Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Reason I (Am) Here

(Yes, this lovely little ditty is showing up at 5 am.  I wake up at weird hours and use the time to write.  The fun side of being a creative.)

Present and future tense.  I've snatched at it lately, like music.  I am here.  I have a reason to be here.  When I get married.  It's shadings like this that make a girl hopeful.

I'm working on my novel more and more right now; with the holidays the job search and inquiries can pretty much be wrapped up in 90 minutes a day and then I sit down and work on being productive, in any sense possible.  I blog about customer service finds and frustrations.  I read.  I write on what I read.  And then I work on the novel.

My character in the novel is a woman with a lot of similarities to me.  She's a baseball fan.  She works in an industrial setting.  She suffers a workplace injury.  She spends about 60 percent of her free time alone, and, in the off-season, 100 percent of her free time alone.  (To be fair, she has differences from me as well.  She doesn't think women should play professional baseball.  She's thin.  She's of Irish descent.  She has no siblings.  She's not a writer and she doesn't read fiction.)

The one aspect of her that is easiest to write is her solitude.  My protagonist is the definition of "If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?"  For some odd reason, I always think of Isak Dinesen's accounts of Africa when I think of that phrase..."will Africa remember me?"  Was I really here?  At several points in the novel the protagonist does the incredible--she has batting practice with the San Francisco Giants before each of their home games, for FOUR YEARS.  As they say on the social networks these days, "Pictures or it didn't really happen."  But she agreed not to take pictures.  She agreed not to tell anyone.  And her love for the men she plays with is strong enough that when another character asks, "How am I supposed to believe that?  Why would I believe that?" her answer is, "Then don't."  Alone, sitting on everyone else's more credible and documented side of the world, more people have doubted her, and contributed to her self-doubt, than these 25 men in a batting practice that she can't prove.  They not only believe her life but they want to be part of it.  Her loyalties lie with those who think she exists, and who acknowledge her existence.

I often wonder if I exist, living as solitary as I do.  Social networking responses to my work often shock me not for their content but for their appearance.  I was speaking with a friend yesterday about this, and he was patient and kind enough to explain why it was so rare to connect with others on social networks, and what other factors are involved when the tree falls.  He didn't lecture, he didn't instruct, he just posed considerations.  There's a small chance I'm heard.  There's a minute or no chance that I'm acknowledged, and I'm looking in the wrong place for that acknowledgment.  It was good to have that kind of weighing in, and then go to writing group afterword, where others were grateful that I had hosted the group and made them comfortable.  I could see my contribution to the world reflected back for an afternoon.  There IS a reason that I AM here.

Present tense.

I hear leaves rustling in the forest.  :)

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