Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The dictionary gives many definitions of a reflection. The two I'm thinking about are: 1."A thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation." 2. A transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane."

When I look through family albums, I see pictures that reflect on my life. I pause at the photo of the girl sitting in front of the mirror and reflect or meditate, trying to recall this particular time and event.

Bits and pieces of it come back. A wedding. Everyone wore white. My mother made my dress with her skillful hands and old sewing machine, a Singer, I believe. I was flower girl and carried a basket of white flowers that I scattered on the floor as I walked down the aisle before the bride.

Mirrors are good reflectors. They don't lie. We can't hide ourselves from a mirrir. They show us the way we are. Looking in a mirror reflects a happy face, a sad face or a puzzled face.

Another great reflector is a body of clear water on a calm day. Notice the trees in my photo then look at the water. You see the trees, point for point. You can see your own face, too, or your dog's or cat's reflection.

Reflections are all around us: in a windowpane, eyeglasses, a shiny dish or pan, even in ourselves. Yes, our lives, the way we live, the things we say and do are reflections to those around us. I ask myself, "What do other people see in me?" I also ask myself, "What does the reader see in the characters in my novels?" They are reflections of the world I build for them, whether it's contemporary or fantasy or another world from my imagination. Everything my characters say and do reflects on his or her life. Her past influences her present and her future. I meditate when developing characters so they'll be like real people, with a history, someone the reader can relate to, and perhaps even see themselves in the character. So I talk to my heroes and heroines and they tell me their stories and they reveal the point that transformed their lives.


  1. Everything we (or our characters) do is reflected in our world.

  2. I've never talked to my characters, but maybe I should give it a try. Maybe they'll talk back.

    Stephen Tremp

  3. You might be surprised, Stephen. My characters sometimes say a lot.