Over the past several months I've found myself writing several short stories that are all tied together. Everything began as a kind of dark catharsis. In a very short span of time I watched my godmother Christine pass away from a long battle with cancer. Soon thereafter her father and my grandfather, Frank, passed away. During the same time I lost my longtime companion Wolffie. To say I was feeling bleak is an understatement. I just couldn't comprehend the cruelty of life. Opening my old sketchbook, I found myself composing fragments and tons of odd sketches.
Several stories developed, although they all had similar themes and seemed to have a similar feel. At the same time there was a new type of story for me in the batch. Well, it turned out it has elements of fiction, poetry, and song. I realized that it was more than likely an unpublishable piece. It didn't matter because it tied the themes of the stories together for me, and more than anything, gave me perspective and a kind of mental closure to the entire dark summer.
I've just finished writing the last of the stories. To be honest I was quite surprised by the last of the batch. It came quick. By the time I'd made it halfway through the tale took a completely different route than I'd expected. It was spiritual! It was horrible! It was funny in places, and hard to write in others.
During the ending, I just couldn't believe how far it'd gone. What happened to the little cozy story I'd imagined? Well, it took my scribbled idea, ironed it out, stretched it, and morphed into the story it wanted to become. I'd become part of a journey. I was literally inside with the characters, unsure what might happen next. Each expectation blown away.
There came a weird point where I thought that either I could go on, but that the last line was right there with a little vertical cursor blinking after the last period. Wild. I'd done it. Sometimes it feels like these things write you.
More than any publishing deal, accolade, or award, that's the kind of moment and experience that feeds me. At this point it truly doesn't matter. The story helped me, and there is no better reward.