From coping mechanism to artistic expression.

Writing.

Escaping.

Stepping out of this world and into the life of another.

Wearing a new skin and feeling the air move through foreign lungs I will soon know as well as mine. Consumed by fresh thoughts, hopes and disappointments. Spoiling for love and comfort risen from the written word.

Receiving it? I am not sure.

◊♦◊

Do we always capture what we seek in life, and when is the fairy tale just that?

A little over 20 pages in and I am getting to know Amy Witherspoon and her mysterious visitor, Rory (no last name yet), the characters in my yet untitled novel. I adore meeting such surprising friends on the writing journey. To talk over how life has gone so far, what they are afraid of losing and of what they dream. What needs are merely undiscovered wants and what secret do they harbor, what makes them weak?

This step resembles courting, or viscerally speaking, peeling back their pliable flesh and jumping in! When “the white bull,” as Ernest Hemingway called writer’s block, rears, taking an hour or so to conduct an interview with a member of my cast allows me to go deeper upon returning to the page, to continue the journey into the mysterious wood. When it is rolling along, the story writes itself, surprising the writer who has reawakened on a roller coaster with no brakes. The tumbling fantasy stirs me from sleep, coaxes me into dreams simply to conjure solutions, only to restore consciousness with an “aha” moment. I grasp, blind in the night, then locate the pad of paper and pen at the bedside. It doesn’t matter what is jotted down half-mad in those still hours, usually my scrawls and nonsensical epiphanies are decipherable in the morning.

◊♦◊

Usually.

But it is a lifeblood with nuances and truth inherent, and so I write.

Who am I kidding? I have no choice anyway. I write because I am alive.

To come alive.

To stay alive.

Because I am a prisoner to the word.

Original article appeared at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission.

Photo: Flickr/zoetnet

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