When a story doesn’t unfold in my brain, it’s a struggle to get it down on paper–or, rather, in ones and zeros. I’m having this issue with Lady Zepherine’s story. She is reluctant to tell her story, and I am having a difficult time writing it. Difficult is putting it mildly. It’s like hammering dull nails into an oak board with a sponge. Yes, that’s impossible.
The hard thing is not writing her story. But I feel like it’s a tortured mess. That’s what editing is for, right?
It’s also tough because parts of her story are so personal to me. Diving into my memories, and interacting with the mean girls and bullies who live there, makes me sad. I wish I had the knowledge that I have now, back then, so I could stand up to them and defend myself instead of ‘taking it’ like I did.
Even now, I try to take the high road and not get pulled down into what I consider trite arguments. The unfortunate side of that is the number of people (who I though were friends) believing the liar and rumor-spreader.
Aren’t you glad that it exposed your false friends? Yes, but it makes for loneliness, too. I wish they had taken the time to find the truth rather than believing the person who had no issues dragging my name through the mud. I hope I haven’t made the same mistake.
Sunflowers are not wallflowers. I mean, look at her! She faces you and demands attention.
As a writer, it’s difficult to do that. We are, by nature, solitary beings but it’s important to seek recognition. Especially when you’re not on the New York Times Best Sellers list…yet.
The hard part is exposing your work. That can be difficult. Good writing shows a soft, mushy part of your psyche, something you may not want to revisit or have anyone else see.
Writing the Fairies of Carlow series is cathartic for me. I can take all those angsty moments of growing up and put them into the story. Then I get to say what I should have said back then, or done what would have made things better. (Such as, standing up to those bullies, or not taking myself too seriously.)
Sometimes, as I’m writing a scene based on something that really happened to me, I cringe at the memories. Once the story’s finished, I feel better about it, but getting there is a slog through the emotional swamp.
In my new Fairies of Carlow book, based upon Lady Zepherine, I’m taking a look at the bullies who made me miserable during middle school and high school. Oh, it’s hard to look back on those people (both male and female) and remember what I had to endure! But there’s plenty of material! Silver lining? Hopefully!