Undertake the Crazy

Writers get to create every detail in a story. It’s a big responsibility, and, truth be told, a lot of fun. Characters, families, histories, motives–whole worlds get created and it’s all up to the writer. (For the most part, anyway. Well-drawn characters typically begin to tell their own stories.) But this work makes you look at the world and always think that you can effect a change.

I’ve been noticing lately that many of us are asking questions deep inside ourselves. We wonder if we’re doing the right things, making the right choices, living in the right place, working at the right job… And I think: We can’t possibly be right all the time. Typically it’s doing the wrong thing that helps us learn faster and better, anyhow. So, as much as our insides are begging, “Right? Right? Right?” I’ve also been noticing that if we quiet that anxious voice and listen, the answers are coming. We’ve indeed been receiving answers all along.

Things don’t always go our way in life, and yes, there’s plenty of negativity to go around. But with a slight shift in focus, sometimes life is just downright magical. The shift can be as simple as this: If you look for the good, you typically get good. If you look for something to laugh about, it could very well show up.

Undertake the CrazyThe thing to do–and I can’t believe that I’m saying this–is to look at the world like a writer. Start by dreaming up and creating your own life, listening to that inner voice, the instinct that tells you which way to go. Populate it with the characters you want, with the job you want, the story you want to live. Create your world much the way writers create the ones for the storybooks. And then dare to undertake the crazy, the lofty, the grandest thing you can imagine, the thing you believe is hovering just beyond where you think you can go.

Go ahead, reach for it. It’s your world, after all.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see JodyBrown.com/writing.

A Chive Named Walter

I don’t know what it is about chives, but I planted some years ago in a little planter box outside my kitchen. In 2012, winter came on suddenly, and I’d forgotten to move the boxes into the garage for winter before they froze in place, so there they stayed all winter. But, as soon as the 17 inches of snow from May 2, 2013 melted, there were the chives.

This winter, I did manage to put the planter boxes into the garage in the nick of time.

And now with the wind, rain, and strange temperature swings this May, I haven’t been ready to get the boxes out and start replanting yet.

photo-2The other day I stumbled on them in the garage, and curiously, found the chives growing. I nearly cried. Mind you, it’s a detached garage. It’s cold and dark in there. Yet, even in this dead wasteland, there was the chive, like an old, familiar friend back from a long trip.

I decided to call the chive Walter. Perhaps that’s strange, but I’m taking the writerly way out on this one:

  1. We name things.
  2. There’s nothing wrong with filling your life with characters.
  3. A dear friend returning from a trip shouldn’t be met with, “Oh, hello…you…” which is what happened.
  4. (More sibling than writerly): My sister has a plant named Wendy, so there.

Sure, chives are hardy, perennial, and will take over if you let them. But they also need a lot of sunlight and water. This chive got neither in my garage for the past 6 months, yet, there it is.

I put Walter back in his place outside the kitchen, and thought about how some things just don’t need my help. They happen with or without my fretting over them.

You gotta love that kind of independence.
My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.