Monday, April 22, 2013


"Stories set the inner life into motion, and this is particularly important where the inner life is frightened, wedged, or cornered. Story greases the hoists and pulleys, it causes the adrenaline to surge, shows us the way out, down, or up, and for our trouble, cuts us fine wide doors in previously blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, that lead to love and learning, that lead us back to our own real lives as knowing wildish women."

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 20

Story certainly did all of the above for me, first the stories of someone else, then my own stories.

I read the Southern Vampire Mysteries in the early summer of 2009. I bought one paperback a week at the Borders, which sadly since closed, in Riverhead, NY. I tried to write for years but always in someone else's voice or style. When I read Charlaine Harris's hugely popular books, I realized I can say that. I can use that language. It's okay.

 I had a somewhat vague idea for a vampire story in mind. I didn't really have the whole story, just the characters, and I couldn't think of the perfect opening line. That tripped me up for years, too, wracking my brain for the perfect opening line. I decided just to start writing from the scene I knew, which was a few chapters into the book. I wrote that scene. Then I wrote all the way to the end of the book. Then I went back and wrote the beginning. Then I wrote another book. Then I wrote two more.

Without story, my life would be vastly different, and not in a good way. My inner life was frightened and cornered. I had no door. Story allowed me to open the door.

I don't know where story will lead me next, but I'm just going to trust it and follow.

"I've got an open didn't get there by itself." - Annie Lennox