You see, there was this story in my head, one of thousands, really.
Stories have been with me my whole life, stories written by other people, stories told to me by older relatives (my dad in particular), stories in the media, stories I told myself… especially the ones I told myself.
Some of my own stories entertained me, some of them comforted me, and some scared the crap out of me. I’m learning to control and refine my stories and I’m scared less, entertained more and don’t have so much need for being comforted.
As a child, I thought that painting, drawing, and sculpture would be the way I would tell my stories. Imagine my surprise when this story came and sat on me one day, promising to let me up and to take me by the hand, to lead me into a wondrous world if I would only write it.
“Write it? But I’m a visual artist!” I protested, whining from my vantage point on the floor, squashed beneath this insistent story. “Write it!” the story returned, pleasantly, amiably stubborn. I sighed, nodded and it let me up.
Now, two years and 200,000 words later, I can’t imagine a world without writing and I’m amazed at the beauty that this story has shown me.
… but, ugh! 200,000 words? I’ve always been a bit wordy, my family has joked that my motto is, “Why use a sentence when a paragraph will do?” And they’re right. I love words and the nuances that they can express. I love putting them together in just such a way so that they can paint pictures in people’s minds. Essentially, I’m still a visual artist; words are only another medium.
But still, 200,000 words! So, last year about this time, after a year of conjuring and cajoling and compromising with this story, I was able to write, “The End.” Yay! I was finished.
“Ha!” said the story, “I’ve got some weight to lose and I’m feeling fuzzy in places. Call your mother.”
“Who else? Of course, your mother.”
Now, you might think that your mother would be the last person you’d want editing your writing and I would hope that, if you asked her, you would be wrong; our mothers have a strange habit of surprising us if we only look.
Fortunately, I didn’t question the story’s plan and, since then, Jan Meserve has devoted nearly all of her time to helping my story trim down, tighten up, and get ready to meet the real world (truth is, she’s a little obsessed but this obsession, I can definitely live with!)
…and I had no idea how intense this process would be! Turns out the writing was the easy part but with every day and with every session, we get closer to having a manuscript to offer for publication. Our target is to be finished by Beltane (May 1st). We’ll keep plugging away and will keep you posted on how we’re coming.
Happy writing to all you writers, happy reading to all you readers, happy happy to all you playful imaginers, and to all the other stories in my head: be patient, you’ll get your turn!