Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vulnerable Musings

Somewhere in my thirties, I suddenly became obsessed with heroes and heroines that were "flawed." And people, too.

I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s blog every day, and let me tell you, maybe its just how she comes across, but that lady is depressed. And I love it. I love that she gets out there every day and spits out what is real, what is raw.

There’s such bravery in that, you know?

In some strange quirk of fate, I don’t really connect with someone until they are real. I’ve known people to be chipper and positive and say all the right things and do all the right things, and they kind of mystify me. But I don’t trust them until they let their guard down and say something real, show some raw emotion, or maybe just reveal a vulnerability.

In a group of ladies I know, there’s one of those women who, when she talks, everything comes out negative and contrary. That’s just the way she is, she’s a good person at heart and I really like her.

In everyone, I believe there’s one small place, one raw, vulnerable place. Some spot you go, where if someone just pushed their finger with the slightest pressure, you’d be undone, be unraveled and could only cry in utter submission to the pain.

Or sometimes it’s a hope. A little, scared kernel of desire that you’re afraid to admit to anyone.

When you can share that place with a really close friend or lover and they can love you for it, it’s special. And it’s a treasured gift to receive, when someone shares their place with you.

Sometimes when I write, I imagine that raw, vulnerable place in myself or my imaginary reader-friends. I want to reach toward that place, open up that place, and then gently massage it.

(Sheesh, what’s with the deep thoughts today?) Who do you think of, when you write?

10 bonus scribbles:

Erica Orloff 9/12/2007 01:03:00 PM  

Holy crap, but this totally is me. Totally. I am so utterly "real"--what you see is what you get. And I don't hold back on the vulnerable stuff, or the ugly stuff, and I have plenty of it. I just can't go through life putting up a fake me. And the vulnerable stuff . . . is so raw. And yes, I try to "go there" when I write. The Roofer was me, through and through, and when I finished it, I didn't raise the shades in my house for a week. And I can't get close to perfect people.

When I write . . . I don't think of any specific person, per se. But when it comes time to write about my characters' feelings, that raw stuff, I can "talk myself into" being depressed or sad, or crying. I blogged the other day about being a "Method" writer. I go there. Sometimes it's remembering someone I've lost, or the time I got my heart broken, or maybe the way I've had to fight, tooth and nail, for everything. Whatever, I go there.

GREAT, totally awesome post.

Edie 9/12/2007 01:54:00 PM  

Wow, this is deep. I don't think about the reader as I'm writing. Maybe in revisions. When I'm writing, I'm deep in the character's mind, feeling what she feels--hating or loving, scared or confident. I can't imagine an interesting character being happy all the time.

This doesn't mean that I need to be depressed all the time either. When I'm depressed, I have less energy and don't feel like working. I'd rather eat chocoalte and read.

I do get depressed, but usually I see can talk myself out of it. I have a lot of good going on in my life, and that's what I choose to focus on. (We've talked about this before, lol.)

This is going to be a long reply, but I've had things happen in my life that suck. Doesn't everyone? When these real things bring me down, I'm not going to pretend they aren't there. But most of the time happiness is a matter of choice, at least for me.

spyscribbler 9/12/2007 02:56:00 PM  

Erica, The Roofer, as presumptuous as it sounds, made me feel like someone else understood how I write, or got me, or ... I just don't know how to explain it and it sounds presumptuous, which is why I've never emailed you to tell you how much I loved it. :-)

And beyond that, I just loved that you told it as it was, not glossing over anything, not hiding anything, just letting it be so honest.

I try to go there, too. I don't recall my own life events in particular, but I do recall those feelings. But I'm so in my character's skin, that my own memories would feel alien, if that makes sense?

spyscribbler 9/12/2007 03:12:00 PM  

LOL, Edie. I really admire your ability to pick yourself up when you're down. That's definitely a strength.

Maybe you'll think me crazy, but I really don't think happiness is a particular goal of mine. It's not like I want to be unhappy or that I am unhappy, but I want to feel everything.

When I was a child, I used to imagine these long sagas (starring myself, of course) where there'd always be a point that would have me all but crying. I'd always push that point, try to make that low point even lower. Maybe it gave me some strength, made me feel like I could deal with real life if I could push through that story.

In music, I'd always pick these sad works, these tragic songs filled with pain and melancholy. Even the more serene ("happy") ones were so beautiful I'd just ache from them, really hurt.

I'm really not unhappy, I swear. It's just, I think I'm in love with that spot, and find a comfort and strange beauty in all those emotions.

Or maybe I'm just crazy, LOL.

Edie 9/12/2007 11:19:00 PM  

Spy, I wouldn't say you were crazy. If you were rich, you could say you were eccentric.

When I was a child, I used to daydream that I was Supergirl and I could fly. lol

My "goal" in life isn't to be happy. But if I have a choice (and I think I do most of the time), why choose to be unhappy?

spyscribbler 9/12/2007 11:29:00 PM  

LOL, Edie. I guess we're both kinda striving for a happiness. It's just ... it makes me feel happy to feel, even if it's not a particularly happy feeling. :-)

Remember those underwear and t-shirt sets? I had a Super Girl one! Was there a Spider Woman? Memory is fuzzy ...

Kate S 9/13/2007 12:36:00 AM  

Ah, Spy. My problem is that I avoid that spot like the plague, and I tend to give up WIPs once they start to poke there. It's just too painful, yet always upon rereading them, I can see those are some of the best ones.

Bravo that you have the courage to go there.

Bernita 9/13/2007 07:44:00 AM  

We all have our vulnerabilities and flaws. Some of us just keep them private from the general public. We were trained up that way - that it was impolite to inflict our wounds on other people. Doesn't make them untrustworthy or secretive.
One of my characters is like that, actually - hides her hurts. Which, something like you, makes the hero suspicious.

spyscribbler 9/13/2007 09:01:00 AM  

Oh, but Kate, I can't tell you how many days I either have to force myself, or I just don't. You know?

Bernita, you're so right. And in a way, I wish I could be like that. Whatever I feel or am thinking just bubbles right out, no filter.

The factory forgot to install one, and you know how it is with after-market parts!

Erica Orloff 9/13/2007 09:59:00 AM  

Hi Spy:
Thank you. It's not presumptuous. To me, that book . . . I don't know . . . is open. It's a very raw book and I think if people relate to it in any way, then it's a shared thing.