I came across this poem recently; more of Virginia Brasier’s works can still be found in printed form, or on Google Books. This was originally posted (from what I can find out) in the Saturday Evening Post, Volume 221, 1949. Whenever it was written, it’s just as timely and poignant today.
“Time of the Mad Atom”
This is the age of the half-read page.
And the quick hash and the mad dash.
The bright night with the nerves tight.
The plane hop and the brief stop.
The lamp tan in a short span.
The Big Shot in a good spot.
And the brain strain and the heart pain.
And the cat naps till the spring snaps—
And the fun’s done!
By Virginia Brasier
Sometimes truth is more fascinating, more adventurous than fiction. Sometimes a news article becomes a spark for a fictional story. One of the greatest films of all time, Titanic, took its cue from real life; many books and films are based on real life stories, mysteries, narrow escapes, historical events and experiences. The best kinds of story sparks are those things which capture our imagination; not only best for the reader, but also for the writer – for if you are not excited by and captivated by what you’re writing about, researching and investigating, how do you expect a reader to be excited or captivated by it? Personally, history has always fascinated me; I wonder, “What would it be like to walk among them?” or “What would it be like to discover these events as a modern archaeologist?” I explored such a theme in my novels, “The Cardinal“.
Here are a few historical sparks that might capture your imagination; just click on each image to link to the article:
Artifacts from the Battle of the Egadi Islands, ca. 240 BC
The City of Heracleion, Plunged into the Sea
China’s Atlantis: Shi Cheng
The Skulls of Sac Uayum
An Ancient Roman Shipwreck Reveals Medicinal Remedies
I was recently talking with someone, and the topic of the psychology of colours came up in connection with health care; it got me thinking about how it could be applied to practical applications, as well as writing fiction. My particular practical application is crocheting hats to donate to the local cancer patient clinics, and I wanted to know which colours would be more appropriate.
In writing fiction, colours play an important part as well; they help set the scene: Is it a dark and gloomy scene? Don’t choose pink or pastels – unless you want to make it a creepy-gloomy scene. The colour of the sky, the grass, the sand, living room walls, a person’s eyes – they all help set the stage, or paint the backdrop of your fictional character’s life, situations, or the overall tone of the book; it can also help establish your character’s personality: Are they a compassionate, stable person? Perhaps beige combined with a bit of pink. Is your character blind, (figuratively or literally)? Red is the easiest colour for a visually impaired person to see, so accent their home in red. You get the idea! Advertisers have been using the psychology of colours to manipulate consumers for decades; the more we understand the application of colour, the more we can see through the tactic and at the same time apply it to our writing. Here are a few images to consider as you think into this topic and apply it to your own fictional characters.