Nano has really taken a back seat this year. This last week watching the election and the drama associated with that coupled with the pandemic surge striking even closer in our family, it was difficult to focus on my story.
I thought from my prep work during October that I had a winner – an easy to develop story of two boys in a feudal kingdom separated from their father by a corrupt Sheriff, the boys motherless from birth, each reacting to the deprivation of father’s love and protection in opposite ways, one more physical and aggressive, the other thoughtful, introspective, cerebral. I felt like this base would allow me to tell an adventure story of the two even separated from each other. There would be action, intrigue, some magic, perhaps even a love interest at some point, but always the movement would be toward a reunion of boys, both changed, and father, now needing the boys’ love and protection after being imprisoned for years, isolated and uncared for.
So anyway, this story did not stand up to the real life drama unfolding in this country, and I’ve made very little progress, writing a sentence or perhaps a paragraph at a time, notebook always open, pen waiting for me to stop all else and sit down, focus, and write.
When I do sit, the question of value raises its ugly head. How can an imaginary story compete? I wonder if Dickens, Steinbeck, Welty, London, Wells, Hemingway, and all the others questioned the value of time spent on stories. Reality impinged on their worlds as much as it does today. And maybe that’s exactly why the stories need to be told – to remind us that life is precious, and so much more than elections and pandemics. It is about beauty, and wonder, and mystery, and most of all, love.