Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ego? I don't think so...

Question: is writing about ego?


When I was a kid, I invented stories...

Then I received a 'puppet' book when I was around nine or ten. This was back in the day when Howdy Doody was the leading kids show. Howdy was a marionette. I looked at how the marionettes were built, their costumes constructed, and then read the play that was on the page over and over and over again.

An only child, in a very small town, I was allowed to roam during summers. The library was my 'hangout'. It was extremely small and I read the entire kid's section. Devoured 'Toby Tyler Joins the Circus', any book written by Lois Lenski and loved to brush my fingers against the light rose fuzzy binding on 'Pollyanna'.

At the age of twelve, I pulled down 'The Diary of Anne Frank'...I remember that the cover was black and the title was embossed in gold. When the librarian looked at the title, she then looked at me, and after a moment or two decided to allow me to check it out. Nothing was said, but I knew that she was gauging me. When I returned the book, she asked me how I liked it. 'It was okay'. Three years later when I had to reread it again for high school, it was as though it was a 'different' book. It resonated my awkward teen years.

Books are my friends. I spend a few hours in another world, another time, another place and come out happier at the end, except for a few! 'The Lovely Bones' was the only book that 'haunted' me for days after reading it. Eileen Dreyer's 'A Man to Die For' was the first book with a ending that surprised me. Susan Sizemore's first book was another with a surprise ending.

I want to be one of those writers who can make someone laugh, who can make someone cry and who can make someone think. If I can do that, I'd be happy.

So to me, writing has nothing to do with ego. It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle, something you want to figure out. It still holds a fascination for me. Developing a story is such a 'creative' thing, spinning worlds out of words. Throwing problems at my characters to see if they can get themselves out of trouble, their growth process, getting to a satisfying ending. It's like a movie in my head. They are my companions when I go to bed at night while I try to figure out 'what happens next'.

Those that are 'ego' driven are the ones who do the 'vanity' publishing route. My true name will never be on a fiction book, so that is not my goal.

I have an ego, but it doesn't make me write. The story itself makes me write.


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