Muses Feasting: Breathing words
I am getting very close to completing the first full draft of my novel Rain. In the process of honing some of the critical moments of Rain I have had to find new ways to view my writing. This is quite difficult when you spend 99% of your time alone, with a blank page too much coffee. (Yes, I am a bit of a hermit and yes, I like it that way.)
Now, I have wonderful crit partners and writing mentors however, there is only so far they can take you. So, I decided to get physical with my writing (get out of the gutter). I started to get up out of my LoveSac (if you don’t know what that is you mustn’t be following my Facebook page 😉 ) and pace around, reading my words aloud; act them into the world of being so to speak. I didn’t like doing this, at least, not at first. Why? Because for whatever reason I feel like words should be quiet, private, secret and read on dusty pages in old libraries or deep in the forest where no one can hear you breathe or your heart beat. But two things changed my mind about the nature of reading.
The first thing to change my mind was listening to audiobooks. The first one I bought was Women Who Run With the Wolves because it is one of my favourite books. Maybe it was Clarissa’s soothing voice or maybe it was the magic of the words but as she started reading it aloud I was entranced. Hearing the words I have loved for some many years and held so deep in my soul spoken aloud with such warmth and conviction moved me to tears. Some of the words also came to take on new meanings through being spoken. I will never forget the way she said “Vasilisa” or “La Llorona”. Vasilisa sang through Clasrissa’s lips like the tinkle of the wind through a dream-catcher while La Llorona sounded like a cry reaching up through the waters of a quick running stream.
Then I came across this piece of spoken poetry, Private Parts, by Sarah Kay; a simple piece talking of love and nature. But it was the way she spoke these words, the passion, the love, and the brokenness that really brought the poem alive for me. I felt her words in a new way.
So, through experiencing these things I decided to start reading my own work aloud and it has made a huge difference. I am getting a sense of my ‘rhythm’ as a writer as well as my foibles and penchant for non-sentences. In short, it is giving me a new perspective on my writing and a new feeling for it. When you are trying to finish a novel these things are priceless. So, even though it goes against my desire for secret words in the darkened forest it does force me to speak my words and my stories with conviction. To taste them as they roll past my tongue. I am forced to interact with them physically and put them out into the world, to take life on the wind and see if they hang there… or fly.