I spent an evening with a friend tonight–one I haven’t seen in years but have kept in tenuous contact through the wonder of Facebook. We shared a glass of wine and caught up with all the things that we couldn’t share online.
She knows, and probably always knew, that I’m a writer by trade and while talk would soon turn to that, what we talked about tonight was the reason for my visit–weaving. Yes, the same type of weaving that is used to create fabric. Only, instead of it being about fabric swatches from a large supplier and from a factory, Jo is an actual weaver. She has a few looms of her own that sit in her home. Some of them are portable (she loaned me one tonight) and others not so portable.
As she showed me how to weave using the loom she loaned me, we talked about my writing. It struck me how similar the two activities are.
Like Jo with her looms, a writer weaves words into a story like she weaves individual threads into fabric.
Each thread is a character and each time the cross thread is woven the plot weaves it all together into a complex, but hopefully beautiful story. A reader doesn’t see each of these threads but instead sees the final product, whether that’s a novel or a short story. It just depends on the loom used.
And, like weavers… writers need time and practice to get it right. It takes set-up and planning before the first cross-thread is woven, and constant adjustment.
But, in the end, the results are the same.
There is something that, even if a reader (or fashionista) doesn’t necessarily know what magic was woven into it they just know that it’s something special. The work is there–and often enough that’s all they need to know.