I don’t remember which class or which teacher, but in the far right hand corner of this class was a record player. Above the record player were some photos of the Grand Canyon. Our assignment was to look at the photos and listen to the Grand Canyon Suite and write.
I don’t remember what I wrote, but I can remember how I felt.
In those days we didn’t have the internet, nor did we have a slide show, all that we had were pictures and music.
I felt as if I was flying like a bird through the red rocks, high and free, gliding on the currents, being gently carried along, occasionally swooping, sometimes diving and constantly excited about what next.
Dancing on waves of external wonder, bathed in golden red sunshine, arms open wide greeting the world, swathed in warmth. I was hundreds of feet tall, I could fly, dance, sing, I was invincible.
When I help others to find their passion and write their books, their eyes shine, it is as if they are holding my hand and taking me to their favourite place. I feel connected to them and I want their stories to be told.
No matter what the subject, each and every writer has the power to change their life and others with their words.
I love the feeling I get when they tell me about their idea, I adore the feeling when they really get what they want to share and how they will tell their stories. It doesn’t matter if its a memoir or a business book, every person is leaving their musical signature with me. They are taking me back across the Grand Canyon.
Some years ago, it was my then partners aunts birthday trip to Las Vegas. Christmas afternoon was a helicopter trip across the Grand Canyon. Terrified I climbed into the helicopter. Not a fan of flying I was terrified, but my desire to relive the flight through the Canyon overcame my beating heart.
Sitting in the back, I gazed over Las Vegas and wondered how I was going to be able to enjoy anything with fear in my heart.
At the first stop, the American couple in the front asked to swap seats, she was terrified and didn’t want to be at the front. What in gods name was going on, I thought as I climbed in the front?
Mike took off with music blaring, we sailed calmly over a carpet of green blobs, nothing to this I thought and then he dropped suddenly into the Canyon. Red. Not just red, but terracotta, rust, coral, rose, burnt toast, crimson, orange, umber, purple, grey, brown, colours, ever changing colours, life changing hues.
Unless you have been you cannot describe what you can see and the emotion that ricochets through you. Especially if you have waited for this moment all of your life.
Enthralled I begged him to go faster, to be more daring and to scare us more. My fear had gone and in its place was the thrill of the ride.
That’s what happens to writers. They start scared and wondering, then they let go, trust that all will be ok, as they create magic from their passions, their desire to place the final dot overcomes them and they want their book out there. And then they want more.
I love helping others write their books because I get flown through the Grand Canyon again and again.