Saturday, November 08, 2008

Soul Stealing (26234)

Today in Nanoland, Kami takes a tour of her novel and makes some changes.

On the way to a write in at the library, I stopped to help at a car accident that had just happened.  I tried to get people out off the highway (duh!) and made some quick assessments of the people there.  No one appeared to be seriously hurt.  Luck of the angle paired with working air bags.  It could have been head-on at freeway speeds, but there appeared (judging by the damage) to have been some swerving and braking that helped save lives.  The people there were so dopey on adrenaline I couldn't herd them all to the side of the road.  One woman especially felt a need to wander around, and her husband, carrying their child, wandered after her.  Fortunately the police showed up about a minute later, and after I let them know I wasn't a witness, just there to help, I was able to leave to go to the write-in.  Yeah, I probably could have tried to help some more, but it's better to let the pros do their stuff and stay out of the way.  As I backed out to avoid driving through the accident scene, I saw the ambulance en-route.  They were in good hands.

So I was a little distracted when I sat down to write, but also, because I'm a horrible person, I wanted to capture some of that sense of trauma in the book.  I went back and added some things in to the combat scene.  Or, more accurately, the post-combat scene.  And then I sprinkled some post-trauma stuff in.  Since that involved reading and careful placement, my word count was poopy today.  But it was poopy in a good, vulture-like way.

All y'all who think writers are wonderful, creative people who write from the soul now are witness to the ugly reality.  We really do use everything.  Including that time your two year old barfed in the grocery line, and the funny faces you make while you're talking on the phone, and the way you crossed your ankles and bit your lip at the funeral, and the way you made love to a writer one winter night in Pennsylvania.  There were, and are, people who think that cameras can steal souls.  Actually, it's the writers you have to watch out for.  But your soul isn't alone.  The writer's soul is alongside yours, was with you in that moment, and treasures it, values it, believes in it, loves it, adorns it with care, frames it with hope.  We're the shameless reporters looking out for the scoop of the century on the thing that matters most to us (or to me anyway)--the beauty, pain and joy of the human condition.  I try to respect it.  But I still use it, because my experiences are too small, and I can't watch my body in an unguarded moment.  I have to rely on my fellow human beings to see expressions in motion.  It's just how this art works, and grows.

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