Tea and Conversation


I'm currently writing several books at once. (It's okay, don't be worried for me. They all know each other, and have a lot in common.) I've accepted the fact that whether painting or writing, my natural state is to work on many things at the same time. I'm happiest and most creative when overwhelmed with inspiration.

Fortunately all the stories I'm writing take place in the same "world". Working on one story feeds and informs another.  A thread begun in this story, gets picked up in that one, and braided with another thread over in that story right there. (No no, not there - a little to the left - there.)

I'm anxious to share some of this world with you. I've struggled with exactly how to do this. I'm not ready to share bits of chapters with you. We aren't there yet. But I do want to share something. I'm used to just posting an image of my latest painting and letting the art speak for itself. But with writing, well it's a bit different isn't it?

So I'll just write, if you don't mind, like we are sitting here over a cup of tea and you've asked me about what I'm writing and I've said "Oh it's complicated, god I don't even know where to begin...um let me see. This is great tea by the way." And you thank me for the compliment on the tea since you brought it over (thank you) and you wait patiently for me to gather my thoughts together, settle back into your seat cushion and I begin like this:

"The world I'm writing about is familiar to me. It's the world I've lived in my whole life, inside my head. Its the story place I've gone to while bored with school, or sitting in traffic, or lying awake with insomnia. It's the story world I've been sharing for years with my art, without being fully cognizant of it. This world is living myth. It's our world, but with an undercurrent. It's recognizing the magic amidst the mundane. It's that prickle you get up the back of your neck when you are taking a short walk in the city, just to do some errands, and you realize that the wind is a little eerie today, and the leaves are swirling around your feet as if trying to get your attention. Its that feeling that even though it seems like you are just walking on a Tuesday, to pick up your dry cleaning, at any moment a Raven might approach you with a message from another plane. You're needed! There is another world hidden behind this thin grey film of ordinary life and you are a creature of that realm! Wake Up!

The stewards of my stories are the Muses and their world. The protagonists of these stories are artists and creative people of all kinds.

See, I want to read about artists. I want to read about jewelers and painters, potters and doll makers, writers, chefs, vintners, dancers, herbalists, poets, musicians - all of them. These are the people that inspire me. And while I'm inspired by the famous creatives of our times, I find I'm even more inspired by the forgotten artists, the almosts, the what ifs. The model that inspired the painter who was herself a talented artist. The unsung genius who died too young. The housewife who wrote the most heartbreaking music that no one ever heard. The accomplished winemaker who gave up a promising career as a painter to take over his family's business and ensure it's future.

The stories I'm writing are about these artists and their relationships and influence on each other - family, friends and total strangers - over centuries. Each story is a vignette with a thread that gets drawn into the next.

Beyond this, these artists I'm writing about - they experience the Muse in the same way I do in real life. My Muses are daemons. Fairy, angel and ancient god all rolled into one. They are wholly mystical and very real to me."

"Okay" you say. "I'm not sure I follow you...."

"Look, Harry Potter for grown ups. Except my stories have artists and creative people, instead of wizards. Muses are real and they interfere with you and talk to you and sometimes they are a help and sometimes they just mess stuff up. And there are these places, these magical towns where creative people have been drawn over the centuries and they just vibrate with that energy. And the Muses are stronger there. Oh and there are these relics, like objects that belonged to artists that are now dead, and they are infused with their essence and this can have an effect on people who use the objects."

"Oh like artifacts! Like Warehouse 13!" you say.

I glare at you. "Yeah I guess kind of like that but I thought of this before that show was even on. I mean it's not like a wholly original idea on either of our parts really." Grumble Grumble.

"That is a good show though right?" you say.

I agree and we fist bump. ("Artie!")

"Okay so you've told me about this world." You say. "What is the first story you are writing that is set in this world? What is it about?"

"Oh I'm so glad you asked." and then I smile and have another sip of tea. 

To be continued.....