Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The last three pieces are, I think, a project that has been percolating in my head for a few years now. The whole process has really been a labyrinth. Lots of dead ends. Even now that I'm actually writing it out, and am thinking about in terms of a real project, I am still not sure where it's going. I write some things, and find them to be dead ends, me up against the wall. But there are tentative leads, things that are starting to feel like they will lead to some kind of way out.

Perhaps it took some maturity to begin this story. The character for a bit was too much like me. She in many ways lived my life. But now she is not me. She has taken on some of my emotions but her story is not my story so to speak. The story is something I tell but I do not feel like it is fully mine. Perhaps it's because she is becoming someone.

I remember when I was younger, back when I really did dream of being a writer, I used to read so many books on writing. Those how-to manuals are so strange. I mean, is it really possible to develop a "how-to" manual on writing? But one of the recommendations all of them had was a good writer planned. They mapped out their stories, created characters, decided on a plot and an ending all before they began to actually write the story. I could never do that, and would feel like a failure. When I did all this preparation this was something lacking in what I wrote. I think it's why I stuck to short stories.

But this tale is not short. It's long and convoluted. It has many false starts and false endings. And there is no planning at all. I just write it out as it comes to me. Today I learned some new things about my character (I don't even know her name yet). I had imagined she was married, perhaps with children but today I felt that she wasn't married. She wasn't married because in some ways she had chosen not to be. I knew also that she was very lovely, and that she used that loveliness like a weapon. But that often it turned against her because she is not as orderly or as strong as she likes to imagine herself. It's funny how I am coming to now these things as I write. It's like becoming intimate with someone interesting...somehow you think you know but then surprises you with some little detail about themselves or about their life.

So bear with me as I lead you through my own labyrinth filled with false starts, bad endings, and dreadful clues about what will happen. This is a story that is meant to be twisty and often wrong and filled no meaning at all.

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