Monday, November 26, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#262) -- Rattling the Cages of Your Memories

What's the most horrific thing you've discovered while you kicked the dust and rattled the cages of your own memories -- which you've gone on to use in writing?

One thing I regularly learn more about myself when I write (and reinforce the knowledge of when I write) is the depth of my own depravity. Seriously, no saint could dream up some of the crazy stuff I think up. Hookerpunk? I don't think so. Total Fubar (my newest comic pitch that has been picked up, more to come as it develops)? Not on your life. I'd be drummed out of the local church and probably my family too for some of this stuff.

On a deeper level though, I think the thing I tend to learn more about me as I write is just how much growing up the child of divorce affected me. I remember when I wrote the story "Erosion" (originally published in O' Georgia, currently collected in Gomer and Other Early Works), I surprised even myself when the last line spilled out onto the computer screen: "He was a much smaller man that I had realized." It was almost cathartic. I hadn't realized myself the depth of loss I had been feeling having grown up without a regular father around (I had a few step-fathers, but not a steady ongoing dad, until I was 15). I think, in many ways, writing that story helped me deal with my feelings about that loss (regardless of blame), and move on to actually begin being able to have a real relationship with both my dads (my step-dad of more than half my life now and my natural father who sired me). I'm luckier by far because of that, but dealing with it within the confines of that story wasn't easy or fun.