i started my manuscript the usual way - closing my eyes, feeling the keys, and letting my fingers fall instinctively where they may. it took awhile to get in a rhythm. this book is all together different than come alive, and that scares me for two reasons. one, i still plan on writing a book two to stephanie's story, and i don't want to lose her voice. second, this plot (and my main character) frighten me.
emerson is her name. she's feisty when she should be silent. her mouth will get her in trouble - i'm sure of it. she's strong, she's volatile, and she's refuses to put up with facades for very long.
the problem? she's right in the middle of the biggest facade of her life, and she has no idea, and i'm shaking when i type her story because i'm a little weary of how she may react because really? i'd be a hot mess. but she doesn't let me type how i feel i'd react very often. in so many ways, she reveals her independence in subtle ways - throwing up a brick wall in the middle of dialogue, making me rewrite scenes, and forcing me to pick up the paintbrush so i could figure out what the hell she feels when she's in the middle of streaking her heart across the canvas.
i like her.
but i don't like her story.
it's taking a lot of courage i wasn't expecting to put word after word on the screen, forming this history of pain and hidden darkness. in so many ways i know so much of what she's been through - in so many ways i have no idea.
isn't this writing? penning from our experience with a touch of creativity?
the other night, i texted a friend. "i think i'm supposed to write about this chik-fil a brou-ha-ha and i'm scared out of my mind."
he replied quickly and succinctly: "if you have the words, you are meant to write them."
i cling to this as i return to emerson's story. i realized this morning when i can't find the words, i feel caged. for the past few weeks, i've felt caged with this manuscript - frozen with wonder over questions i still have about come alive, trying to figure out how to do this whole full time writer thing, and pushing the words away as soon as i feel their hint.
that's right. for the past few weeks, i imagined not having any words. i imagined never finishing her story, stuck in fiction limbo while i dream up other plots more suitable to people's comfort.
today i was reminded: when have my stories ever been concerned about comfort?
i will always have words. always. i know this because He promised me. when i don't have words, it forces me to ask what stories i'm hiding - what fires i quench before they can take shape in my bones.
because i cannot hold the words for very long. it's impossible. some how, some way, they'll push through my fingers and will fall where they may. they remind me of emerson. arms crossed, foot tapping, look of disgust shadowing her face - buck up and write the damn thing. she'd say.
so i will.