April 21st, 2014; revised June 4th, 2014
Dear Reader, Fan, Stranger, and/or Confidante:
She stared at it—this little scrap of a paper filled with big, black, swooshing letters, almost as if a crow had suddenly learned the alphabet and wished to frighten someone with it: “W,” “R,” “I,” “T,” and “E.” Such a scary word, and yet…such a simple idea. A man whose name, I assure you, is of no importantance, had scribbled this for her when she asked him what to do about her stories. About writing. It was the best advice she had ever received, perhaps all her young life, and yet she was finding it extremely difficult to follow. He couldn’t have written “READ” instead, could he? Oh no, that would have been much too easy, she thought. Much too enjoyable. Alas. The only hand holding hers right now was probably that little mark off the capital “E” at the end of this vastly vague, belligerently beguiling, ominously ominous, and just altogether evil little word:
He may as well have asked her to bleed, to spurt all over the page! To throw up, die, and then promptly resurrect herself. Perhaps those things would have all been easier. Perhaps she would have done them all by now. Pens felt hot in her hand. Markers? Doubly so! And keyboards? Why, keyboards were unthinkable! Unthoughtable! No, do not ever let a keyboard into your head, if you want to write; it will only levitate there, impertinently, in all its alphabetical glory, before finally settling down comfortably in your nightmares.
Nightmares? Dreams? She had those often enough. Why, I bet one of them might even…
Oh no, out of the question. One mustn’t write about dreams, lest they are read by others and finally mocked, or thrown tomatoes at, or pitchforked, or—wait a minute! Wait, just there! What was that?! Do you see? Hovering, in the air, between your eyes! No, don’t swat at it!
Is that…an IDEA? Ohhhhh yes! Yes, you’ve done it! Oh, how wonderful you are! I had a dream like this once; in fact I had a dream last night, but no matter—it was nothing as beautiful as this. Quiet now, please. We don’t want to scare it away. Oh, this little one is sure to help us, sure to—
Hang on! You say we have to “catch it?” Keep it? Why, of course! How, you ask? Ha! How do you think? There’s only one way to catch an idea, and that’s by…
…Oh dear. I’m afraid I see your point. Well, it’s still here, so far. You know what we’ll have to do? There’s no way around it. We’ll have to bleed, to throw up! Then die, and resurrect ourselves. Or none of those things! We’ll brandish pens, markers, crayons if we must! We’ll wrangle the keyboards back underneath our fingers, and so shall we earn the trust of this beautiful idea. Now it can remain, with us, hopefully forever. We’ll catch it, verily! And verily, it shall be caught. And so it has been, and so shall ever be.
I wonder, now, which came first? How long has it been there, you think? This little idea? Yes, it is still quite beautiful, now that it exists a bit more permanently. Perhaps doubly so! Infinitely thus! And yet, I wonder. Were we first writing, or was this idea first flying? I haven’t the foggiest. I shall have to trust you to decide.
And now, some parting words—the end to an endless rambling, to thank you for being with me, and for listening throughout this tale: I ask that you remember. Always, always remember, before you let any nasty things settle in, before sleeping and dreams, before big, capital letters scare you underneath the covers; before, and I’ll whisper now, so as not to scare you, before PROCRASTINATION rears its ugly head, or if you are battling him now, brandishing everything from harpoons to pencils, even as he breathes and heaves and swings his deadly, deadline paws—just promise me, that you will always, always, ALWAYS remember, we only wish you to, we only want you to, you only need to, and you are always able to
From your amateur writer, junior keyboard-wrangler, and, more importantly, humble author,
Special thanks to Neil Gaiman, for scaring the living daylights out of me, and for signing a very useful tarot card, and extra thanks to my sister, for always being there to pick me up when I’ve very, metaphorically, fainted. Much love to you all.
Now, please enjoy my personal excuses for short stories, poetry, musings, and works-not-yet-finished, amongst other monstrosities. See you in the blog~ n_n