Stepping into the Twitter Stream

I’ve mentioned before that I twitter (Valya). It is not difficult to drop a line here and there, and it’s been an invaluable resource for meeting other creative people. I have always enjoyed reading personal essays by writers I admire, as well as autobiographies that chronicle their creative process and motivation for making art. Twitter creates these interesting intersections of writers, musicians, performers, and artists communicating/comparing/encouraging. I like tapping into that energy.

Many of you know that I tend to do most of my writing/editing after the kids are put to bed (from say 10pm until 2 or 3am). At any moment, I can go to Twitter, read a few tweets, then get back to work. A little mind stretch and also comforting to know that there are other people awake in the Twitterverse.

I compare it to living in a large apartment building and knowing that somewhere, nearby, a neighbor is doing laundry, another is practicing piano. When the house is quiet, the husband is already in bed, the kids are (mostly) sleeping soundly, it’s nice to know there are others online. It is especially nice when they are creative, interesting folks whom I admire that are also burning the midnight oil and occasionally posting 140 characters of their progress. The messages can be motivating. They can be entertaining. They can be humbling.

There is also this interesting, occasional phenomenon–not unlike reading tea leaves or tarot, or hearing a particular song on the radio at just the right instant–sometimes twitter can deliver a message of synchronicity.

I’m not referring to the self-proclaimed gurus on twitter (and there are many) who like to spout their own philosophies for wealth or happiness. I’m referring to the random tweet from a friend or someone I admire that resonates. I like to think of these tweets as little gifts from the Universe, like getting a phone call from a friend at precisely the moment when I was thinking of them: messages of synchronicity.

In ancient Greece,Heraclitus wrote that it is impossible to step into the same river twice, for it’s never again the same river and he’s never again the same man.

So too with Twitter.

With hundreds of thousands of people online, a lot of information and emotion are being shared. Sometimes you can dip into the Twitter stream and there is little to be gleaned. Other times, you stumble upon a gem.

Tonight Deepak Chopra twittered: Grace happens when you let go and surrender to the unknown. Grace manifests through synchronicity and meaningful coincidence.

This resonated with me. It was a gift, a reminder.

March continues to be a rich month of chaos and creativity. I have much to write about, and I’ll try to get to an update this week.

In the meantime, I’m here. I’m well. I’m occasionally on Twitter. 

And I surrender to the unknown.

A Question of Character

I’m working on a project that has me thinking about characterization, and I was pondering what makes a character unforgettable?

So I ask you, what are the most memorable characters you have encountered in fiction–good or bad, classic or contemporary, adult books or children’s. What characters have remained with you to this day and why?