Monday, August 27, 2007

A Green Moth

By C.L. Beck
© 2007

I love Luna moths. They’re a lovely, sea-foam green, with wings that curve and arch. Unfortunately they’re an eastern moth, so we never see them in Utah.

Last week when I opened the front door, there was a small, beautiful green moth on the glass. Not a Luna, to be sure—no curves and arches—but I liked the way his wings held an emerald transparency. I grabbed the camera and started taking pictures.

After a few shots, the sun came up, putting the moth into half-sun and half-shade. Not a good shot, to be sure. It will only be a matter of minutes until he’s in full sun, and then I’ll get a picture of the light sparkling off him, I thought. Picking up the garden clippers, I started trimming my flowers, waiting for the sun to shift. After a few minutes, I turned back and....

He was gone. The sun had warmed his wings and he’d fluttered away.

Writing is often like that. Sometimes an idea comes and I dilly-dally over it, looking at it this way and that. Then I decide to wait on it until the time is just right and my thoughts are well-formed. I walk away and trim the flowers of other stories … and while I do, the idea flutters from my mind.

Inspiration often comes as a gift on sparkling, transparent wings, to be embraced and put into words … if we only seize the moment.

What C.L.’s been reading recently:
Publishing Secrets by LDS Storymakers (BJ Rowley and others)
Writing for Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Jon Franklin
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Rennie Browne & Dave King
The Art of Photographing Nature by Martha Hill with photographs by Art Wolfe

View C.L.’s other work:
Newspaper Column
Photography Website
Life is Like Riding a Unicycle by Shirley Bahlmann (Story on pg. 70)


G. Parker said...

like the picture...good blog!

C. L. Beck said...

Glad you liked the picture. Most moths are a non-descript brown, so it was interesting to find this one.

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I like your moth image. Usually we think of our ideas as beautiful butterflies, but really, they are only the image of a butterfly, waiting for us to turn it into something beautiful--as long as we can catch it in the first place.
Which leads me to my next thought:
That capturing the idea frustration has taught me, after all these years, to "write it down immediately." Even if it's just a quick note to give me the jist of it. Otherwise, like your moth, it does fly away, and oh, how I mourn.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

So very true. One of the things I learned early on was to keep a notebook in my purse at all times. Hence the transfer to carrying a mongo purse everywhere I go. I also have a digital recorder in my purse, but I'm the old fashioned pen to paper when jotting notes.

C. L. Beck said...

Ooo, I like butterflies, too. They are much prettier than most moths.

You're right; we do have to jot our ideas down immediately. Not that writers are necessarily the absent-minded professor type, but we have so many ideas flitting in and out of our brain, that if we don't get them on paper, they fly away.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

C. L. Beck said...


I've never been much of a purse person, so when your note said you carry a "mongo purse" I thought that was a brand name.

I got a good laugh when I realized you meant it as a play on the word "humongous".

Oh, wait. That is what you meant,
isn't it? There isn't an Oscar de La Mongo purse, is there? :)

Loved your idea of carrying a digital recorder. I've GOT to get one.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Janette Rallison said...

Oh, that is so true. I can't tell you the times a thought has come to me (usually as I'm trying to get to sleep) and I think, "I'll remember that." And do I? Of course not.

C. L. Beck said...

Isn't it awful when ideas come to you as you're falling asleep and you can't remember them the next morning?

The next worst thing is when you dream a great novel and you wake up the next morning and all you remember is one line!

Hmm, sounds like a good topic for another blog. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting.