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Friday, August 12, 2011

My Gratitude Journal: Characters

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I've already admitted that authors of fiction are crazy. We hear voices in our heads, listen to them, even respond. What's more, since we are writing fiction, everyone expects it.

My colleague Barbara Samuels, who writes brilliant books as Ruth Wind, calls her muses "the girls in the basement." I suspect mine occupy the attic, since they always seem to be floating at the top of my mind, keeping me preoccupied when I usually have more practical things to do.

They speak to me in symbols, images and (mostly) words, sometimes in song lyrics (tunes included) or lines of poetry. More often they speak in the voice and the guise of a particular fictional character.

Today I express gratitude to those characters who have popped into my head and stayed, refusing to be evicted until I had given them their due.

I'm thankful to Brandon and Robin, my firstborn fictional creations, who populated the story in BENEATH SIERRA SKIES, my first release back in 1990. I'm thankful for Meg and Jim, my first characters in Rainbow Rock, Arizona, for Jim's brothers Kurt and Chris, and for Alexis and Sarah, who showed up to keep them busy.

I'm thankful that Rainbow Rock kept giving me interesting characters to work with including Logan Redhorse and Eden Grant, Cretia and Max, Angelica and Joe.

I appreciate Sarah Kimball and her cast-of-thousands family, Craig Emory and all the Burnetts.

Today I'm especially thankful for Maggie who has been insisting on having her say, even when I tell her I'm too busy and she is going to have to wait. She simply won't be silenced, bless her.

I'm thankful for all the real people in my life -- the ones who see me through good times and bad, and I'm grateful for all the fictional people whose voices continue to inspire me. May they nag succesfully for decades yet to come.

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