Friday, November 5, 2010


Michael W. Davis

Funny how little events in your life can lead to rather ponderous thoughts. I took my grand daughter on her first visit to a haunted house and boy did the organizers do a great job. It was a local family that used their farm for the event and all the proceeds went to support cancer victims in the community. Anyway, they really went all out to the point that the visitors on the back trip through the trail (it was a hay ride on a wagon drawn by tractor) actually clapped for the family.

What was especially memorable for my family was after the first scene along the haunted trail when little Emma buried her head into Pa pa’s chest (me) and put her hands over both eyes. The family was having a ball, yet as hard as we’d tried to get Emma to look, she’d have no part of it. Yeah, typical stubborn girl (g). No she wasn’t crying, rather hiding from what she did not want to see. She kept saying, “No way, Pa pa. As long as I don’t look, they can’t get me.” Now before you get upset at us for taking her, she was ecstatic at the end and wanted to go again next year. What does this have to do with writing; well bear with me.

On the drive home as all the family was laughing, even Emma, and telling stores about how scared they were, I flashed back to my two sons and how at times in their preteen years they too would hide their eyes when even it was some thing they didn’t what to deal with, including my youngest boy at my mothers funeral services where he hid his eyes so no one would see his tears. I’ve seen this behavior even in adults. I think it’s a survival mechanism to reduce the internal pain we feel about thoughts and events that cause us discover. Sad part is being blind to reality can lead to destruction as is currently happening under the misguided leadership of blind men that refuse to see what they’re doing to push this nation over the edge of financial ruin.

My pondering continued as I listened to the banter in the car and watched the full moon bath the landscape in eerie shadows. I recalled several of my novels where the hero and/or heroine suffered from their own form of blindness, and as a result suffered loneliness and eventual despair. I even created one storyline, which was awarded best romantic suspense novel of 2009 (BLIND CONSENT), around the theme of not wanting to see what was going on around you, and its true implications. Point is that, a really good story mimics real life, and we all, including me, turn blind from time to time about things we don’t want to see.

I though back to many of my novels where indeed the H or H suffered by self induced blindness, yet eventually awoke and uncovered their eyes. And it’s not just me. A good writing budette asked in I’d critic her draft of a new novel. Because I love her work I agreed if she’d reciprocate and critic my new one. Point is, as I came to one scene about 40% through the book, both the H and H were covering their eyes and not dealing with their true emotions. At first I through, “What’s wrong with these guys, can’t they see?” Then I realized the truth; it was not a false depiction of the characters, it was in deed reality.

I think in most good stories, somehow the author creates an intentional blindness so the reader can sigh and cheer when the character awakens to their blindness and we proclaim, “Finally!” To me, one of the many attributes that tags a well-written story is one that reflects real behavior in characters; and temporary self-induced blindness is a condition that most (all) of us suffer from.

Till next time.

Big Mike
Michael W. Davis (
Author of the year, 2008 & 2009

Shadow of Guilt, “To each crossing of paths, there is a reason.”
Blind Consent, “The answers are buried in the secrets of the past.”
Forgotten Children, “Only Sara knows the truth.”
Tainted Hero, “Sometimes good people do bad things.”
The Treasure, “A lonely heart can impair one’s judgment.”
Veil of Deception, “Sometimes truth cuts deeper than a lie.”


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You're right about hiding one's eyes at any age. I noticed in the nursing home where I had to recover from my broken arm and leg, people sat silently in PT, surrounded by 30 other people all excersizing with their eyes closed. They were not asleep, they were hiding. They didn't want to be there.


Big Mike said...

Noticed that too, Julie. When I was going through cancer treatment. People either said with there eyes closed or dazing at the wall.

BIg Mike