Mary May Larmoyeux

Storm’s coming … let’s write

by Mary May Larmoyeux

The past few days, Arkansans have received countless warnings that a winter storm was coming. Well, birdhouse in ice storm_13.Decthis morning their predictions proved to be correct. As I awoke to the distinct sound of sleet hitting the window panes in Jim and my bedroom, I was reminded of the winter storm of December 2012. Its power outages and treacherous driving conditions are forever etched in my mind.

I wonder if those memories made me take time to really enjoy my shower this morning? Knowing that the power might go off any second, I truly appreciated having warm water. You see, with an electric hot water tank, a power outage at our house means freezing showers, if you are daring enough to take one.

And breakfast was especially wonderful today. Warm eggs, sizzling ham, fresh-ground coffee, and of course for us Southerners … grits.

At this moment I am grateful for some of the ordinary things of life. But why wasn’t I as grateful for those very same things yesterday? Well, I simply took them for granted.

What a winter storm has to do with writing

I hope that I will never be stranded in a cabin in the woods for days in the sub-freezing weather. But what would it be like to be alone with no fireplace or electricity, no warm water, and just a few cold pieces of bread to eat? What if the howling of the north wind and rattling of the windows were the only things to kept me company?

If I were to write about such a situation, I could draw from recent winter storms and imagine what that might be like. But how could I remember how I felt then?

Well, I keep a folder called “illustrations” where I toss descriptions of various events. Then, when I want to write about something similar, I can draw from past problems to add emotion and believability.

“I don’t like dealing with problems,” Cec Murphy (one of my favorite writers) says, “I wish they didn’t interrupt my life but I need them.”

I agree with Cec. Problems drive us to God and they give us a picture of real life. Haven’t we all felt at times like David who  said, “My soul is in deep anguish.How long, Lord, how long?”

The challenges and joys of this world make life … life.

And isn’t life what we want to write about? Even on a day when the power just might go out!

Copyright © 2013 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Picture courtesy of Jim Larmoyeux. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.

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