Writers are observers. We need to observe life in all its grand scope and small detail—places, things, people, events, words, emotions.
A couple of weeks ago, I moved from one state to another one—literally across the country. Since everything about my new home is new, I’m in major observation mode right now. There are so many details that may or may not ever make it into a story. But whether a certain detail actually makes it into a book or not isn’t really the point. Every detail observed and pondered is another wrinkle on the brain, another thought or sound or smell added to the richness of experience.
Details like the dirt road I drive on every day that leads up to the house where I’m staying. I’m learning the spots along the road where the rain has eroded the dirt into a washboard surface, and the spot that looks smooth but the dirt makes the car fishtail ever so slightly whether the road is wet or dry.
Details like the lichen that grows in abundance on the trees. So many different kinds and colors:
The earth is rocky here in the mountains, and people have built little inukshuk-style road markers along the paths in the woods:
It’s almost May but spring is just starting here. Tiny flowers are the first ones to break through the wet earth: