Monday, October 5, 2015

Life in Renovation: Connection, The Point Of It All

Hi everyone,

I haven’t abandoned this place, I swear. Every day I keep thinking “I need to blog,” but then I don’t know exactly what to say that isn’t either vague or unimportant, and I loathe talking about things that fall under either category.

The truth is, I’ve been physically ill for so many months now the whole year is a blur. I feel like I’ve lost so much time sleepwalking (or just sleeping) my way through the days between new doctors and old doctors and new tests and new medications for new chronic conditions, and I don’t know how to wake up.

Thing is, I am fully aware that the whole world doesn’t need to know my detailed medical history nor do they particularly care (so I’ll spare you the finer points) but the truth is THE reason for my absence here (and the online world in general for the most part) is entirely due to the bad turn my health has taken.

It’s nothing life-threatening, though it has all become life-altering. Everything has to change now, from my daily decisions about how I take care of myself to diet to giving up my “vices” (no more ice cream, or soda, or coffee, even… for a writer, can you imagine? The jury is still out over the occasional cup of tea. Time will tell.)

Some parts of my body are overworking and some have quit working and in the end it has just left me exhausted, overwhelmed, and hoping I can reclaim something of an out of bed daily existence in the final months of the year…

… and this is the time of year I’m usually winding down and preparing to hibernate. Some may love autumn for all its colors and coolness and pumpkin spice (which is not my thing) but I may as well call the season Denial because that’s what it is for me… denial that the darkness arrives earlier and stays well on into morning. That the temperatures are dropping and winter is whispering in my ear, “I’m on my way, and I intend to overstay my welcome.”

To say I’ve been at a low creative ebb would be an understatement.

I’ve only managed a few paintings in the last few months. 


A recent painting, which I called "Connection" 

Writing has diminished to microfiction and short poetry. Only now after months away from the keyboard am I longing to change that.

Truthfully, I’m also dealing with the feeling that my decision not to seek publication for my future works (whatever they may be) has left me completely irrelevant in the world of writers and writing… and I don’t think I’m imagining things. I may be exaggerating them in my own head a little, sure, but I’m not sure where I fit any more, where the place is for me, or the books I’ve already published.

I’m trying to find “home”. I’m trying to remember the point of it all.

Of course, I am grateful to Booktrope, and everyone who has worked on my teams, for believing in my books. Without them, those books would still simply be files on my computer.

I’m ever thankful for Wattpad and its readers, who continue to provide me with comments and kindness nearly every single day. If not for Wattpad I’m not sure I’d understand at this juncture what the point was in my publishing my work at all. To hear what readers say there makes me feel like there is an audience for my strange, fantastical, and sometimes sad little books.

I know that an audience IS out there; there have been kind reviews among the more critical, and they mean so much. There have been those who loved a book so much they bought it in print—the ultimate compliment to me. There have been times of promotion where I watched my stories climb charts based on algorithms that had me only hoping that someone out there was discovering one of my books and getting lost in the story for a little while. Taking a journey with me to the modern world of Fairy Godparents or back in time to the era of steam engines. Taking hold of my hand and following as I said, “Come with me, I want to introduce you to someone.”

Those someones have stayed with some who have read my stories and I am so grateful for that. When a reader cries for a character or cheers for a character and sends me a note to tell me, then I know what it has all been about from the beginning.

It’s been about connecting those characters created by my heart and brain and introducing them to those who would find merit in their existence. It has been about creating friendships between those on the page and those reading them, whether on their phones or an e-reader or a book in print.

Connection is the thing I still seek, and hope to continue to find for the books that are already out there. There is the future potential I could always add more work to Wattpad as well (I started something there awhile back but decided I wasn’t ready for it yet.)

It’s all about whether or not my health allows my creativity to fight its way back to the surface… back into action. I’m deadly bored of being uncreative, let me tell you that much for certain. Sick of being sick and tired of being tired. Inside me somewhere the creative spark still glows, just an ember but I know it is there.

I don’t know the answer at this point to how I get the strength up, physically, to put it to use yet; to fan it from that ember back into a roaring flame.

But at least I do believe, deep in my heart, that hoping in the chance I’ll find myself again beneath all this medical stuff is something worth fighting for.

Last night I was reminded of the power of the written word—and its potential to be beautifully heartbreaking when translated into animation without dialog. Only the perfect music, a devastating storyline, and an ending you will never forget.

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, and it sums up how I’m still feeling now, after unexpectedly encountering such a work of art:

Didn't sleep well... still reeling from viewing the Walt Disney Short Films Collection. So many emotions in the hour and a half it runs, but I will tell you this: I will never, ever get over their version of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Matchgirl.

No dialog. Exquisite music and animation more moving than any live acting could have been, at least to me.

It broke my heart in a million pieces and hours after it was over I still cried myself to sleep. I can't stop thinking about it. Tears still well at the thought of it.

It is art, and it is heartrending.

I'm not sure any work has ever affected me quite this way. I am changed somehow-- what matters in life feels different. 

That is true art, when something touches you so deeply you know you'll never be quite the same.

Eight minutes long. That is all it is. Yet it is truly unforgettable.

That, my friends, is the point in writing, or drawing, or film making, or striving to create any kind of art.

The desire – the need— to touch a heart and change it, even if only in some small way.

I can only hope that someday, maybe one line of one thing I’ve written, or will write, will touch someone in a way remotely close to the way that I feel today.

Hoping you are all well...

xoxo

~bru

5 comments:

  1. I think you must know that even those of us who are still writing and publishing have days, weeks, months even, when we just don't have that connection either. I've 4 stories started, 2 finished, and I just don't have the mojo to deal with any of them right now. Of course, my illness is nothing compared to yours, but just the thought of writing makes me want to vomit. I don't want to press myself into doing it either, because it will just turn into word vomit and who needs to rewrite an entire manuscript.

    Be hopeful that you'll be able to return to the things you love. Give yourself time to heal your heart. I'm sending you giant hugs.

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    1. Oh, Anne, I hope you feel better and find your way back to the stories soon with the kind of excitement that was there before-- with that burning need to tell a story. Thinking of you, thank you so much for thinking of me and commenting. Big hugs!

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  2. Experiencing sadness and anger can make you feel more creative, and by being creative, you can get beyond your pain or negativity. Yoko Ono

    Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement! *hugs*

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  3. I miss you Bru, but I understand. *hugs* I hope you feel better and stronger every day and that your creative muse comes knocking on your door again.

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Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to leave a comment! I do my best to answer each but due to my limited eyesight I am not always able. Please know that I do read every single one though and appreciate them all! --bru