Sometimes, when I’m pressed for ways to fill my time, I browse through pinterest. Who am I kidding? I will press time for Pinterest into a busy day – five minutes in the waiting room here, a half hour before I fall asleep there, you know how it goes… and I’m always looking for inspiration, wherever I go. I can’t repin cliche writing prompts, but I can certainly think about them. I will look at a classic (You’re waking up in the morning and your twin is lying next to you asleep, but…you don’t have a twin.) and I think of something that seems unconventional (I don’t have a twin. There may have been two of us before the accident, but three days have passed where I’ve woken up in our bedroom alone..). And then I wonder, “Is this really that original or interesting?”
I bleed into my characters when I’m writing. They are alcohol and I am dye; a vibrant blotch of color seeping slowly into the transparent vessels of people I’m steadily filling with stories, thoughts, and dreams – dreams I dream and thoughts I’ve had even. Their clay bodies absorb the mixture of traits and behaviors, lapping up whatever sparse details come from little snippets of story lines, all prompted by my favorite internet muses. So if I wonder about the authenticity of my ideas, I remind myself of this fact and continue on without reservation. I am what life has made me. I am unique. Being me, my characters will no doubt think and behave as individuals. They will, however, also be unpredictable in the same way that I am. They’ve had a taste of me, but they are what life has made them too. I am continually surprised with what shows up in their little universes. It’s comparable looking into a snow globe, where the figurines frolic under the showers of flakes.
As I sit and look at the snow falling outside this morning, I’m imagining that God is looking at me from the outside as he shakes my globe, stirring up trouble in every neck of the woods. When it’s handed back to me, we sit and patiently wait for the scene to appear again and the snow to settle to the bottom again. It’s not always God shaking up my existence. From the outside, everything seems outlandish. But it’s real. It’s as close to real as it can be when you are pumped full of psychotropic drugs. Like the characters I write about, I am soaked with stories and dreams. I’m turning over every stone to look for them. And I’m waiting patiently by God’s side, feeling blessed to remain grounded in the wild avalanche, and cautiously optimistic in the face of blizzards yet to come.