Just a few weeks ago, I was growing concerned that my ability to write had disappeared. It was gone. Not even a scrap of an idea fluttered around. Worry enveloped me like a cold dense fog. This had been going on for a couple months. I'd force something to sputter from my fingertips onto this canvas, but it seemed frozen, lacking anything even close to resembling something a passionate writer would allow.
Then finally, a few days ago, I got an idea for my sermons blog. At last! Something! I hastily let the words spill out into a blog post. And from there, the ideas for a series of sermons started shooting around my mind. I grabbed these thoughts, typing quick notes as the ideas scurried by like little mice. Yes! I had to have at least a dozen good blog posts I'd be able to push out. But damn all those responsibilities! Work and family and the house and Church and Bible study and friends. I was finding little time to even toss a headline or bullet point onto a notepad.
The day finally arrived when I had all day to just sit and write - but found myself unable. Instead, I was drawn to a stack of books I had recently received. These were true crime stories. I never read these things. True stories about rapists, child molesters, serial killers - I was never much for reading these sorts of books. But as soon as I would sit behind my laptop to write, I'd find myself back on the floor reading the backs of each of these books. I was inexplicably drawn to them. So, I spent all of Saturday reading one about a serial killer - partially from an author who told the backstory of the killer, and partially from the own words of the killer as he recalled the women he raped and killed.
My mind started spinning. I remembered the first short story I rwrote (well, the first that was not a school assignment anyway). This story also became the basis for a play I wrote. And, it became the cornerstone for several sequels friends of mine wrote. In the story, the main character murdered all her friends while on a trip (in a covered wagon...) just so she could be alone with the guy she loved. In the sequels, my friends found some rather interesting ways to kill the murderer. I remembered the thrill I felt committing these murders through my words. I wrote a few other stories like this through my teens and twenties. The fun part about being a writer - if someone in the real world makes you angry, you can kill that person again and again, in whatever way you want. My mind started filling with even more ideas of things to write. Short stories, perhaps a novel. Poems. Passion killings. Death. Perhaps a murder-suicide. So many ideas in a genre I had abandoned several years ago!
So Sunday, after all the usual excitement and business of that one day of rest which rarely is restful, I had the chance to write. A sermon? A murder story? What to write?!? But... again I found myself drawn to that shelf. This time, it was a story about a child molester - a highly esteemed teacher who molested and raped dozens (or more) young girls. A story in which most of the town supported the teacher, and called the children liars, or otherwise tried to silence the girls and their families. Within the first few pages, I was thrown back in time. By the time I finished the book tonight, I found my thoughts swirling on some real life stories - memories once buried. Still mostly buried. But small facts peeking around the corner - a small, barely recognizable face, gazing at me, wanting to tell her story but frightened.
So many thoughts and words and ideas all scrambling around for an escape, trampling over each other, tripping and falling and getting lost in the crowd. So much craziness.
And now, I sit here, hammering on this keyboard, trying to see which thoughts, words and ideas will win the battle and find their way out....