Remaining True


That’s what she would have tattooed across my forehead. In Black Ink, but then deciding to go back and change the font style to something Celtic although I don’t have a drop of Irish blood in me.

She’s forceful and doesn’t give a damn about my personal life, my work life or the fact that the holidays were just around the corner and I had shopping, cleaning and list making to do. I guess she’s a bitch. And she always gets her way.

RJ Keller once described her writing technique as physically disturbing: painfully typing away while she lets this inner voice from somewhere take over her soul, directing the movements of her fingers to hit the right keys. It’s involuntary. It’s natural. It’s the truth, just not ours.

I’ve always admired the ones who outlined a story before they began the writing process. It seems so organized. It seems so In-Control. They can answer questions along the way.

Old Friend: What are you up to now?

The Organized Writer: Writing a book.

Old Friend: Wow! What’s it about?

The Organized Writer: It’s a novel about one woman’s growth through an extremely rough patch in her life. It’s meant to be symbolic of this recession.

Old Friend: How far along are you?

The Organized Writer: Oh, I haven’t begun writing yet, but I just finished the outline.

Me: Not speaking but listening to this conversation from across the room and seething with jealousy (probably with an over poured glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and eyeing up the rest of the bottle) because I just finished writing 65,000 words and my life is falling apart and I feel like I’m going though postpartum depression and I have no idea what happened. The Organized Writer and Old Friend had no idea that I was here and neither did I. I don’t know who I AM right now. All that I know is that my character just had an affair with her boss and I’m a little disappointed in her.

I start to think I’m crazy but shun off any outside help. I can’t eat and begin to imagine my body’s inners falling apart due to excessive coffee consumption and once wondered if it were possible for my bladder to turn into a coffee maker from over consumption.

Along the way I feel consumed by someone else, but in the end I feel that I remained True. We are just Mediums, aren’t we? We are the means that the story comes to form. It has already existed for years, maybe even an unfathomable amount of time, and our job is to pull the invisible story from the air while at the same time listening and forming the pieces into words, forming the words into sentences, sentences to paragraphs and paragraphs to chapters.

In the end, it looks like a mess. I had forgotten to use quotation marks and will sometimes find entire scenes without any punctuation whatsoever because in the moment punctuation didn’t matter. It was filler, a waste of time in the heat of the manic, sheer manic moment when nothing existed but the raw truth.

I’ll hit print and cringe as my printer attempts to take on the task of bringing this force to physical form and I swear I just heard the printer say Shit but again I’ve had two pots of coffee and no food. I’m not myself, but I’m getting there.

After a week, I think I’m brilliant.

After two weeks, I’m crying during LOST previews and feel like Daniel Faraday when he watches scenes from the finding of Flight 815 on the ocean floor and someone says Why Are You Crying? and he sobs back I Don’t Know.

After three weeks, I’m researching Mental Health Hospitals on Google (and I’m picky… I want a room with a scenic view and nice sheets).

After a month, I’m ready for the next one and lift my hands over my head and tell the bitch to bring it on.

  • “All that I know is that my character just had an affair with her boss and I’m a little disappointed in her.”

    That is awesome. Keep up the good work.