Writing To Experience Life’s Strangeness

Writing is such a major part of my day that if I don’t get to it, I’m constantly distracted, as if I have a lover I’m thinking about. It’s like a siren’s call, pulling me away. My husband notices it. He comments on me seeming drifty. He’s right. I’m not fully there. But the discipline of writing an hour or more a day pulls me into myself, gives me the contemplative part I need. Balance.

I realize that the kind of stories I often write keeps me in touch with life’s strangeness, its unfathomable mysteries. Realistic stories I enjoy, but they focus more on the everyday, on what’s visible from the ego’s view. My stories sometimes take another perspective, as if I’m looking at the world from the underside, showing what’s there but not normally perceived.

In this new year, I want to get more strangeness into my work (fiction and poetry), and it’s why writing can be so much fun. There’s also a psychological component for me. At the same time as I’m creating something others can read and enjoy, I’m also figuring out an aspect of myself.

In my “Spirit of the Law” story, it shows a character refusing to be locked into this masculine-dominated world of business. Now dead, she may be doomed to haunt the halls of Johnson et al (her former employer) as a ghost, but it’s not a done deal. The character can take charge and get what she wants. To the degree that this character refers to some traits in me, this obsessive side to my personality can let loose of the restraints she’s put on herself by living in such a restrained way.