The Kitchen Sink

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”  ~Henri Nouwen

As idealistic as I may come across from time to time … in reality, frankly, I’m pragmatic to my core. I’ve never been a huge believer in fate–not in real life, in the world we literally live in. I’ve always loved the idea and the ideals that go along with it, but never really believed in it literally.

I’ve changed my mind …

I can’t go into all of the reasons why just yet (patience grasshopper), but on a writing level I’ll elaborate: The recent trials that I’ve been through have given me a whole new understanding of the grief that book three in the Guardians of Legend trilogy opens with. I merely thought I understood what it meant to see your whole world fall away. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that feeling of utter hopelessness and the absolute definition of the word ‘hollow.’ I have to turn in Eternal Requiem sooner rather than later, and after months of being unable to pen a single meaningful word, I’m suddenly able to see clearly through the fog and the wall that was blocking the rewrite even before my life took a turn for the catastrophic.

Everything happens for a reason?

Perhaps. Seems too coincidental that right when I need to have a solid grasp on life and love and death, that life would take this route with me. Too convenient. Well, okay, there wasn’t anything convenient about it. Still, you get the drift. I’m not the same person who penned all the posts before August. Perhaps this was always so, each day brought a new person, but I certainly feel as though my personal evolution is far more pronounced now than it’s ever been before. Yes, we all change and grow—especially through trauma and crisis. But, for a writer, there is a special type of growth that we alone are privy to. Allow me the pleasure of sharing my thoughts on this.

I wrote this morning for the first time in a while. The music played in the background, epic and somber, and I got chills as I reached the pinnacle of the scene. I could feel the draft in the room where Garren stood. I could feel the weight of the blade in his hand, and the gravity of his coming actions. It wasn’t like it felt before—this was something entirely different for me. And I don’t know that I can totally give it justice here.  If anything … I think I’ve been freed of a great many things, and that has allowed me to enter unforced into a whole new world.

The most unimaginable event, for me, happened. Thus, everything else paled suddenly and fear no longer became a contender for my time. In the past three months, I’ve done things I never thought I’d have the guts to do. Ever. Even if bribed. And that mentality is apparently shifting over to my writing as well. I used to get eight shades of bent out of shape over bad reviews or drama with fellow writers, industry kerfuffles and the like. Ask me if I give a rat’s bald ass now …

A couple of friends from Boston came down to spend time here in the good ol south, last January. One of our many wonderful conversations dealt with meeting “your full potential.” I think it spawned from a handwriting analysis, where Vin said my Bs and Ds clearly show that I don’t, in fact, give a damn about what other people think. Funny enough, my pen was telling the truth of the matter … stuff that my actions and behavior hadn’t figured out just yet. In other words, I barked louder than I bit.

This is no longer the case.

I was fearful of flying because it had been years since I’d been on a plane. Back in September, I flew in a helicopter without the doors on. It was AWESOME. I used to fear Atlanta traffic and could never have imagined driving through it on my own, but a couple of months ago I drove through Atlanta and up to Athens, GA to visit two of my closest friends. I feared stress and heartache with an ill family member, but spent two weeks by my father’s bedside after his surgery and instead of being a basket case, I found that I was calm and useful and had some of the most meaningful moments that I’ve ever had with him.

Things I wrote about in my novels, that I have always longed for, had long since been put away because they simply weren’t realistic to me. Things I’d wanted in life had been put aside because I refused to reach for that full potential.

You may now consider me awake, and I wonder at times, if I ever really lived before now.

I’ve been terrible at answering emails and taking care of personal stuff and for that I’m quite sorry. Just know that I’m doing my best to get around to being productive on a personal level. Right now, I’m so focused on getting this rewrite done before my publisher kills me for missing a deadline, that I don’t even have time to market my current stuff. So, if you’ve emailed me or called me or Skyped me and haven’t received a reply, at least know that there is a damn good reason for it.

Bottom line: Everything can be applied to your writing. Everything. Even the kitchen sink. And heartache. Perhaps especially heartache.