In the distant past, when I was a mere child out on Saturday afternoon trips in the back of my parents’ car I often had moments of déjà vu. If you haven’t experienced déjà vu or don’t know what it means, literally it means ‘already seen.’ We’d pass buildings or a street and I’d feel a strong sense that I knew that place well even though I didn’t and hadn’t seen it before in my short life.
In adulthood I don’t get that feeling about places any more, but sometimes I do get the feeling of recognition when meeting someone for the first time. There are some fascinating theories on why people experience déjà vu, click on the link and you will see some more detailed explanations.
All through my life I have experienced vivid dreams, sometimes for long periods. Then I can go for a long time with not particularly memorable dreams. This is something most people experience I would imagine but how many people actually have dreams that turn out to be a premonition? I have had a few and unfortunately they were not always ones that turned out to be good. I pondered for a long time over these dreams and why I had them especially when I couldn’t apparently change fate by having had them. The premonitions were about strangers, people I couldn’t warn or help. It is bizarre and most unsettling but here have been good ones too, thankfully they aren’t all bad.
It has been a long-term fascination to me how the mind works via the subconscious and particularly when writing. Over the past few months I have been reading quite a few interviews with authors and time and again (not all but many) when asked if they plan or outline their stories they say no, or not to any great detail. They say their characters lead the plot for them or the story develops naturally. This indeed has been my experience. I sometimes joke that probably my granddad (a long time deceased and sadly who I never met), a writer himself pops into my brain, takes over and develops the story how he thinks it should go. It certainly feels like someone else has taken control at times.
Having just written The Eight of Swords, I guess I realise my other fascination is certainly with how we worry about the future and look for ways to predict it. This also crops up in Fish, a novel I am currently rewriting. The heroine in both these stories consults the Tarot. Jayne Patchett in the The Eight of Swords is told to have her Tarot read, she could refuse but after years of pretty much sleep walking through life it makes her hungry to know what her options might be. So although she has previously discarded it as something she wouldn’t normally seek out, when confronted with the cards she becomes intrigued. Usually people make a conscious decision to go to a fortune-teller but in her case the teller comes to her and in a rather unexpected way.
I have read some of Osho’s teachings, a guru who believes we must live totally in the present moment to truly be happy and I suppose to be at peace with ourselves. He makes some good points about how we worry too much about what has gone before and what the future might hold. I do agree with this. However, it is difficult to stop human nature and it seems to be very much a part of it to examine our lives and be eager to see what lies around the corner. Writing stories is a way to examine life and analyse our reactions to situations, and hopefully enjoy the process. In mine I like to explore the past, the present and the future.
The Eight of Swords is available now via Amazon Kindle.
Fish is in progress!
Copyright © Petra Kidd 2012 This post may not be reproduced in full or in part with out the written expression of the owner/creator Petra Kidd.