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Experience Inspiration & Wonder July 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, Writing & Writers.

poems_inspiration-1Life is in the details, the cobwebs in the corners, the echoes of tarnished memories tap dancing over dusty hardwood floors.

Writers bring ashes of the past to the surface, quilting tapestries of interwoven gilded threads.

Our words, when real, create connection.

Stories reel us in when driven by believable characters residing in the “real world” (even if that world is make believe ~ like Harry Potter and Hogwart’s).

When characters feel real, we understand where they’re coming from, we relate to their challenges, we feel their pain, and we want to see them succeed.

We keep turning pages.  We wonder what’s coming next.

220px-TennieldumdeeWonder is why I love Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, Harry Potter, and Alice ~> the perfect juxtaposition between familiar elements (British nanny, boarding school) with unfamiliar elements (tea parties on the ceiling, shifting staircases, rabbit holes).

These stories cast charming and disarming spells:  Expelliarmus!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The Stanton Effect: Inspiration from a TED Talk (El Space ~ The Blog of L. Marie) * Write From Experience (El Space) * Invoking Wonder (El Space)


1. Hariod Brawn - July 15, 2015

We all live in a story, the fiction that is our imagined self. No one turns the pages of any book quite so carefully as they do those of the story of themselves. H ❤

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Wonderful thought . . . whoever you are!

One’s inner sense of “me” is built up of images from the past, all the fears, hopes, wishes, dreams, loves, and disappointments one calls “mine.” However, if you strip all these images away, something of “me” is still left: the decision maker, the screen, the silent witness. ~ Deepak Chopra

Hariod Brawn - July 15, 2015

I would maintain that he is wrong Nancy, and that there is no decision maker – a very fundamental, yet ubiquitous error. Benjamin Libet helped prove as much in the seventies with his ‘Time On’ theory. There is no ‘screen’ being viewed by any homunculus of self. There is no witnessing subject, there is just witnessing, which is awareness knowing itself as itself.

H ❤

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

I wonder how he decided that with no decision maker to assist him? :mrgreen:

And who did he prove it to? 😛

Hariod Brawn - July 15, 2015

We have to disentangle the ‘self’ as a social construct and physical entity from that which it is taken to be: an enduringly instantiated entity thought to be the ‘self of me’ – the supposed experiencer of experience, the subject apprehending a world of objects, the chooser of choices, thinker of thoughts, and so forth. None of those things are actualities beyond being mind creations; it is just that the mind evolved to navigate the world in such ways. It is hard to see.

H ❤

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

If there is no “chooser” or “thinker” then this free floating “awareness” is free to witness itself wandering into a church and shooting people . . . without manufacturing feelings of remorse. “Life is but a dream.”

I think there is more to it than that.

2. Val Boyko - July 15, 2015

Cobwebs, details, believable characters plus suspense and a good story sums it up for me. I am a big Harry Potter fan 🙂

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Me too! I started reading Harry Potter when numerous nieces and nephews were reading it in great gulps. I finished the series because I enjoyed Harry, Hogwart’s, Hagrid, and Dumbledore.

Here’s to shifting staircases!

3. Kate Crimmins - July 15, 2015

For me stories are like visiting friends. It’s a place to go and visit. Depending on your mood, you can pick the place more easily than in life. Sometimes it helps you bridge those times in your life that could use some bridging.

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Yes! When I watch or read engaging movies and books, I am transported from Here to There. Sometimes I’m so deeply immersed in the story that I find it hard to re-surface.

Kate Crimmins - July 15, 2015

It’s a lovely vacation with no work involved.

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Yes! What would life be without delightful stories to entertain us? Sometimes the best way to deal with “reality” is to vacate it for a time. 😎

4. Pix Under the Oaks - July 15, 2015

I don’t know what I would do without a good story to get lost in.
Good Morning!
We may, I say may, be heading to Florida. CH has to have hernia surgery and what better place to recuperate. But he wants to check out Ocala… I swear our life is a roller coaster. It’s cooler and less humid in Florah-dee-dah than Missouri lately… o_O

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Life is a roller coaster ~> with ups and downs and twists and turns . . . often throwing us for a loop as it bounces from exhilarating thrills to blood curdling chills. And the ride often ends much too soon.

