stillpoint

musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

the art of disappearing

I was walking at the lake in Toronto the other day and spotted a handsome mallard duck near the water. Camera in hand, I crept across the beach, cursing the crunch of gravel under foot. Of course he spotted me right away, gave me a warning look, then hoisted himself up and padded into the shallow water. Isn't he glorious? I love his little orange feet and the way the water reflects and sparkles on his feathers.

Mallard duck at Colonel Sam Smith Park, Toronto, June 2015

Mallard, showing his colours at Colonel Sam Smith Park, June 2015

In the moments between those two photos, I was surprised to discover that our Mr. Duck wasn't alone. His mate was with him, just inches away, peacefully napping and seemingly unconcerned by my approach. Nature's camouflage so effective, I might have missed her completely.

Mallard ducks at Colonel Sam Smith Park, Toronto, June 2015

Have you ever wished you could disappear? Become part of the background? It's definitely a useful skill for a writer to practice. Next time you visit a coffee shop (or the beach), give it a try. Find a spot with a view, sit quietly, breathe deeply, and just...fade away.

Need to freshen up your character's dialogue? Fade away and listen. Looking to give a character a quirky habit or brush up on body language? Fade away and watch. You might be surprised by what you discover.


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