As you recall your trips, do you struggle to remember time markers anyway? My friend Jean and I spent at least thirty minutes one evening during our Arizona trip retracing our stops to remember where we had lunch three days before.
“Take a picture of the restaurant,” Jean said. “So we’ll remember it next time.”
If I have a picture I can at least remember the town. If I have the town – thank goodness for Google! Is that what’s important? Really?
In Writing the Breakout Novel I read that novice writers write their novels chronologically. Reading back over my unpublished novels (that would be all of them so far) I notice that I follow that trend. Yet when I journal, I don’t break out my journal until something significant happens, like the transmission goes out in the truck while pulling the new trailer up the mountain highway in the rain at twilight.
As soon as the journal opens and my pen hits the paper, my internal date book flips on, and I chew my pen trying rack my brain trying to remember all the places I ate and places I visited. Did I think I would ever get back to Florence, Italy, Charleston, SC, Chicago, IL, Klamath, CA, or Scottsdale, AZ to eat there again? Even if I did go back, would that restaurant be there waiting for me when I arrived with the same chef at the helm? Would there be no other restaurant other than THAT Arbys in the same town? Why am I so driven to remember all those places? By the time I get around to recording what I THOUGHT was the dramatic moment of actual event, usually a juicy story from a tour, the sizzle is gone.
Actually the dramatic moments of a trip are usually the bad personal moments, like when a fellow traveler spills coffee all over your blouse and suggests that you change it right there in the parking lot because nobody will notice. What’s up with that anyway? No one will notice when I take off my blouse in a parking lot? Really? What alternative universe am I in? Are people really THAT different in other parts of the world?
In Frank Lloyd’s world, I think people might have been that different. You have to read the books, though, to learn the gory details. The tour guide didn’t mention the negro servant who axed Wright’s lover and her two children in the head then burned his home to the ground killing a gardener, and three architectural students in 1914 at the original Taliesin home in Wisconsin.
We saw floor lighting in the movie room, but the stories of the sex camps at Taliesin West never came to light.
It goes against my nature to be a good storyteller. I have no posterity who might be interested in where I was at any moment. And yet, I record every stop I make in painstaking chronological order. No wonder good storytellers are at a premium, not only in the world of writing, but in the world at large. Most of us are still trying to remember where we ate two days ago. 🙂
What about you? Where did you eat two days ago? Anything dramatic happening in your life? Which did YOU post on FB? 🙂