I mentioned earlier that I broke my leg last March, but what I didn't tell you - and I swear this is true -is that while I lie there, humiliated and in pain, I was thinking - "Wow. Excruciating pain and great embarrassment. I can use this!" That's why people take a step back when they're introduced to us. They're not impressed by our brilliance or intimidated by our success. They're a little worried because they know writers are all a little nuts.
Who else dares to create worlds, give literary birth to characters and move them around in the hope of entertaining and hopefully enlightening others? Who else creates problems so that our characters can solve them? Who do we think we are?
What saves us, I think, is that we have all this rich, vibrant reality at our fingertips - our own lives! And every single thing we see and do, and the things we see our friends and relatives do, become a part of us and therefore, ripe material! We can snatch their words and steal elements of their behavior and breathe life into our characters with them. We can borrow their laughter and their tears and through the pages of our books, pass them on to someone else. Everything that happens is grist for the mill.
Painters have canvas and oils, master carpenters have wood and tools, gardeners have green thumbs and the miracle of seed and earth to create their art. We begin by staring at a blank page. It would appear that we have nothing to work with. But we have everything! It's all around us in people, in nature, in all the world's tragedy and triumphs. Adjust the events a little here and there, drop a heroine into the middle who is a composite of your sister and your friend, then present her with a man who's troubled, a little stuffy, self-confident, yet vulnerable to her smile, and we're on our way to Chapter Two and the fun and excitement at the heart of a Harlequin Heartwarming novel. Aren't we lucky?! Not only do we get to live this life, but in our writers' brains we get to tinker with it, change a few details, give the plot the wings our workaday world doesn't usually allow, fill it with love and romance, then send it out into the universe. Sigh!
Okay. I've had too much tea and chocolate, but this is the real me. No wonder people take a step back. Dogs and cats love me, though.