Too Close to Home

Not a whole lot has changed in my cousin’s condition. She remains unconscious, but responsive to pain stimuli. This is good. She survived a marathon surgery yesterday to repair a small portion of the damage incurred in the crash. Also good. The doctors are optimistic. Very good.

The funeral for her husband is tomorrow and visitation at the funeral home is today. Going through this with my dad just a little over a month ago was hard, but this is going to be excruciating. At least Dad had lived a long full life. John’s was snuffed out much too soon.

I’m becoming something of an expert on writing through crisis. Or sometimes NOT writing through crisis. My daily page count has dropped considerably, but I’m pleased that I’m getting a page or even a paragraph written in stolen moments.

Ordinarily my writing would be an escape…a different world than what my current situation is. But there is something bizarre going on. Last week, before the wreck, I wrote a scene in which my protagonist’s best friend was seriously injured in—you guessed it—a car crash. The character was Life Flighted to a trauma center in Pittsburgh. I’m not psychic. Honest. But this was definitely weird. And way too close to home.

At some point this weekend, in the midst of my grief, it struck me that I would need to rewrite the scene where my protagonist learns of the accident. She didn’t exhibit nearly enough emotion. But the last thing I wanted to do was look at that scene any time soon.

Then, Tuesday, I did. I opened up my WIP file and did some serious slash and burn rewriting. Don’t anybody dare tell me that scene is not realistic. TV shows claim plots are “ripped from the headlines.” This scene is ripped from my heart.

And yet, it still isn’t quite what I want it to be. I suspect I’m just too close to the real situation yet to be able to write about it effectively. That’s okay. I put down enough details that I will be able to go back during the second draft and fill in the rest.


Anonymous said…
Dear Annette:
Keep writing; it will keep you strong and moving. Our prayers are with you. Bill, Phyllis & Miss Vivian
Kristine said…
This is one of the main reasons why I decided to start keeping a journal. It's best to record the emotions when they are raw, but sometimes putting them into a manuscript isn't always most appropriate. With a journal, I have the freedom to rant and pour it all on the page. When I'm ready to put those thoughts and emotions into my manuscript, I can do so with a more objective eye.

Patty is in my thoughts. I'm rooting for her to pull through this.

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