How’s that for a dose of daily philosophy, Pix? :mrgreen:

Hope that CH comes through hernia surgery like a champ and finds a relaxing place to recuperate. BFF had hernia surgery here in 2009 or 2010 and came through with flying colors. WHEE!

If you do head to Florida and you’re up for it ~ we could try for a 4th meet up! With chocolate and wine and pizza and cookies . . . for medicinal purposes only. 😛

5. Jill Weatherholt - July 15, 2015

I know I’ve read a great book when I come to the end and I want to continue on in the character’s life. Don’t hate me, Nancy…I haven’t read Harry Potter…I know…I’ve heard it already. 🙂

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

No worries, Jill. Harry Potter is not my favorite book of all time. I doubt I would have read it if my nieces and nephews hadn’t wanted to discuss it with me.

But if you haven’t read A Christmas Carol by Dickens you better get cracking or I’ll sick Marley’s ghost on you! BOO!!! 🙄

6. L. Marie - July 15, 2015

I love the same stories you love. I’m glad you brought up Nanny McPhee. It’s time I watched the first one again.
I love to be reeled in by stories!!!

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Nanny McPhee is great to watch ~ very elegant interplay between the magic and “reality.”

7. Carol Ferenc - July 15, 2015

Such a lovely description of a writer’s craft. Too often the people in our lives just don’t get it.

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

Agreed, but I can think of any number of professions that I just don’t get ~ astrophysics, neurology, bridge building, aeronautics, accounting, etc. As long as writers understand why they write what they write, perhaps that’s enough. 😎

8. suzicate - July 15, 2015

Did you ever watch “Saving Mr. Banks”? It inspired me to watch Mary Poppins again…I never knew the story behind the story!

nrhatch - July 15, 2015

I enjoyed “Saving Mr. Banks” ~> fascinating to see how P.L. Travers transformed her life into a magical tale.

For me, there are no answers, only questions, and I am grateful that the questions go on and on. I don’t look for an answer because I don’t think there is one. I’m very glad to be the bearer of a question. ~ P. L. Travers

9. Behind the Story - July 15, 2015

Stories like Alice or the Wizard of Oz become something more than stories. I don’t know if it’s because I knew them as a child or because everyone else I know is familiar with them. But they’ve become part of me, part of my understanding of the world, cultural touch points with other people. They bring technicolor to the drab happenings of life. I don’t write tales of wonder, but I’m grateful to the people who do.

nrhatch - July 16, 2015

I know what you mean, Nicki. Stories interweave with our lives.

By way of example, when I’m displeased with politicians and lobbyists, I emulate the Red Queen by screeching . . . “Off With His Head!” :mrgreen:

10. Debra - July 16, 2015

There is nothing more delicious than a good read! It is such delight to lose oneself in a story and sometimes when I finish a book in which the characters were well written and “real,” I feel such a letdown when I come to that last sentence. That, to me, is a really good book. 🙂

nrhatch - July 16, 2015

Those books are the BEST! In contrast, I started a rather dreadful book this week. Although I’ve made it to the mid-way mark, I’m tempted to flash forward to the last chapter and close the cover on the whole cast of characters. It’s just not worth my time.

11. Jacqueline King - July 16, 2015

The ‘connection’ is what creates the magic for me, Nancy ~ even when it is all make~believe. It’s that indefinable recognition that the author is a kindred spirit, with the power to tap into and express universal experiences in ways that enchant and delight! 🙂

nrhatch - July 16, 2015

Yes! The book I’m reading is the antithesis of what you’ve described . . . because I do NOT want to be kindred spirits with the characters the author has painted onto the page in garish tones.

12. Tammy - July 16, 2015

I have always loved a believable character doing unbeleivable things.

nrhatch - July 16, 2015

When I feel a character is well woven, I love to traipse along with them as they follow the yellow brick road.

