Two timely articles in the May/June 2013 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine succinctly captured my situation as a displaced writer – the need for silence, and the call of characters to action in my next novel.
As previously mentioned, my wife and I moved to a new city after ten years in the same neighborhood. Our move has not gone as planned – the dream house we planned and developed with the architect and builder is well under way; solid, beautiful and more that we hoped for, except….it isn’t completed. We are staying with relatives, shuffling from home to home, dragging two dachshunds and luggage between havens of rest, caught up in everyday living as we attend ball games, band recitals, birthdays, holidays, and other events while we monitor the progress of our new home, find new doctors, auto repair shops, stores, etc. I write on the dining room table at one house; in a four-walled study in another and am thankful for both. Yet, the silence I need for thinking, writing and inspiration is lacking. Characters and plot call to me in flashes of inspiration that I frantically scribble down before I forget. My situation was expertly captured by Ruth Ozeki in her article, A Crucial Collaboration, and by Daphne Kalotay’s remarks in The Calm Before the Calm.
Daphne wrote that “…silence is where we go to write…where you write what you are drawn to write, not what you are told to write. It is where the muscle-work of creation takes place.” She ends her thoughts with the remark that finding a space of silence is more elusive and precious than ever. I have that place waiting – a well-planned study with inspirational window views into the quiet and secluded neighborhood we and our builder selected to call home. The wall colors are blue-green to inspire and calm, and will be accented by aquamarine, my Piscean birthstone color. I eagerly await my new space of creativity.
Yet, the process of thinking and listening to the Muses speak to the writing mind does not cease. Messages come in an instant and must be captured. So I keep pen and paper by my bedside for late-night and early morning thoughts while scraps of paper litter my writing spaces as ideas come to me. Ruth wrote that “A character speaks—whispers, mutters, shouts—breaking the silence and, in so doing, calls the writer into being…..Character calls forth writer. Writer calls forth reader.” Character, writer, reader--collaborators in the story.
Thank you ladies for two fine articles that I can embrace in my own journey.