So, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, things have been pretty quiet on the Hangover front until very recently. There’s a reason for that, and it’s this: I’ve spent most of the last three months writing a novel, and I didn’t have a lot of creative energy to spare for blogging.
But, well. The going has not been easy, or fast. I actually had to take a couple weeks, and leave it alone. I’ve come back to it recently, and after (binge-) watching Sense8, I’ve realized something that has filled me with an overwhelming desire to write, and to finish my story.
Art has value. It impacts other people. It stirs up emotion and maybe, if you’ve done something right, you’ve made people think about the things that matter (and perhaps pissed someone off).
I forgot about that. For me, writing my book has been about me, about fulfilling a dream and doing something worthwhile until my grad ceremony and pursuing something that I am so passionate about it’s actually a part of me. It’s felt like giving birth.
But I managed to lose sight of the fact that, if this story is my baby, I’ll have created something that will take on a life of its own. Something that’s capable of reaching out and touching other people. Something that will have value apart from me, something that might just matter (maybe even a lot, if I manage to do this right) to other people.
Because when I started writing, I wasn’t trying to do something special. I wasn’t trying to be trendy, or controversial. All I tried to do, and all I continue trying to do, is use lies to tell a truth. Because that’s what the best fiction is: lies that tell us something true. And in my pursuit of that, in trying to find the right lies to chase down a truth, in getting so caught up in the parts that make up the whole, in the technical things — does this dialogue sound right? is my characterization off? what is driving this scene? have I overused a certain word? do I have enough description? too much? — I couldn’t see the big picture.
I’m telling something true.
My main character is a demon, bound in a human body. And she refuses to let what she is dictate who she is. What she is shapes her life, yes. But she lives on her own terms. And there is a cost to that.
Another major character is an immortal witch. She’s lived so long that she is sliding toward apathy; it’s hard to continue to find meaning, and she can’t make herself knowingly walk into death. There isn’t much she hasn’t been in the course of her very long life, but “white” makes the list.
There is an abusive father. A loving, wonderful (but imperfect) single mother. A character who is outside the gender binary. Sexuality and sexual orientation that is complicated and messy. Moral ambiguity. Attempted sexual assault. Rage. Humour. Feeling lost.
And there is truth in all of these.
I think this goes without saying, but as we live in a world of rampant asshattery, please allow me to state for the record: this is my intellectual property. As such, please do not copy, circulate, edit, alter, take credit for, or otherwise appropriate this material without my express permission. Thank you.