Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Season of Youth

Sitting in my writing chair, my eyes focus out the window to several thin branches of trees, a mere memory of summer.  Only a few staunch stubborn leaves remain.  Slowly, these fighters shake back and forth still holding on, while most of their comrades have long since fallen.   The fallen have been raked up, sacked up, or burnt up.  Still, some of them have the glorious honor of having children jump and scream into their gathered piles, as these fallen heroes give up their seasonal life for the carefree season of youth.


As the children leave for home, or on to some new idea of play, the leaves may waft in the breeze, or lay still in silence, still in waiting, as the days push the season further and further along.  As the days move on, more leaves fall from the trees, only to meet their end by the rake, by the sack, or by the fires of time.  Still, some leaves remain on the ground, as the days of laughter become shortened by the awakening of the moon.  Soon, the season of youth will walk through the night, knocking on doors for candied treasures.  The fallen heroes who gave up their life for piles of glory guide them from house to house as their backs reflect silver moon rays.


Sitting in my writing chair, the season of youth still clings to my memory like the leaves that still cling to the branches.  In misty recollection, a girl dressed up like batman walks across a yard full of leaves, kicking them aside for a knock on a door, as candy falls into an orange bag: spoils of the season.  Soon the memory is gone, replaced by the scraping of a rake, as the pile of leaves that propelled me down memory lane is placed into a paper sack.   With joy, I know that more feet will trod over silver dipped leaves, more laughter will fill the evening air.  Candied treasures will fall into decorated bags, the spoils of yet another season.  This will be mere mist and shadow for this season of youth to gaze upon one day in adulthood.    

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What took you so long?

As my first novel continues on its journey of completion, my mind doesn’t just drift back to the beginning, it is pulled back.  I was a young girl with a vivid imagination, a girl who would dialogue the scenes which freely moved in my mind.  I was curious about science, space and nature.  In my need to explore, my parents bought a subscription to National Geographic, and I loved it.  My imagination soared as my younger brother and I made countless forts, explored vast worlds known and unknown, all in our own backyard.  I even imagined that I was Dr. Leaky, off to find some ancient fossil.  A purple bike with a white daisy basket was my time machine on wheels, and I was off, rarely to come home again before the streetlights came on.  I wish that my children could have this kind of carefree childhood!


My parents were always supportive and helpful, but I could spin a tall yarn, and with my constant dialoging, my parents weren’t sure what to do with me.  It used to bother me when my parents would tell me that this or that never happened or didn’t exist.  I knew that they were right, but yet they weren’t.  The way my imagination worked and still works, these places and people do exist.  I used to think that everyone was like me, that everyone creates stories.  My parents began seeing something in me, something creative, and so they always told me that I should be an author.  My dad always wanted me to write a story of how he and my mother met.  Their story was quite romantic, and defied odds on many emotional and personal levels.  Maybe one day I will write their story.  I say maybe, for what I have discovered through the last three years is that stories find you!  It is the characters who chase the author, beckoning, and sometimes yelling, until the author is thoroughly harassed to the submission of the pen.   Sadly, my dad is not alive to see the journey which began so long ago come to fruition, but I can tell you what he would say, if he were still alive.  “What took you so long?”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Arc of Life

My office seems a little strange to me these days, with all the emotional changes I’m going through.  But this is just another stage of my development, the arc of my life.

I still find myself vacillating from joy to sadness.  I am realizing that this process I’m currently in must be something like being an “empty nester.”  I am emerging from the genesis of my characters to their exodus.  They are leaving my care and moving into the wide open unknown of the real world.  I have brought them into being, cared for them, and nurtured them.  I had to give a soul to them, so as to give their voices resonance.  Having done my part as their parent, I gladly set my children free to fly on their own.   

I can’t pretend that I am eager to see my creative offspring leave me.   Not because they aren’t ready, but because I don’t really want to see them go.


The temptation when creating characters, like raising children, is to mold them the way you want them to be molded.  You try at first to live vicariously through them, but the characters fight back.  Eventually, you see that they have their own voice, with their own personalities and destinies.  In the days, months and years of chronicling these characters, I found myself frustrated and sometimes wished that they would grow up enough to be somewhat self-sufficient.  Of course, now that they are, I wish that I could freeze them in time.      


At first, I tried forcing them into my mold, and then I tried charming them, and eventually tried guiding them, until at last I allowed them to guide me.  I watched as their natural personalities came out.  Once they were formed, I could not change them any more than I could change a real person.   I can merely watch and write as the arc of their life unfolds, refining them.


They were created to live in the open, to live freely with no chains.  We too, have a Creator.  The only way for us to live a life of freedom is to acknowledge that we are His wondrous creation and allow our Creator to guide the arc of our lives.  How are you allowing HIM to refine YOU?


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Writing Chair

Many emotions are moving through my mind, as I sit here in my “writing chair.”  The first draft of my first novel is complete.  With this milestone fading on the horizon, I am now working with my editor, who is steadily fine-tuning my first creative offspring.  It has taken me three emotional years to write this book, Abyss of the Fallen.

It is with determination that I sit here in this chair, the same spot which I have sat in over the past three years, pondering, praying, writing, thinking and weaving the characters of my book.  The emotions of these characters bore over my own, flooding my mind and my heart, until the only thing that I could do, was to write.  The emotions poured through my mind and into my hand, and I began to write.  I often found that I could not place my fingers onto the keyboard.  Trusting my words to a computer, whose brain would store my thoughts, just would not suffice.  The emotions were too raw, too new, and only my trusty gel pen would do.  Not just any old pen and definitely not a pencil!  As my mind was wrapping itself around new ideas of ancient and current truths, I was surprised to find that there was poetry to the words.   I have no explanation for this, other than the paths of the imagination have many hidden routes. 

I can see now in vivid clarity that which was once incredibly obscured.   The vast beginning stages of my journey seemed at the time to be randomly placed threads, but I can now see a tapestry of words forming into a completed work.  This first book could not have been written any second, minute, hour, day, month or year sooner or later than it was.  As always, the Creator’s timing was perfect, although I didn’t quite realize how perfect throughout my journey.  I needed the perspective that time allows, to clearly write what my mind was seeing.  It is overwhelming at times, to witness how the joys and pains of my life would so saturate the words which I labored to deliver.

This milestone brings with it so many feelings which mere words can barely do justice.   In the end, having only two pages separating me from the completion of a three year labor of love, I had great difficulty getting the final words onto paper.  I had invested so much time in creating my characters, which I grew to love and despise in thankfully not so equal measure.  I knew that the end needed to come, yet I didn’t want it to.   But end it did, and yet the journey is truly just beginning. 

Now I find myself sitting in this well used writing chair, sometimes staring out my window, sadly wishing that I could wrestle and creatively hug these characters yet again.  Over the past three years, I would sit here daily and work on research or write.  Quite frankly, I’m used to it.

As with everything, life moves on, and so does the life of my characters.  This phase of the process produces emotions of apprehension for my creative offspring.  What kind of life they will have out in the real world?   But I know that the Creator, who gave me this story to tell, will see me through to completion, and I know that He has all of this in the palm of his immortal hands.