Monday, August 24, 2009

No One Living or Dead

I don’t know how many people have alluded to the fact that it is brave to write fiction and without quite saying it, implied that I might be taking hunks of my personal life and selling them for the enjoyment of others.

I laugh – my life should be so interesting!

My characters are strangers to me in the beginning and at the end they are familiar friends who resemble no one I know living or dead. Their beliefs and experiences are their own and a result of a combination of my imagination a

nd what my experience and observation has taught me. After all – this is fiction. These characters never existed before and barring a sequel, will never exist again.

It is true that events in my life might be a catalyst for a scene or a story – that scene will be so far from the real life event as to be unrecognizable. And while a character might have Aunt Ivy’s bad hair or the sexy walk of a stranger I glimpsed just the other day, the rest is imagination.

But for me, one thing is very real – the setting. That is as real as it can be and drawn from experiences, memories or, in the case of history, research. It becomes a backdrop for the story. A movie set only built with words. Sometimes I think of the background as just another character.

And the characters, well if they're good, they live on. Rather like the undead.

So there you have it – with travel journal in hand, the journey continues.

Ryshia Kennie

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Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009
A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Thousand Words or Just a Picture

Today I couldn't help myself - a bit of news surfaced that had me thinking again about travel and the dreaded passport photo.

Just the other day I read that a woman was released after three months in a foreign country having not even made it past the custom's checkpoint.


Her passport picture didn't look like her!

Not look like the passport picture? Does anyone? And from a vanity perspective - who would want to!? Of course soon electronics will take care of all that doubt as we're put on the electronic leash of the scanners. Stuff that I think looks better in the realm of fiction than in life.

It's enough to make one quit traveling - not!

And on a totally contradictory note, just the other day a friend told me her passport picture looked good and even the customs officer had commented on it. Go figure!

Ryshia's MySpace

Coming to bookstores soon - Ring of Desire, 2009
A medieval fantasy steeped in history. A heroine faced with the ultimate choice, immortality or mortal love.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer take a whole new meaning as the dog is sleeping peacefully on the bed. Where I would like to be if sleep would quit alluding me. Instead I am downstairs in my office writing. Waiting to greet another prairie dawn with coffee cup in hand as the sun rises warm and inviting to greet another brilliant beach filled, summer day. Not! According to the weather man we're in for another bout of abnormally cool days. So with the dog days - summer's hottest days on a hiatus - I think the dog has the right idea!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Passport Pictures are Just Bad

If you've never been in trouble with the law and haven't had the opportunity to get a "mugshot", the next best thing is the passport photo.

"Don't smile," the photographer almost invariably reminds you as they valiantly try to get a shot that is suitably sized and dreary enough to meet passport regulations. I've always thought that direction should be followed by, "don't grit your teeth" for invariably I always do. Is it possible to identify the animated person standing in an immigration checkpoint from that stilted, tight lipped picture on the passport?

One thing I have learned over the years is that when getting that dreaded snap - not to even attempt that second or even third retake. Why disappoint myself? I prefer to look like an escapee from a high risk security penitentiary in the first go around.

So, in a military dictatorship, in a country where I was particularly leery of the immigration process, I handed over my passport, bad photo and all, and waited. The immigration officer flipped through the pages, looked at the picture, looked again. And then he looked up at me and smiled broadly, "Must have been a bad day." He chuckled and stamped the book and that was that.

Apparently vintage photography had some of the same
issues as the passport venue!