Fiction, Motivation, Musings, Questions, Writing

No, really, why do you write?

I write fiction; if you write non-fiction, most of what I’m going to say won’t apply to you. Why do you write? I’m sure you’ve been asked that question. You’ve probably given an answer.  I have—more than one—but those were quasi-truths. At the time, my answers were valid. I just hadn’t put enough thought into the question.

These things I’ve always known:

  • I don’t write because I have to. Writing is not the reason for my existence. Nor do I need to support myself.
  • I don’t write because I have some great message for the world.
  • I don’t write because I think I’m a better writer than 90% of those published.

So, why do I write?

  • I do write to entertain myself.
  • I do write because I like playing with words. Seriously.
  • I do write to clear some of these stories out of my head.

But, for me, the real question is why do I write what I write? Why are all my stories character-driven? Why are they all set in the real world (or real world plus a supernatural element)? Why are they mostly dark?

What the heck am I trying to work out?!

That’s what it comes down to for me. I write because I’m trying to figure out something. I’m searching for an answer.  Maybe more than one.  Probably more than one. Or am I just trying to discover the questions? I might not be ready for the answers yet.  Hmmm … I must keep writing.

So, tell me—really—why do you write?

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Life, Musings, Reflections, Writing

Unacceptable Loss

Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you’re gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down

Those words are from the song “Rain” by Patti Griffin. I first heard this song a week or so ago, and when she sang these words, I burst into tears. And I don’t mean silent tears; I mean a real boo-hoo. I was listening to this in my car, on the way out to shop, but had to come back home to repair my makeup. That kind of crying.

Why did these lyrics hit me so hard? Every so often, without warning, I fall into a deep deep deep sadness. I feel like crying. And sometimes I do. I feel the need to hug myself. And, inside, I do. Nothing has happened in my life to account for this sudden darkness. It’s happened so often for so long I’ve learned to just ride it out. Just wait. This too shall pass.

But I never had an explanation for it—until now.

Yesterday, while under one such cloud, I picked up Dani Shapiro’s Devotion, which I had started reading a couple months ago. I read this part about what happened to her after she moved from New York City to the Connecticut countryside:

“In the country, I stopped being a person who, in the words of Sylvia Boorstein, startles easily. I grew calmer, but beneath that calm was a deep well of loneliness I hadn’t known was there. No wonder I had been running as hard and fast as I could! Anxiety was my fuel. When I stopped, it was all waiting for me: fear, anger, grief, despair, and that terrible, terrible loneliness. What was it about? … In the quiet, in the extra hours, I was forced to ask the question, and to listen carefully to the answer: I was lonely for myself.”

Instantly, I knew. That deep deep deep hurt, that sadness that makes me want to weep weep weep, is loneliness. I miss myself. A part of me is lost. And I must find it.

This is an unacceptable loss.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Blog Stuff, Fiction, Inspiration, Life, Musings, Novel, Writing

Days of no wine … but rain and strawberries

I confess; I’m a procrastinator. Last night I checked to see what I had ready for the blog today and realized I’d used up all my stockpiled posts. Then, this morning, I had almost finished writing today’s blog post when I decided it wasn’t time for that one yet.  So instead, today you get fluff.

I live in the central San Joaquin Valley where yesterday’s high temp was 90° F and today’s will be 66° … ahhh variety. It’s also raining today, which is actually a little late in the season for us. I believe I’ll enjoy the atmosphere and maybe even write something deep today. Does weather affect your writing? That’s something I’m considering as I sit here. I don’t normally think of myself as a gloom-inspired person—I just want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea—but, thinking back, I believe the bulk of the dark scenes in my novel Brevity were written during gloomy weather. Hmmm …

Unfortunately, cool, gloomy weather also makes me hungry for stick-to-your-ribs food (though it sticks more to my belly) but I have a refrigerator full of Trader Joe’s salads! I love Trader Joe’s, I went there yesterday for sparkling water and Tejava tea and spent $90, not just on those two items, but the thirty other items I couldn’t resist. I did bypass the wine display though … only because my wine rack is full.

One of my sons brought me strawberries still warm from the field on Saturday, so I do have those to look forward to eating today … gloom or no. The strawberries grown here are the best, and most are huge. I wanted to buy raspberries yesterday at TJ’s but felt like I’d be cheating on the strawberries waiting at home. I’ve realized I’m a serious berry kind of woman, which makes me blush, since I consider berries the most sensual of fruits.

Ahhh, yes, I must apologize for this post about nothing. I’ll do better next time. Maybe. Please, tell me how much more exciting your day is, was, or will be.

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

Humor, Musings, Time, Writing

Free prose day!

Today’s post doesn’t really have much to do with writing, though I’m calling it free prose. That’s not the same as stream of consciousness; I would never subject you to that.

Juan, Henry, and Margaret

I grow roses … well, for the most part this last year, I neglected roses, but still they bloomed. Yesterday I cut a few. I don’t usually do that this late in the season because I like to let them go dormant for a couple months, but roses that bloom in cool weather have the sweetest fragrance, and I needed a lift.

In the bouquet pictured, I have Don Juan (red), Henry Fonda (yellow) and Margaret Merrill (white) and though the yellow doesn’t usually have much scent, and the red much less than the white, they’re all scenting the room as I write.

My work station?

I have not done so well on my NaHoCleMo challenge. The reward of a spotless house, including cupboards, closets, and drawers, is not enough to goad me into the nearly three hours of daily work I need to keep on goal. Actually, it’s not so much the cleaning that gets me down, it’s the deciding. I don’t know what to do with piles of stuff when I pull it out of those cupboards, closets, and drawers.

I like to blame it on being born under the sun sign of Libra … you know, being able to see all sides and trying to be fair in my judgment. Should I keep this? Should I give it away? Should I toss it? It’s that inability to decide that clutters my house in the first place. That, and my mother cleaning my childhood bedroom and throwing away all my little “collections” which she apparently mistook for trash. I’ve battled with keeping MY STUFF ever since. Ah, well …

In what sense are we lost?

I know this question is “out there” but is it possible that time is speeding up? I’ve been thinking that it’s only because I’m getting older. And cruel joke that—the less time you have left the faster it’s used up! But I’ve heard people far younger than I make the same observation.

Of course, with that in mind, we could veer off into questioning what time is, which would make my head spin, so let’s don’t. Although … that does remind me of the show LOST and how I so wish I could figure it out before they reveal it all this next season.

All right, I’ve blathered long enough, but at least free prose is … well … free.