My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have perhaps six months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sighting Writers on Safari

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Writers, when working, spend much of their time in enclosed habitats – studies, dens, libraries, university offices and artists’ retreats.  They appear to prefer atmospheric lighting and relative seclusion during these periods.  As a result, little is known about their natural behavior in the wild.

After a long morning’s work in isolation, they can often be observed emerging from their hideaways at noon in order to frequent little grocery stores close to home, where they stock up on artisan teas and goji berries, camembert and toasted almonds.

In the early afternoons, they have been seen to situate themselves in trendy coffee shops where they sip fragrant hot tea while people-watching or reading the latest prize-winning novel.

That said, if you should see a writer skiing, dancing, biking, scuba diving or sailing on any day of the week while her novel is not yet complete, she has likely escaped from her sequestration and must be recaptured and sent home.  Call the National Association for Writers in the Wild for assistance.

Writers are very private people – and if you ever glimpse one in the wild, you should behave as if a unicorn has appeared in your vicinity – which is to say, make no sudden movements or sounds.  Don’t take pictures or shout to your friends.  Just smile politely in an attempt not to alarm them.  Writers possess disdain for loud and aggressive persons and they will run away with surprising speed, grace, and agility if misjudged or treated poorly.  That said, they have a talent for finding worthy and protective friends that is unsurpassed in the natural world; and though they keep it secret, they are confidantes of potentates and power brokers, who are drawn to their innate sense of discernment and integrity.

What should you do if you see a writer in a public space?  Say hello to her.  Join in some witty repartee.  Pretend not to be nervous.  Wait to see if you’re asked to share a meaningful conversation.

If you’re friends with a professional writer who has been officially sequestered, send her a text to ask when she last spent time in engaging company.  Ask her to take a walk with you or share a dinner.  She will no doubt appreciate the overture.

If you’re not friends with a writer, but you’re curious about these rare creatures, buy a pair of binoculars and wait at the likely places. 

Published writers are about to be placed on the endangered species list, because their numbers are dwindling.  Try not to injure them, as doing so can be considered malicious mischief and a general affront to cultural preservation. 

Most writers are charismatic, courageous, passionate, adventuresome, empathic and intelligent beings.  Be kind to them and they will return the courtesy with friendship and loyalty unequaled among their human counterparts. 

Weaknesses for dark chocolate, dry champagne, and the latest music are formally documented – and writers have been unfortunately snared by individuals offering lures of all of the above.  Call the National Association for Writers in the Wild if you should have any concerns about the treatment of writers in your area.

12 comments:

  1. The writer was forced to leave the New Year's party? Sad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. She did dance for four hours before being recaptured, so she felt her temporary escape was quite satisfying nonetheless.

      Delete
  2. Which "trendy" coffee shops do you like? I'd enjoy drinking my no-whip mocha next to a novelist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, trendy is relative. But my first choice is Hanahaus. It's always humming with activity and that’s a welcome contrast to my quiet mornings.

      Delete
    2. If I see you there can I say hello?

      Delete
  3. Thanks for making me smile. I'll donate to the National Association for Writers in the Wild anytime!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Please hurry up and finish your novel, even if it means locking yourself away for a while!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m trying. I really am. The isolation is a bit torturous for me – but yes – I am exercising a supreme act of will.

      Delete
  5. Re: the Emerson quote, you do carry your beauty with you, Lane, everywhere you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s a remarkable compliment, Anon. Thank you for your kind words.

      Delete