|From my size 6 1/2's|
It's another winter coming to a close, and I'm still editing my novel Drinking from the Fishbowl, it seems to be taking forever to accomplish this feat, but I'm taking my time (as I should) to make this book into what I have envisioned—I love the process of writing and I love to read—I'm constantly reading and I cannot stress it enough, that reading is very important—books are important—especially for a writer (or anyone wanting to become a writer.)
|Books that have inspired me...and my two "girls" in the middle.|
I wanted to write something that was mine—something more than “write what you know”. I wanted to write books that mattered—books with a deeper meaning. I wanted to write what I call "human documents", novels with complex relationships, communities of people with overlapping histories, books about the conflict with dreams and realities. Books about ghosts of the past and the ghosts that haunt us now, and a broad spectrum of cause and effect—what the soul is supposed to be—what it could be—Free will and Determinism—psychology and philosophy. It took a long time to get there—it was a natural progression to commit myself to writing, I just knew when I was ready to start, once I started, there was no turning back. Those fragments of ideas and bits of this and that fit perfectly in the places where I used them—even the ones I thought were impossible made sense once they were applied. At first, I was upset that it took me so long to come to this, being a “late bloomer”, but no, it was the right time, I had a few things to experience first, before I could write. I’m glad I waited.
It's so strange how the things I write about conflict with who I am. It's always a mystery to me how my characters develop and then have the audacity to do the things they do or say the things they say. I always find it odd when it’s assumed that they’re about me in some thinly veiled convolution—no, not I, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes at all. Of course, writing is a very personal experience, naturally, personal experiences and observations are taken from the toolbox and become part of the construct, but for the most part, I’m just making it up as I go along—it’s just a story.
Goodness knows I feared that I bit off more than I could chew on more than one occasion once I committed myself to writing novels. I’ve experienced what I call a creative “sweet spot”, writing with the emotional spigots on full blast is an immersion unlike anything I’ve experienced creatively, it is a strange sort of mix of misery and ecstasy. It’s a worthwhile experience, but just when I begin to doubt myself, I read what I’ve written and then I know I've done a good thing—I’ve followed my bliss.
Writing a book is difficult, but it is probably one of my happiest times. I have muddled my way through as best as I can with no pedigree on paper or an affluent background with names of people who could pave my way—I’m truly on my own with this. I like it that way. I will stand and fall on my own merits. I write my books much in the same way that I make art as a painter—it’s intuitive. It’s such a rush to sit down with a few notes, character studies, phrases, and brief conversations written down on scraps of paper or in a notebook and then start filling in the blanks, letting the story happen—I'm always in awe of the creative process.
Writing a novel is not for the faint of heart, it’s a given that not everyone is going to be receptive to what I’ve done, and I’m always grateful to those who are kind enough to read one of my books and tell me they enjoyed reading it. It’s a solitary process and very lonely at times, I think I enjoy editing my books almost as much as writing them, the fine-tuning process can take a very long time, but I know when I’m done with it, I am satisfied with what I’ve done. If anything, I’ve learned that writing requires patience, practice, and persistence—and I will always read.
That’s my story, I’m sticking to it.
The books in the photo:
On the right, (read before 1999)
Mikhail Bulgakov, the Master and Margarita
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
E. M. Forster, The Celestial Omnibus
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Joyce Carol Oates, Wonderland
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
On the left, (read after 1999)
Virginia Woolf, Night and Day
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa and Shadows in the Grass
Cristina Garcia, Dreaming in Cuban
Paula Fox, Desperate Characters
Virginia Woolf, The Waves
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
Gustaf Sobin, The Fly-Truffler
Joyce Carol Oates, Bellefleur
The two book ends are Porius: A Romance of the Dark Ages by John Cowper Powys and The Voice of England by Charles Grosvenor Osgood.