Perspective and expectations

Karalee’s Post #51

I’m away in Orlando, Florida, this week. My husband is at a conference and I’m having a blast being a “kid” out and about on my own. I took a day and visited Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, promising myself to “go for it and check my fear at the park entrance.”

It was like Halloween and Christmas wrapped up in one delightfully sensory overloaded package. My expectations were high and there was too much to do in too little time.

So what did I do?

Hogsmeade StationI rushed over to Hogwarts. Diagon Alley was amazing and I was immediately funneled into the first roller coaster ride. I let myself be steered into the fingerprint locker area since no bags or purses were allowed on the ride. The guide there assured me I could retrieve my things (wallet with all my credit cards, etc.) as long as I didn’t lose my fingerprint between now and then, so off I went to the first ride with less than a 5 minute wait.

I walked up the winding roadway past the car that Harry crashed into the willow tree, and almost past the point of no return when I came to my senses. Above me the roller coaster went straight up and then straight down with twists and turns including upside down and possibly backwards except that was impossible, but wasn’t I in a magical place so it might just be possible …


My heart was pounding and I couldn’t take my eyes off the terrifying sight above me. It reminded me of not being able to put down a book even though turning the next page would surely be the death sentence of one of the characters in a bring-on-the-nightmares-scene.

From a distance the ride looked fun and from that perspective my expectations hadn’t seemed unrealistic. I had expected a thrilling ride at the maximum level of my thrill-tolerance (which is nothing to brag about or even whisper about). But truth be told, I don’t like heights. Actually it terrifies me, especially going at a speed faster than the basilisk in ‘The Chamber of Secrets’ can slither up an ice-covered cliff.

I chickened out and scuttled back to get my stuff out of the locker that actually recognized my fingerprint and opened like magic. That experience was worth the jaunt up the hill to the non-ride, and with a lighter heart I headed for the butter beer cart and indulged in a delightful frozen drink that was as good as I had been told it would be. 

This time I was surprised that my expectations were met.

Jurassic ParkDrink in hand I was off to Jurassic Park where I did swallow my fear and go on the water ride. I scouted it out first, taking pictures of the final fall and asking disembarking passengers what side of the boat got less wet. Changing into my spare top I jumped aboard and expected to be frightened.

I was.

There were no line-ups so I decided to go again.

This time I knew what to expect. And it made it worse. My heart was pounding more than the first time since I knew my body was about to be thrown over the cliff and I would experience a few moments of weightlessness  before hitting the water at the bottom.

So cool really.

It’s like rereading a book you love so you can experience the story again. I want to write a book like that. I’d love my readers to come back knowing what to expect, yet wanting the experience again. The perspective would be slightly different. The experience would be too. That’s the beauty of story.

The rest of my day was full of sensory overload. There were rides where I knew I was sitting on a stable platform that rocked and spun around, but the visual display in front of me made me want to throw up or scream as I swore I was flying, falling, dying….

At one place I was told I was too “old” and too tall to go on a ride for kids so I got lost in the kids maze instead. Then on to pictures of Popeye and Olive, and a shoot-up with MIB where I had the highest score even though I don’t play video games. There may be a reason I write murder mysteries…

Before leaving I went back to Hogsmeade for another butter beer. The first one was great.

ButterbeerThe second was even better. I didn’t expect it to be.

I was surprised. 

Happy writing.

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