Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Bound By Words
These little grey cells. It is up to them.
On Monday, I went into work at my tutoring job with my laptop. I try to not bring it with me because a) it's a wide screen and b) the fans blow extremely loudly which makes it sound like she's gonna blow at any moment.
I had no appointments though so I was a free woman there. Lots of required work to do, but that wasn't what I drifted into. I opened up my word document to this story I've been writing since 2008. February 14, 2008 to be precise.
I never forgot that day. It was Valentine's Day and I was at my community college, with the wacked out schedule I had with classes ending at almost seven in the evening and absurdly large pockets of time in between class to do homework. I had dressed up for the day in pinks and reds and whites. My shoes, a pair of pink skimmers, kept sliding all over the ice on the streets and I almost fell in a heap of tulle skirt on the floor of my capstone classroom from coming in from outside.
It was during this class that I started thinking about The Lost Stories. These were all penned when I was younger, in high school, middle school, grade school. Notebooks and hard drives filled with them. They say that when you write and don't stay with it, you drift from that idea to a new one. Clearly evident by the number of stories in my notebooks that were half-finished as though I said "be right back" and decided to show my face 20 years later.
Out of the lost, came the found. Almost instantly, I felt the characters for my next endeavor pop into my mind's eye. They were perfectly imperfect and filled with flaws, faults. Just the way I like 'em.
So I decided to skip my 5:30pm math class and take the bus home and begin writing. The ride was impossibly slow, but during that time the people grew less blurry in my head. Visible, outlined, full. I slipped and slid (oh, those damn skimmers) all the way home from the bus stop.
I refer to this story as "the impossible love story" often. Nobody knows that I'm 150 single spaced pages deep and that I constantly go back and forth self-editing, cutting scenes, expanding others, etc.
Because I seldom discuss my work with people (not because I'm afraid someone will steal the idea or anything, mostly because trying to explain how the wheels in my head work is tougher than it sounds), I won't talk about this one much. It isn't done and still needs lots of work.
However, I will mention that it takes place within a large family. I like to write about family dynamics because the people you are bound by blood with can be the best ones to write about. It comes as no surprise to anyone that I deeply enjoy Wes Anderson films, Igby Goes Down, and Arrested Development, all very inspiring to me.
There is drama, loss, humor, and that age old attempt to look at yourself and see things clearly for what they are. My protagonist often blows into her reflection in mirrors because she doesn't like the idea of seeing herself clearly.
As for the impossible love, it's everywhere. There are many subplots in this, involving the family members and the journey of love they all take with each other and those outside of the family.
So on Monday, I put the world aside and went back to my other world with those characters. It felt better than heaven to me.
Writing is what I do. It's therapeutic to me. I take all of my joy, all of my sorrow, all of my hopes and dreams and fears and weeping and give it to them, the people in those stories. The people who are in my head and who I spend so much time thinking about.
Whenever I feel lost, I instantly reach for words to write all of my thoughts out. Sometimes I throw them away afterward but I keep them sometimes to remember that feeling, remember how it felt to feel that way.
One of my professors refers to how I write as "organic", something I've never heard before. I like it. To me, that means fresh and natural, at ease.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever make more or less sense to me than writing does.
Love to you all,