Author Ruth Smith Meyer

Ruth Smith Meyer Inspirational writer, speaker

Thinking out Loud on my Blog

Bare Bones and Basic Plots

Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on November 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Many people dread November with its dreary, damp, bone-chilling weather. In fact I just recently read a blog by my very dear friend decrying those very things and expressing her dislike of the month. She had the grace to apologize to those whose birthdays fall in this month. I happen to be one of those, so perhaps because of that I try to find the good that must also be there.

To me, the world seems to wait in hushed and contemplative ambience during November—almost like a lady stripped of her clothes, standing in front of her closet, envisaging herself in the gown she wants to wear for the upcoming gala. Of course I’m one of those odd-balls who love winter too, so even in November, I like that lady, anticipate the beauty of snow-laden branches, silvery tree branches surrounded by pristine whiteness highlighted by either sunlight and blue skies or a full moon, and I look forward to the beauty and more relaxed winter months.

Somehow, November reveals to us the “bare bones” of our world—what is underneath, holds up or provides the basis for all the growing things of summer and beauty of fall—the source that provides the bountiful harvest and the beauty we enjoy in the warmer months. It’s a good exercise to take a look at those basics now and then—in our world and in our lives.

While thinking about November, I saw that our esteemed co-founder of The Word Guild mentioned on facebook that she, in her haste to get going on her novel-writing month of November, realized she was madly writing—without a plot! I smiled.

Immediately I imagined a bunch of leaves without a trunk and branches to hold them up in some semblance of order to make a tree—I realized it can’t be done—neither can seeds, trees or shrubs be planted without rich soil in which to send their roots deep for nourishment. We need those basics from which we can sustain ourselves and our world and from which we can cultivate and develop life and beauty. We also need the “bare bones” of our faith on which we can rely in cold and bone-chilling times, and on which can grow leaves and blossoms of beauty. And in our writing we need the “bare bones” of a plot and a reason to tell our story.

Recently I heard a minister deliver his sermon the same way Nancy was writing her novel—without a plot or even a sense of direction. (Although Nancy probably had more sense of direction) It was a jumble of thoughts and ideas, some of them very good, but nothing fit together or flowed from one to the other. At the end it left the listener wondering, “Now just what was he trying to tell us? Did even he know, or was he just trying to fill his allotted time?”

So as in all of life, all of us, including writers and speakers need basic plots and reasons for our writing, speaking and indeed our living. It is only then that our readers and listeners and fellow sojourners can grasp how to use what they learn to dress up or enhance the basic structures in their own lives.

Yes, we need to sit up and pay attention to the Novembers in our lives.

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