Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the Beginning . . . .

I've been pulling all my old notes and files out on the series I'm writing and sticking them all together in a notebook for easy access. You know, we always think our early writing is crap and are embarrassed to show it to people, but I've discovered something tonight in doing this. I've rediscovered what made me fall in love with writing. It's one thing, plain and simple.

I love playing with words.

The way some kids play with clay and glue, I stretch words and use them to paint pictures on the page, and many of those words never even make it in the books. I wrote a twenty four page paper on the history of my world. It's basically Rasann's creation story, it's mythology, written in a biblical style. And you know what? It's not half bad. It made me fall in love with words all over again. Let me share just a couple of paragraphs:

In the eternal circle of time there are many beginnings and many endings, all of which cycle around the wheel of eternity. But within each cycle, each revolution, each story there is always a starting place, and so we come to this one. The birth of change. The newness of creation. The forming of a world that does not follow the pattern of others. And so that is where I shall start . . . with the beginning of the world known as Rasann--and the end of the Era of the Guardians.

In the beginning there was a man who lived among his brothers and Fathers, and he was a Guardian like unto them. but as with all families, there came a time for him to disperse and create worlds like unto his Father's home and propagate that world as his Fathers before him. The Father of Fathers, The One, spoke unto Lahonra and said unto him, "Go, my son, and create a world like unto my own and give it life and breath, and if I deem it worthy, it shall become a Heaven for thee like unto mine own." And so Lahonra went forth and created light from the darkness and breath from the void and he called it Rasann and did place all kinds of living, breathing, growing things upon the face of it. And his father, The One, did speak unto his son in joy. "My son, you have created a world like unto mine own, with great beauty and life. In thee I am well pleased. Do with this as I would, my son, it is thy home now." And Lahonra was well pleased with his works.

Much time passed and Rasann turned endlessly and Lahonra watched over it alone. He stood in the heavens and walked upon the clouds and watched the creations of his world be born and grow and die. The cycle of life fascinated him, for Lahonra knew not of death, had not tasted its sting, and so in curiosity breathed a piece of himself into the earth to more fully learn of this death through another's fullness. He took some of the earth and spat upon it and formed a ball of living clay. He used his breath to give it life and harden it like a seed, then planted it within Rasann and watched it grow. It grew quickly with the breath of a Guardian breathed upon it each hour, and in a short time there stood a tree with fruit the brightness of the sun hanging from its limbs. Lahonra plucked a fruit from the nearest branch and breathed upon it once more and it sprang to life. A creature the size of an apple was born within his hand. She looked at Lahonra and smiled, with full knowledge, for Lahonra had blessed her with such, and they spoke one to another, and Lahonra was no longer alone.

The creature grew and matured and came to be something never seen in a world before, but something that came from Lahonra himself. She was winged, but with wings the color of the sunset and a head the color of the mid-day sky. Her breath was sweet as nectar, her eyes the color of the sun. Lahonra called her Phoenix, for her flight was as a flaming star and her mind hot as a southern wind. Together they created much beauty upon Rasann. Instead of learning of death as he had intended, Lahonra learned about life, and lived as he never had before. In Phoenix he found a piece of h imself he had not known was needed, and in a short time they were inseparable.

I won't go on with any more, but just reading that little bit made me remember the joy that came when I wrote back then. I didn't worry about show vs. tell. I never thought about run-on sentences. I just poured my heart out on the page and thrilled over each moment of creation.

That's the kind of writer I want to be again. I want to find that joy in the written word and let my heart pour out on the page once more.

I miss the word magic.

Quote of the day: Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
E.L. Doctorow


Christine Bryant said...

You still have that magic, Karen. You just need to let it out. I'd love to read more.

Noble M Standing said...

I love that part of writing, the freefall of words on a page that speaks of poetry. It is what inspires us I think. It is the pleasure of that kind of writing, I think, that allows us to go back and edit, and revise and then make that magic better.

You are a beautiful writer, keep it up.


Shanna Blythe said...

You definitely still have the magic, but sometimes we all get a little caught up in things like, am I describing too much? Not enough dialogue? How is pacing? Too many adverbs? What words am I reusing? Is it too trite? Blah, blah, blah.

The best part about writing stuff that may never enter your book is you can write it just the way you love to write without worrying about stuff like--is it too corny for a wider audience? To slow? Over-descriptive? Telling versus showing? Too many was and were words?

No, you just get to write and adore that writing. And that is something we shouldn't forget!

ali said...

When I had the chance to read this history of your world the other day, I didn't want to stop reading. It's a page-turner, but not because of the normal ways we think of making books page-turners.

It's the language.

A cascade of words that propels you forward from page to page. Like music, that builds in a lovely crescendo.

You have a gift my friend. Truly.

Karen Hoover said...

Thanks, you guys. Your comments all mean a heck of a lot and have given me the confidence to go on. Love you all!