The Man Behind the Curtain

I care about the origins of everything!

That is one of the many truths I want to discover. That’s what I want to write about because that is what matters to me.

How did it all begin?

Where did it all come from?

When was the universe born?

Are we alone in the cosmos, from a spiritual standpoint?

Who is God? What is God? Where is God?

Does the universe exist because of God? Does God exist because we exist within this universe?

How is it that within the infinite possibilities of how we could have evolved from single-celled organisms, we came to be as we are?

More-to-the-point, of the many ways my mind could have grown, how did I come to be a writer, a poet, an artist, a sculptor, a thinker, a romantic… a dreamer?

I have always been a dreamer, I always will be.

As a child, I seldom focused on my studies. Instead I often wandered into a daydream, losing myself in the realm of infinite possibilities where anything could happen and usually, something incredible did.

Hardly any effort was required when I journeyed into that space between sleep and awake. Now, however, now that my mind is flooded with sensibilities, now that I have a greater understanding of the laws of physics, now that I choose my words carefully and draw upon my internal thesaurus for a clever play on words… now is when I struggle!

I struggle with translating my visions into a story on paper (or screen).

I attempt to wiggle my way back into a creative trance to find that imaginative memory, but I fail miserably sometimes and I think that may be because I think too much about the process.

I worry when I’m not writing. I worry that I’m not writing because I know that I should be writing every day! I should be tapping into my whimsical well for a few buckets of inspired musings on a daily basis. I should be swirling -within those literary liquids- the colors of creativity, and painting pictures on the canvas that is a blank sheet of paper (or screen) creating my universe and its unique history!

Oh, but how I struggle. How I struggle sometimes to find my rhythm. How I struggle to feel the words flow freely from within the walls of my mind.

I don’t force it. I never force it, because I find that can be counter-productive.

Instead, I read.

I read through the numerous books of mythologies I have that reveal the tales of many cultures. I read through my dictionaries of ancient deities, angels, and fallen angels. I travel back in time to read about the lost civilizations, forgotten folklore and primitive religions. I do this because this is how I wander into a meditative state where my mind opens up, my soul unravels, and my imagination is unleashed. This is how I find myself in the athlete’s equivalent of being “in a zone.”

Trouble is, it isn’t always as easy as it seems (or as easy as one would like it to be) and the frustration begins to set in. Hours turn into days and days turn into weeks before I realize that months have passed since I last wrote anything I’m satisfied with reading.

Whereas I wrote practically every day for most of a summer when I penned Dear Love: Diary of a Man’s Desire, and The Romantic a few years later. The eloquence of my prose is proof that the habit of writing on a daily basis improves one’s imaginative production. I made a HUGE mistake by failing to continue writing once I published and released both of those books!

At the time, I decided to focus on promoting Dear Love, and querying agents for The Romantic that I felt as though I had fallen out of my whimsical wormhole, mid-journey, and struggled to get back on track.

Not good.

In writing, creative writing, to be more precise, it’s a general rule of thumb that a writer MUST write -without exception- EVERY DAY! There’s no two-ways-about-it, because finding your way into your own personal Room of Requirement is difficult enough as it is, that to leave that realm and try to find your way back is akin to finding a contact lens on a wet, black surface while it’s still drizzling…at night!

Hence, My current dilemma…

After completing a mystery thriller, and then a MG fantasy, and then making my way through half of a third manuscript (a cozy mystery) I’ve struggled with writing while maximizing visitations with my children, working long hours, and dealing with the news of impending layoffs in the next six months.

I’ve written a little… as evidenced by my few-blog posts and the 40,000 words of my latest WIP, but that’s not nearly enough because I have an epic within me that I must share with the world. I’m certain that I could gamble with my life and still live because I’m destined to write this story.

Truly.

I can’t -NOT- think about my characters or their “lives,” and their journey, because every aspect of their existence is an extension of me. It’s as though I have tiny ideas that continue to circulate around the galaxy of my inner being, like comets that return along the region of my night sky and inspire my imagination.

I can’t avoid it so that’s a good sign.

Yet, the challenge, the frustration is in squeezing in the time to write. Technically, I’m not allowed to make any excuses because a writer should write, no mater what, but life encroaches on that personal space where I need enough elbowroom to settle into a comfortable position and dream. Though in the meantime, I find myself beyond my comfort zone.

It’s no fun to endure this because I like to dream… I NEED to dream. Then I want to translate those dreams for the world to see with their own imagination!

