The ends were typically the hardest to craft, but rarely was there a plot twist I couldn’t anticipate. I usually had a glimpse of endings as the beginnings were being written. I chose certain stories for this reason. It was a way to not get too close, because that’s where the scary stuff was.
I feared longer pieces because it would require vulnerability I wasn’t practiced at. So off I went with my short stories, sharpening my skills at being charming and “just enough” to keep everyone around, but never letting anyone read the secret pages I wrote lest I was thought of as yet another “crazy” female.
I didn’t think anyone wanted those pages.
There were flash fictions who turned into short stories and short stories that were edited to flash fictions. The one novel I thought would be the “Great American Novel” turned over, cracked open and left me with a broken pen.
But I jimmy-rigged the fuck out of that pen and started writing again.
I wrote about my broken down, stir-fried shit of a hot mess self. I wrote about the melting pot of emotions that blurred my vision, about loneliness that pulled at my heart, as well as the bright sunny days I spent with a cup of coffee and a favorite song. I penned paragraph after paragraph about friends who filled my heart with so much love, and joy I nearly burst.
I poked at short stories again, but craved a novel.
There were a couple of novellas. Folks who thought they wanted the bigger picture and certainly tried at picking up the pen with me only to put it back down and fade into the background.
As I sharpened my short story writing skills the desire for a novel got louder. I knew how to be alone, but I wanted more. Those previous experiences were leading me to the delicious, heavy “War and Peace” kind of story I ached for.
I wanted a story that I could sink my head, heart and hands into. I wanted something full of life, intensity, love, lust, desire and everything in between. I wanted the raw, bloody guts, the sacred and the profane.
And every single time I looked outside of myself for all of those things the energy that fuels the movement of the pen always whispered,
“Go find it, and be it for yourself.”