“Write fantasy,” he had said, when in my frustration I told him I was struggling with finding words- any words, to put down on the blank page before me. And, because I have the sense of humor of a 15-year-old boy, I giggled and snorted as my mind went directly to lewd and sinister behavior.
Considering, however, it was my teenage son offering up the advice, I quickly let loose the idea of sex-infused FanFic, and turned my thoughts to exciting tales of adventure in outer space, thrilling stories of magic and dragons, and fabricated worlds with floating mountains or chocolate waterfalls.
The bulk of my writing has been borne of my own experiences, served with a side of narcism, proverb-esque through the seeds of purpose and round-about storybook morals I have ardently scavenged for, finding jagged pieces scattered within the been-there, done-that. Hey, if I can’t undo any dids – whether done to me or by me, I’m sure as hell going to do my best to find kernels of lessons, tying up my adventures – favorable or not, best I can with a pretty bow and a colorful aphorism I can happily photoshop over some relatable picture as a quotable quote on life’s lessons. And since pretty bows and quotable quotes are long to come by, at least I’m working on becoming, rather than just being.
So, writing in this fashion has brought me humility, prompting me to be adamant in my findings of reason- when otherwise none may be found, encouraging me to retract my long accusing finger from stabbing at another- whether merited or not, and grounding myself in my search for personal responsibility- when I contrarily might hold tightly to my victimization. And, when it comes down to it, like most people, I’ve been on both sides of the blame game. And either way, I got hit in the face.
My writing is, first and foremost, for me, and what I have produced thus far has been my very own metaphorical mallet that I tap against my skull every now and again to encourage myself to learn from my own bullshit – as well how to handle the bullshit imposed upon me by real life – and sometimes, by myself. (See? Humility, Bitches!) Fantasy writing? Could not be much more adverse than such reality-based prose.
Whether or not I take Ashton’s advice to write fantasy – whether literal or in a shade of grey, not only remains to be seen, but is hardly the point. He has reminded me to use my imagination, to reach for something more, and to keep in mind IF at least as often as IS.
So I’m thinking on stepping outside of the comfortable little box I’m stuffed into and stretching my legs a bit. In my writing, I have tried to honor the value in self-observance, and the wisdom in seeking to learn from past choices- both good and bad, but in doing so, have placed less emphasis on envisioning a life unseen, creating a life unknown. My boot has stuck on being, disallowing becoming– always observing, often learning, and rarely creating.
And at 42, time ain’t going backward any. While it is nothing I fear, nothing I expect to trick, and surely nothing I wish to avoid forever, I would like to use time to the very best of my advantage. After all, that Croc and his clock are following us all, and one day he’ll catch up to every last one of us. And I for one? Want to go out like a BAMF.