Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It's become apparent to me that this novel I'm working on, and the daily exercises in writing I've been doing, are having more impact than just "writing a story." I'm having to delve rather deeper into myself than I'd ever anticipated. For one thing, I'm discovering that one source of the problem I've had, and am having, with the novel is that I haven't yet fallen in love with the main character. Her being a girl would probably explain that. In the first half or two-thirds of the book, I focused on the two men who came into her life when it had almost been extinquished. *Them* I love. Why can't I love the main character in my whole book???

Yikes. Could it be that I need to learn to love myself first? Now, anyone who can say that, probably has things in their lives that they'd just as soon not explore, thank you. But I've got this need, this desire, this urge, to finish this story so maybe the world will read it, pushing me right up against what I don't want to investigate. I thought I'd gone through all that self-examination years ago. Done that. Been there. The beer was lousy.

So, I've dragged the boxes and sacks of old photos down out of the attic. I tried to go through them awhile ago and found the process so depressing that I put them away almost immediately. This time I'm going with a different purpose. I want to find the good, the fun, the laughter, the happy memories in those old pictures, not just the hurts and the losses. I decided I'd just take out a handful, and go through them slowly, and study each one, and plumb it for all the memories it would yield. Maybe all I'm grieving is the fact that I had to frickin' GROW UP!!! That would be the pip, wouldn't it? What a jerk, feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't stay in that Candyland childhood I'd conjured up for myself.

It's not even that my childhood was so horrible, don't think that. I just haven't dealt with a lot of things, things that aren't uncommon, and I think it's holding me back from understanding, and maybe forgiving myself. For what, I don't know. That's probably why I've avoided the photo-tour!

So I'm going to pull up my socks and look at some of them tonight, and let my mind wander through those long-gone days. Maybe I'm just saddled with a lot of Lutheran guilt ("Doom, gloom, tomb, with the emphasis on Good Friday," one fellow Luther-Leaguer said years ago) and I'll discover that there isn't that much to loathe myself about.

Heck, it's worth a try. I really want to get this darned book finished!

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