The other day nearly 500 digital photographs, which I had downloaded from camera to computer, were gone. They were irreplaceable, having been taken during an eleven-day road trip up north.
At first, I was shocked almost to tears, not believing that they were gone. I kept going back to the album and folder they had been in, as well as to the empty camera, to no avail. Then, I became enraged, completely livid with anger, and maybe even insensible with hatred, for whomever had inadvertently deleted these visual memories – my husband or a grandchild – at technology, and at myself for stupidly deleting them from the camera after downloading. I stomped and cursed around the house, wanting to break something, scream at someone, tear something apart. My blood pressure was probably through the roof, while the acid in my stomach churned at breakneck speed.
Eventually, I calmed myself enough to phone my husband. While I still seethed inside, my voice exuded only sadness. He could not assure me that it had not been him, but offered that maybe our grandson had clicked the wrong button when he looked at the photos. I said goodbye and that I would try to retrieve them somehow. He sympathized to soothe me, but I could tell he wasn’t upset. I hung up and managed not to throw the phone at the wall. After going mentally apeshit, I settled down to solving the problem at hand. It took eight exhausting, frustrating hours, but I was able to recover most of photographs.
Any strong emotions and feelings we experience are worth noting and writing about. They can lend authenticity to your characters. I now know how a crime of passion could become a reality – at that one moment, in my rage, I possibly could have killed or maimed someone. Fortunately, thoughts are not actions. Most of us are civilized people with the ability to control ourselves. However, feel free to empower your characters; let them act on your emotions. All of your emotions – the good, bad, joyful, and sad – and those of others that you have witnessed can bring your characters to life.