Saturday, June 18, 2005

Travel Writers

While traveling, my son, wife and myself will often talk about how to creatively describe what we experience. This adds a whole new demension to the term "Travel Writers."

On the way to our destination this morning we were struck by the shafts of light through the trees on a two-lane winding road. Hummm, how to describe it?

Eric said that my description of "shafts of light" was tired and overused. He suggested that the light bands were more like glistening swords piercing the tree canopy. "No, that's not right." he confessed "Canopy is overused." "How about just tree tops?"

We batted around several ideas, I don't remember who suggested what. We talked about "blades of light" instead of "glistening swords." Then, someone suggested that the "blades of light" were piercing the tree tops and leaving pools of light (bleeding through the trees?) through which we drove. But that didn't feel entirely right.

We finally agreed that "blades of light piercing the tree canopy" sounded kinda cool. We couldn't figure out what the light on the road could be called. Dappled wasn't right because dappled was shadowed light, infrequent light patterns and sporadic. The light on the road was definite and clear. It shone bright and it lit the car interior as we drove through it.

We never agreed completely on how to describe the scene. One thing is for sure, we had a great time trying.

You become a good writer just as you become a good joiner: by planing down your sentences. -Anatole France