A story. A story must be written.
Like most stories, it’s been in my brain for a long while now. First as an idea, just a flash of brilliance easily forgotten. But then the words and images that get caught in the web it weaves in your thoughts. Moments, phrases, descriptions. All these getting caught in that sticky netting and becoming a barrier, a blockage to the regular train of thought.
I was at a concert on Saturday night, a really great one. And I was angry to find that I’d missed some music because my mind got caught in that web again. Then last night in the shower I washed my hair twice, not realizing until the second lather that I’d been composing sentences in my head rather than scrubbing. That was it- I’d finally had enough.
So I sat down at my computer, and I wrote. I opened up a Wikipedia page which invariably led to two others. I looked through pictures on Google images. I poured out paragraphs which, of course, were terrible and ill-formed on re-read. But they were there. Typed words in my word document. An undeniable story that would be brought into existence by me. Before I knew it it was one o’clock in the morning. I haven’t gotten caught up in writing like that since the last NaNoWriMo I participated in- over a year and a half ago.
When I really look at it, I realize that I barely did any writing at all in almost the entirety of last year. Sure, I celebrated some accomplishments on Friday blog hops. I did 26 entries in April on the history of Tang Soo Do. I wrote about my running, a lot.
In actuality I realize that running has sort-of replaced writing in my life. Partially because it was new to me, I had a whole lot of firsts last year and I’m still having them (I won my first medal in a 5K this past Saturday- Third Place in my age bracket). And partially because it’s so much more definable. When you run, there’s undeniable proof that you’ve run. A GPS map on the running app showing you your distance. A runner’s bib verifying your participation in a race. A medal that I proudly display on my wall. It’s real, measurable, concrete. Unlike writing which still seems so ethereal sometimes- words on the paper that my inner critic dismisses so easily, even after all these years.
But fiction- a story I composed, characters I created. Details and settings and emotions and tiny little elements of memory that breathe life into the sentences- I haven’t done that in so long I honestly can’t remember. Until last night.
So I did something crazy. I went and signed up for the April A to Z challenge. Sure, I’m number five thousand and whatever, at the bottom of the list. And sure, I’ve now put an awful lot of pressure on myself to get 26 entries out of this story, not to mention a coherent narrative that connects each snippet of scene and dialogue. And yeah, it could all blow up in my face so easily. But I’m writing again. And I’m pretty damned thrilled about it.
I know that I haven’t existed in the blogosphere for so long that people who used to frequent this site have all but forgotten about me. And I know I’ll have to re-earn every follower by reading and commenting and giving before I can reasonably expect anyone to come back here. And I know that half the point of the April challenge, if not the majority of the point, is visiting and commenting rather than writing yourself. But I want to do both. I NEED to do both. It’s been far too long since I’ve done this, any of this.
So I know I missed the big theme reveal. And I know that probably only two or three people are gonna read this anyway. But I’m saying it more to myself than anyone who may happen to read these words. I'm declaring it, so I'll have to do it.
I’m writing a story. In 26 parts. For the April A to Z Challenge, my contribution:
Scenes From An American Diner
Better late than never...