Alive, or Dead, But You Can Only Pick One
In all your life, if you had a choice to sit down at dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you pick? Doesn’t matter what restaurant, though you can visualize that too, or the choice of dinner, if you like. What matters is the thought of that one person who fascinates you. For me? I’ll start with an excerpt from a book:
This is the year 1492. I am eighty-two years of age. The things I am going to tell you are things which I saw myself as a child and as a youth.
In all the tales and songs and histories of Joan of Arc, which you and the rest of the world read and sing and study in the books wrought in the late invented art of printing, mention is made of me, The Sieur Louis de Conte—I was her page and secretary, I was with her from the beginning until the end.
From the chapter: The Sieur Louis De Conte, in Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain.
Yes, I do love Mark Twain. He would be another choice of mine, if I didn’t already have a first. Joan of Arc is my pick, without a single doubt or a flinch. If I could somehow blink her to the dinner table, an interesting and maybe slightly frightening thought, I couldn’t imagine a more fascinating person to talk to and interview over a favorite dinner choice in an outdoor setting. :0) A moment I would remember (and maybe slightly wonder about my sanity) for all my life :0)
In the sixth grade, I had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Dorsey. She was a free spirit, and encouraged me to be one too. She introduced a new unit in class, studying the history of France, the culture, and of course, food. We were to research a famous historical figure from France and she generated a list for us, saving Joan of Arc for me. She pulled me aside and talked a bit about Joan, and why I should find out more about her.
Mrs. Dorsey thought right. I even wrote Joan a poem much later in High School called, Listener to a Lonely Soul. It printed in Ursus, our high school annual publication, and I wish I could share the poem here, alas, I’m still looking for a hard copy of it. If I find it, rummaging around in my old high school boxes, I’ll post it later on.
So what would I say to Joan if I had the chance?
I would first want to know about her family. Her father. Her mother. Her favorite moments with her siblings. I’d want to know what they’d done to her to make her mad from time to time. I’d want to know all about her, her best friend, her favorite daydream, and of course, I’d want to know about her experience, hearing the voice of an angel, and seeing it. I’d want to know about her courage, and how she drew it up inside of her to do the things she did and face what she faced, because we are all human. We have feelings, a heart, and fears. How did she conquer those things and do the impossible while she lived?
Lastly, Why Am I Writing This Post for the Day?
I’m thinking about dinner and people who intrigue me for one big reason. The questions we generate in our minds about others and understanding them: the behaviors, the language, whatever it is that draws you to this person or figure in history, is exactly what I picture when I create characters as I write. I wonder, what is it about someone that makes me like them so much. I try to guess what they would say, their motives, doubts, anything, and how could I possibly make someone else care about them too?
I’ll dive into this content in more detail as the blog tour for One More Day, takes off, Monday, December 2. That’s what I do best. I write about human character.
What’s Your Pick?
I’d love to know who would you go to dinner with? If you’re up to it, I’d love to know the why. :0) But remember, you can only pick one.
Happy Monday My Friends, and big giant hugs. Erika