Sanity, Disembodied Voices, and the Writer’s Life

I am crazy. Certainly by some definition, I probably qualify. I walk around the house talking to people who aren’t there; I live in a parallel universe which can seem as real as the one surrounding me; and there are always multiple voices chattering away inside my head. In other words, I am a writer.

I am also a murderer, a liar, a manipulator of emotions. I can’t help myself. When a story begins taking hold, the morality inside my fictive world shifts polarities constantly. In order to write emotions, I must feel them.

Once, while lunching with a friend, she commented on how troubled I seemed. I confessed how I had just flung a character down the stairs and left her bleeding, alone and afraid. Equal parts guilt and worry interrupted my enjoyment of both her company and the chowder. It didn’t make sense by anybody’s definition, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the longer I stayed away from my desk, the more I risked Phoebe dying a long and painful death. I mean, I’m not completely heartless. Let’s just say I skipped dessert.

And then there’s talking to myself.  You remember the sayings about people who talk to themselves?  In my case, this means I’m holding a lively debate with a character, testing dialogue, and sussing out the authenticity of a tone in certain circumstances.  Yes, I’m the one in the otherwise empty car chatting away to the nonexistent passengers, something I did long before hands-free cell phones. You’ll also find me in the kitchen arguing away to the invisible while  busy with some menial task.  My life runs a parallel course, with me coexisting in both worlds simultaneously, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s me, crazy and loving it.

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