Crossroads

To slightly paraphrase Flannery O’Connor: The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His or her problem is to find that location.

I think I’ll always be at a crossroads as writer. I think that’s how it is when one finishes writing a book. Aside from getting the book ready to be published, the question will always be ‘what’s next?’

What is the next story worth telling? Is it going to come in the form of a novel or will be in another form like a screenplay? Who knows.

I’m pretty comfortable with that kind of crossroads. The more interesting crossroads are the ones that have nothing with telling stories. Well, not directly.

I spent the last week hanging with my best friend as I juggled with pulling the elements of getting the book ready to be published and trying to figure out my next moves once the books become tangible objects. I’m still figuring out the next moves. 

In trying to sort out the future, I was given the opportunity to revisit a part of the past that had been the most memorable and cherished time of my life. I can tell you it had nothing to do with a man. All my exes were necessary mistakes. But memorable and cherished? Yeah, right. Don’t make me laugh.

This time period involved a relationship with a creature who stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on him. He grounded me. I learned a lot about myself with him. He was everything to me. Everything had its place when he was alive.

I revisited a place yesterday afternoon where a lot of memories were made with him. I got to see others make memories with their creatures. I was asked if I missed what had taken up 12 years of my life. My response was not really. But I have my moments where I still desperately miss him.

Things made sense when he was alive.

But I was at crossroads at that time. A change was about to happen and that change didn’t include him as part of the future. I knew our paths would diverge and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had accepted it but it didn’t mean it didn’t hurt like a fucking son of a bitch.

Ten years later, it feels like I’m heading towards another crossroads. Instead, of feeling like I’m being pulled along, it feels like I’m responsible for some energy that seems to be to leading me to the crossroads that I can’t see in the horizon yet.

Sure, they might be dreams and desires for something I want to taste and touch. But dreaming about something, wanting something is half the battle, right? You’re halfway there. It’s the other half that’s tricky.

More contemplating. Great. I guess I’ll be in contemplation mode for awhile.

A path to follow

I mean, artistic processes are all about making choices all the time, and the very act of making a choice is the distilling down and the getting to the core of what it is that you care about and what you want to say, really — Mike Leigh

The past couple of weeks has been a little harried. Harried in the sense that life has gotten in the way of writing. Didn’t write for eight days straight. What the fuck. Got back to writing last Thursday. I told myself I was setting aside that day to play with my boys, then I would get back to life.

Well, that was a big fat lie.

Played with my boys until yesterday night. I wouldn’t call it a lost weekend but it’s the closest thing to a lost weekend. I have one planned for April. Part of that weekend will be spent with my boys but what I will be doing during the rest of the time, will affect the three of us in the long run.

The four days of writing was a much-needed creative release. It also moved me a little closer to the goal of completing the first draft near the end of May, beginning of June. I strongly believe I can make that self-imposed deadline… as long as life doesn’t get in the way… which is what life is doing right now.

For a number of years, I called this time of year the busy season. After this busy season, changes will be afoot so that next year, I won’t have to suffer through long stretches away from writing. Some folks will be disappointed in the changes but I have to protect and nurture what is important to me.

I’m approaching a crossroads. I’ve seen it coming for awhile. And I know which path I have to travel. There is work to do. And I can’t wait for it to begin.