Monday, April 22, 2013

Should You Need Us...

I find myself in a curious position, my mind is torn between elation and a sort of hazy PMD (Post Book Depression.) I finished the edits on my first book, Timeless Night and have sent it to my Chosen, eagerly awaiting feedback before I begin the arduous process of hawking my wares, as it were, to publishers.

It started with a small vision of "what if" and snowballed into an epic tale that took on a life of its own. I took a LOT of creative license and messed about with myths and legends that may cause some readers to question my sanity (For the record, sanity is over rated) but in the end, I was, I am very proud of how it turned out.

I didn't know how it would end when I started. I changed the plot precisely 4 times, added a character I'd never intended on having and found myself liking the 'bad guy' enough to flip the script and allow him a chance to convince me he was far more than he seemed. There were times I had felt like walking away from it, times it was so painful to let certain characters into my head and times I slavishly seemed addicted to them all. Each of them, has a layer of me, deep in their core, some infinitesimal bit of my own soul and sometimes the things they'd say or do would surprise even me. Halfway through the writing process, I realized, this was no longer "just" a story.

This was THEIR life. THEIR words, their emotions and their chance to show me, and thus allow me to show YOU, who and what they were. I would have countless convo's in my head with each of them. I'd write a scene, re-read it and have whatever charry it was, letting me know "yes, you got it right" or "no, no...that's not what I meant!"

It was frustrating and it was sublime. And now that the first hurdle has been crossed, as I sit here and wait (I have patience for everyone and everything but myself!), I find myself a mixed bag of emotions that I'm sure every writer feels. For a time, those characters were closer to me than any family member, than any best friend. As they revealed themselves to me, bit by bit, I did the same. I let down that thinly veiled wall between fantasy and reality and let them in. I fell in love with each of them. Madly, passionately, deeply and irrevocably in love. And I think they fell in love with me, too.

I was lying in the dark, quiet hours of morning, right before dawn today and felt a sense of accomplishment and a profound sense of loss as well. I realized, for the first time in months, my head was quiet. No one was up there arguing with me or telling me what I needed to change, do, say or present.

And I missed them. I missed Alex's rational calm, Sabrina's wit, Merlyn's mystery and Mordred's "Fuck or be fucked" attitude. I was pining for Nimue's bluntness, Arthur's easy charm and Guinevere's compassion. I wanted more of Gawain's reckless humor and even Morgan Le Faye's way of making Norman Bate's mom look like" Betty Crocker on weed." {That was Mordred talking....)

I got teary eyed, enough so that my faithful dog, Lacee, heard me sniffle and left her perch atop my pillow to lick the one lone tear as it fell. "What if that was it?" I asked myself. What if all I had in me as this one story? Awful quiet in my head, no one was clamoring for attention. My mind was a ghost town with tumbleweeds rolling through while the "Gunfighter's Duel" music echoed around my brain.

For some weird reason, I got to thinking about the end scene in the movie, Labyrinth. Most everyone has seen that movie so no need to rehash the plot, but at the very end, Sarah was sitting in her room, at peace with herself finally. The teenager, having just had the most unusual experience of her young life, was putting away some childhood things. It was time to grow up, it seemed. And yet....and yet...

She looked up into the mirror, it showed the reflections of her friends back in the Labyrinth: Hoggle, Sir Didymus, and Ludo. The Firey Gang, the Wiseman and Ambrosius. But when she turned around, they were gone. Nothing more than her memories. Facing the mirror again, she saw them once more. 

"Goodbye, Sarah..." Ludo waved sadly.

"And remember, fair maiden, should you need us..." Sir Didymus's voice was sincere, low.

"Yes, should you need us.  For any reason, any reason at all...." Hoggle's eyes met hers in the mirror, holding them fast.

Sarah smiled, tears swimming in her eyes as she watched them all through her looking glass. She knew they were nothing more than figments of her very vivid, child like imagination. "I need you. I need you all. I don't know why, but every now and again in my life, for no reason at all....I need you. All of you."

I need them all. My world, my characters, I need them all. For no purer reason that I And it dawned on that while I told a part of the tale, the story has only just begun.

Exactly five minutes later, I had Nim nattering at me, Gawain was telling her to lower her voice, Merlyn was throwing me some ambivalence and Mordred grumbling about the bloody sales tax in this town hiking up quicker than a camp whore's skirts.

I, ah, guess they weren't gone after all. Seemed they all went out to have a celebratory breakfast at Denny's.

1 comment:

  1. Your head will never be quiet my love. You have far too much going on in that brain of yours. There are times that your creativity amazes me so much, that I wish I could climb into your ear and roll around in your gray matter. It seems like a most fun place to be.