Monday, January 12, 2009

Friends, New and Old

I put it away. The Manuscript. The one I have been working on for forever. I’ve tried so many different approaches to it that it was driving me crazy. I was dreaming about never ever finishing it. I finally got so frustrated; I knew that it needed to be put away for a while. The characters are almost family now. And we all know how it is with family. You can only spend so much time with them day after day after day before you are ready to scream at them to leave you alone.

So, with that said, I started a new story. The characters in this one have been running around my subconscious for some time now, and I decided that maybe I just needed to let them out to play. They needed some human interaction.

Once I let them out, there is no slowing them down. I started outlining this weekend and after two and a half chapters I had a twenty-two page outline. I love this. I can’t wait to get home now so that I can visit with them some more. It is like meeting new people that can’t get enough of your attention, AND they think you are amazing.

It’s great for the ego, too. Ideas and thoughts and plot lines are just falling out of my ears, I swear. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. I don’t know if I just struggled too long over the other one and got myself all twisted up in knots or what, but once I knew I wasn’t going to mess with it for a while, everything started to click.

I love to write. I have since I was a little girl. I wrote my first article in second grade. I wrote my first story in third grade. I finished my first full manuscript in Junior High (it is amazingly awful, but I still have it tucked away in a file.) I wrote poetry non-stop in high school, but once I got into college I got so busy with all of my classes that I stopped writing. I got married really young, and got divorced really young. I was stupid, but it was a growing experience.

I got married again a couple of years later, and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. We lived paycheck to paycheck for a long time. He found his job, I found my wonderful job, and we bought a house. Got some pets. And I started writing again.

I have made some of the best friends through writing. Friends that I would do just about anything for. I’ve had extreme joy and deep sadness in the process, but I don’t think I would trade it for anything in the world. I am a totally different person now, a better person I hope, for the experience.

On a serious note, I went and visited Travis and his family on Thursday. I was torn about going to see them. I didn’t want to interrupt and bother them in their time of grief, but I wanted to offer our support and let them know they have friends out there that care.

It broke my heart to sit and talk to them and see their beautiful boys playing with toys they had just gone and bought. I kept thinking about all their toys and books and the things they love are all gone, but they were safe. All of them. What got to me the most, and what brought tears to my eyes was that even though they are literally going through Hell right now, Travis looked me in the eye and told me that after things settled down some he was going to keep his promise to me.

Just before Thanksgiving, I talked to Travis about giving my manuscript a read through and letting me know what he thought about it. He was planning on doing a My Town Monday post on the museum I work at, and we decided he would pick it up when he came to do that.

I was amazed. He has one of the most generous spirits of anyone I know. His family has lost almost everything, and yet he was worried that I might have thought he wasn’t going to read my manuscript… All I can say is wow. I hope that if I am ever in that position I can be as generous. I don’t know that I would be able to think about anyone else’s problems at that point, actually. I would be incredibly greedy and selfish I think.

So, Travis, if you read this, know that you are freaking amazing and I appreciate you more than you know. Hubby and I are praying for you and yours.

1 comment:

Clare2e said...

Crystal- Thanks for being on-site to report what the rest of us are so curious about! I want to know how the Erwins are, but I don't want to bug them either and am not close enough to casually drop by with a chicken dinner. Dispatches like these help my worry, even if they solidify the sad details.

Writing's brought me tons of friends I wouldn't trade either!