Thursday, January 15, 2015

An Empty Field

 by Sandy Cody

January 16, 2015 - The new year has begun, but just barely. It’s sixteen days old; there are still three hundred forty-nine days left, stretching before us like an empty field, just waiting for us to build or plant whatever we choose.

It is, as Dickens said in what is probably one of the most-quoted openings in all of literature: “the best of times, the worst of times”. The best, because beginnings are exciting. They’re full of promise, with the leaving behind of the false starts and, worse yet, the no-starts, of last year. We have all those days/hours/minutes/seconds in which we can build a house in that empty field. Let’s make it a big house, a huge house - and offer shelter to a needy world. Or we can plant wheat or corn to help feed a hungry world - or how about a field of daisies just because they’re beautiful. Why not? The world needs food for the soul too. Simply put, the opportunities are limitless, just there for the taking.

So much for the best. What about the worst? Beginnings can also be intimidating. Think of all the mistakes you might make. What if you do plant daisies, then forget to water them and they all die? You’ll have added ugliness instead of beauty to the world. That could happen. You could plant corn with the promise that you’ll feed the hungry, then let weeds take over and have nothing but thistles to offer. The trouble with making promises is that if you don’t keep them, someone is going to be upset. The risks are limitless too, but we have to take them because doing nothing is the biggest mistake of all.

To the writers among us, that open field might seem like blank pages - just waiting for a story to unfold. There’s a lot of space for characters to pursue a dream, to find their happily-ever-after. But, wait a minute, if you look at the field again, you’ll see a sky filled with clouds. Is a storm brewing for our characters? Let's hope so. It wouldn’t be much of a story without a few storms. That’s okay. That’s what writers are for. We’ll guide our characters through and help them find shelter, but only after they’ve been tested and proved themselves worthy. Words will be our seeds, hopefully to be watered by inspiration and fertilized by research and, when those fail, nudged into growth by the encouragement of people who care about us.


So ... sixteen days into 2015 I wish you a Happy New Year - filled with opportunity and risks that make you grow.

16 comments:

  1. While we have to throw in a few challenges for our characters, in real life I prefer not to look at, dwell on the worst that could happen.

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    1. Oh, yes, Jean, I agree. If we worry too much about the worst that could happen, there's a good chance we'd be paralyzed and do nothing. Optimism is the way to go. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Very deep, Sandy. Now I;m scared - LOL
    You are very right about the blank canvas ahead of us in 2015. But as Patsy says to King Arthur in Spamalot - Always Look On the Bright Side of Life!!

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  3. Ah, well. If you've got an open field, whether in real life or in your current story, might as well "play ball!" :-)

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    1. Yes, Gina - play ball - and if you strike out - there's always the next inning - or the next game.

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  4. A most profound post, Sandy... I envy those of you whose new year is an empty field where you can build what you want. What freedom that would be! Mine is far from empty - contracts, duties and the like fill almost every nook and cranny. I know some would envy me, and I admit I am fortunate, but somehow writing what you must is not the same as writing what you want. However, I asked for it, and am glad I have my contracts, and there is no such thing as the right way. I have always believed that whatever choice we make we will regret it at some point. I do love the imagery of your empty field, and will carry it with me. Susan, aka Janis Susan May

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  5. Sounds like you were busy building in your field last year, Susan - or, more likely, for many years. Those fields don't fill up on their own. Good luck with all your projects. I love hearing about them.

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  6. Very timely post, Sandy. My 2015 began with a 13 hr in ER with hubby and then a 7 day hospital stay w/ major surgery. 2015 can only get better. I'm lookingon the bright side.

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    1. I followed along with his progress on facebook, Loretta. Breathed a huge sigh of relief when you posted that he's better. Hope his progress continues. Sending healing thoughts to both of you.

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  7. Very apropos, Sandra, since I'm starting a new book. The new year is full of promise. I hope to add something positive and maybe provide a little pleasure. Wishing you and everyone here a healthy, productive, and prosperous New Year.

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    1. Perfect, Ellis. Having read three of your books, I anticipate good things from the new project. Look forward to reading it.

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  8. Hi Sandy--
    Thank you for the good wishes for 2015. Wishing you the same. It's always nice to read an encouraging post like this that reinforces the positive side of life.
    Victoria--

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    1. Thanks for the good words, Victoria.

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  9. Those of us who create are the line of defense. I've heard it said there are two kinds of people: those who create and those who destroy. I sincerely believe there are many many more of us who create. And I'm looking forward to releasing my 10th Romance this month - hope and promise in the face of bullies and negativity. You are right, Sandy, there has to be adversity to make optimism a good story. We thrive on challenge. If life's too easy, we get lazy!

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    1. Ten books! That's impressive. I agree about creativity being a positive force in the world.

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