“Are you a witch?” This was the question posed five minutes into the first of one of my many internet organized blind dates. Without much of a pause I answered, yes, thinking my sense of humor was being vetted by the bespectacled man across from me. I laughed nervously before noting his face was serious. “Wow, you’re a Wiccan!” he exclaimed. What the hell is a Wiccan? The year was 1997 and I was barely into my 30’s, still very much the naive girl who grew up in rural small town America. Internet dating was in its infancy, a veritable wild, wild west of electronic relationship interaction.
This is not a blog post about blind dates or internet dating although I probably have enough material for one. It is more to demonstrate what little interest I had in the type of world where witches and Wicca inhabited. The most fantasy interest I had in my life at that point was the movie Somewhere In Time which involves time travel. I wish I had that talent because wouldn’t it be cool to to have such an imagination to create these other worlds. Harry Potter did not come into existence until I was 30 and I couldn’t catch onto this genre of writing. I had no interest in reading it and it feels like heresy to even admit that here.
Eventually I came around to Harry, there was something ethereal about J.K. Rowling’s prose and I soon became a fan once I put away my realistic leaning brain. But it’s not anything I have an inclination to write even though it feels like there was an explosion of interest in fantasy fiction after Rowling’s success. I recently became more active in the writing community on Twitter and it feels like 80% are YA or fantasy writers. I’m trying to find my tribe even though my style of writing hasn’t become clear to me yet. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be fantasy.
Through my exercises with The Artist’s Way, I have started being more fluid with what’s inspiring my writing and it’s going places I didn’t expect. Earlier this week I started a short story based on an incident I’ve told many, many times about a very bad day I had in my mid-twenties where I ended up with a flat tire and my keys slipping into a sewer grate 10 minutes later. I’ve always told it from my POV where the boyfriend I was dating at the time had no interest in helping me out that day. The short story came out of my brain from HIS point of view instead. It’s been interesting.
On Wednesday I went on my artist’s date to visit the historical home of Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church in Hudson, NY called Olana. Not only did I learn a lot about America’s first famous painter who inspired people to line up and pay 25 cents to see his paintings (in the mid to late 1800’s), but as I was reflecting on my day at a nearby luncheonette, I was inspired to write a poem about dining alone. It’s been a very long time since a poem urgently wanted to come out of my hands although I wrote many poems in my high school and college years. But then again, as I mentioned the other day, my creativity comes from God and I really am not in control of what He inspires me to do.
So while I’m not clear about where I’m heading, and I’m pretty sure fantasy is not going to be my gig, I am open to whatever path God sees my writing to take. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.