Our daughter and grandkids just left after a five-day visit. It was Grandma heaven. We spent one afternoon at the beach on Lake Michigan. The waves were perfect—high whitecaps that never ended. Molly and Papa Rich were in the water for almost two hours. Tommy joined them occasionally, but was more interested in following Pokémon Go along the beach and pier. I accompanied him once so he could venture out to the end of the pier in search of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.
As I followed along behind him, I had to steer him out of the path of oncoming pedestrians who smiled, recognizing the intense focus of a Pokémon Go player. Besides, many of them were engaged in the same activity. Tommy gave me a running account of what character he spotted and how rare each was. A part of me thought, we’re at this beautiful beach and all these people are staring at their phones. And then I realized, this is Passion – my “One Little Word” for the year.
Isn’t this what I wrote about back in January? Finding something that compels you to such distraction you lose track of time and place. Granted, some people are walking into walls, falling off cliffs (according to my grandkids) and crashing into police cars (don’t play and drive!), but most people are enjoying the game responsibly. Yes, they’re in the zone. And yes, they’re enjoying life.
Exactly what I do when I write.
I’m not chasing Squirtle, but I am chasing ideas, plot, characters, settings and themes. I may not be walking down the pier, but my mind is coursing across a sea or creeping along an underground tunnel. I am as focused as the Pokémon Go players. My gaze is locked on my computer screen, I don’t hear what’s going on around me, and when I surface, I need a minute to adjust my vision to the real world.
Are you this passionate when you write?