April 1…I’m now officially out of my “day job” with three months paid leave. The closest to severance pay the organization I work for would ever give; and certainly not something I ever imagined would ever happen.
I feel adrift, though I dutifully have taken my aging car (“Goldie”; she appears in “Passionate Hero” ) in for a major service, managing I guess to put one foot in front of another in a sensible matter. I’m also looking to this period as a gift for my writing. I certainly will have to look for another job (and any new job for me involves a major move); and I also need to do something fun, something to remind me that there’s more to life than my present work dilemma… And this morning, I’m struggling with a writing dilemma: what I feel I “should” be writing and what I want to write. As those who follow my blog know, in my writing, I go back and forth between a fantasy world and the “real” world of the protagonist, in order to explore themes that come up in my own life. It’s a fun creative way for me to explore these themes; and I hope those who read the stories will enjoy them, and be able to relate what’s going on.
My writing dilemma today is that I believe I “should” continue on the story in sequence, and the themes that keep coming up are definitely out of sequence. Not that I haven’t done writing that’s out of sequence. I have a great writing consultant, Julie Rodriguez, who encourages me to write whatever comes. I just completed a scene where the protagonist Connie realizes that she’s like her fantasy hero, Xavier, in her “inability” to compromise; except that she’s more indirect, something that has consequences she doesn’t necessarily want so see This scene would come near the end of the story, as it happens after Xavier has ventured into Connie’s world; and is part of the story’s resolution. It certainly was important for me to write it when it comes to me. And I realize where I am at –in the actual story–is nowhere near that: Connie is still in Xavier’s world, as a way of trying to escape from the stress of her job.
Now it’s true that the “theme” I’m struggling with today–grief about leaving a situation that clearly wasn’t working, almost preferring that over the uncertainty of not knowing, not having something to cling to–does have something to do with the next section of the novella. After all, Connie is trying to escape from her job through the fantasy; she’s not prepared to admit: maybe it’s not working, and she needs to take steps to get out of here. And her fantasy world is also becoming rather complicated.
Xavier is about to champion her cause–a claim to some ancestral lands–which she’s not even sure she’s comfortable with, seeing the land as really belonging to the people who’ve lived on it for generations. And then there’s the other people in the situation: beginning with the aging King Leopold, who sees himself as gracious and fair; but who leaves the details of granting Connie’s request, to his son, Prince Rainier. Rainier wants to add Connie’s land to his, in order to keep up his family position, and to provide for the upkeep of the court, etc. The other character in the scene is Princess Madelyn, once the beloved of Xavier who later disappointed him by marrying for money and prestige, as her family desired. More diplomatic than Rainier, she’s concerned about things appearing just and fair; but in the end, what needs to be done–in order for herself and her family to flourish–is what she’ll do. She also has a fondness for Xavier and enjoys teasing him about “what could have been.” And to Connie’s frustration, Xavier buys into it.
Certainly, a lot of what’s going on here does fall into the category of : “maintaining what we have”, regardless of what it may cost others, or, in the end, ourselves. The alternative isn’t even considered…which is something I can really relate to at this point in my life..
Just some thoughts