I find myself thinking about what it is to write. Some authors discuss this subject ad nauseum in interviews–I have only had one interview–or in situations like Writer’s Clubs, or–and in this case they are lucky, for it shows they have had some success–in magazines like Writer’s Market and Poets & Writers. For myself this is a difficult subject, perhaps because for me the relationship between pen and paper is so intimate. Those pages are the world on which I experience freedom. To put it in terms which the reader may be uncomfortable, it is like the name Jazz for Jazz music: it represents sexual orgasm. I don’t want to risk vulgarity, but writing is like that. It can be erotically charged. That is why so many people resent Dickens as an author: the only problem with those bodacious books is that there is no sex in them. So people mine the poor guy’s work searching for his problems with his mother and the whole nine yards. What they need to realize is that for all his prudery, those books are an expression of how he thought but especially felt. All of us, if we used our deepest wounds and biggest flaws as people to paper, would inevitably reveal that we had a dark side, or at least that there were days when we were not kind and decent and God-fearing.
With that in mind, I just wrote about Geek Love, a book in my last blog… I wrote about it because I found myself thinking about a guy I am in love with, but whom I do not know if he is in love with me. Will he understand? I can’t mention his name here for reasons I don’t want to get into. Almost every time I believed there was a guy who might be “the one” it turned out I was dead wrong. Can I ask him out?
Perhaps whether or not things work out I could write the book… Geek Love. The story about a guy who is not handsome but is kind and sweet… He left the Catholic priesthood for reasons that are odd. He doesn’t have any money because when he joined up he took a vow of piety. Yet he has not lost faith in God. He is in his late thirties and his long face and puppy dog eyes reveal a gentle spirit. One of his first acts after leaving the clergy was to get a sheltie puppy. When he finds the girl, he will learn that she keeps a DVD of three Lassie television episodes in her collection on her desk. She also has a copy of Lassie Come Home, the book which probably ignited the spark for the television series. When they hook up, they watch these two episodes together… before she admits that although she likes children’s books she never married and so never had a child. That is even though she is forty.
“My reason was that I was a Catholic in the cloth,” he says. “Why didn’t you ever marry?”
“Nobody ever wanted to marry me.”
“Nobody? Why not?”
“In college I was kind of immature. Afterwards… well, I worked for different charities, but I never really found what I was looking for… or it never found me.”
“Well… even though I work for charity, I always wanted somebody who thought a little deeper than the average bear. You know: they wondered what life was for, or if the choices we make really make a difference.”
“Yeah… do you know, I wondered the same thing when I found out about some abuse issues with a priest who worked in the same diocese as me. I never thought I was close to him, but when it happened, I wondered, ‘How did I not know? And how many children were hurt by this man?’ Don’t get me wrong, I am still Catholic, but I had my illusions taken away from me at times…”
And so on… actually, what I wrote is only so good: a person can overdo dialogue in a book. Though as Alice put it in Alice in Wonderland, “What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?” Yet a person must find other methods to bring about past knowledge in an adult novel… if I ever write Geek Love.