Beginnings

I’m pondering beginnings.

1. A young friend is a writer. I’m hoping to interview her, here, mainly for selfish reasons. I want to remember what it was like when I started out. Which means I’m trying to find the right questions to ask. I remember the feeling of secrecy as I sat alone in my room with lined paper and pencil, afraid someone would walk in and ask what I was doing. I’m not sure I was consciously aware of the world opening up, but I remember realizing that dreams were, in a way, coming to life on the page.  When I read things I wrote a long time ago, I cringe. But at the same time I laugh and don’t make changes because there is so much enthusiasm in those stories, even if the craft of writing still had to be learned. Heck, I’m still learning. But you know what I mean. Those early pieces are just dang fun to read.

Have I lost that enthusiasm? No, but the stories don’t overflow, meaning I don’t write non-stop all day. Now I’m more inclined to write while the muse is flowing and then go back and revise. Back then, I just knew that everything was perfect. So maybe the naiveté has been tempered by craft.

2. A story is finished and waits on cover art. I have another story I’m fiddling with and a bit overwhelmed by. I also want to start on a third in the series. I know I want it to be a prequel as several people liked a character that is killed off in the first book. I can feel the tiny, faint, niggling feeling that tells me an idea is there, but still buried. I have some thoughts, I’ve jotted a few notes, but I can also tell it’s too soon. If I try to jump in and force the beginning, to start before the idea is firmed more, then the whole story will die.

That itch is there but it’s too soon to scratch.

3. And then there’s the beginning a poet starts. She has finished her radiation, her chemotherapy, and the changes to her body. Now she starts the healing. Those who haven’t been through it assume it’s the start of a joyful time, of relief, and there is that, in a small part. But it’s also the start of anger and deep sadness, and feeling like you’re going insane. Few people realize that some who have had to deal with cancer, end up with PTSD afterwards. Few people want to talk about that. And so she begins the uphill battle to regain who she was, and learn who she is. As part of that she wrote an amazing poem that I hope she will allow me, some day, to share here.

The thing about all these beginnings, that I hope she realizes, is that they pass.

pincushion flower (scabiosa)

pincushion flower (scabiosa)

7 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. Beginnings… I had a few myself that were note worthy one way or the other. Yes, they go by, yes they are awkward, but they need to be there, they are a piece of the whole.

  2. I do not know what happens my comment disappears before i am finished. Lisa, you bring up three distinct beginnings. When I am out walking I get wonderful ideas for poems or essays. They seem worth sharing but are gone when I get home to jot them down. My increasingly poor memory gobbles them up and they never return. To hold the thought and then write when it seems right is a Blessing.

    When the announcement is made that the cancer is gone or at least in remission is a blessing, then comes the enormity of what I have been through and seemingly survived. I went through a period of extreme weariness. During that time I realized that I am not the same person who was diagnosed and treated. The experience changed me forever and I had to begin to live anew.

    I already have forgotten the 3rd topic. Love Jani

    • I’ve had that disappearing problem with comments on other blogs, too. It’s frustrating.
      Have you thought of carrying a little pad and pen with you when out walking?

  3. I trust you’re right on #3. I don’t think I hadn’t thought of that, but I hadn’t truly thought of that either. Beginnings and endings… they’re all happening at the same time.

    If I’m guessing right about which stories and which character on #2, count me excited.

    I love what you’ve written in #1. I also find my earlier work both breathtaking and cringeworthy. And then I wonder what stage I’m in now, what the future artist-me will make of my current work and how I feel about it.

    • Breath taking and cringe worthy: that’s a perfect description of early writing, too.

      The character of Kelly, the forest ranger who dies. So many people liked him, in spite of him only being in a few pages. I even had a guy pop in to my place of work, to open the door and say ‘I can’t believe you killed Kelly!” and then leave. Started a person I was meeting with. Hope that’s the one you were thinking of.

      • Yes!!! I was thinking of Kelly! Very funny about the guy popping into your workplace to exclaim about him. But I was very sad about him too. I’m glad we’ll be learning more about him.

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