Monday, May 4, 2009

Garage Sale Writing

Am I the only one who goes through life comparing things to writing? I know for a fact that at least 100 people can compare writing to American Idol (see Rachelle Gardner's blog here). And just Thursday I compared writing to which lane you drive in here.

So, in the same vein, I thought I'd talk about garage sale writing. Seeing as how I just had a garage sale this past weekend, it's very fresh in my mind. Various, sundry people come out for garage sales, don't they? Makes for an interesting day and even more interesting conversation later as I analyzed them with my husband. :) These people make interesting subjects, as do the things for sale.

Photo by John Beagle

As I looked on the tables of my so-called "junk," I saw things I once delighted in (i.e., my Vanilla Ice cassette tape - "Ice, Ice Baby" rocked my world.). I saw wedding gifts I never delighted in. I saw books from college I never wanted to read, much less buy and keep. I saw VHS movies I loved in high school. I saw stuff I used while pregnant.

Those tables were full of the stuff of my life. And aren't our novels? I think writing can be like having a mental garage sale. How often do we peruse the shelves of our mind, picking little tidbits here, do-hickies there, as fodder for our books? Are your books just an amalgamation of you?

Wordle: signature

14 comments:

Katie said...

Loved the analogy! I'm glad your garage sale went well. :)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

So very true! Again I hear voice in those whole article. There is no one else who could write a story just like you when you write from your own experiences, thoughts, dreams, nightmares, etc. Now I'll be looking at garage sales in a whole new light.

Jody Hedlund said...

I just love all these analogies! But it's so true. . .if we're writing from the depth of our experiences, then all of those pieces of ourselves will come through in our writing!

Marybeth said...

How could you sell Vanilla Ice!!!

I agree. I had a few people ask me which character in my book did I identify with the most. At which I replied "They all have a little bit of me in them." (Poor characters!)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, yes! Great analogy. :)
I've got a ton of junk--er, collectables in my stories. LOL!

Tess said...

I hope my writing is at least a little better than the junk I put out at yard sales - but somedays I doubt it. Somedays I write the equivilent of Vanilla Ice. ha!

Jill Kemerer said...

I adore shopping at garage sales. I don't adore hosting them. But I agree with you that all of the bits and pieces are a part of us whether we want the stuff anymore or not! Good luck with the hectic weeks ahead.

Lady Glamis said...

Great points! I think I do all this without meaning to. It's a scary thought to think of what is hiding out in our novels...

Cindy said...

I loved that comparison. I never thought about my writing that way, but you're so right! Our stories are just made up of all these things we've collected throughout our lives. Even if we have to do research, it's still those bits and pieces that stay with us. Those phrases and feelings and random snippets of knowledge that we deem worthy to set out for everyone to see.

Jessica said...

LOL Awesome comparison!
You're so original. :-)

Lynnette Labelle said...

Man that's a beautiful house. Is it yours?

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Jeannie Campbell said...

marybeth - i sold it b/c i already have the lyrics memorized. :)

ha! i wish, lynnette. :)

Hardygirl said...

What a great opening scene for a novel . . . the garage sale. You may have something here!

sf

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

This is why garage sales are so much more satisfying than thrift stores--it's all about the conversations! Okay, and the really really good deals too.