Furlough 55: Gifts

Today was a good day for productivity and for spirit.

I was able to get together my synopsis. And really today was all about trimming the fat—keeping the ideas that stick and cutting the ones that do not. This takes a lot of energy. Takes a lot of sorting and thinking and re-reading and reading and re-rereading.

As I poured myself into my work, new scenes sprouted up, as they are wont to do. And so I switched from the puzzle maker mindset to the creator, the inner child. Along with these scenes, where characters interact with other characters or their own minds and hearts, my own emotions are revealed.

I don’t know if there’s any other way I can do this. I know there must’ve been writers in the past that’ve separated themselves from their emotions. But they probably wrote boring stories. Emotions drive great art because emotions drive us. And we must confront them.

After all, it is our will and duty to hurt or even kill our characters—these who resemble ourselves. Essentially, Herman Melville killed Ahab and no one else.

So today was a bit draining. Art is a mirror for nature but art is also a mirror for ourselves as creators, so I guess it’s not so surprising to feel drained since I have gone through something that my mind and heart have felt but which is only imaginary.

And I think– no I know for a fact – that this is the true purpose of art and storytelling, to dive deep within myself to pull out what I feel and show it to you.

I love this gift of writing because it shows me myself to myself as I write about other people. And then that book goes out and people read it and see themselves in these characters that aren’t me but also are me. It’s all very Zen.

On this Mother’s Day, I want to take this moment to thank the woman that gave me this gift of stories and storytelling and novels.

I want to thank her for her patience and understanding, and of having to raise a sensitive, emotional, creative, sometimes solitary, sometimes confused, overthinking young man at the beginning of this writing dream. A mother who has never given up believing in me. I would not be here right now writing about any of this, nor will not have done any of the writing and publishing I know I will do in the future, without her. I love her so much. Thank you, mom.

And to all the mothers out there, I thank you so much for being such warriors and such providers and such examples.

Create and complete!

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