Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dressed in the language of story ...

Yesterday the full flood of a Piscean-sky had me "playing with words and images, using corners of my brains I don't usually visit unless I am dressed in the language of story that wears me like a red hibiscus." If there is a verb that needs to live more comfortably in my life it is playing. Too often I am working hard at play, and that rather defeat the jolliness of the activity so there you have it. A path well-worn does not mean a new one cannot be slid upon from time to time, and then with practice slid upon more often.

Regular readers here know that I am in the fits and tangles of learning the language of 'being edited.' I'm not through the woods and out the other end, but I'm learning to play with it ... tricking the demon-mind from her obsession with being perfect. The opening paragraph of my fairy tale in the works includes this description "Dressed for the season in my long skirt, paisley wool shawl, and tea cozy hat with a red felt hibiscus over my left ear my feet splashed in puddles." Now that is a description begging for play!
-long skirt
-paisley wool shawl
Sensible for the season
-tea cozy hat with red felt hibiscus 
-over my left ear
Well now, there's a pitch for playing and whimsy
-my feet splashed in puddles
Oh yeah, a child lives within

My friend JT offered me this about 'editing.'
"this business of editing...Making it all tidy and clear; making the plot arc etc;but I worry that in editing this magic we lose the magic. Now maybe it is true that few people will be able get the story or the magic if it is untamed but I wonder if it needs to suit everyone. Good luck. I love the snippets and flow and hidden parts of the story I like filling in the holes with my imagination and I carry some images around with me. In any case the writing is grand ..."

It is this under-toe that sends me into waters where I cannot touch bottom as I wrestle with the words and tidy it up. The arc of the plot in my tale? No, it does not go from point a to point b and there are holes in it and secrets left untold. Purposeful omission on my part, as the tale was written in doses like homeopathic remedy for the writer, and the reader. The holes are meant to be filled in from the readers' end.

I fear the loss of the free roaming spirit that writes the story through my fingertips. That untamed dragon spirit that without the language of story is constantly on alert and in edit-mode. The middle road has long been one that I find difficult to tread. "Why be normal?" was a license plate I once wore on my sensible brown station wagon.

There are many fine writer's sites and editing blogs that give good and sound practical advice about learning this process. If it turns out this old girl is a dragon that won't be tamed, I do hope there are readers and myth lovers who can recognize me when I am dressed in the language story. Because one thing is for sure, dragons are happiest when in good company.

 Any thoughts?

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