Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Scribbilings: Dear Diary

I'm using this Sunday Scribblings to help me get into the head of my new character, Celia, a woman who is going through a divorce and moves from NYC to Boston to get away from her husband and his mistress. Here is one of her diary entries:

Dear Diary,
I haven't written those words in years. Maybe since those days of 7th and 8th grade when I was so worried about pimples and boys and fitting in. Just like everybody else, though the worst part of course was how alone in my worries I felt. I realize now that there are probably hundreds of women going through the same thing as me now, and probably thousands before me who have too.

But not really. I'm probably the only who moved to a strange city to make sure I never would drop my hot coffee all over my tighted legs when I saw my husband and his mistress in Starbucks, after he told me he had stopped seeing her. And I'm almost definitely the only one who finds healing in the Boston Aquarium--going each morning as soon as it opens to stare at a new spot in the giant column of water that makes up the middle of the building. It's dark and fairly quiet at that hour, and it's the only place where I lose myself and forget my loneliness and fear and betrayal. The fish swim past--different shapes and sizes and colors--and it's amazing how I can be staring at one fish only to realize that there are three more between me and it, only I couldn't notice them and my current obsession at the same time.

And the fish make me laugh. My face will be right up against the tank and an ugly, ugly blow fish will swim by, centimeters away from my face and I'll startle and laugh at the same time. Those moments are probably the only true laughs I've had in months.

I joined a book club, at the insistence of Jen [narrator's best friend in New York, who introduces her to one of the book club members]. The women are all really nice, and I'm sure I'll like going eventually. But I left my first meeting feeling lonelier than I had when I went in. They all knew each other so well, they'd gone traveling together, watched each other get married and have babies.

I realize now that Bobby's gone, nobody knows me that well. Jen is the closest, but we've definitely grown apart since she had her babies. And plus the last few months it's all I could do not to push her away completely. After all, if your husband can betray you and decide unilaterally that the marriage wasn't worth working on, how can I trust anyone? Jen and I met at the same time I met Bobby, so we don't even have more longevity that I can point to as a reason to trust her.

It's impossible for me not to think and think and think about everything--both was has happened and what will happen. That's why I love the aquarium. When I watch the fish, I just watch the fish. It's like an instant meditation. If only they were open 24 hours a day, I might just move in.

For more diary entries--real and imagined--go to Sunday Scribblings. Best Blogger Tips


Anthony said...

Well, Bug...I'm pleased I found you. And to say that I've included you in the newest installment of Surfer's Paradise. I hope the link serves you well.

The alpaca pictures were great. I think they are very interesting animals.

The post about the visual artist having trouble accepting rejection was thought provoking. Someone any creative type has to deal with. Something I know all too well. Although I don't know how creative I am.

I think this blog will be good for me to keep an eye on as I pursue a variety of new goals. Always good to have company for the ride, eh.

All the best!

DJPare said...

Tough topic.
Good luck! Good start!
I like the aquarium aspect. I didn't know where you were going with it at first, but you tie it up nicely.

Tennis Friday?

Tammy said...

This is a subject many women will relate to. I loved the aquarium distraction. Good luck, Bug!

Repeater said...

Bug, you're so good with all the exercizes you do. I have to force myself to do more than THINK about the characters before I write. Maybe I'll try this today. Maybe.

Bug said...

Thanks everyone! Repeater, I do find these exercises so helpful. Hope you do too!

Becca said...

Bug, this was a really well written glimpse into your character. Even though you were using it as "exercise," it made me want to know more about her story and see how she handles her new situation.

The diary entry is a great idea for an exercise in character study~thanks for the insight!

TI said...

I love the different things you do to get to know your characters. Thank you for sharing that.

Paul said...

Really nice exercise. I guess nothing helps you get into someone else's mind than writing a diary entry. I find aquariums relaxing too. I even have one as a screensaver on my computer. But I turn it on sometimes just to relax. It's quite realistic.

gautami tripathy said...

I liked the way your character thinks. Great insight.

Ther said...

i like that paragraph about the ugly, ugly blow fish. isn't it nice to be able to have fun about the silliest things?