Saturday, June 9, 2012

Standing at the Brink {Guest Post by Elizabeth Rose}

lane"The beginning is the most important part of the work."
— Plato

Beginnings are hard places, and the emotions they carry with them are hard to capture on a piece of paper. I always imagine a new beginning like a large, brightly-wrapped package with mysterious contents. You feel sure that this gift will contain wondrous opportunities and experiences that one thousand words could not describe . . . but you refuse to open it. Like Pandora's box, it could just as easily bring disease instead of health, heartache instead of happiness, and tears instead of smiles. There is no way to know, and we are forced to either live our lives never knowing what could have happened or take the plunge and find out.

Writing is an experience that can be related to life in so many ways. Right at this moment, Bree and I are plotting a new story idea. Nothing like a new book has the power to put me in this hurricane of emotions, especially when I have no idea whether it will be destined to remain a distant memory on my Mac or turn into a worldwide best-seller. It is like walking on sacred ground — Azin is the sort of girl who trembles at a rustle in the leaves, and one must learn about her in a slow, roundabout manner, rather than asking questions directly. Her heart is so torn up from the experiences of her childhood that she cannot speak about them for long bouts of time, and must be tempted with multiple cups of tea before she begins speaking at all. It can be a trying process.

Nearly every day this week I have sat down with Cosette (my Mac ;)), intent on typing up that intimidating Chapter One that decides straight away the destiny of your story . . . only to be forced to close down Microsoft Office Word and turn away with a reluctant and discouraged sigh. Azin's head is not open often — although she is growing less timid by the day — and you have to catch her at just the right moment. In my case, the elusive present that could bring either joy or pain is not just mysterious: it's missing. I know it is somewhere — I can sense that something wonderful is just at my fingertips — but no matter how hard I look, I cannot find it. And here I stand, caught between the desire to write, the knowledge that a new idea is just blooming, and the despair that I will never be able to begin.

The proverbial brink is a frightening and lonesome place at which to be. No one stands behind me, tensing their muscles to push me over; I am alone, with only the wind above me and waves below me for company. My choice must be entirely my own, and the results, whether good or bad, will be on my shoulders alone. Of course, I can always back swiftly away, turning homeward to the small cottage of Familiarity. But even those well-worn walls and floors cannot contain me or my imagination forever. The things that once seemed so lovely and comforting now look dull and pale. I am forced back to the edge of the cliff out of sheer need, my heart longing for a change. And once more, I am faced with the choice: do I dare to jump into the waves of the unknown?

There's only one way to find out.

"My name is Azin." The girl said no more, and even those four words were spoken with some measure of hesitation, as if she questioned their validity.

Elizabeth Rose is an admitted bookworm and writer, and wouldn't have it any other way. An ideal afternoon in her mind is one spent in some cozy nook with a cup of hot tea and a good book, the thicker the better. Since childhood she has been facinated with words on a page and the power they have to transport the reader to another world. In May 2012 she was priviledged to be able to self-publish her first book, Violets Are Blue. She still sleeps with books in her bed, stays up way too late, quotes period dramas, and has an undending love for Sir Percy Blakeney. Most importantly, Elizabeth is a follower of the Most High and endeavors to live every day of her life to His glory. You can find her on Literary Lane, most likely with a book in hand and ink on her fingers.


Tarissa said...

The starting of a new story is always a hard spot to be in... yet so thrilling! I never can decide, really, if the beginning or the ending is harder to write.

Miss Melody Muffin said...

Wow, Elizabeth Rose!!! This was a moving post for me. Many times I have stood on the brink, and not just of a new story, but so many other things in life; and every time I have felt this way. You did a great job of putting those thoughts and emotions into words!!