Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The People Living Inside My Head

No, this is not the post where I admit that I have multiple personalities. Honest. But despite not having that bizarre and fascinating disorder, I do have a number of people living inside my head. They are the characters that inhabit the worlds inside my imagination. Let me explain.

I have an overactive imagination. Ask anyone who has known me for more than, well, for a while, and they will tell you that this is the case. Some members of my family use this to reinvent reality in truly unique and startling ways. I prefer to use this skill to produce fiction.

Unfortunately, for several reasons I have lost my mometum. I have stopped writing or drawing. I can tell you the reasons for this. One, I have no time. Two, I have no space in my house that is appropriate for my writing needs (in order to write well I must have tea, candles, sheaves of paper coverd in scribbles and sketches and maps, and assorted interesting bits and pieces of debris I have picked up from various people and places that I find interesting. No, really. I do.) and contains a computer (I share my computer space with my husband who can only think effectively if there is nothing on the desk but the computer and the phone). Thirdly, I am discouraged by all my rejection slips. Forthly, I am stuck on a tricky bit of plot in my novel that I have been writing and re-writing since I was 16. Fifthly, I have stopped drawing because someone important to me made a foolish off-hand comment 12 years ago and I took it to heart (as I tend to do).

But the problem is that I haven't lost my imagination, nor have I stopped having new characters pop into my head. So all these people are waiting for me to get my act together and start or continue their dramas. Because I write out of my subconcious and intuition rather than being a plan-it-all-out-before-hand kind of writer, they can't do anything until I figure out who they are / what they are doing / what is going to happen in their story. So they stay there, looking slightly dejected. Let me tell you about them.

There is a middle aged man, sitting in an empty appartment, save for a very impressive leather chair and a phone. He is arguing with him mother.

There is a girl who has just graduated from highschool and travelled from Ontatio to B.C.'s lower mainland. She is about to start a new summer job and discover something surprising in an abandoned goat barn (the suspense of this one kills me. I always want to peek in the barn, but its very dark).

There are the four intrepid heroes stuck in the middle of their quest to recover an ancient relic. They are just about to be attacked and make a daring escape. If I can figure out how they will be discovered. And how they will escape. And how the character that keeps wanting to take over the story who is half way across the island fits into their story.

There are the two pre-teen kids who live in the Luddite colony. They are staring over a newly erected fence at the shiny, white, cube-like house that has been deposited next to their land and throwing leaves at the robotic yard keeper / guard dog.

There is the girl who works in the bazaar in a middle-easternesque part of the world. She is a white woman in a sea of brown, and she is very talented, but has yet to discover that. She just wants to buy a parrot. There is the woman who will teach her to use her gifts, fuming away at the TaleTeller, because he is late. And there is the Tale Teller, trapped in a cave. By who? Where? When? We do not know. But the small creature that is his companion does. Unfortunately, she is trapped in a cage down at the rare animal market on the other side of the bazaar.

The problem is, there is also my toddler, grabbing onto my leg, calling "mommymommymommymommy" whenever I leave his sight. There is my husband, busy with his career, needing a peaceful house. There are my friends to keep in contact with, and a new life to start in this new place. Not to mention all the quilts to be sewn, all the curtains and cushions to be made, and the wood furniture to be painted. These people live and breathe and shift around me. And I need to live in their world, the real world that surrounds me.

But in my head, its getting hard to think a clear thought anymore. The people are all clammering to be written, interrupting my thoughts and life with their assorted dilemmas. I suppose I shall have to write. One day. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the next day. Soon. Someday. . . . okay, okay, sooner than that, alright?

1 comment:

Don Moman said...

Write, write... write!

Eh, i just wanted to encourage you to start writing again... someway. If you've got art in you, you gotta let it out, or else it goes sour and ferments and turns into depression (at least that's how it is for me). It is tough to find the time though, i know. And i don't even have a kid, nor am i a pastor's wife, i don't even have all that busy of a social life. For me, it sounds kind of bad, i guess, but i use my blog as like, a "reward" for my day's writing (although i blog even on days that i haven't written, but i feel guilty... so that's something). I can imagine having a todler would pose a special challenge to writing. Like, you just get into that headspace, and oooh, he needs something. Maybe during naptime? I dunno, as for me, i wound up really getting scared that i'd wind up saying "I'll do it when..." for the rest of my life and never wind up writing (and maybe even one day publishing!) so i'm just trying to get back into the swing of writing again after like, over a year's hiatus, and its tough going. I know that as i'm writing what i'm writing is like, only half-baked, that it wouldn't be properly clear to someone reading it, that the words don't flow together beautifully... but yeah, at least its a start, i guess. But enough about me... I'm curious... are all of those people from the same story? Or do you have a couple on the back burner? Also... i know its a dumb thing to say, but... don't get discouraged by the rejection slips... even the greats have gotten their share at the beginning... that said, i've only gotten one... and only submitted one thing once and was able to comfort myself with the thought that, "Well, i'm not a poet anyway, and i submitted that mostly out of a lark..." But yeah... i dunno... i definately don't want to sound to pushy, or telling you what to do with your life or whatever, but writing is good, art is good it makes the world a better place. Oh, one last thing, the infamous "writer's block"... for me, i've found the best way around it (i know this is going to sound inane) is to write... anything. Like, you're working on a story, say, and you know that they have to get from point a to point b, but you don't know how they do it. Well, its your first draft, right? Do something really stupid... or magic them there, or skip over the transition. Just start fresh where they're supposed to be and then, hopefully as you go on, something in the future will suggest a how or why or when... or maybe even your charachter needed to meet someone earlier in the story and what do you know, there's this convinient sort of fuzzy bit with lots of room for improvement... The main thing is, i've found anyway, is that when i'm writing a story, i find myself sort of drifting into it whenever i let my mind go during the day, even when i'm not writing it... and maybe even my subconcious is working on it behind the scenes, but when i get all blocked up and stop writing it, my mind like, shifts gears and my daydream space winds up being occupied by things like... "Things Homer Simpson should have said, but never did..." or somesuch other waste of time. Anyway... i don't mean to be pushy, or to hold myself up as some kind of paragon of authorship or anything, i just know the creative/artsy-fartsy/writer type... and know that we tend to need a lot of prodding/coersion/pestering to get over all the obstacles in the way of getting that art out. 'Cause its hard... anyone who thinks writing is easy should try it someday...

Okay, this wound up a lot longer than i intended. Catch you around.