13. William D'Andrea - July 16, 2015

As a writer, I don’t think of myself as any kind of magician. I know I have the ability to put words together well; but the work does not include waving any kind of magic ward. The work is choosing one word at a time. One sentence at a time.
On the other hand, when I’m in the middle of creating fiction, it’s like a journey of exploration, and I’m never really sure what I will discover along the way. I am now in the middle of creating a new book. What I have discovered, as of right now, is that I am totally lost. I have only vague ideas of where to go from here, and I’m thinking “This work is going to be awful”.
That is how writing is for me. What I’ve learned to do is just keep writing, and eventually things will fall into place, and the entire work will turn out much better than I’d expected.
Like I said, for me there is no magic; no hocus pocus. There is however a lot of “Hokey Pokey”.
I put a sentence in
I take a sentence out.
I put the sentence back in
and I shake it all about.
I do some hokey pokey
and I turn it all about.
That’s how it all comes out.
Yes sir!

nrhatch - July 16, 2015

I’m certain many writers would relate to your experience of writing, revising, re-writing, editing, and writing some more.

Like a single strand of DNA, reordering the 26 letters at our disposal expands our universe from finite to infinite.

Writing allows us to play with permutations, switch perspectives, and view life through different vantage points and keyholes.

The freedom of orchestrating our thoughts liberates us from the constraining influence of public opinion and even from our own limiting beliefs.

Alone with our thoughts, we step into solitude to carve order out of chaos. As we edit, we add, delete, expand, contract, and reorder our thoughts until we are satisfied that we said what we meant, and we meant what we said.

14. anotherday2paradise - July 16, 2015

“Life is in the details, the cobwebs in the corners, the echoes of tarnished memories tap dancing over dusty hardwood floors.” What a wonderful sentence, Nancy! You’re so right. ( btw…. Like Jill, I also haven’t read Harry Potter. Maybe I’ll get around to it one day.) 🙂

nrhatch - July 17, 2015

Thanks, Sylvia! Seems you are not alone . . . lots of comments here contain the same “confession.”

If you enjoy stories like Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland, the world of Harry Potter and Hogwart’s is a magical place with potions, invisibility cloaks, spells, and shifting staircases. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, I think that Ms. Poppins would sniff at it as being rather far fetched. :mrgreen:

15. diannegray - July 16, 2015

I’m also with Jill and Sylvia – I haven’t read Harry Potter. Bad me 😉 But you are so right. We all have experiences and feelings that we can see in others when we read a really good book and this is what makes the story so good! 😀

nrhatch - July 17, 2015

Agreed! I don’t mind suspending disbelief if characters act true to who they are portrayed to be . . . but I lose interest if they bounce around like billiard balls being manipulated by an unseen hand.

16. beeblu - July 16, 2015

Love the imagery in your opening paragraph. I’m a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland and the related stories. They really fired my imagination as a child and still do.

nrhatch - July 17, 2015

Thanks, BB! Not long ago I wandered into the children’s room at the local library to select a few childhood favorites ~ it was great to renew my acquaintance with Pippi Longstocking! I always wanted a monkey. And a horse. 😛

17. reocochran - July 16, 2015

Nancy, hurry hurry! You may be late for an important date! I love fantasy books and poems. Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” and Roald Dahl’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” for poems. I loved “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and “A Wrinkle in Time,” for books. When I was a child, Hans Christian Anderson was the fairy tale wizard. The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina were among my favorites. It wasn’t about being a princess but about transformation, Nancy. 🙂
I really liked your list very much with Mary, Nanny, Harry and Alice. I enjoyed this magical post. Now I am wondering who wrote about the shy dragon in “Custard the Dragon”poem?

nrhatch - July 17, 2015

Sounds like you enjoy a whimsical read from time to time, Robyn. Me too. Flying through the pages can be a Great Escape from being anchored to the ground and tethered to the present.

But I must surface in time for tea! 😛

reocochran - July 18, 2015

Oh, pour me a real cup of tea, please, Nancy. I will fly on over. . . 🙂

nrhatch - July 18, 2015

Afternoon Tea is a delight . . . especially with scones fresh from the oven!

18. Tiny - July 17, 2015

I love stories! But I have to confess I haven’t read Potter. Yet. One of these days I may need to find out what I’ve missed.

nrhatch - July 17, 2015

If you’re not sure about tackling the series, you might watch the first movie ~ Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. If it’s time well spent, proceed with the books and/or movies. If not, turn your attention elsewhere.

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