And it's done. That story I kept whining about, promising a completion date for and then never delivering. It's finally done. Well, save for the final touch ups, but it's there, from start to finish: Spark.
My eyes are still red rimmed as I write this because the ending was such a tear jerker. I think that's a good thing because the ending has changed. It was sad before, but I somehow found a new meaning in the story that made it even sadder. That is, it's sadder for me.
What's strange is that I don't really know how it happened. I know what my original hang up was, the badgal. I've even talked about it here. She was cruel and cold hearted, and flat, very, very flat. She was a one dimensional whipping girl built up in the likeness of someone who once broke my heart. Then I decided that she needed at least one more dimension and took her in the complete opposite direction, and tried to pin things on another character, but that didn't sit right.
The biggest problem was that I never fully explored the final scene, I didn't delve into the confrontation between Silas and the badgal and for some reason I couldn't conjure up the scene to save my life. During my floundering a series of things occurred. While I worked on the story at writing group, specifically trying to figure out the infamous badgal that was giving me all the headache I overheard one of my partners talk about K.A.R.A. grief counseling. That doesn't sound all that weird until you consider that the name of badgal happens to be Cara. The story also deals with the death of an infant and over the past few months of blockage there have been three reports of little ones dying in the nearby area. When you have a little one of your own, such news hits all the harder especially when the ages of those children seemed to almost mimic the age of my own during the times of their parting.
As a little background, the first baby, a little 10 or 11 month old, rolled off a bed while under the care of a nanny, bumped its head and died because of a concussion. The second had been picked up from daycare by the babysitter and brought back to her house (the children were supposed to always go back to their home, not to the sitter's) she had a pitbull, the screaming sitter chased it through the house trying to get it to let go of the 15 month old. The third, 16 months as my son is now, was sleeping soundly in his crib while his mother took a quick bath. He tried climbing out, fell between the crib and the wall and suffocated by the time she got out.
It's a fear that non parents can't understand. Actually, I think the fear lies deepest in the hearts of first time parents. A friend of mine who hasn't had kids yet called it first time paranoia. I think the stories above illustrate how it is much more than mere paranoia. It's something that nags at you every time you leave your child with someone else so you can get a moments peace. It haunts your dreams at night so that you spring from bed at the slightest cry. It's what gripped me when my wife was pregnant, back when I first started writing the story. That kernel of truth is what earned the original story publication in the annual that I had thrice failed to gain acceptance from. And it was that truth that I lost in the edits.
I needed the fragility of life to remind me what I was writing and my own crisis of faith with regards to continuing writing to jar me awake.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to say that I'm finally back to my old self. I might not blog in the same capacity as I did before, my priorities have changed. Whereas before the blog took precedent over much else in life, now it will only occur when I really have something to say and the time to say it in. But I'm writing, and that's what this has always been about.
So if you're lost with what you're working on, maybe you too are having a difficult time remembering what that little truth was that first gripped you. Find it and the words will flow again.