The days are coming when my novels will be in the public eye; I’m sure that will be exciting. The little tastes I’ve had of publishing have always been an adrenaline rush, for what that’s worth. Adrenalin has never been my favorite drug. But way before that, in the writing process, there is another sublime thrill, when certain plot questions or character problems that have been plaguing the writer are suddenly answered and resolved.
A similar writing puzzle has come up about these blogging entries, because I have been told by the experts that I should be focused on one thing, (and learn how to tag it, help Amanda!). I have been writing blogs for over a year, 10,000 words by now, “building content,” and yet have not been able to define in my own mind exactly what I am writing about or to whom I am writing. I write about caregiving and life, in general. But, thinking here about the thrill it’s been to discover that Duke and George are brothers, I see that mainly, lately, I’ve been blogging to share the process of being a writer with other writers, and with the rest of the world who wonder what the hell is going on in the brains of their spacey novelist friends, spouses, family members.
I remember, like a lightning strike, being in the bathtub in the yellow bathroom at the “Peace Arts House” where I lived, and realizing suddenly that the character Ginny in Blessed by Silliness had died of cancer, crying over that loss, experiencing that grief on behalf of her sister Nessa. (Virginia and Vanessa named in honor of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell.) That moment changed the course of that novel. It was sudden and irrevocable, and more real and important to me than anything happening in the “real world” that day. It is the kind of day that leads to keys locked in cars, appointments forgotten, and a person walking around looking loony.
So, this morning, between leaving my client and driving home to the ever-essential bath, this rare out-of-the-blue thought flared in my mind. Most of my ideas (like naming characters) sprout slowly, need a lot of tending, and do not throw me into such sublime ecstasy of oneness with the world that I am creating on the pages.
Duke and George were brothers, not just friends. This explains a whole lot of things I need to know to finish this version of the novel. And their mother has Alzheimer’s too! Eventually these will be minor facts in the novel, certainly not “spoiler alert” material. And why should you care? You the friend, the mother, the husband or wife? The quotidian life has more crucial and frankly more interesting concerns for you than whether I just got one big huge piece in place in my brain puzzle.
But, George and Duke are brothers! In my sister-based novel. What fun, brothers! I’m sorry, I just can’t help being thrilled. Humor me.