Ghost Kittens

In the process of trying to get this writing thing down the most annoying aspect of it all is how honest I have to be with myself about the things I write. Otherwise, the stories and poems would just fall flat and sound false, or forced or faked or any other F-word you want to apply. I'm talking about the messy uncontrollable emotional demons that grab onto you and remind you of every failure or missed opportunity like a badly captured movie montage. You know, all those things that wake you at 2AM. I hate these little flashes because they are, well, emotionally messy.

I don't like confronting anything on an emotional level because I can't logically think through it. Everything becomes circular and confusing and I can't even move on from them because they have become both a source for my writing and also part of a coping mechanism that has sustained me for years. So, like any writer worth their salt, I spend a lot of time shutting out and ignoring everything I can't control.  But eventually all the parallels catch up with me and collide into each other and crash and burn while I binge watch TV trying to ignore the flames at my feet and the calories I might be over-consuming.

Because of the themes and topics I write about, even when I escape into sci-fi I find these very themes rise to the surface and pull me back to my childhood, which is bad enough, but because I am trying to craft good, strong, fallible characters, it also brings me to my mistakes and failures as an adult.

Write what you know,  right?

But what do you do when you are sick of writing what you know? What if you would like to know a different story? A different beginning? A better world to come from in order to make a better future in order to write a better story? Is such a thing even possible?

I know we all have that idea or fantasy about what we would change if we could go back. And I realized a long time ago that even if I could go back that all of those other people and relationships would still be what they were and I would still not be able to change any of them. And in many ways the knowledge of where we would all end up would be even worse. At least then I had hope...

So how do you go back and drill your life for material then come back to the present without being completely mired in the past?  Honestly, I have no friggin idea. I wallow in the past so much that I blur the line between now an then, between fiction, fantasy and reality and all of the shadowy areas in between. I say I'm doing it all for the story---but---am I really?

I think the one sustaining and constant in my life has always been the writing.  It's there when I pick it up. It's waiting for me when I put it down and it reveals who I am and sometimes, if I am really lucky, it reveals the better side of who I can be, which is something I don't often allow myself to see.

So I guess I'll just have to keep going, keep writing and keep fighting the ghosts as they arise. After all, they are my ghosts. I have created them on my own and enabled them to trail me like abandoned kittens. I knowingly leave a trail of kibble for them so they can find me and remind me of who I really am. I feed them because I know, on some level, that I would be lonely without them tangled around my stumbling feet...

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