Manuscript

Today looks like it will be another gray indoor day for me. More hours lost in thought, watching words roll out on the screen as I dictate. When I was younger I thought this was the life for me. Now that I am free from going to work and raising children and all the other 10,000 things that have occupied me for so many years, I am down to doing things I always thought I would enjoy, and as I do them, I find myself this morning questioning what I am doing.

The rainy, drizzly, atmosphere that surrounded me yesterday, enticed me to stay indoors for longer than usual. I have been in the habit of walking on the beach for a couple of miles each day in the mid to late afternoon, but I broke out of my routine yesterday, sacrificing several good hours to the development of a plot for a novel that I am writing. I have the story line in mind already, and I am poking around at some of the details that seem important enough for the main character to enjoy a life. I want to give him enough breath to set him free from my own mind so that he may have one himself. I have not written very much fiction for a long time, so I am re-training the mental habits I must need in order to carry on with this project.

I can’t write or read fiction with the same passion I had for it when young. I prefer true life. Storytellers draw inspiration from the real life, which makes a story believable or credible. Why not just describe real life? Why fiction? Reality is pretty darn interesting. I see drama all around every day. Why take real life and make it into something artificial? I think of imagination as being part of my soul. It has been given to me for some other purpose than dreaming up odd characters and situations, and then turning those dreams into words so that I may sell them. Isn’t that prostitution?

While I work on this sci-fi novel, I see myself projecting my thoughts on to the main character. Me and the main character are one and the same. I have to make sure I don’t forget who I am. I have a hard time making up a consciousness for somebody else when I already feel both weighted and delighted by my own. I don’t know if what I’m doing is really what I would call fiction. I am busy imagining an unusual and supernatural environment, one that could never possibly happen, and then my main character is walking around in it with the same frame of mind that I have in my own life. There is some huge dichotomy in all of this. The story would be authentic if I removed the supernatural and highly imaginative embellishments that I have added to this character’s world.

I suppose I am learning something about myself in the process of writing this piece. This continual probing of my mind and projecting it onto another character causes some frustration. At the same time, I secretly am enjoying some of this puzzlement that I’ve been creating for myself. I can always abandon the project if it gets too crazy for me. I have other things to write. The world is full of abandoned manuscripts. Come to think of it, much of modern living seems like a novel that the author has decided not to complete.

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