I’m revising a manuscript now which has my two main characters from Black Ribbon Affair once again finding themselves in the midst of danger.
Since they spend most of the book in Alaska, I’ve been going online daily and taking a look at the Anchorage Daily News. They always have some of the greatest photos that give the flavor of the state.
This week I came across a photo that appealed to me on so many levels. It also reflects that distinctive attitude toward life that defines many who live in Alaska.
So, why did this photo appeal to me?
First, humor. I laughed and still do every time I think of it. I’ve gone back each day since to view it. 🙂
Second, I think about the old saying: between a rock and a hard place. This photo surely represents that.
Third, optimism. The fisherman who built that cabin and uses it reeks of a positive attitude.
As a person and a writer, particularly a writer in the throes of revision, I need all three of those qualities.
Every day things happen that are unexpected. Sometimes not especially good things, both in writing and life. However, seeing the humor and getting a good laugh from the situation will always help solve the problem or find the new direction in life or with a revision.
But often at times we are faced with problems and solutions which don’t have easy outcomes. That old rock and a hard place element. Maybe it means totally redoing a book that doesn’t work or setting it aside for a time. Or in life, maybe it means learning to live your life with conditions that you can’t change for many reasons—an illness, a death, deepening economic woes, changing relationships, a weather disaster. You know. I’m sure you’ve all been there.
Handling that kind of ongoing stress is best done with optimism and humor. Whether in life or in writing or revising a book. I know. I’ve been there. In daily living and with books. I love finding humor and optimism in places I least expect them. That’s why I’ll never forget the photo of the cabin.
Any of you have something solid that keeps you going when that rock and a hard place lingers too long?