I've started 2013 on a positive note. 2012 was a good year for me professionally and I'm hoping for the same - or even better (yes, I'm greedy) - from 2013. As I'm in a positive frame of mind, I've been thinking about how lucky I am to be a writer. There are so many things I love about it. I mean, how many people can sit with their feet up, a glass of wine to hand, staring out of the window while convincing everyone that they're working hard? How many adults can get away with having imaginary friends without being locked up?
There's another reason I love being a writer though and I only really thought about it during the festive break. It was when hubby and I made a very rare trip to the cinema to see Life of Pi. I haven’t read the book yet, and all I knew about Pi was that he survived a shipwreck and spent months at sea sharing a small lifeboat with a tiger called Richard Parker. I was curious and, hey, I love tigers.
(Image: Life of Pi)
During the ten minutes or so before the film started, noise levels were pretty high as people chatted away and fought their way through buckets of popcorn. The lights dimmed, the film started and – well, my jaw dropped open. The couple sitting behind us talked all the way through the film. All the way through it! Loudly! Four young girls sitting in front of us did the same thing. Three people sitting on hubby’s left spent the entire two hours munching on various things and rattling paper bags.
The film ended, the lights came on, and several of us stared at the floor in horror. Empty sweet bags, chocolate wrappers, popcorn and drinks cartons littered the floor. It was disgusting. I was horrified to think that, before anyone could see the next showing, some poor soul had to clear up the mess left by those rude, selfish, inconsiderate people.
People were complaining that the film had been ruined for them. Hubby was muttering all the way home about how he'd struggled to keep his temper under control and how he'd felt like committing murder. I felt sorry for everyone who'd had their day ruined. Me? I realised that my experience had been enriched by those ignorant people. They're my bread and butter. They cause conflict. I wondered about their homes (presumably very messy and littered with rubbish). I wondered what sort of relationships they had with their neighbours. Before you knew it, I had a great set of characters and half an idea for a murder story. I could have kissed those inconsiderate morons.
As for Life of Pi, it's a wonderful film. If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s about so much more than a boy surviving at sea with only a tiger for company. I found it inspirational. It brought yet another reminder that authors are among the luckiest people alive. We start with a blank page and we’re allowed to create any world we choose.
Odd to think that a trip to the cinema can prove so useful and so inspirational. And on that note, I’ll wish each and every one of you a happy, peaceful, successful and inspirational 2013. May all your dreams come true!