The Nerdy Chicks had a great post in the fall which is still sticking with me. They shared soundbites from YALLFest, which sounds like a raucous hoedown (a redundancy, of course there's no such thing as a boring hoedown), but is actually a YA Lit event.
I particularly sparked to Rainbow Rowell's quote (as quoted by Jocelyn Rish): “Writing about real things lets you work through your knots through your characters.”
So true. Writing is great therapy. It’s always interesting to see the “knots” which end up in my stories by some subconscious mechanism.
I was exceptionally blessed with "knots" in the last 12 months. The challenges haven't literally appeared in my writing, but the underlying feelings interloped on a regular basis.
|(Image by John Byer via sxc.hu)|
She said, "Well, since it's about death, you should include ...."
To which I said, "What's that now?"
This was a picture book after all. But in this quiet book, I had unwittingly worked through all the sorrow of a loved one's passing. Wow.
When hard times strike, I'm like Jane Yolen's dinosaurs - I don't gnash my teeth, stomp around and roar. Nope. I tie my shoes tighter and smile because I have to. So, having the opportunity to work through difficult times with the words on the page has been an important development for me.
So when a recent critique said, "Well, it's okay, because your character's really not lost after all, is he?"
I had to take a second to think. I suppose I’m not. I mean, I suppose he's not really lost. When those times strike which make you feel a little lost, even though you followed every step on a map, know you can always find your way again by just putting your fingers on the keyboard.