I miss this blog.
This blog misses me too.
More important, my story misses me.
And most important, I miss my story.
These days, I'm a disgrace for the writing community. The progress on The Black Butterfly is shamefully slow. I don't deserve to call myself a writer. And it's exactly these days-on the 19th, that marks the first year since I stopped running from the kicking and yelling scriber in me who so desperately needed to be released and sat down to write what would become the first chapter of my first novel. So, here I am, 365 days later. The First Novel started out at a breakneck speed. By mid-March, it reached some 50K words. Then it stopped. I returned to it in July, and by the end of August it grew to 100K words.
And then, in a moment of bliss, I let go of the idea, probably innate to every novice writer, that this novel is going to be a blast, that people will devour it and say it was the best thing since sliced bread; that it just blew their minds and changed their lives, and Oh-my-God, where has this girl been hiding so long???
Wonder what happened to that novel?
I dismissed it like an old cozy sweater who has served its purpose.It was there to warm me up and provide comfort. But, just like a sweater that has been worn so many times and has seen so many seasons that you lost count, I started to see its faults. They arose one after the other-cliche plot, type-characters, terrible composition and even worse writing-that I simply didn't see any sense in pursuing it any longer.
Rest in peace in my flash disk, dear Novel. You were the polygon where I tested my skill and found myself capable and yearning for more than you could provide. You will always have a special place in my heart. You were my First. I will never forget you. But I outgrew you.
Now there are some other characters who need me. They are selfish and they demand my undivided care and attention. Their voices drown out everything else there is. I can see them--hear them right now. I see Andy's shoulders sagging with fatigue and worry. Deep sadness shimmers in her eyes. She needs me to set her free. It's me, only me, who can guide her toward the liberation. She doesn't deserve this torment anymore. For days now, she is in pain. I need to set her out of her misery.
And Jamie...You'd love Jamie if you were to meet her. She is such a sweet girl. Mischievous, yes-sometimes spoiled. But she can't really have it any other way. She doesn't have any friends. Even her own family walks by her as if she weren't there. All she has is Andy and me. She is angry now. Bad stuff happens when Jamie's angry. She is narrowing her eyebrows, two perfect arches of sadness. Her small, pink lips are puckered, her chin petulantly raised to me.
"You forgot about us," she accuses me. She folds her thin arms on her chest and turns her back on me. The anger seeps out of her voice. It disolves into a broken whisper.
"You don't love us anymore."
I see Andy reaching out for her. She lost so much weight; every tiny blue vein shows on her palms. No one ever touches Jamie except for Andy. Jamie shakes her hand off. Butt she doesn't refuse the comfort. Next time Andy touches her hair, Jamie doesn't move.
Mom has been drinking more lately. Dad is staying late at work, and rarely comes to see Andy. The river grows. It will flood soon.
I love this story, even though at this moment, it's no more than a synopsis (yes, I do the things in the totally wrong order). I love my characters, Jamie, Andy, and all those that are yet to raise their voices and come to life.
It is such an overwhelming feeling to have power, to have control over their lives. When I feel small, I write, and there is no one in the world who could make me bow my head.