Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today finds me staring at a semi-filled screen struggling to identify with my characters...
First, it must be explained that this late(r)-in-life return to writing has been a difficult , often draining one for me. To give the condensed version, having spent at least fifteen of my first twenty years on this Earth avidly committing thoughts, images, and ideas to paper, I found myself--as a result of a vengeful estranged husband and a rather acrimonious parting of the ways--losing literally every single thing I had ever before written, including what I felt to be my finest offerings, written during the quiet yet fertile periods of life when I stepped outside of time (and its rather dulling restraints) briefly in order to raise my children.
The loss was crushing.
In less than an hour, nearly two decades of manuscripts, poetry, notes, character sketches, observations, journals, essays, research, impressions, and images committed to paper...
Devastated, I vowed never to write again.
Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for me, writing is not something which one does but a part of who that person is. As such, I could no more choose not to write as I could choose to exist on the consumption helium rather than air. So, after many years of fighting against my own nature, my own urges, my insatiable hunger to return to the love affair with the written word, I began the painstaking--often crushing--process of attempting to recreate in some way the over thirty manuscripts which were lost.
It did not help matters that an automobile accident damaged the hippocampal--that which processes episodic memory--portion of my brain, essentially detaching me from many of the experiences and impressions which shaped the works dearest to me.
So, for me this foray into a realm once familiar but, for now, overwhelmingly daunting has been a tempestuous one.
Especially on days such as today, when the realities of life leave me distinctly detached from the needs and experiences of my characters. I have found myself hopping from work-to-work (as often, during periods bereft of inspiration, I do) reaching out to in any way connect with any of those steadily developing individuals whose lives I now weave from the spiral of daily existence all around me.
And we just aren't connecting.
Hopefully, a break of sorts while I submerse myself in the often welcome tedium of research will stimulate some idea, evoke some image, click on the proverbial light bulb necessary in linking my inmost workings to those of any single one of the character's I have created...
Who daily recreate me.