Armed with gloves, rags, and lemon scented cleaner, I faced down my nemesis. The bathroom stared back.
“Nay,” I declared. “Ye shall not rob me of my writing time!”
I scrubbed the counter with rough circular motions, but there was too much grime to be found. The battle would not be quickly won.
“If ye shall not yield! I shall do two things at once!”
The bathroom squeaked in horror as I unsheathed an old toothbrush. I set it into the cracks beneath the neck of the faucet. It coughed up little bits of black.
My movements slowed, working away at the grime as gently as I would brush the hair on a baby. I concentrated on a problem with my plot as I worked away. Sometimes my mind won. Sometimes the bathroom won.
I fought with my butterfly brain. Mediation is about focus, about mindful thinking, someone had told me once. It was easier said, harder done. Yet, little by little, the beast was slain and I rejoiced as the plot problem dissolved away like with the soap scum on the bathtub.
Oh yes, and the bathroom is spotless.
There are times when I put down a book and even if the story has ended happily, I feel bittersweet. You live with the characters in a story for a week, a month, a series. They love and you love. They cry and you cry. It’s sometimes such an intimate thing, that when it’s over, it can be like saying goodbye to a friend that never knew you.
I started a fiction writing website years ago with a great bunch of friends. Together we created a world from scratch, dreamed up the cultures, the settings, and the characters that inhabited it. Now we’ve all moved on to other things.
Yesterday I wrote the last post and tied up the loose ends of a story that’s been waiting patiently for a conclusion for more than a year. As I read backwards to re-orient myself, the characters began to take on that telltale spark of life. Writing the last post was easy, I knew how everyone would talk and act. It was like meeting old friends again.
And I’m a little sad.
Even if we create them… our characters can take on lives of their own sometimes. I like to imagine they keep on living, and loving, and adventuring even when I am no longer writing them.
Maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic, or maybe I’m just odd? 🙂
Oh yes, I did kill off a character or two in the process. I guess I’m just a little bit evil too.