Life is still wonderful, opening and transforming. Crazy. I wrote a brief email the other day to an old friend. We both spent years really mucking through the shit, emotionally, spiritually, the whole emotional swamp of trial, error error error. But these days we're both out of it, and we're both thriving. It was lovely to reach out to her and confirm that the years of slogging were worth where we are today.
I had a reading a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco and it was wonderful. I got to spend time with old friends and connect with new people. It made me miss my VONA days. Those VONA weeks happened during some of the harder years of my life and they recharged me, reminded me of why I write, who I am. I find myself wanting to go back but then I remember there are other writers who need that space. I'm in a place where I can write, edit and do a lot of that work myself. So, room for them.
Looking through the draft of my novel the other day made me realize how much of what I've known comes up even when it isn't intentional. My protagonist in this book is, in a sense, losing her religion, her grounding. I went through the same thing. I'm seeing parallels that weren't planned between her growth and what I had to go through when I was a young adult. Losing your entire belief system, the basis for everything you have ever done, known, believed, is Hard. And I wanted to leave the religion, it made me unhappy. But when we finally broke free I was anchor-less. I would wake up in the middle of the night terrified because the god I had been raised with was no longer there. I had my family but they were all going through the same thing. Couple this religion-leaving with adolescence, cruel junior high, the traumatic (and Tarantino-level bloody) first year of my menses and I was a wreck.
I love the writing though. I love falling into it each day. It is so much easier this time around because of the months I spent really getting to know my characters, building the world they live in. I've had to plot out so much, especially since I intend for this to be part of a trilogy. (Nerd-tastic!!) I have to have the narrative arc for each book in my head, as well as the narrative arc for the entire series. Yikes. But the more I meditate, contemplate, the more confident I am that this is what I'm supposed to be doing.
I'm also pretty in love with my characters, which is a damn good thing because I spend a hell of a lot of time with them. I have the cork board above my desk completely filled up with pictures of them, a map of their world, a relationship chart. Serious writer shit. I love when people come over and come into my office and are fascinated by the cork board. I'm pretty mesmerized by it myself.
So, work, life, love. I'm busy but extraordinarily happy. I really do love my life. Big plans this summer, big changes coming up in the next three months, the next year. If my life was different a year ago, I imagine a year from now will be completely and totally changed. I have a lot of travel on the calendar, lots of work to do here in my home to prepare for the next stage of my life. I welcome it.