Don’t know about other authors, but for me, I have to totally be able to enter the world I’m creating in order to write well. The outside world drops away and I immerse myself in the lives of the characters coming to life on the screen before me.
That said, I can write under any circumstance: in the car, in a crowded coffeeshop, in front of the fireplace. Location isn’t as important as the ability to let it all fade into the background so the story can come to the fore.
There are certain circumstances, however, that lend itself to non-fiction writing rather than fiction. When editing, certainly. Also when Death is in the house.
And Death will be visiting me a great deal over the next few months. Already a friend’s mom has passed away this year and, this past Wednesday, an elderly cousin of mine joined her. I have an aunt and uncle (married and childhood sweethearts) both of whom have gone into hospice within a week of each other. We expect calls soon.
Then there is my husband’s mom, my mother-in-law for nearly thirty-two years whose cancer has returned and the doctors have told her to get her affairs in order as she has only a few months left.
Five deaths expected within five months. One would think I’d be a basket case – but I’m not. They are all elderly (my mother-in-law is the youngest at 79) and have stated they are ready. They’ve all had the blessing of time to make arraignments, both emotionally and in practical matters. We are getting the time needed to say goodbye and to be able to say all the things we’ve wanted to but, for one reason or another, didn’t.
What that means for my writing, however, is a shift to the non-fiction side for a while. I have a Christmas story I’m working on that is actually several short stories all rolled into one. It’s good, because I only have to keep a small world in my head at a time and can work on it piece-meal until summer, when I will be able to once-again immerse myself in fiction.
The next few months are going to be a little hard. Ready as we are, there is still regret when someone you love dies. The memory-making stops and there’s always sadness in that.
I told you a while back I was working on an analysis of Here Come the Brides for fun. I still am! It’s grown long...what can I say? There’s a lot there to talk about! :) What was going to be one post is now several and I’ll start getting them up soon. Doing the analysis is a great way to take my mind off my troubles and enter a pre-made world - a world created by someone else - which, really, is what storytelling is all about. It allows us escape when we need it.
So look for some escapism in the next few weeks in the form of a too-close look at one of my favorite TV series, ever.
And go give a loved one a hug from me. :)