What’s in a life?

Remember all those times that you wanted to share or take over the life of some character? Compared to them, your life is boring. Nothing happens. Nothing ever will happen. All you can see is the amazing, sparkly, excitement encrusted life that they get. But, what kind of life is that?

Recall that phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side?”

Now, remember all those characters who just wanted to have a normal life? They were sick and tired of being chased all over creation or having to save the world time after time. All they wanted was just a little peace and quiet. To be normal. But, what is normal?

First of all, their life isn’t amazing and your life isn’t normal.

Well, maybe their life is exciting, but, trust me, it’s not amazing. You know, books tend to skim over the boring, normal days characters tend to have. Or, at least the ones that we might consider boring. Because of this, we imagine that their lives are filled with consistent excitement and discovery along with danger and heroics. Not surprisingly, we desire to have this life. And why? Because we don’t think our lives are that amazing and that’s where we’re wrong.

Stop coveting after the lives of characters! What you’re not realizing is the non-normality of your life. So maybe all you did today was eat cereal and plant some petunias. But, think back to the last time you hung with your best friend(s). Other than the usual, “Hi, how’re you?” “Good, and you?” “Good.” What did you actually talk about? I’m assuming that at least a part of the conversation consisted of what you had been up to recently and you proceeded to chatter about your current escapades. But! What’s that? Escapades? Another word for… adventure? I think so.

See, in reality, adventure lives everywhere. Authors just knock off the tidbits of “normality” and gobble up the crumbs called adventures. Thus, if you look hard enough, you can find those crumbs and write them up into tiny, little packages called short stories. But trust me, the quiet parts are just as important as the exciting parts. Maybe novels really need to stop tossing out the tidbits and shoving them in with the crumbs. Or maybe we just need to start discovering the adventure in our own lives.

The main of this post was to offer a challenge (bet you didn’t think that, I’m good at covering things up). That challenge is this:

Think back to conversations you’ve had with people, try to remember if you talked about anything exciting, either you or the person you talked to. Something either of you did, that day or the day before. If it was interesting enough to talk about, you should try writing it down. Expand! Expound! Try to recall every detail, or, if it was the other person’s story, make it up! Make their experience everything they said it was. Along the way, remember, your life is an adventure and you should be waiting for the dragon hiding behind that rose bush!

~ by R.S.Sharkey on November 25, 2011.

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