No this isn't a discussion about my digital camera or my ability to take really cute pictures of my grandkids, (although I do and they are!). No that clicking you hear is the light bulb going off over your head when you suddenly have a great idea. Or that moment when everything falls into place like cubes in a game. Or that moment when you know, deep down in your gut that something is right, or God forbid, something is wrong.
What? You think I'm a little loco in la cabessa? Well, I may be, but let me give you a few examples that reinforce my belief in the power of the click.
1978...Mount Carmel School of Nursing. At 19 years old, I'm a senior doing my mother-child rotation, this week in Labor and Delivery. I'll graduate in the spring. I've got my plans for what I'll do with my career. I've adored two nurses my whole life. My mom, who was a surgical scrub nurse and Hot Lips Hoolihan from the M*A*S*H TV show--another surgical nurse. I'll go straight into the OR and follow in their footsteps. But first, I have to finish school. Today, I'm standing at the foot of a delivery table watching my first baby being born. As the head, then shoulders, then body emerges, tears fill my eyes and there's a loud "click" in my head. I realize in that moment that my plans are forever changed. THIS is what I want to do.
Fast forward three years. Met my husband. No the click didn't happen then. A month later we went on our first date. We spent the evening eating pizza, then going to a dance club, but didn't dance too much. But afterward, when he kissed me goodnight, CLICK. Not the kind of electrical current thing that would make us vulnerable to be around in a thunderstorm kind of click. Just the, this is the one I could spend my life with and be happy, kind of click. That was more than 28 years ago and counting.
Sometimes my "clicks" are subtle and I have to listen very closely to them. Occasionally, I'm staring at a fetal monitor strip and I just get that feeling deep in my gut that says, "Click, this baby is in trouble." It comes with time, experience and training, but when I listen, then the doc listens to me, things usually come out good. Sometimes, it's a quiet "click" about one of my kids, or a friend, or my parents. You know, that urge to make the phonecall, just because they've been on your mind all week long? And when you do...sometimes it's just your voice they need to hear at the dreadful moment in their lives? CLICK
Another click happened while we lived in Florida. I'd always played with writing scenes when I was bored and had nothing to read. This particular night I wrote a great scene about a heroine escaping up a hillside from a man she knows is a killer. It was historical, the hero is her husband, but doesn't know she witnessed a murder and doesn't know she's fleeing town in such a precarious situation. Oh yeah, it's winter, it's Colorado, and she's eight months pregnant. It's also the middle of the book. That's when the "click" happened. Why was she fleeing? Who did the murderer kill? Why hasn't she told her husband? (That's my image of the hero..)
CLICK! I was hooked. 395 pages later, I'd written my first book!
I've started a new book--a sequel to my story THE SURRENDER OF LACY MORGAN. I've known the hero for over a year now, (imagine Shemar Moore from CRIMINAL MINDS in jeans, chaps and a cowboy hat...yumm...okay, you don't have to imagine, I'll show you...)...er, I digress.
Anyways, I know his backstory, his conflict, his needs. I knew who his heroine is...but I know nothing really about her. With free writing I figured out her motivation and some of her backstory. Then I wrote the first scene of the book, then rewrote it, then rewrote it and yet again. Finally, I let her be proactive to a particular problem, the one that sets her out on her journey... and CLICK!! Yep...gonna be a good story!!!
So, how about you? Ever hear your own "clicks"? That moment in time when your life changes? Your story changes?