Monday, August 29, 2011

Who am I when I write?

Who am I really?

In that nasty thing people refer to as real life, I'm a 41 year old married man with 3 children, the oldest of which has gone off to college and the youngest of which is just in the second grade.  There's a middle child in there somewhere, but he's used to being ignored, so we'll leave him out. ;)

I've lived a simple and mostly pleasant life.  My parents weren't perfect, but they did their best by me and honestly loved me and my siblings.  I was raised with decent values and do my best to honor my parents.

My wife and I have been married for 15 years and love each other dearly.  We are each other's best friends and cling to each other desperately in the violent storm called life.

Other than that, I'm stable, dependable and mostly boring.  I'm okay with that.

Why not write from my real life viewpoint?

I don't write from the viewpoint of a 41 year old man.  Many of my life experiences and observations make their way into the writing, but they don't dominate the words.  My real life viewpoint just isn't very creative or interesting, so I have to pull from the inner recesses of my being.

Some of the crap I'm aware of is kinda scary.  I don't know why it's there or how it got there.  I don't like some things I'm aware of.  Part of the problem is that I look at the suffering much of humanity has experienced throughout history and still experiences.  Those things fill me with dread.  Life on Planet Earth is not pleasant for most.  Humans make do the best they can, but it's seriously frightening.

Poetry was the first thing I started writing.  I took scenes and memories in my mind.  The first few were of sunsets, deserts, snow and mountains.  Then I wrote about some of the things I imagined, like knights and princesses.  There was a sort of innocence in the poems.  They were safe to write and helped me to learn the craft.

As time went by, I found myself relaxing and letting the words flow.  I tried not putting any restrictions on anything and opened myself up to deeper parts of my mind.  After a while I found a place where I was comfortable writing from.

Who am I when I write?

When I write, I'm a bit of an emo teenager and a bit of an ancient intergalactic soul.  It's an odd combination, but it works for me.

When I was a teenager; I didn't wear black, have piercings, cut myself or anything like that.  At the same time, I never, ever talked to anyone if I could avoid it.  I was in band throughout school and on the golf team for a year, but other than that, I never belonged to any groups.  I spend recesses and lunch sitting by myself.  Whenever possible, I looked for solitude.  When not at school, I spent all of my time walking or riding my bike around in the desert where I lived.  It was rare that I went to anyone's house.  As a result, I was socially inept.  This shows in some of my writing, especially works like "Blue Haired Alien Girlfriend".  I like it though.  There's irreverence in that viewpoint that allows me to be childish and have fun with the events of a story as I write it.  I have a dark playfulness that oozes through the cracks.

As far as the ancient intergalactic soul thing goes: some days I don't look at Planet Earth as anything more than an unfortunate moment in my existence. (Time with my family being the exception; they're the only thing keeping me sane most days)  When I look at the stars, the possibilities of other civilizations throughout time come to my mind.  Amazing potential exists for beings to play among the cosmic dust of the galaxies.  Then I look at Earth from that potential and I'm saddened by the violence and suppression that exists.  It's such a terrible place where people have been suffering at each other's hands for millennia.  If only humanity worked hard to overcome the terrible oppression we suffer and join together to find enlightenment and the potential we have to reach the stars and excel.

When I write, the universe around me adjusts itself to fit my mind.  The worlds my characters are thrust into are frightening and sinister with danger at every turn.  I don't write about the people who succumb to that danger though, I write about characters who somehow manage to overcome the obstacles thrown at them.  There's always a touch of oddity in the events and the way they unfold.  Everywhere is an unexpected turn that I'm not always aware of.

Somehow everything will be okay in the long run.  I believe that because I have to.  Both the person I am while writing and the person I am in real life have to believe that.  Otherwise, both universes are much too scary to confront.

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