Friday, May 31, 2013

At All Cost

“I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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Picture Can Be Found Here

The above quote has graced my blog since the early days of Shattered Prose. Those words alone adequately sum up my experience with writing. I believed in order to be a writer, to be true to the craft, you had to live in the moment and experience life first hand. Anyone can imagine the details; living the details is what provides you with an inner library containing file cabinets of emotional index cards to draw from.

So naturally when I took a year off from writing, one would miscue my absence to mean either I wasn’t living fully or I’d given up. Neither would be the case. Writing isn’t always an endless stream of words. For me writing is exploring emotional crevices, watching an endless parade of humanity, and the discovery of new words tattooed beneath the skin of memory like a hidden map. When I write about grief, I want the visceral details of the pain to be visible. I want my readers to experience the raw ache of love lost for those few words, to find themselves slipping beneath my skin and becoming grief embodied.

I use grief as a touchstone here because I’m familiar with that emotional entourage in every which way possible. Every single emotion in existence can be given life. Take pain for example, even there you will find beauty in the details – excavated memories tinged with an unbearable emotional tax, the survival instinct to move beyond, and the hurt which reminds us we still live. I want my readers to not only read my words but to feel as if they were fed a live wire of emotion, a conduit that feeds into their very essence.

Have I stopped writing? No. For a writer not to write, they would have to be emotionally detached from who they are as a person. Our minds are forever calculating, scheming, and creating separate realities, whether it be typed, written, or spoken we can’t remove the storyteller in us. Some writers take years to write a single story, others write like madmen plagued with words. I’ve been on both sides of the fence.

So in this way unexpectedly, I found the emotional baggage needed for a character in my WIP (Work in progress, for those among my readers unfamiliar with the phrase). The answers can always be found in the details if you are willing to carve through flesh beneath skin and bones for the words; if you are willing to scrape open the scabs of memory. For every life, there is a book waiting to be written.

This post is dedicated to Pickles my muse, who died May 31st, 2012 - from an aggressive form of Leukemia.  The writer came into existence with her arrival, but it won’t end with her. Her legacy lives on in my words.

I miss you sweet friend. Underneath the tapestry of my words your spirit still sings.


9 comments:

  1. That was beautiful and painful at the same time. Kind of like all our memories... thank you. We all miss Pickels and remember her gental spirit and amusing escapades - fainting from boredom in the bookstore, peeking under the ajacent stall in the restrooms...she was an old soul and a playful pup.

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  2. I remember Pickles and your love for her sticks out all over.

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  3. Good to see that you and your Muse are still in contact with one another... and Pickles looks on you with love..!

    Nice to hear from you Indy..!

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  4. Writers are always writing, even if it is in their head. Nice entry to commemorate Pickles.

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  5. We writers write when we are asleep even it seems. Thanks for sharing your journey and so sorry for the loss of your precious Pickles. I too have so many loved pets I have had to say goodbye to.

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  6. Writing is who we are - even when we're not writing. Our rains really do watch and catalogue and analyse and savour. Hope you're doing well! :)

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  7. smiles..i agree completely on the writer needing to live life...that is why i dont believe in a muse...its life, its experience and if you are empty, you need a little more of it...

    i am sorry for the loss of your pet though...i have lost a few myself...

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  8. Pickles is remembered by me. I know how much you loved her and still do. I'm glad that you are still writing.

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  9. I am so sorry to hear about Pickles! And what an amazing blog. I totally agree. Right now, I "write like madmen plagued with words" but I can see a time coming when I will need to sit and stare at the world. Search for other landscapes. Understand all the mysteries waiting to be discovered. Thanks so much for the beautiful words!

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Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.