As promised, the grumbling is over, and today is (order reversed)...
Applesauce. I'm weird with textures. I don't do smooth and lumpy combos. Applesauce has to be smooth enough I can essentially drink it off the spoon so that it doesn't linger in my mouth. I'm a broken man, but I'm willing to admit it.
Love. As a few of you know, I'm going through a temporary weird spot with my writing. As much as I have thrown myself into my genre, any long-time reader of this blog or anyone with a good familiarity with my writing, knows that I've never been fully comfortable with my genre (psychological suspense). It is in part a concession to the fact that I have not figured out how to work literary on a novel scale. My literary stories are inherently contained and punchy, best suited for short formats. It is also in part a concession to the fact that I'm pretty good at writing moody, suspenseful, scary stuff. There are lots of things I like about the genre. But I have many times struggled with the notion of making dark things entertaining. I'm not talking about vampires or gun fights or emo chicks. I'm talking about death, despair, and destructive human behavior.
Recently, some of that hit close to home, as it does for all of us at various times. A young teenager took his own life, presumably because of a bad break-up. I haven't known him for a long time, but when he was four, he and his twin brother were in a Sunday school class I helped teach, an they had such big impact on me I named my car at the after them. I won't belabor the complex personal emotions involved in my response to that, because that's not really what this is about. What this is about is me, once again confronting the darkness in real life and wondering if writing about darkness in an entertaining, genre kind of way trivializes it.
One of my good writing friends encouraged me to remember that I write out of love.
Peace. And here's where the applesauce comes back into it.
Intellectually, there is no reason for me to like applesauce. It meets all the characteristics of food that makes me cringe. In fact, if you ask me on the spot, I might very well say that I don't like it.
But the truth is, I love the stuff when it's made right. It feels fresh and clean and happy. It reminds me of sunshine and family and innocence. It's got good stuff in it for me.
So, against all odds, and against all rational reasoning, I eat applesauce and I love it.
And so, even while I wrestle intellectually with my writing. Even as I sort through what I'm doing, because it flies in the face of what in many ways I think should be doing, I love it. I love writing, and I love my stories, and as terribly cornball as I know this sounds to almost every one of you out there, I love my readers, as few as they might be at this point.
Most of all, that's the thing: I love sharing the experience of the story with you so much that it can, at times, bring me to tears.
It doesn't make sense to me. At times like this I don't like it very much. But, against all odds, I love it. And so, even if I wrestle with it, I am at peace with my writing.