Bleeding The Orchids
I was born one. I composed my first story when I was seven, comprised entirely of pictures. I wrote my first full-length story down when I was eleven, after dreaming it in it’s entirety. Both of those stories are still tucked away in my super-secret box of projects, half-finished plots, imperfect, incomplete thoughts, and a very few completed ones. Stories, magic, romance, horror, it has all shone brighter for me than anything in this world ever has.
Fiction has been and always will be The Great Escape. When I was nothing more than the oddity in the corner with precious few friends, I had Diana, my warrior-mother, and her strange world to write in. When I wasn’t invited along to birthday parties or when I was laughed at as an awkward 12 year old, I could comfort myself with the knowledge that at least I could form a complete sentence. And when I got older and the boys kept on picking the shallow damsels in distress, who dreamed of college parties and a job behind a desk, I was writing my future. New York and Paris and Tokyo. A boy who wore scarves and scribbled in leather-bound journals. Rising above my old mistakes by writing about them, by turning my great tragedies and all the things I missed out on, wanted, didn’t understand. Ephemera and fashion and character sketches scattered across my desk along with drained cups of tea.
My identity has centered, in my own head, around one word: Author. A Vehicle for all the dreams, all the missed hopes. The thing you are best at, the thing nobody could pick on you for, because they were too busy being awed. Who is she? What did we miss in her? I admit, those moments are both satisfying and frightening as all hell. Expectation. Appreciation. Things I want, things that scare me to death.
So when it goes away, when the Muse goes to bed for a while, I realize that I become terrified. I wonder, for a few days, if they were right to laugh at the girl who listened to odd music, the girl with few dear friends, the girl who loudly proclaimed that she would never make her living in the mainstream, never walk to the beat of someone else’s drum. The Gift has failed me, now Who Am I?
But even writing it down, it makes me laugh. I still Am. It’s only a moment, it’s only a time to recharge. The stories are there, there characters are waiting in the wings, waiting for when my brain and my nerves finally put away the fear of both rejection and success. Waiting for that perfect moment when all of the ideas and plot threads and twists come together.
And I remind myself that I have written myself this far. I love a boy who fell in love first with my writing, and tells me so, in long letters and leather-bound journals he fills while he’s away. I am reminded by the few, though dear friends who still ask on a weekly basis, what will happen in such-&-such story next?! I curl up in the voice of a favorite author, or the music of a favorite muse, and relax, letting them do the work in my brain for a while. I have had New York. I am having Tokyo. I’ll have Paris next year.
I am still Author, just resting.