Archive | 1:49 pm

Nowhere Man

1 May

Randomness . . .

I talked to a guy at last weeks’ farmers market who served in Vietnam.  We talked for a good five minutes.  It was fascinating, hearing about the war from a soldier who was there, rather than from some talking head news person who is regurgitating old articles.

He was fine talking about our government, the waste of it all, and the one thing every soldier had in common with all other soldiers, the all-consuming desire to stay alive, but his eyes clouded over when he talked about the fire fights, the brutality of it all, and the killing, and he became deeply saddened when he talked about the distrust for a young child who walked into camp, sadness because they couldn’t trust the child, did not know if she was armed and meant them harm, or just lost.

That shit is real!  That is the human connection that great stories have. As writers, we need to listen to those stories, absorb them, and never let their humanness escape us when we are writing.

 

I was reading a post on Facebook from a young single mother of two.  She was talking about the struggle and the feelings of inadequacy, the worries that she was not doing a good job of parenting, not providing all the things her daughters needed. It was a heartbreaking post, and it was more poignant because she is a former student of mine.

That shit is real!

 

I spend a lot of time observing people.  I always have.  The difference now, as opposed to when I was younger, is I engage with those people now. I want to know more.  I want to hear their stories.  The more engaged I become, the more they are willing to open up, and selfishly I gain from each story because I am a storyteller, and I want my stories to be authentic.  Their stories help me, and similar stories will help you.  I’m not just talking about fiction writers.  Non-fiction writers can benefit as well.  We need that human connection in our writing.  Otherwise we might as well just write for Wikipedia.

 

I cry much more now than I once did.  Ask my wife if this is true. I cry watching television shows.  It bothered me at first, but now I embrace it.  It means I’m becoming more connected with what is real in life.  It means I am becoming more human. It means I have gained empathy, and I am fine with that.  At the risk of sounding like a love child from the 60’s, we need more love in this world. We need to make more connections and not fewer.  What was that line from that old song by Pink Floyd . . . two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,” or something like that . . . that perfectly describes so many people, lonely, agitated, confused, desperately in need of human contact but unsure, unaware, unwilling,  or unknowing in how to make it happen.

“Nowhere Man, please listen, you don’t know what you’re missing . . . “

Random thoughts . . .

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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