The idea for ‘Speckles’ came to me during my stint in Colorado. The Rocky Mountains worked wonders on my creative juices. And, I was blessed to live in Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, and a major summer tourist destination.
I took a job as the front desk clerk of a local lodge with one of the best locations in town, and a view to die for. Located just off the gold course, I woke to elk, bear, and mountains nearly every morning. This respite was welcome as I coped with the death of my aunt, a recent break up, and a few other personal challenges that consumed me. I worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, took a writing class, and wrote grants on the side to fill my day and protect my mind from too much thinking, and too much feeling.
The energy of the town, I would liken to Sedona-although not as intense. Being so close to raw nature moved me, inspiring healing, and creativity, even though I literally lived in a closet. Seriously, a closet. The General Manager walled in the closet of one of the apartments that (usually) European workers lived in and there was enough room for a bed and a few bags of clothes. This is all I needed and never felt more at home. The thin walls drove My Czech roomates crazy though, as I fell asleep each night to a DVD of the Golden Girls, played on repeat…all night long. Another attempt to escape thoughts and feelings.
The writing course I took had an emphasis on poetry, a topic that had never really appealed to me before. For some reason, I enjoyed this one, and was able to tap into some pretty heavy emotions for release through poetry. As I sat on an old log bench, overlooking the pond, the green grass of the Rocky Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains in the background, I became aware of how I could see those little speckles of debris, or light that seem to roll around the eyeballs, even with my eyes open. I wondered if everyone could see them.
As I sat and contemplated these incredible swirls of multi-colored lights, I could manipulate them into shapes, and control their flow and swirls. I remembered so many times as a child being excited to go to bed so I could “play” within my eyes. Dancing lights in the shape of people, starships, animals, and mostly like fireworks, fill my sockets when I close my eyes.
On that bench in Estes Park, Colorado, I decided I should write a book about the speckles that I see when I close my eyes. It seemed profound at the time, and I was energized to get started. Summer was coming to an end, and I decided to hit the road to Arizona again. On my flight, I had a couple vodkas and shared my idea with the lady next to me. She thought it was brilliant, and while I couldn’t help but agree, I had absolutely no idea where to go with the concept. Should I write a children’s book? Should I try non-fiction and take a more scientific approach? I decided to do a little research and see where it went.
That was 2008. We are now 2015 and the real research has only just begun. I always rolled the idea for Speckles around in my head, casually mentioned it to a few people, and got into some pretty interesting conversations with folks on the street about what they see when they closed their ideas. At first, I was a little concerned. No one was describing anything close to what I see when I close my eyes. Most only see the clear “globs” of debris that roll down the eye fluid. Sometimes people mentioned bursts of light or silhouettes resulting from being in blinding light moments before. But nothing like this:
So, naturally, I thought I had a tumor. Where was all this light coming from? How could I manipulate all those speckles? And, why were they very strong in numbers and activity, sometimes, but not always? After more conversations, I am pretty sure I don’t have a tumor. And, I have found a few more people that get a little closer to describing similar speckles when they close their eyes. I am on a mission now. I still don’t know exactly where I am going with the storyline, but I am actively gathering data and I am very close to “breaking ground” on the book.
I’ve set up an anonymous questionaire using Google Forms, and I have linked it to the Facebook Page I created for Speckles. If you are interested in particiating in the research and would like to answer a few questions, click here.
You can also “Like” the Facebook Page for updates here.