I had a friend who used to insist that she didn’t write her stories–they came to her from somewhere else, and she just wrote them down. She had to figure out the best way, of course, and sometimes she couldn’t catch what she was told (or worse, the stories maybe weren’t trying to get to her) but she didn’t believe she wrote her stories.
I…could go both ways on that, pretty much at the same time. I write my books. I work hard at them. My characters, though–often they do seem to come from somewhere else. It’s always been that way, even when I’ve been scolded for being “fanciful” (and once lectured for not “taking responsibility” for the quality of my story!)
Eighteen years ago I finished my first novel’s first draft. My character Ben was pretty much set from then on–but it’s only in the last few years, in my attempts to deepen the backgrounds of everyone, that I’ve realized Ben is Hindu. I’m researching that now, and it’s amazing how well this ancient religion explains the way Ben has always been. A friend told me I just knew subconsciously back then that he was Hindu and deliberately wrote him that way, but how could that be when I knew NOTHING of Hindu religion then?
I’m a bit late with this blog, and I have a really good reason: my beloved younger sister, who I’ll call J, nearly died in a car accident this past Tuesday.
It was not her fault. In fact, it was a freak thing. But if you’d seen her car, you’d wonder how she made it out alive. The entire driver’s side was crushed. It had flipped over. She’d been trapped inside and had to be cut out.
All that’s wrong with her is some cuts and bruises. No broken bones, no serious injuries.
Honestly? It was a friggin miracle and I am so, so happy.
Sunday, I hosted a barbeque at my house. We had probably forty or so people wander through at various points in the day, and, as far as I know, a good time was had by all.
Fast forward to Monday morning. I go into the office to start my work for the week, and discover a tiny wizard on my desk.
I have no idea where he came from.
There’s an advertisement on the subway that I’ve been half-noticing for years. It’s a woman in a backyard holding a piñata. In front of her is a blindfolded little girl taking a swing with a baseball bat as the woman cringes away. The caption? “You really need a tree in your backyard.”
For years I’ve been staring at it and thinking, “That’s a dumb ad.” Okay, I thought it was clever at first, but it’s been around for quite some time now, and I’m tired of looking at it.
Fast-forward to now. I’m buying a house – a house with no trees on the property. Suddenly the advertisement comes into focus again. I remember the web address for long enough to look it up. It doesn’t seem so dumb anymore.