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Story-Scribbling Sunday – March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012

Back with Theresa, writing a scene that should actually be in “Masks”, from a different point of view. But it might actually easier to write from Theresa’s POV, instead of from the first-person perspective of Emma in “Masks”. Or at least, easier to write in detail, because Emma would just gloss over it.

I’ve had that scene in mind for over two years, since the winter before I was hired at the Teeny Tiny Village Nursery. The employment agency had put me into a sales training programme in the next town over, and to save money, I only took the bus part of the way and walked the rest. The way led through a large cemetery, which, in the winter, in the snow, was a beautiful place. When I walked through in the daytime, everything was white and sparkling and so beautiful it hurt.I listened to “Bran” over and over, which is also so beautiful it hurts (by the way, damn you, Omnia, why can’t you make music like that any more?!)

At night, on the way back, it was also beautiful, but in a different way… quiet and a little eerie, but also peaceful and magical. The sky dark, the trees and headstones black against the snow, and red candles glowing on many of the graves. Mere words can’t describe the beauty of that black and white and red and the silence… I tried taking pictures, but they couldn’t capture the magic either.

And then, one night, I was thinking about the many “circles” of sitikay, anmakay, layakay and tarakay, four words in my Tosacy language that can mean many things:

I added an extra ring in case I think of another circle...

And it struck me – I was walking across a cemetery – a place of death. At night. In winter. And I had a suspicion I confirmed as soon as I came home and could look at a map: I was walking north. Walking north across a cemetery in a winter night… the epitome of Tarakay! That, in combination with the beauty, made me feel I had to use this in a story some time, and now I finally have.

The scene itself was odd to write. It involves Emma the “Masks” protagonist finally breaking down and crying about the disappearance of her boyfriend, and I found I could not write it convincingly without acting it out. So I was very glad to be living on my own, so nobody would wonder about my desperate sobbing and moaning!

And then my stupid computer started acting up. I’d already done a full system restore on Friday, before I wrote that cemetery scene. Then, I had still been able to back up all my files. But on Saturday, my dear laptop choked on some silly Windows update again, and in fixing that, I lost the last day’s writing, because this time I wasn’t even able to back anything up. And I got to spend another evening pretending to cry as I rewrote that scene.

So I didn’t get quite as far as I meant to, but still – moving on, moving on. On into the unknown, into parts of the story I haven’t carefully plotted out yet. It’s kind of scary, like arriving in a foreign town without a city map – but it also feels so good to be moving on. For the longest time, I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere at all (even though I’ve already covered about two years of a four years timeframe)… just like walking through a familiar neighbourhood feels so boring and kind of pointless compared to exploring new paths.


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