Lately I’ve been considering the above question. What does my writing say about me? Since I think it’s a pretty interesting study, I decided to go deep and make you a little essay instead of just rambling. Soooo… here it goes. :)
Main Characters: Who are my main characters, usually? Well, usually they are girls in their early/mid teens. OK. So at first thought it seems like my characters are usually like me. But then I look at their personalities. Often, they are shy.
Now, I am not a shy person. In fact, I take after my grandfather in the way that I can talk to just about anyone just about anywhere. I make friends easily. I’m not afraid to speak my mind, stand up for someone, etc. I love the spotlight, love performing and being on stage.
But, looking at my characters, I wonder if maybe somewhere inside me there is a shy version of myself, just cringing away from the world. I mean, there are times when I’m nervous or awkward in situations, but I work through it pretty fast. However, perhaps it is through some of my main characters that the shy girl inside me gets out. Maybe that’s even how I manage to shove down my insecurities when I have to. Because I’ve already worked this out, through my main characters.
When I was a little kid, I was horribly, horribly afraid of fire and heat. Anything that burned. The oven, the stove, these heater things we have, fires in hearths, even birthday candles terrified me. I remember sitting in front of a candlelit cake, leaning away from it and cringing until I got to blow it out.
Nowadays, my fear is not so extreme. But I will admit that I am still pretty daunted by our old stove and oven. I’ve worked out a system for getting my baking out of the oven, but I’ll only se the thickest oven mitts we have and I still lean back from the heat and force myself to breathe. But I do like candles, and campfires, and the fire in the grate at the DHF’s house.
Looking at the evil in my books, I realized that a lot of them use fire. In my current novel, that’s basically the whole concept, the evil fire people and fire!! I began to wonder about that. In the past, in earlier novels and in novels I’ll probably never finish, fire pops up a lot on the dark side. Maybe it’s because I do still have this big fear of fire and being burned. Perhaps the fact that I’m able to let it run wild in my writing helps me control it in real life. Maybe the fact that I can have some outlet for it in writing is the thing that allows me to reach into the oven, cook over the stove, use a hair blow dryer/straightener.
Those were the main things I noticed about my writing, novel-wise. But I am sure that if I analyzed my poetry, I could see a lot more, since I approach it differently than I do my novels. My poems almost always reflect what has been happening to me, even if I mask it in such a way that only I know what I was talking about and to others it’s just a poem they like but don’t quite understand. I guess that’s why it was easy for me to just sit down and write a poem on AP, what made me realize that I liked poetry. It was a way for me to talk abut something without having to completely explain it. I just had to paint the emotions and the details and not worry about plot or anything. That’s why I can sit down and shoot off a poem in about a half an hour, because it’s straight from the heart, mind, and gut reactions. I guess it’s sort of bad of me to post without editing, but that’s just how I do things. If I ever submit poems somewhere or make a book of poetry, though, I promise I’ll edit.
I guess my poems don’t show my innermost fears or secret personality the way my prose does, but looking back at the ones I’ve written over the past year (2009) I can see how far I’ve come. I can see how I’ve stayed the same and I remember what was going on in my mind when I wrote those poems. But I can look at the past objectively through the poems I’ve written. I don’t relive the experiences or thoughts, just view them. It’s good, I think, to be able to see things as though you are a stranger looking at your past self. But it also can be a little bothersome when you notice a typo or something, and think: ‘how many times have I viewed this and I never noticed!’ Ugh. Plus it’s a little depressing to read depressing poems and that’s what a lot of mine are at the end of 2009. I don’t know why. I guess I was just out of that happy-happy-rhyming phase that began my career on AP. I still wonder why Ben let me be a Monthly Writer based on that stuff, it was… it was… young. I was younger and so I’m going to not read them anymore and not loathe them and their cutesey rhymes. Though there were a few that I think reminded me of Shel Silverstien, so that makes it OK.
I just hope that my poetry doesn’t say I’m all teenage-angst now. UGGGHHHHH. *sudders disgustedly* Please let me never be that way in poetry. Everyone has their angst-moments, but pleeeease let mine stay a moment and not be an eternal blemish on Apricotpie and literature in general. ugh ugh ugh.
You know, I could talk for ages about AP. There’s so much that could be said about it, and how it’s wonderful and amazing and should never ever die. It’s taught me a lot. Lately it’s been teaching me the art of suspenseful chapter/part endings, mwahaha! But I would never stop, and it would lead me to other topics, and so I will log off now and go write a novel or perhaps Part Six of “White Funeral.”
PS: you know that Irish Blessing, may the road rise up to meet you blah blah blah? Well, I have one for writers. Ahem:
May your page rise up to meet you,
may your pen never run out of ink;
and when someone is discouraging,
just tell them that they stink.
Beautiful. Tear Tear.