Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Mourning Period

Here I am again in the Overland.  And I'm at a loss as to what to do with myself.  I just finished reading quite a wonderful series: five books worth.  The first book I read, well listened to would be more accurate, while driving to and from my sister's home last month.  It was a 5-6 hour drive, and my husband was sweet enough to pick up some audio books for me to listen to on the way there and back.  I had seen this "new" series at the book store and realized it was an author I deeply enjoyed.  So my husband, the wonderful man that he is, found the first book in the series for me to listen to on my trip.

This last weekend, I was finally able to finish the last of the books in the series.  Relax, the series has been finished (Thank goodness!).  I guess the series wasn't as new as I thought. Now...

...what? What do I do with myself? I am here all alone, with the aftermath of a masterful story with strong characters and beautiful writing... and I feel like a lost fawn in the valley; alone, scared, and I have no idea what I am supposed to do now.

It is always a running joke in reading circles, that after a wonderful book or series of books, readers often find themselves facing the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

I felt like I hit all of those stages instantaneously. Denial that I was finished.  Anger at where it leaves us and that there are not any more to savor.  Bargaining with myself that I will buy them and keep them and read them over and over.  Depressed that it is over and there are no more and will never be anymore.  And now acceptance, that I loved them and I can go back to them whenever I want and love them for what they are.

Now I bounce back and forth between all 5 like a pinball machine until I can find a new novel or series of novels to invest myself into.  That is the hardest part.  Letting go.

I satisfy myself with the knowledge that I will always go back and think over and over and over them in my mind until I am satisfied that I have gleaned everything I can into my memory banks.  And when possible, read them again and again and again until they are etched into my brain.

So where have I been? Immersed in the great Underland of Suzanne Collins.  Her first series of books, mind you.  And I loved every moment of it.  They are wonderful, and it is a fantastic allegory for our lives and who we can choose to be despite what everyone says we must be.  Especially for a series written for 9-12 year olds.

Now where will I go?  I aim to use this push to re-immerse myself into my own world and push until I have stretched it into the wonderful shape I know it can be. That's the beauty of writing your own novel: you can live inside that world for as long as you want.  But don't forget that the best way to make it real is to write it, edit it, and watch it take shape.  I wonder how those 5 stages of grief will strike when I finish.

Friday, March 2, 2018

one true sentence

"All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence you know." ~Ernest Hemingway

You make it sound so easy.  Lies! Deceit! Construct! Truer words never spoken.  Farther lies the one true sentence.  How do you write it so?

Ernest Hemingway makes me feel like I can be Shakespeare, but I fall short of even slush pile material.  So what is one true sentence? And how do I reach such a place?

Be true. That is the only true sentence I know that he means.  Be true to your dream, your heart, your you, and that is where you shall find the truest sentence you know.

The map is drawn though spun only in riddles.  Like a cliched Goonie adventure, we are now on the hunt for the cave dwelling elusive ideal that shall be hidden deep within the most obvious of places.  It will be where it shall always have been.  Where you started and where you end.

That true sentence only you can know, as only I can know as well.  It can never be shared, but must be given to the world.  Because if not, the Sun will darken and grow cold.

Do you know what I know? Have you sought the truth?
The truest sentence you know?

I can speak in riddles
or sing in rhyme,
but still Queen Mab will never divine
                the words most spoken of honest sublime.
We cannot, nor will not,
                share the secret he spoke.
For Hemingway means you to discover your own.

Write one true sentence.  The truest sentence you know.  It is yours to know,
and ours to find.

You better get started
for life is mere time.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Touch of a Master

I am in awe of the artist who looks at a blank canvas and sees the masterpiece it will become and then, tracing the lines in their mind, brings it to life in a spine-tingling thrill.  I am struck dumb by the musician pulling notes from his head straight through the instrument in his hands in an array of bewitching notes that entrance even the foulest of creatures.  I am overcome by the magnificence of the sculptor, revealing the beauty of the intricate and detailed beast within the craggy slab of stone that once lay before all, shapeless and sad. 

All are feats that make the most proud of men lowly and humbled by such inspired creations.  And like all artists, I bend backward and forward, looking at the blank paper before me and working to discover what it is that lies beneath the blanket of shapelessness that so many others see, so that I can reveal the beauty of it that all others would miss.

It is a push and a pull.  We are ever the curious, the scientists of creation, attempting to discover the undiscovered, to describe the indescribable, and to attempt the impossible.  We push boundaries that we will learn to never push again, we find caverns that lead to other worlds, and we feel the wind in our fingers and the rain on our faces more than all others would dare to experience. 

I am excited to be blessed with the gift to see past the lines on a page.   I may long to see the master canvas before its painted and the vase before its spun, but I can weave a world in my mind that no one else can see.  It is up to me to share.

And every day I think of what the world has yet to see in me, I ache to make my fingers all the lighter and swifter in their strokes.

Oh if I create it, and still they will not look?  Then I will dance among its forests and be the master storyteller in its midst, dreaming of worlds upon worlds without a care in this one.  And that is how it shall be.