Saying Goodbye...and Other Thoughts

I am grieving. In the past four months, I've had to say goodbye to Will and Julia and the world I created for them. Now it's time to bid farewell to Libby and Truman, at least for the next few weeks. I miss them all. Each and every one of them. Even Avery. In creating these characters, I live inside their heads for months, they become my family. So, when I type the words 'The End' I want to cry. What will I ever do without them?

"Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong." ~Jeb Dickerson

Believe me when I tell you my life is very full. Between my children, graduate school, friends, family obligations, publicizing my first book, preparing for book readings, interviews, meetings with other authors (and let's not forget annoying little things like cooking, exercising, showering, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry) I'm a very busy gal! 

"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say." ~Sharon O'Brien

FULL. Bursting at the seams! My cup runneth over! It's a miracle I find the time to write at all! But I do. I make the time. Writing has wrapped its tentacles around me and I'm happy in its embrace. Even when I'm not sitting in front of the computer, I'm absorbing my surroundings, jotting down ideas for the book I'm working on, or the one I'm planning to write.

"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable." ~Francis Bacon

I've discovered it is indeed possible to live two lives at once, despite claims to the contrary. One in which I steal snippets, observations from real life, and incorporate them into the fantasy life which consumes most of my waking (and sleeping) hours.

"Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind." ~Catherine Drinker Bowen

It's an obsession really, and I'm sure some would say, not a particularly healthy one. But who are they to judge? I alternate between living in the clouds, and dealing with reality. I prefer the clouds. Who doesn't?

"The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it." ~Jules Renard

Years of therapy lead me to question the motivation behind my taking such a keen interest in the lives of imaginary people. Do I have a God complex? Do I merely enjoy being able to pull the strings and decide the fate of the characters I create? Or does it indicate a desire for control in a world in which I have very little? Maybe it's a little bit of both.

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." ~Ray Bradbury

I lose myself in another world when I sit at the computer and write. Escapism. Absolutely, positively, an escape from reality. Or does that world become my reality? It sure feels like it while I'm there. Maybe a person has to be a little bit crazy to be a writer?

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

There are worse ways I could spend my time. Other people find escape from reality with drugs, alcohol, sex, television, eating and a myriad of other activities. At least I'm creating something while I'm escaping the confines of my life. Not only do I get to live in another world, I feel purposeful, creative and competent while I'm there.

"To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all." ~Lord Byron

Reading the quotes above, I see I'm in good company. If love is a wise form of too is the process of writing. By doing so, I've made wonderful friends, traveled to glorious places, experienced all consuming passion and survived the depths of despair. And when our story is complete, I have to move on and say goodbye.

Sounds an awful lot like real life to me.

So, yes. I mourn the loss of the characters I've grown to love as I begin my love affair with the next book. I could sit around and watch the boob tube, or go scrub a toilet...but there are new characters to meet, places to visit, worlds to create...the fates of which I hold in my hands, at the tips of my fingers.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday night. ;)