LIVING WITH CHICKENS
I just finished writing my fourth novel. It's about a middle aged widow named Gladys. The book is meant to make you laugh, to take you away from the mundane tasks of day to day and just relax for a few hours. Gladys is a little piece of all the women I have encountered in my life rolled up into one fiesty ball. I sent my daughter my first 10,000 words and her response was that she found Gladys to be so real, someone she would know. This, as a writer, was praise of the highest degree. I want my readers to feel like they're visiting in someone else's life when they read my books. I want them to become so attached to the characters that they care if they get hurt, if they win, if they lose, if they find happiness or if they don't. These characters were once alive inside my own head. They lived there for a while demanding to be let out into the world and I had no choice but to oblige them.
A strange thing happens when I finish a book. I forget the details, names, places and events. It happens very quickly. I thought at first it was a weakness in me but I don't believe that anymore. Those characters, those worlds, those events, they all hold a place in my mind, aching to get out and be heard, and, once they have been released, they no longer need to take up residence. Instead, they make way for the next in the line. There is always someone else waiting to take their place. Right now there are a few aching to take center stage and I'm fighting to hold them back. I tell them, "just a bit longer. Let me finish what I've already started. Your time is coming soon." In little drips they demand to be heard and I write little notes on bits of paper and scatter them around the house, forced to give just a little. For right now, though, it's all about Gladys.
Gladys lives with chickens and stares at the world through binoculars. She lusts for a new adventure, not a big adventure, just something to wake her up again. She's lonely and she doesn't even know how much. When Gladys begins to wake up into the possibilities around her it feels like magic as she has become so detached from what her life could become. She can't imagine the changes are real so they must be supernatural. Welcome her into your heart and understand that all of us has have a little Gladys in us.
I know that Gladys will leave my mind just as others have and I will go back at times and read her story again. When I do that I will wonder where those words came from, how her life was made real and how I could have forgotten her. But then I will realize that I didn't forget her. I gave her a place to be forever within the pages of my book. #authorlife #writing #book #bookclub #author #chicken