The characters are playing. Specifically: one story, Ride Softly, is pounding to be written. I’m seven pages in, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you consider it’s the most fiction I’ve written in a year (much less in two sittings).
It’s Isis’ story, with a twist. When I write her scenes, I have my eyes closed and the tears stream down my face. There are two scenes that were the hardest: when she died and when her body was pulled from the paddock to the front of the barn by the tractor. The one person who has read both scenes was in tears too while reading it. My other friend who started to read it, stopped before the first scene with Isis, handed the story back to me, and said “I can’t.”
This is one of those stories that will be written, set aside, reviewed, and maybe never sent off any where. When I’ve dealt with death before, I’ve always expressed my feelings by writing eulogies or other poems. I must have four or five poems from Dad’s death and funeral. Basette has a poem, so does Ambush. Stella has a catalog of pictures and videos. Isis is the only one who has a short story. It’s like the act of writing transforms her loss into a full expression where I don’t have to explain what it was like. I can say “Read this.”
The funny thing I’m discovering is that the writing is coming back, full force. Definitely no technical writer voice in this story. I’m getting my style back with the voice of the character and finding humor in her outlook. All of these horrible things have happened to her, and she still finds humor in her friends trying to help her feel better.
This story is a pouring forth onto paper of a single event that is nearly the emotional equivalent to the horrible 18 months with 8 funerals (including a funeral on my birthday) so many years ago.
I had to put my writing on hold since last Thursday (yay sinus-migraine!). No reading, writing, or staring at computer screens except at work. The headache finally cleared up enough to consider writing last night after writer’s group.
Pausing the writing process made me feel emotionally bottled — literally like I had hit a pause button. My connection with Kasane was harder to reach for when I worked with her on Saturday and Sunday. That connection is how I sense and work with my mares. When it isn’t present, then things get wonky. It took over 30 minutes of grooming to reestablish it. (Normally that connection is immediately there.) She let me know, too. She had a PTSD flashback to Bad Trainer days and reacted in a way she hasn’t in three years because I was trotting alongside her on a road instead of trotting next to her like we were lunging (in a straight line). We worked through that successfully and she calmed down.
That episode made me realize how important getting this story on paper is.
Tonight, we write.