Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Does this ever happen to you?
I was happily standing in line at my neighborhood bookstore with books in hand when I saw this cover. Now, I NEVER read The Economist - in fact, I'm not sure I've even opened its pages - but I didn't care how much it cost, I had to have this magazine.
In a single moment I had the feel of an entire book stuck in my head based on this photograph and I can't tell you how frightening and also exhilirating that was.
Will it work? Who knows? Will I write it? Absolutely.
I've ripped off the cover and thrown the rest of the magazine away - although I have to say I feel more than a bit guilty about that and promise to send them a lovely thank you note if the book gets published - and sometime in the next few hours I'm going to write a few notes to myself about how I imagine the book.
I didn't get a plot or even a character in that flash of inspiration, what I got from this photograph was a feeling. Because I've written several books set on the Sunshine Coast ( http://www.sunshinecoast.ca/ ), I live right on the beach, and I worked as a commercial fisher many years ago (I won't tell you how many!), I'm always thinking about the ocean.
I love the mystery of shipwrecks. We've had hundreds of shipwrecks on the Pacific Coast. If you want to find out a little about them, check out http://www.pacificshipwrecks.ca/english/index.html . And when I say hundreds, I'm not kidding. They've calculated that our coast has had about 1.5 shipwrecks per mile of coastline and we have hundreds of miles of coast. In fact, one of our ferries was wrecked just a few months ago. So our shipwrecks go back as far as Captain Vancouver and continue right up to the present.
It's something that's always fascinated me, but never enough - until this photograph - to write about it.
I think it's my subconscious working. It's probably been plotting and scheming to get me to write about a shipwreck for years - it just couldn't figure out how to do it. That's the trouble with my subconscious - it's sneaky, it's patient, and it ALWAYS figures out a way to get what it wants.