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Monday, April 23, 2007

Skeletons Holding Baggage


"If you have a skeleton in your closet, take it out and dance with it." ~Carolyn MacKenzie

Maybe I love this quote because it occupies the space next to a wickedly funny black-pencil sketch of a skull in my writer's inspiration book. Most likely, I remember it because it speaks the truth.

In a recent workshop, the publicist asked authors to compile a list of everything they'd written--short stories, articles, epic novels and determine a common thread connecting them all. Challenging? Definitely. But not impossible.

After a cliche-bloated list of themes and topics resonating through my writing over the past eight years, I made a quasi-psychological discovery about my work. Everything I'd written revolved around reconnection. To self, to spirit, to others. Not only does that make me want to peek in the closet to see what kind of baggage the skeleton is holding onto, but it makes my fascination with time and its passage more understandable.

Honesty in our writing emerges from the charged experiences of our past. Fears, desires and secrets each have their own energy field. Suppressed, but never forgotten, these skeletons comprise part of the fabric of our stories. The natural, unfiltered flow of a writer's true voice.

What is the universal message in your writing?




2 comments:

Sandra Ferguson said...

Oooh, LA, I love that insight.

Isn't it amazing how we continually go back and weave in the same things to our writing? Are we trying to work through our past? Safely explore our future?

My characters are all about 'trust', that elusive core belief we all want, all need, and so often find impossible to secure.

Thought-provoking entry!

Sherry Davis said...

Ditto. Very thought provoking entry. And kinda scary, since I haven't peeked into my closet too deeply. I usually shut the door if I hear any noises creeping out.

I'd have to say my overall themes are always connected to "second-chance" or "right a past wrong". More specifically, Redemption, and proving to yourself as well as those around you Worthiness, which I LOVE.
Obviously, right? :)