It’s been a while since I published a blog, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve been finishing up a first draft on the sequel for my new novel “Invisible Ellen” titled, “Emerging Ellen.” When I am deep into a manuscript, I use up my words. I literally, (and that is the correct use of this word for a change) have no words left for extraneous pursuits, like long winded blogs.
Perhaps that’s why authors like twitter and FB when they’re working on a story. It’s a great way to say something and keep a connection without having to craft phrases and adjectives. It is actually true that we each of us have so many words to use up in a day. Women, not surprisingly, have more than men. This is because as the human race developed as tribes and villages, traditionally the women were the gatherers, healers, teachers and care givers, all things that required communication and a wide range of attention span. No child would have survived without a mother who could make a fire, find food, protect the home base, and watch the kids. The men, in many cultures, hunted, which required silence and focus on one narrow thing, the prey. As a result, our brains have evolved with different connections, we actually think and feel things differently, based on our history and experiences. This is not exclusive to our sex, by the way, those are just fun general facts. Recently, scientists have discovers a new brain protein, which women seem to have 30% more of than men, which relates to communication. On average, women have 13,000 more words to use in a day than men. That’s a sixth of a novel.
Hence, women often like to spend time talking to friends while some men prefer the focus of working in the garage, or a watching football game. Everyone has some exceptions to this rule. I prefer silence to almost anything else, I find it the world’s greatest luxury now. And I have a male lawyer who I cannot get off the phone. When he starts telling a story, he’s going to finish it, with every detail!
Even so, it’s funny that we criticize people for the very thing that makes us what we are. I often hear women complain that their men, ‘don’t like to talk.’ Often, when questioned, it’s because the man has spent his day talking at work, and his words are used up! Then you hear men complain that women natter all the time. Though less true than it used to be, this is often because a woman has spent her day with toddler’s who have a ten word vocabulary and by the time hubby gets home, they are starved for conversation. Of course, more and more, these scenarios are cross gender! Women who work all day just want a quiet evening, and stay at home dads would love a chatty night out!
In writing, we must find our voice. In filmmaking, we find our vision. They amount to the same thing. It’s called point of view, or what we uniquely have to offer. Ironically, both are visual imagination. In books, we create scenes from words, and each person who reads it, fills in the story with their own personal history. In film, words in the script are translated into scenes, visual mediums which include words, but offers less objective interpretation by the viewer. This is why we are so often disappointed in favorite books that are turned into films. Both have value, though books belong more to the reader than films to the viewer, if you consider the infinity of experiences of individual readers.
Voice and vision. Two things that I deal with in “Invisible Ellen.” Once character is blind, and appearances mean nothing to her, and one is ugly, and no one listens to her. Together though, they find not only friendship, but that thing we all crave, live for, and revel in, whether we understand it or not—human connection. Whether someone relates to your words, your pictures, your music, or just your shrug of surrender in a crowded post office when there’s only one person working, each of these things has equal value.
And so, I’m glad to be back with a short blog and say hello to you all. To make that connection, to hear your concerns and to learn what touches your heart. There is so much we have to offer, and to share.
It might be a book, it might be a song, and it might be a smile of compassion when sadness fills a fellow soul.
It’s all vision and voice. It’s all us, the great human connection.
Shari, February 21st, 2014.