Monday, March 04, 2024

Looking at Things in New Ways

By Thomas Kies

On Valentine’s Day, my first cataract surgery took place.  Romantic, huh?

It was my left eye and before the surgery, it had gotten so that I could barely see out of it.  My vision faded so slowly, so subtly, that I didn’t notice it until it got really bad. 

Once that surgery took place, one eye was still nearsighted, as it had been since I was five years old, and the left eye was now farsighted.  My brain was flummoxed. 

Some people say it wasn’t a new scenario.

Then, last Tuesday, my right eye underwent surgery.  Now I’m not wearing glasses, for nearly the first time in my life. 

It’s weird.

However, now I need “readers” for reading, obviously, and writing and working on my laptop.  I won’t get the prescription specs that I need until sometime next week so I’m using glasses I found in Walgreens.  A stopgap measure at best.

What’s this got to do with writing?  I’m now more keenly aware than ever how much we rely upon our eyesight for everything and what it means when it comes to writing.  Not only logistically, but creatively. 

Describing a scene, we usually start with what it looks like.  As I tell my writing class, you should incorporate all the senses—sounds you hear, scents you detect, what things feel like.  You want to bring the reader into the scene. 

As an example, here is an excerpt from my first book, Random Road:


I poured a healthy serving of Glenlivet for Kevin and tumbler of Absolut over ice for me. Then I suggested, “How about we go out and sit on the porch?”

We sat in chairs next to each other and breathed in the night air, thick with the sweet scent of roses that my landlady, Mrs. Soldaro, had planted all around the base of the front porch. A history of the universe twinkled down at us in the form of a sky full of stars.  Crickets and cicadas hummed and chirped, giving auditory proof that the earth was a living, breathing entity.

I took a long, hard sip of vodka, the ice tinkling against my teeth, the liquid lighting a fire in my throat and igniting a familiar heat in my stomach.  Almost immediately, the warmth and a sense of well-being stole into my consciousness.   I took a deep breath.  The world was okay.


So, I’m getting used to the new vision and editing and tweaking what I hope will be my next Geneva Chase novel.  I’m also marveling over how fresh and new colors look.  I'm enjoying the new experience. 

It’s a unique opportunity, seeing things for the first time through fresh eyes.  I guess that’s what we try to do for our readers. Look at things in new ways.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that your surgery went so well.
I was not as fortunate, but have just written
my 2nd children's book.

Jane Ellen Ingram