Fiction, Musings, Writing

Within dwells darkness

Sometimes, I wish I could write light and fluffy stories. You know, the kind I could show my 84 year-old mother without worrying about her health. Writing that could be described as “heart-warming, uplifting, inspirational” simply eludes me. My first novel started life as traditional romance … then, morphed into supernatural horror.

My 11th grade English teacher scheduled a conference with me because he was concerned about my well-being. He had read through the work kept in my department file (who knew?) and detected a theme—the subject of nearly every story and poem was death. (My rewrite of “The Cask of Amontillado” from Fortunato’s point of view was delicious and earned me an A+.) The teacher inquired about my life, seeking to find the cause of such preoccupation with the dark side. Respectfully, and with my usual fear and trembling displayed toward authority figures, I laughed it off. “It’s just easier to write about that stuff,” I told him.

I grew up poor, but certainly not Angela’s Ashes poor. I was loved. I was safe. I was happy. I’ve had my fair share of stresses throughout my life, maybe a little more than some, but I think I’m also a little happier than most. You know, like those California cows?

And I appreciate the sunny side—really, I do—but for some reason, I just can’t put it in writing.

7 thoughts on “Within dwells darkness”

  1. It is more fun to write about the things we’d probably never indulge in real life…but also tapping into the darkness in our souls, in the souls of others, well, it’s just a fascinating undertaking.


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