Writing while grieving
This year, I lost my mom. I’ve avoided posting on the topic anywhere on social media as much as I could, though I did a tweet and an Instagram post eventually. I have a personal Facebook that I’ve all but left, and in the aftermath have visited it less. It’s not that there are no words; there are many words, too many, but I really will stop mid-draft, delete whatever I had, and do something else.
I don’t think she read my books. She read the first one, and pretty much said I should ease up on the sex because I was “an example to younger relatives.” Obviously I didn’t do that at all but my focus on sex positivity and attempt to normalize a female main character being responsible about her decisions is all the versions of the sex talk we never had. (Sorry, but I’ll keep at it, it’s important.) She was always proud of me anyway, and would intermittently ask for help with her own writing. She wrote for a magazine, and apparently wrote about the family a lot. I find that hilarious because here I am keeping as much of my personal life away from my author media, and there she was telling stories from my childhood that other people have read. Yikes haha.
Anyway, it is entirely possible that after the first book of mine, she just didn’t read the rest. Which meant she would not have read about Nicholas the rugby player whose mom had cancer, or Damon whose mom had chosen a life in another country. Or Ben, whose mom’s death from illness had been the fuel for a speech that got him his job. No she wouldn’t have read about Ben at all, because his book was released a month after she had passed.
What I keep trying to say, but end up deleting everything before posting, is that I have been writing to process this for years. It’s not something I want to dwell on, or specifically live in on a daily basis as stories often do in my head, but it seeps through, and sometimes it should. 2018 was a difficult year, as many of my author friends have said, and they have their own reasons. We’re all trying to make sense of this. For a stretch there I was worried that I would never be in the right frame of mind to write the things I used to, but eventually I got past it. Not that it’s been “fixed” and we can all go back to work now. We work with it, I guess. Or through it.
Okay, I’ve said it.