I had an intriguing conversation on the phone with my brother, Craig, this weekend. After the strong connection we've had all these years--and we've grown even closer as adults--I learned two things I didn't know about him, which are tickling my writer's senses. First, and not surprisingly, he has a talent with words. Please check out Craig's Story. As I read it again this morning, I couldn't have been prouder.
The second thing he shared was how he perceives the physical world around him. You see, Craig is colour blind. In the past, his description of this seemed vague to me. His concept of colour was 'off', but explanations still left me not understanding just what he meant. Being the Big Sister and always on the lookout for ways to be supportive, I was excited to tell him about an app for people in his position.
Yes, an app called saycolor to help those who have trouble identifiying colours. As a matter of fact there are several available, including Color Blind Aid, aidcolors and Color Vision among others. Check these out in the apps section at the iTunes store.
Naively I believed an app would solve many of the situations he encounters such as matching outfits, or decorating his new home, or establishing which is the cue ball in a game of pool. Patiently he explained that it wasn't as simple as that. He has little sense of what colours match or clash and I don't see or know colours the way he does. We have no common point of reference. For him colour is a range of densities--lighter vs. darker--but not black and white. Although I still have little idea what he means by 'black' or 'white', I do have a stronger sense of his perceptions, and the challenges this causes him on a regular basis.
Sisterly pride aside, this conversation also left me contemplating a cast of characters I'm getting to know for my Muskoka Novel Marathon story, still in the planning stages.
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT!
To sponsor me in the Muskoka Novel Marathon and support the great cause of LITERACY,
Okay, back to the point...
Until this conversation with my brother, I think I've assumed my characters see and experience the world as I do without meaning to do so. Interesting. Now, I'm discovering new layers to my characters that make them even more three-dimensional, and more believable, than they might have been otherwise.