Friday, August 26, 2011

"Here comes the story of the Hurricane"*

I know, I know: Everyone's talking about Hurricane Irene! Well, I do what I want to do, which often isn't what everyone else is doing, but what I want to do today is talk about Hurricane Irene, so I won't let the fact that everyone else is doing it stop me.

I've got to admit, earlier in the week I was a little freaked out. I don't normally get all worked up about things like the weather. Where a hurricane goes is out of my "circle of influence" and while I can take steps to prepare for one, there's absolutely nothing I can do to stop it from coming. But I'm 9 months pregnant, so I'm trying to give myself a little slack for being more worried than usual about something like the weather.

Really, I shouldn't be that concerned because The Boy has proven to be resilient through record-setting snowfall, a tsunami, and an earthquake. He's probably in the womb saying, "Bring it on, Mother Nature!"

Thinking about my lack of control over the weather, got me thinking about my YA fantasy Elixir Bound because certain higher beings in that story can control the weather. They use it to communicate with each other and to send messages to regular-old humans too.

Then that got me thinking about how an author can take something that is uncontrollable in the real world and manipulate and control it in a story. There's terrible things in life that we have no control over, like war, rape, abuse, your 16-year-old sister suddenly dying when some unknown thing attacks her lungs. And for all intents and purposes, none of these things make any sense.

So as a writer, I can take a world that is often confusing and scary and try to make sense of it. There is something very empowering about that. That doesn't mean I will succeed at making anything in this real world make sense through my fictional world, but at least it might open up a dialogue (even if that conversation is only taking place in my own head). And maybe someday others will connect to that thing I was trying to make sense of and will realize they're not alone in their feelings.

Because there's lots of other wonderful things in the world that can't be explained either, like love and souls. As a writer, I explore these crazy, scary, wonderful things in my stories. First I explore these things for myself. And hopefully, others will read what I've written and explore those things for themselves.

*Bob Dylan