Where I write

Where I write

October 8, 2012

Up on the Roof

At the risk of dating myself, but what the hell you all know that I'm old enough to have hung out in discotheques, I will start out by asking how many of you remember these lyrics from a popular song?
                             When this old world starts getting me down
                              and people are just too much for me to face
                               I climb my way up to the top of the stairs
                               and all my cares just drift into space...

I thought of this song about climbing stairs which lead up on a roof, away from everything and everybody, when one of my facebook friends posted a picture of her green and watery special place in Illinois. The trees were even changing colors right about now. I don't have a pond or trees turning yellow and orange, (sigh) and my roof isn't tall enough to truly feel as if I've escaped, so my special place is the desert. Now it may not look special to you, but hey you have to work with what you got!
To some it may look stark and forbidding, but Phoenix is just a few miles away (see it in the hazy distance) and as I hike here I shed my concerns. In the desert there is a lot of sky and open space, plenty of room to stretch one's imagination, and few people to face. It's quiet and peaceful and the air even smells better far away from the dusty brown cloud of the city. We all need that sort of place to refresh ourselves. It may be a coffee shop or it may be a park, or a bubble bath with candles, as long as it is somewhere where we go alone and feel happier, or at least calmer, ready to meet the next challenges of life when we return.

Anyway, I started thinking about writing (easier than actually writing) and how as writers we can give our characters a special place where they like to go, too. Why deprive them! Such a place can help in character development because likes and dislikes say a lot about a person, including the ones of the people we make up.
What kind of person would call this a special place to go when the old world starts getting them down? I'm imagining a bachelor. Maybe Christen Grey, from Fifty Shades of Grey, has a best friend who lives here? Just a thought. Sequel perhaps?
I found this special place in southern California. This can't be my place when the world gets me down, because I live six hours away. Not convenient. However, it is the special place of one of the main characters in my novel who just happens to live on Coronado Island where I took this photo. She lives there because I wish I lived there and could walk on the beach every day. But if I can't, at least she can!

We don't all have rooftops to escape, but I just had to include this one.

Wow! Talk about a place to let your cares drift into space! I'm thinking maybe a rich tycoon lives on this roof, and he floats around  his pool to escape (is that Donald Trump sunning himself without his toupee?) or maybe a movie star who must hide in her rooftop penthouse so she won't be hounded by the press.

There are all sorts of possibilities to consider as we climb the stairs of our imaginations and create new worlds to entertain and enchant and hopefully allow our readers to escape into the special place we have created for them with our words.


Anonymous said...

Hey S-That is a really good idea about showing something about a character by having them go somewhere that reflects their personality to the reader...

NOW if only I can remember that tip....

Love, Tracy

Rita A. said...

I love that rooftop. I see a young lady or guy with lots of energy and a fun job in some bistro with an acting career on the side.

C.B. Wentworth said...

I gave my latest main character the escape of music. I've always given them physical places, so its interesting to explore this mode of escape. :-)

I love the idea of a rooftop escape! To me it shows the spirit of someone who is free but grounded at the same time.

SunsetCindi said...

The desert is a perfect place to have as a special place, it's like one big roof cause it's so open. But how lucky we are as writers to create special places for our characters so we can go there too. Of course, mine is the ocean by the Jersey shore!

Anonymous said...

Great post, one I could relate to easily. Lots of great choices, but I've always loved the desert. Even though I live on the water, I make the one hour drive to the desert whenever I can. Good call on Coronado also. It's right across the bay from me. Other than the thundering jets that take off whenever a carriers in town, it's a beautiful view and a nice place to visit.

Willene Fagen said...

Yes, the rooftop is the best place to reminisce and reflect. I usually go up there to have a cup of coffee while reading a novel or maybe do yoga. Speaking of which, I'll be spending my thanksgiving in Phoenix at my grandma's place. By the way, I'm also a fan of James Taylor. :)

Nelson Mcglaughlin said...

Well, I would agree with what you said here. If you wanna try to escape your gloomy world for a while, the rooftop is the place to go. You can go up there and just be at peace. Sit down, relax, and forget the world around you, set your mind free from all your worries and uncertainties. Likewise, it’s also a good place if you just wanna have fun with your friends just by sitting and having great conversation.

Nelson Mcglaughlin