Holley Hyler is an IT consultant and published freelance writer living in New York.
Trying Something New
I thought I would give freewriting a try. I've missed writing but haven't felt that I had anything blog-worthy to say.
I think it's natural when you're a writer to put that filter on: "And people would care to read this, why...?" If we do too much of that or become too strict with it, any sort of creative sharing becomes difficult, if not impossible.
I was working on an article about jobs one can do with an English major, and it is still drafted. The inspiration for it isn't there right now. I have just finished my final project for this term, but I don't think that is to blame. I enjoy academic writing, especially when it's about writing or books.
Speaking of books, I have been reading Monticello by Sally Gunning. It is a work of historical fiction about the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his daughter. It is a bit slow in terms of action, but interesting how the writer approaches the contrast between Martha's (main character) relationships and settings. She is advised by one of the slaves in the household to be a comfort to her father after her mother passes and feels indebted to him since he won't remarry and throw a stepmother into the mix for her. She eventually gets married herself and gradually drifts from her father, finding he doesn't need her comfort at all and perhaps never did in the first place. It's all very interesting, these dynamics of grief, and I haven't finished the book yet - maybe this week or during the break between terms.
Writers and Complicated Human Things
The book had me thinking about how relationships transform. I started watching the new season of The Crown yesterday, and there is going to be a spoiler here so don't read further if you haven't watched the first episode and want to be surprised. After Lord Mountbatten dies, there is a scene where Prince Philip is telling Charles about how LM used to treat him (Philip) as a son, but then LM's fatherly attention and affection were transferred to Charles, and Philip struggled with that. (By the way, I have no idea how the the real Prince Philip feels and know that this could all be a dramatization, so I am talking about the show and not real life.)
It can be intimidating to realize you're well past that age where you need a guardian or advisor, that maybe they (or you) need to move on to caring for someone else younger in the family that might need the wisdom and support. I don't suppose any adult ever truly feels like: "Well, I am wise now. I don't need anyone else ever." Maybe some of them do, and it just depends on one's level of confidence. In any case, this is an interesting thing to touch upon in characterization.
To be able to write it well, you have to either experience it or be able to imagine it well so that you can give it enough dimensions for it to feel real on the page. If I ever do more fiction writing, which I suspect I will, historical fiction would be a dream for me. People spoke more eloquently in the past; they were more likely to engage in a thoughtful debate than bite each other's heads off like we see today. I only worry about doing my characters justice, which can feel more intimidating when you've based them on real people.
I wasn't looking for a specific length here, but I intuitively feel that I have reached it.
Here is a very random list of things that have intrigued, excited, or drawn me in lately that I am not going to explain.
- "Therefore I Am" by Billie Eilish
- "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- The Queen's Gambit on Netflix
- Paula's Donuts in Buffalo
- Dutch-process cocoa powder vs. the normal kind
- Paul McCartney's new album
That's all for now. Thanks for reading.
Holley Hyler (author) from Upstate New York on November 18, 2020:
Thank you, Greg, that means a lot to me. Yes, I wanted to avoid spoilers since the new season just came out. I would be interested to know your thoughts if you get a chance to watch it.
greg cain from Idaho, USA on November 18, 2020:
Holley - I enjoyed this read very much, as well, though I actually have to come back to The Crown section as I opted to skip over that...thanks for the warning.
I really enjoyed the trip around another’s thoughts and processes. It is a great way to keep the mind and fingers flowing. Nicely done, Holley.
Holley Hyler (author) from Upstate New York on November 17, 2020:
Thank you, John and Peggy, for the kind comments and for stopping by. This proved a rewarding exercise as it did stir the creative juices and now it has given me a moment to connect with my readers. Win!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 17, 2020:
I second John Hansen's thoughts. From books to movies to cocoa powder and more, your random thoughts give us a glimpse of your interests. Thanks!
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 16, 2020:
I always enjoy reading someone’s free write as you never know what to expect and invariably turn out to be an interesting read, as was the case with this article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Holley.