Nov 9, 2009

Past and Future Presence (Presents?)

I might have picked a bad year to jump into another NaNoWriMo - - apparently, at least, the universe has other plans. There are several lessons it seems I need to learn - mostly about Desire, Belief, and Surrendering to the Will of the Wild or something. I'm still learning the questions to these many mysteries that are now waking me up at night; still far from having the answers they allude to.

The quest that presses me forward into publishing has brought some remarkable new friendships into my life, all of whom challenge me in new and deliciously brutal ways. I know it's brutal because I find myself half-longing for the darkness and relative seclusion I once favored. Or perhaps "favored" isn't the right word. I'd come to a point, intellectually and spiritually, where I felt I no longer lacked for dramatic surges in personal growth.

I should have known that was an illusion. Yes, I do get that.

The process of this latest book is forcing me to confront long-concealed self-recriminations, thoughts on my own value (as a person, writing or otherwise) in addition to simply questioning my own skill as a writer. One question I posited this weekend was: why do I write YA Fiction? Is that how I see myself as a writer, or a thinker, or is it just the genre I'm most comfortable in?

Comfort is a thing against which I have to remain on constant vigil - I don't want to become artistically or creatively lazy. I just refuse to take the process for granted.

I suppose this process wouldn't even be a blip on my blogging radar if it didn't seem to be mirrored in my personal foundation of belief and faith. I feel like I'm peeling back the foundation I laid down 15 years ago, when I first began scraping myself out of my old paradyme. and I knew the temporary foundation of faith was only that - temporary. But I appear to have laid a good deal atop it. And now I need to start resolving that ghost of religion past, before I get one of those "tonight you'll be visited by three spirits" conversations.

You know, with all this in mind, maybe it's a good thing I'm only writing YA fiction. Clearly, the adult resolutions are still a little ways out yet. I followed up on a recent suggestion by reading up on some of the work by Bill Plotkin in talking about the nature of the human soul, and the nature of... well, nature. Today, I sit at work (the one which pays me) in a vest and tie and recognize that I'm far from the wild man that wants to throw it all off and dance and sing and howl.

For now, though: stories about young children saving the world. Tomorrow, I'll work on the finer points of the soul. I've already got a couple books addressing that, I'm just not yet ready to write them.

Enough for now. Write on, space cowboy.

Nov 5, 2009

Painful and Awkward Realizations

I once considered myself a would-be professional musician. I invested a good deal of time and energy into it, put myself out there in bands, solo work, studio sessions, live shows, radio shows.... etc. Have reels of studio recordings, demo recordings and a CD to show for it.

In the end - when life showed me the brutally explicit future my life as such held in store, I chose to step off that path.

Life without a creative outlet was as close to spiritual death as I could have imagined, but I rediscovered the joy of writing - of telling stories, crafting modern re-envisionings of mythologies ancient and contemporary. I'm in the middle of a second of three novels, YA SciFi/Fantasy genre, and I only just now forced myself - or allowed life to force me, more accurately - to see a brutal truth.

These books are not the books I have yet to NEED to write. These are fun books, stories, fantasies and pretends. But there are tales that are more primal to my consciousness, and I'm nowhere near ready to expose those deeper thoughts. The truer fears and founding principles that power me - or restrain me - still exist well out of reach from the fictional yarns I'm weaving.

The question I must ask myself, however, is this:

Can I survive as an author if I do not confront these darkest daemons from my core? Or will they one day claw their way unbidden to my surface? This is not the moment I expected to ask these questions. But, then, does any one of us make an appointment with their inner demons, in an effort to seek a confrontation of convenience?

The rest of this book should prove interesting.