non-fictional characters through the lense of text rather than with our sight.

Our voyeuristic need is what drives us to read.

For some odd reason, human beings have this innate need to learn about others. Whether it is to catch a glimpse at someone in the car next to you at the light or to peer out the window to watch your neighbor receiving visitors at their house.

Everyone has voyeuristic  moments and those of us that enjoy reading are a part of that group and those of us that are writers like to be watched. 🙂

 

I don’t want to be alone.

I find it interesting that since my father died 2 1/2 months ago, I find myself looking for that “right” song or book that explains how I have been feeling through my grief. And through my search, I can’t help but feel a bit silly when I search songs about dying on the internet. I may as well search “I want to spend the next 45 minutes crying. Have any ideas?”

I know that I am not the only one that does this as numerous websites abound with endless ways to happily make yourself sad. Why do we do this to ourselves?

There are several answers to this, I am sure, but this is mine. Human beings, as the fragile species as we are, simply do not want to be alone. We don’t want to be physically alone as is evident that we spend our entire lives searching for our soul mate and a very small portion of us find that person. Thank god I am part of this special group. Just thinking about wandering around life alone makes me nervous.

We hate being emotionally alone too. It makes us uneasy to think that we are the only person who has ever had these feelings and we feel the need to share and learn how others cope with these same feelings.

This human need is what creates writers. We search for these emotional connections through our writing. We validate our emotions on paper. If we are writing non-fiction, then our emotions are blaring straight out on paper for our readers to relate to either positively or negatively. If we are writing fiction, we have the ability to mask our emotions among shields of untruths.

Writing has many purposes, but as a writer, I use writing as emotional outlet. My goal is to hide that from my reader. That’s fiction for you, right?

Help me….I’m losing my high!!

I knew it was inevitable. I just thought it could last a bit longer. The euphoria. The excitement.

Yes, unfortunately the reality of trying to squeeze writing into my already over-scheduled life is creeping her ugly head around the corner. I know what I need to do. Everyone says the same thing. Schedule, schedule, schedule. Oh….and goals, goals, goals. My general resolution of writing in 2013 I guess is no longer “cutting it”.

So, again to help hold myself publicly accountable, here are my schedule and goals. I need to blog everyday, but I just honestly don’t think that I can come up with 365 witty posts- it just seems to be too much to ask even of the most intellectually superior beings. So I have revised my goals to blog every day- three posts a week and commenting on others the remaining four days. Three posts a week will hopefully keep my followers loyal. I may develop some sort of interactive writing activity the other days as well, I will work on that as well.

As for the writing of the novel, I want to have my outline complete by the end of the month. I will then shoot for writing one chapter a month. I ideally want to write more than one novel this year, but I figure to switch things up and actually underestimate my goals instead of setting unrealistic goals as I typically do. By doing it this way, I will hopefully pleasantly surprise myself.

Ok, ready, set, go me!!! 🙂

The Flow of Life: A Reflection of Resolutions

So the world as we know it continues on. The doomsdayers finish up their sulking and carry on with their plans of improving the bomb shelter. Another year. I guess I need to dig out my resolution list from last year, blow the dust off, and add to it as nothing much needs to be deleted. Hmm. Predictable. 

A quick reflection  and status update of 2012 resolutions. Well, actually a few things DO need to be deleted. Yay for me as I give myself a patronizing pat on the back.

My finance and I are now first time home owners. Check. We have somewhat improved the quality of our life from what it was a year ago. Check. Our lives are de-stressed. Uncheck. The business that we own and operate continues to function without bankrupting us. Yet. Check. I started that tutoring company I have been talking about doing for two years. Uncheck. I have starting writing and wrote my first novel. Kind of uncheck….I started blogging so that counts for half of a completed goal.

I love rationalizing failure. Just ask my finance.

Completing my master’s degree. Check. Getting engaged and becoming one step further away from living in sin. (Whew.) Check. Build our collection of antiques so when we are old and social security has vaporized, we have something to sell so we can buy Depends. Check.

And drumroll…..the long awaited 2013 resolutions. I love how in the beginning of a year we are so enthusiastic about setting ourselves up for failure by defining all of these unrealistic goals.

Anyhow, onto the list. As a side note, I am fully aware that no one gives a damn about my life or its inadequacies, so rest assured this list is just a public way of holding myself accountable. I don’t expect anyone to really care. 🙂

1. Lose weight. Predictable, I know but it’s an old classic of the past 20 years.

2. Exercise more. Let’s be honest…..exercise at all would be an improvement. Another classic.

3. Blog everyday. Succeeded with this so far but again it has only been 2 days. Not quite time to celebrate.

4. Write the novel. If you are reading this, you know how that is coming and are most likely tired of hearing about it already.

5. Tutoring company. I’m REALLY going to do it this year.

6. Work towards becoming real-life Brandi and Jared from Storage Wars with my finance. Or at least make the time to go on a real damn vacation.

7. Stop living in sin and throw in wedding plans to the always ridiculously packed life schedule.

8. Do something amazing in honor of the great man my father was who recently past away.

9. Spend more quality time with my mom.

10. Show my finance how much I love him and appreciate him. Every day. And continue to make special memories together with him that will last a lifetime.

 

Ugh, how is it I begin my Resolution List as a smart ass and end it a weeping mess. Ha, such is life. Hope you enjoyed.

 

 

OBSESSED! Part Two

So I was driving home today and totally missed my turn because I was mentally debating which Hollywood actors would play the characters in my novel. Oh well, the day dream was worth the extra 10 minutes it took to get home.

Now seriously. This is starting to get ridiculous.

I debated even sharing this with all of you as I didn’t want to come off as so egocentric to think that my nonexistent novel is worth that sort of notoriety. If nothing less, it was an unintentional, but very effective way to help develop characters. I would strongly recommend it to anyone!

OBSESSED!!!!

So, I have decided that I am officially OBSESSED with the characters in my non-existent novel. Let’s please emphasize the word, non-existent. I seriously don’t even have a word written or an outline constructed yet.

 I just drove 5 hours from being out of town and I can’t stop thinking about them! I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t stop thinking about them. I believe that it is enough, you get the picture without making myself sound like a complete psychotic mess!

Honestly, I am just amazed at how an idea implants itself in your brain and then it keeps growing and adapting and changing and getting larger and eventually developing into a huge project, aka a novel. This is my first time experiencing this “high” of beginning a new novel so please bear with me! I know halfway through I will be over it and want to start a new one. But I can definitely understand how many writers express how they become attached to their characters and view them as friends or are sad when they are killed off in the plot. At first I thought that sounded a bit bizarre, but now, I completely get it. You become attached to these “people” considering they are all that I have thought about for the past 48 hours!!!

If there is anyone that can empathize with my new obsession, I would greatly appreciate that you comment on my post so I can take some bit of comfort that I have not completely lost my mind!