“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
Earlier today on my Google+ I bemoaned the fact that my writing has seriously been lacking. I have been encouraged to start posting more of writing to help my frantic state of creative juices and to get feedback. This is new to me. I don't typically share my writing with anyone. I have numerous reasons, but foremost is that I'm secretive and I'm afraid what I write will not be well received. Experience has taught me not to share and I'm a grudge holder, even if you--yes you sitting reading this--are not the grudge causer. There is criticism and there is destroying MY WORK beyond recognition.
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If I take this new notion of honest and open a bit further . . . I'm also a smidgen paranoid about copyright junk. I am not saying it is steal worthy, but plagiarism is a serious business. My writing comes from a place, sometimes inspired by dark times. No one can live those times for me, nor fully understand the impact they have had (and continue to) on me physically, mentally and emotionally. Writing about it, is my way of sharing, on a small scale, what has happened. It is my job/goal as the writer/storyteller to make you the reader see, feel, taste, cry, laugh with me along the way. When you steal my words, you steal so much more. You steal my muses and I love them dearly. You steal moments and memories. You steal raw excruciating pain and while I don't mind pain leaving me, this pain stealing leaves behind far worse pain. Are you understanding how scared I am about plagiarism?
Louisa May Alcott is perhaps my favorite author of all time. My hope with my writing is that I bring my writing to life as she did. She let us see and experience her life in novel form. Another hope is that I write something that is timeless. It doesn't have to be a New York Times Bestseller, but if it is being talked about 100 years, even 50 years, from now that would be, well amazing.
The book I have been working on started at a coffee shop concert. In the music, along with life events at the time, I found the inspiration of a story. I heard characters in my head having conversations and undergoing things that I wanted to be a part of; so I began to write . . . on a napkin.
Leave comments. Beg for more. Run screaming. Ask questions. Don't steal. Don't lie. (This is starting to sound like the 10 commandments.)
Keep in mind this is directly from my notebooks. This means I penned it while the words bled from me and then typed it with very little editing. I'm saying there will be misspells and punctuation issues. You can kindly point them out or by all means be rude. I'm only warning you that the errors are there.
. . .
They sat around a table, weathered and old just as they were. It only seemed right that it was her table. Three men from present past, sitting, hands in front of them as though comparing whose were better, every now and then glancing up to look at one another. The faces hadn’t changed, they were still old and gray and unfamiliar. Each tempting the other to speak first. Each thinking in their own uncomfortable state that this would easier if she were here.
“Not much of talkers, are you? This surprises me from what I’ve heard of you.” They all made to stand at the sound of the woman’s voice.
“Sit. I only came to see how yous all were behavin’ yourselves. Here I find not like men at all, but shy youngins’. You can’t even talk to each other. Talkin is better than this silent nonsense. She would want talk. My how she loves talkin.”
She stopped to get a reaction and was rewarded with warm smiles of agreement all around.
“I’m thinkin she knew it would be like this for you. That’s why I’ve brought this out for yous. Always follow direction when she’s talkin, right? I leave you to get better acquainted now.”
The woman set a small box in the midst of the men. They stared at wondering who should make the first move. Who would have beginner’s luck?
“My what children you is behaving like.” The woman spoke in her mocking southern accent to tease them.
“Here I’ll open it and that will help you on your way.”
They each sat perfectly still; the only sound their slow aged breaths and their hearts beating in near unison. This moment seemed frozen, no one was going anywhere and no one was daring to be the first to touch the box. In their own ways a small pin prick of panic lay huddled in their hearts. Try as the three men might the panic was slowly rising, irking their curiosity to the moment where one of their hands was bound to snap out and retrieve the secrets, good or bad, that lay before them all.
“I’ve never been one for patience or to sit still for that matter. I’m not myself today and that annoys the shit outta me, dammit all. If one of you isn’t gonna open it, I will.” The man who spoke sat with his back to the door the woman had moments ago come through. At first glance he appeared the oldest of the three men. His skin stretched warmly across well used bones, the skin leather like from years in the harsh sun. Big brown youthful eyes changed your mind to his age, two sparks that spoke of mirth, youth and a flirt even if shy at times. His thick white hair was a mess atop his head, giving much thought to his up keep and appearance, when in fact his hair, color aside, had retained this messiness for several decades. He let himself smile as he reached with both hands, hands misshapen with arthritis, giving proclamation to their years of work and abuse. Another pair of hands reached out, not to grab the box, but to stop him.
The hands were paper white, dry and unblemished. An easy life these hands had led, a life of constant reading pleasure. The dryness coming from a book always present in his hands, absorbing the natural oils from his hands. He hadn’t worked much in his life, at least not manual labor. The first man glanced up to stare down the road block to his intentions. Across from him this man sat straight with perfect posture, a haughtiness sitting comfortable at the point where his shoulders joined in his back. Life had been kinder to this man. His hair still maintained a dark brown polished color, speaking of man with money and connections. Eyes narrow and hazel, almost, but not quite feline in appearance. A Roman nose sat straight and narrow on his face having never been troubled with thoughts of being broken. His secret favorite attribute about his own face.
He stared back at the other man willing to wait forever for him to remove his hands.
“If I know her at all and I’m sure I know her better than you both, it is letters. Bloody letters! She always loved writing, I mean she loves writing and knows there is something extremely grating about her letters.”
“What’s wrong with letters? Her letters for that matter? Few, but precious. Are you saying you don’t want us opening the box because it is a letter, her letter?” The first man’s voice was beginning to rise to gain some control over the situation.
“Let’s not. I can wait, can’t you?” He baited back.
“Something tells me you’re ––”
“He is.” The third man finally seeing fit to join the debate. This man calmly sat between the two men. He smiled, but not a mocking smile, a warm, loving smile, a smile of devotion and friendship he was already willing to extend to the other men, strangers. While his face spoke of youth and a man far younger than the other two, his eyes told another story. Brown and sad they made him look a thousand years old, a wise thousand years though. He slowly and with great thought reached his callused aged hands towards the middle. His voice rife with humbleness begged for peace to be between them as they made their way through this together, “He is scared, but I think you might be as well. She wouldn’t us to be scared or even worried. That would worry her. Do you know what she calls her letters?”
He glanced at both men, but each had their eyes down, not thrilled that their fear had been voiced and so easily detected. “She calls them her death warrants. I’ve always thought she give s herself too much credit for others inability to handle a good ole’ dose of truth. She never listens, though, stubborn as all get out.”
The man who had spoken first chuckled, “Stubborn! That’s being too kind, more determined than an ass on a hot day that girl is.” They all chuckled.
“Feisty and speaks her mind. We might as well see what she has to say to us old men. If it be one of her death warrants as you call it, well I’m old enough to be passing on.” His reluctance somewhat gone, the man who had objected minutes before, pointed at the peace keeper as he spoke.