Saturday, December 12, 2009

Let it Snow, Rain, or Sleet. And Bring In the Fairies

By Keith Fisher

I heard groans from some of my friends when they heard it was going to snow. I must admit it wasn’t much fun shoveling the most recent batch of it this morning. While I was out there, though, I debated plot scenarios in my head. Sometimes I argue with myself out there, working out a problem. When I do that, however, I frequently check to see if anyone is listening. I can’t afford to be committed to the booby hatch, (although I bet I could get some writing done).

Also, While shoveling this a.m., I reflected on my childhood and the magic of snowstorms. I grew up in a house next to a hillside vacant lot, so when it snowed, I waxed the runners of my sled and patched the holes in my inner tube. I loved the snow, and I loved winter.

Now I’m an adult and a writer. I still find myself staring at fresh fallen snow with a sense of wonder. I love the way it hides the brown grass and the leaves I didn’t get picked up.
Have you ever sat on a ridge gazing at a forest of pine trees covered in fresh snow? Then, while you watch, the sun comes out. The sparkling splendor of the fairytale world can take your breath away.

I experienced a similar feeling the other day, when, as a writer, I parked in the overflow parking lot of the Provo Utah LDS temple. I set my laptop on the steering wheel as I always do, but I spent fifteen minutes gaping at the view before I could write. The sparkle in the sunlight was fabulous.

The real attraction of snowstorms, or any storm for that matter, is the possibility of being able to write without feeling guilty about taking the time. I can’t do yard work while its raining, and sleet makes it almost impossible to walk outside. I can escape into my manuscript, holding a cup of hot chocolate, and follow my characters into places of their choosing, and not worry about yard work or even hanging Christmas lights. I give myself permission to be a writer.

Now, I’m sure that some of you, especially mothers, will bring up housework, and the many tasks that must be done for a family regardless of snow. Well, in my perfect world, fairies exist, and they like nothing more than to help. In my imagination, my children are fairies and they can’t go outside during the storm anyway. Then when the housework and fighting is finished, the storm clears, drawing the kids outside for awhile, giving you time to climb into the world of your manuscript.

Like I said at the outset—childhood was, and is, a magical time. I hope you can steal a moment for yourself. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.


L.T. Elliot said...

It's that same magic that makes me grateful for my bad vision. My dad told me late one winter night to take off my glasses and look at the tree through my bad eyesight. I experienced that same sparkling glow and every season, I make sure to "go blind" and embrace my hinderances.
It figures that one of my favorite writers and friends also loves the sparkling magic of wintertime. =D

Kimberly Job said...

Great post, Keith. I love the snow too. I have a favorite place in Provo Canyon where I've sat and looked out on the undisturbed snow, surrounded by God's landscape. It reminds me of repentance. Just like the snow covered your dead grass and leaves, the Savior's gift of the atonement covers all the ugliness in our lives. Love you!!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Snow is magical. We turned our back porch steps into a wicked awesome sled ramp. I don't know who likes it more, me or the wee ones.