I have this incessant need to tell my stories, to let future generations know I was here… or perhaps these stories aren’t even mine to begin with. After all, my epic historical fantasy is merely a retelling of human and mythological history that weaves together every aspect of our existence into one giant quilt.

What if this story truly belongs to the universe? What if it has been swimming through the sea of our subconscious for centuries, trying desperately to emerge from the shadows of the storyteller’s soul, but continues to be misinterpreted, or only partially revealed?

One day, several years ago, I was struck with this idea to connect the proverbial dots and explain how all of our legends came to be because I felt that it was my way of “explaining” the mysteries of the unknown to myself.

Now, I can’t help but wonder if this story that stirs within me is a secret that feels the need to emerge and I am merely the conduit through which it will resurface from the whispers of my subconscious.

It certainly seems plausible from a creative writer’s perspective because it’s not the first time in history that such a revelation has come to pass. However, let me make it clear that I, in no way, mean to pass myself off as some sort of prophet!

On the contrary, what if storytellers of the past were provided with clues to the creative secrets of the universe and instead of simply sharing the stories to entertain us and revealing the history hidden behind the veil of time, took it upon themselves to glorify their place in the world by proclaiming themselves to be more than what they were, spiritual scribes?

I feel fortunate to live in a time where the network of knowledge is a web of wisdom that makes information readily available for everyone. Having said that, I feel compelled to gather that information, sift through it and piece together the puzzle that will paint the bigger picture for all of us to see, and to enjoy.

Many of us have asked, wondered and prayed to a Supreme Being for answers, for understanding, for an explanation of how the beginning came to pass and how it may all end. We do this because we possess an innate curiosity that forces us to look out into the night sky, and in to the depths of our soul for something more than we already know.

Which begs the question: Why do we only look to the sky for answers at night?

Is it because we know the secrets are hidden in the darkness?

I daresay this is why we read stories.

Perhaps the world we live in -the universe in which we exist- as fascinating as it is sometimes isn’t enough. So, we prefer to lose ourselves for a few hours at a time in a fantastical story that pulls us away from the immediate dangers and responsibilities of our realm.

Taking us to a place where things will turn out right, where the boy gets the girl, where the good guy defeats the villain, and where karma catches up to the wrong-doers of the world.

I like to escape from time-to-time but not just as a reader. I also enjoy creating the stories because in some strange sense, I get to be the first one to make that journey, to confront that villain, to know that secret, and to make it out alive!

I get to know how the story begins; I am able to dictate where the history comes from and how it will all end. Through my dreams, and my creative translations, I am able to figure out why we exist as we do, who God is, and where God is. I’m allowed to write my own version of the truth for the sake of fiction because it simply has to be believable enough to keep your interest and adventurous enough to draw you in.

I’ll read and read and read in order to fall into my creative trance, float through the realm of fantasy and allow the story to flow through me.

I like to think these stories come to me from some unknown sea of dreams and found the stream of thought that is my imagination. Inspiring me to ask more questions in my quest to better understand the origins of everything and what it all means.

This is how I get to journey down the proverbial “yellow brick road” of my creativity, make new friends along the way (the characters I create) and eventually find my way back home.

I’ll seek out the Wizard of wizards who is believed to have all the answers, and ask Him why things are the way they are, and how I came to be the man I am today.

Do I exist because of the words I write, or will the words I write exist because of me? If He won’t reveal that Truth to me, then I’ll pay no attention to the Man Behind the Curtain; I’ll simply write my own version of how things happened, I’ll weave this comforter of mythologies and lost civilizations that will rest on the bed of my imagination and I’ll lie there alone to dream under that blanket about what should have been, what might have been, and what may have yet to be!

I’ll do this for my kiddies. I’ll do this for myself. I’ll even do it for you.

Above all else, I’ll do it because I’m curious about everything and I’m passionate about writing.

“The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you’ve gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you’ve gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?” ~Chuang Tzu

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2 thoughts on “The Man Behind the Curtain”

  1. You are who and what you are because you are a Dreamer. Those of us who are dreamers have it so much harder than the Realists of the world because we can dream infinite ideas. We need to know the why, the how, the absolute truth. I’ve been pretty much in my head for the past few days. And when I come back to the “real” world, I know I will have dragged at least remnants of those dreams with me and when I lay them all out and sort them through, maybe, just maybe I’ll find one little gem among the strands.
    Stop beating yourself up. Daydreaming is research, my friend and I think right now you need a little of that.
    I believe in you and your writing and we both know the best is yet to come. Much love!

    Like

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