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Saturday, May 21, 2011


High Moments in Life and in Writing

Everyone has high moments in his or her life. They have moments that make memories live, moments more important than life itself. The most memorable moments are wonderfully glorious or dreadfully heart wrenching. We all want the beautiful, fabulous high moments. 

Create your own high moments. Fulfill your dreams, enjoy where you are in life. We don't always know when we're going to have a high moment. Weddings and births are two of the highest moments in life, but there are others. 

One evening my husband and I had a big fight. He came by in the morning and insisted on taking me to breakfast. I balked, but eventually gave in. We live in a small city, so a memorable moment was created when on a big marquee, these words glared: "Cher'ley, I'm such a butt. Forgive me. I love you, Del." I told him he must immediately remove that because the way our names were spelled everyone in the town would know it was us. Of course, I allowed him to return to the house. That was one of many high moments he's given me. 

In writing, the writer has to create high moments. That special memory in my life showed forgiveness and reconciliation. We had people cheering for us to make up, especially the owners of the marquee, so we made an impact on their life. Other instances make for memorable moments too, like, a caring heart, transformation, growth, character strengths, or death. 

Even a character that is mean or cantankerous can have an extreme moment that is memorable. When I was 11 years old, I had a teacher who insisted on calling me Betty, which was my mother's name. I didn't respond to her when she said, "Betty, what's your answer?" She cracked me over the head with a yardstick. I said, "My name's not Betty." She said, "You know who I'm talking to." And so it goes, a high moment in my life, not a good high, but a memorable one.  

These are just a small amount of things that make a story cling to the reader's mind. Donald Maass has a chapter about this in his Writing the Breakout Novel workbook. Linda Joy Myers wrote an article for WOW about Memoir Writing and she reinforces the importance of having high moments--become a heroine.

A high moment doesn't have to be great big or consume a great deal of time, it just has to be strong, memorable. Share with us the highest moment in your story or the highest moment in your life, besides getting married and having children.

Photos Creative Commons: 
Pic 2: 
Pic 3: Wikimedia Creative Commons


Blogger Brenda said...

Embracing my non literary-ness
When I decided I was going to be a writer, quit my day job and live off the royalty checks from my best seller come box office movies it came as brutal smack across my bare arse that my ambition didn't match my knowledge or skill. Boohoo times two. I ran to Barnes and Nobel, and dished out a few hundred dollars. I bought books, dozens of them. How to's on everything.
I never got past page nine or ten on any of the books that I bought on the mysterious craft of writing. They were boring and never made sense to me. I accepted that I was dumber than dirt. Like when I am reading lofty literary fiction. It makes me sleepy reading through one hundred and twelve words when nine would do.
That was another slap to the backside, kick in the gut, upper cut to my chin. I'm not literary. On a good day, I am vintage Goodwill, or trade. That realization was like swigging castor oil. I hated myself for my lack of brilliance, not knowing what a dangling participle was, but worse, how to fix it. I wanted to die.
Then I read Stephen King's memoir on writing. In his words of wisdom, I found peace and I got over everyone else's prejudices and myself. Now I write what I want and in my voice. I don't give a damn about anyone else. Even better, is that I don't apologize anymore for my zany voice and POV.
In all this writing, writing of my pain, of my loss, of the mystery, the defining moments came in the discovery. I learned I am not made of straw, as I suspect that you have learned over the years.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

Thanks Brenda, I think you're right, for us to have the freedom to write, we have to find ourselves and be true to who we are. I'm glad you found your high moment in your writing career.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Barb Schlichting said...

My high point was when I was in Germany over Christmas with my son who was in the army. Randy and I were a team and had a great time. I wrote about our Christmas, and it was published in a Catholic newspaper.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

That's so great Barb. I know you had a wonderful time. Was it really, really cold there? I always think of it as being cold in a Germany winter. Of course, I've never been there.

Seeing you're child safe and happy is a real high moment.

7:27 PM  
Blogger LuAnn said...

I just love this post! I've had a few high moments with my writing -- and more than a few in my personal life -- and each one seems to be better than the last!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

That's great LuAnn. I hope the post bought one or two to mind.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Spiritual Films said...

Since I the time I learn to read, I always wanted to be a writer but something in me is holding me to do it. Maybe I was afraid being rejected, but when I was working, the training department head ask me to solicit original right ups about self belief, I did told my team mates about this but secretly write my own version. I submitted it to our head using pen name. Then , I found out they like my writings, because I read it publish in our company's magazine.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

Spiritual Films--That is so great. Do they now know that you are the writer? How rewarding. Keep it up and get more high moments.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Hot Tub Folliculitis said...

This is so inspiring. I'm an avid reader, but still need more time in writing. LOL. Anyways, thanks to you all that inspires me to do some writing.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

Hey, Hot Tub Folliculitis, so glad you have been inspired to write. I hope you're thinking of high moments to give your character and perhaps remembering some of your own high moments. Thanks for reading.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous ben- calgary listings said...

I love writing, I always do in fact when I am down and so stressed up, I just grab my pen and notebook and start to write a poem or short story and before I realized it, I finish my write up and my mode is in the happy side. Great post you have here.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

ben- calgary, How wonderful that you have that outlet. You make your own high moments. Mom would say, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps." which is what you do. Glad you enjoyed the post.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Apple iPad 2 said...

When I feel lonely and all alone I write poems or novels. One day my boss seat in my table and my write ups was read by him. He was so impressed that he ask me to send some to our publicity department for publishing. I did not agree but because he was so insistent I give in, now I am not just a marketing manager but become a motivational speaker as well.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Cher'ley said...

Apple iPad2, sometimes our rewards for our hard work come at odd times. If we stay steadfast, we will reach many high moments in our lives.

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Oregon drug rehab strategies said...

Writing is not really my style. I am poor when it comes to being poetic. I am even wondering how people were able to do that. I had a friend who always do good write ups, asked how she did it, she says she writes when she's depress and she will be alright after. What an amazing way of de-stressing she adopted. Now, I am trying to write some.

11:02 PM  

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