…when I tell people about my writing process.
About two years ago or so I began hearing and seeing the people I write about. Obviously they aren’t real, but if I’m patient they start to visit me. I know they aren’t real, so I guess that doesn’t technically count as schizophrenia, but I do talk to them.
I remember doing a little writing before bed one night. I had lain down in bed with my pen and paper. I started a few ideas, a couple really good lines to a beginning of a poem, but nothing that really was set in stone. I had a feeling that one day this poem would be completed, but when I woke up the next morning, it was already finished. I started whispering to myself out loud as my husband was still sleeping, and the words just started coming. In the matter of an hour, the whole thing was written in my head. I kept repeating the same lines over and over to make sure I wouldn’t forget them, and at the end of the day, there was a whole poem there.
What I remember is the thoughts of the night before still lingering in my brain. I woke up and at the end of the bed there she was. She told me her name was “Suzie” and I could see her story written all over her. Not literally, but I could see her just the way I described her in the poem. Her tattered clothes hanging on her. Ribs poking out. I remember deciding maybe I should ask her to tell me her story. And I did. When she told me about her past, what she was going through, I could see everything as though I had lived it out myself. Her mother not wanting her, but wanting more money from welfare so she kept her. Living in a box. Her father on drugs. Everything. It was a vivid as if I was watching a movie. I know it all happened in my head, but all I can say was that it had to have been divine help. And I loved it.
When I took the time to write my poem about child trafficking, I came up with the character name and remember attempting to talk to her. Moon’s story came to me as well. It was nearly as vivid, not as distinct though. I had to coax her’s out. Beg her to share it with me. But eventually she did, and it was beautiful.
Lately, I have been desperate to see my characters. It hasn’t happened. I’ve been in this horrible poetic writer’s block, and all I want is to feel, to see the characters like I saw Suzie. I have a notebook with a bunch of beginnings in them. Characters that I have seen at one point or another in my mind’s eye. Their beginnings are there. But I need to see their stories and I haven’t.
I figure, when they are finally ready to share, they will open up their hearts and minds, and I will see their past surely as I see my surroundings right now. Until then, I’m going to blog until my fingers bleed.