Friday, October 29, 2010

Memory Lane Part II

Pss. 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
That post was longer than anticipated yesterday and I thought it warranted a continuation.

As writers, what we are doing in our stories, whether our fictional work or our non-fictional work, we are bringing our past into a character, a scene, an emotion, or maybe a dream.

When I read novel, as a writer, I know in some part there are pieces of the author strewn all about the pages like confetti on New Years. Take To Kill a Mockingbird for example, you can not write something like that without knowing the intricate depths of a situation.

Even authors  like Stephen King has laid pieces of himself in the pages of his stories. He has said about while writing The Shining, he felt like a mad man, drinking boozing it up, life getting out of control, and the Jack Torrance that we (most of us) have all come to know, was born. In his later works after King sobered up, his story Duma Key took on a new color as a new phase took over Mr. Kings life.

I find in my writings, I like to dip into the spiritual pool. My early childhood was shaped by spirits, whether good spirits or the dark nasty ones that you really don’t want to talk about. You’d rather lock them in a closet in the back of the basement somewhere and pretend that they don’t exist.

As a writer, all the doors of your past are open wide, even the little nasty stuff that you buried comes spilling out onto the page. Things you hadn’t remembered for years comes to the surface, you grab your net and scoop up the memory like a fisherman on a good day. You’ve dipped, you now have caught, you own it and you place it on the page.

My childhood was shaped by experience also. Images of the men, the smoke-filled bars, pool balls clanking, men cheering or arguing, the tapping of glasses, the smell, the awful stale aroma of beer that lay in the taps basin. The music, the jukebox that was probably my savior at nine years old.

Ask my brothers if they were sitting in bars at nine years old. Ask them if men felt them up in places that drunken old men thought was playful but to a child felt dirty. Ask the boys, ask one of them, or my sister for that matter, did they sneak drinks of vodka and orange when they were mere babies? Eight or nine year old's belong home not in a bar sipping drinks, sneaking from the glass that was okay for mother to drink from. But then again, home wasn’t much different from the bars.

Yeah that was me, spoiled rotten and given everything. A drinking, toking, smoking child is what shaped my past. Do I long for what was? Never! I bury it in my stories. I was saved by the grace of the Lord. When I write, I write from heartfelt true-blue experience. My inspiration comes from the only thing that has ever grabbed onto me and stuck and that is God!

And that is a piece of MY story.

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