Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Special Kind of Insanity

Like most authors I think I fall just a little in love with every character I write about. Each one of my men become special to me and each has their own little quirks that endear them to me the more time I spend with them. Because I care about them I worry. I can’t help it. It’s part of my personality. I want them to be happy and fulfilled, well-developed and able to leap off the page and engage a reader.

Sometimes I think I fail them.

One of the earliest lessons I learned about life was that it is all about choices. To quote from Geddy and the band Rush “If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice.” I make ‘em, I gotta live ‘em. End of story. No crying foul. No whining. Suck it up and deal. Bearing that in mind my next few statements are the direct result of choices I have made.

I have what we euphemistically call a modern life. My commute is too long and I work too many hours. My cat gets more use out of my house on a daily basis than I do. In addition to my rather ridiculous professional schedule I have personal responsibilities to myself and to those around me and I endeavor to find time for the intangibles I believe are necessary for a balanced life. Sometimes I think I even succeed. Not often. But enough to keep me trying.

Apparently not content with that I’ve now tossed published writing into the mix. Not just for my own satisfaction as was the case in the past. But for (I hope) the satisfaction of my readers. Suddenly I have taken on responsibilities to my both my readers and to my characters. How do I fit these new demands into an already hectic schedule? When something has got to give (and it always does) what will it end up being? Is compromise even an option when I feel the need to be as fair to each aspect of my life as possible?

I was still learning to juggle the complexity of life as I knew it before becoming published. Now I’ve added a few more spinning plates, a few more handstands to my repertoire. I take a few steps forward and then I’m forced to take more than a few steps back. It’s all about teetering on the edge of absolute disaster and then by some miracle pulling back in time to make sure that I’ve done my best for these men I’ve come to know and love.

Sometimes I think I even succeed. Not often. But enough to keep me trying.

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