Sunday, August 06, 2006


I keep sitting down to write this, and I keep getting up again.

Doug's nailed it, I think--dishes to be done, lawn to be mowed... oh, look: I've been meaning to dust the back sides of all the picture frames for weeks now! Except, in this case, it's less about not wanting to do the work--though I certainly hear him on that one--and more about how in the hell to sit down and write about myself. If you were into the escapism argument, you would say that's why I'm writing F&SF in the first place--to get away from myself. You'd be wrong, but you could probably build a solid argument around it.

No, the sad truth is, this has entirely too much to do with writing; it's about defining identity, trying to explore how the world informs the story, by way of the self. Its about answering the big WHO AM I?

No wonder I haven't been scrambling to write this.

Well, okay, there's the nominal answer: Sean M. Murphy.

A bit too casual, though; it assumes a familiarity with the reader that can't be assured. After all, you're over there and actually still reading, so you must want to know something else. (Ah! Quick! Throw it a bone or something!)

And while there is a lot of information I could throw at you (I like long walks on the beach, gin & tonics, and not being eaten by sharks), the real, overarching question would remain: Who... am... I?

And that, in part, is what I'm here for. Not insofar as I feel uncomfortable being myself, or feel that I need to constantly "explore" who I am--nothing so self-aware and coherent is involved in my writing process, anyway--but inasmuch as every writer begins by putting a story down and reacting to it, discovering, if they care to, how certain ideas make them feel, make them react. In essence, who am I in light of this? How would I change, given that shift in ideas?

On an even more basic level, the elemental fodder for stories comes from inside of ourselves; if not the worlds and their societies, certain the individuals that people them with all of their joys and their craziness, their loves and their pet peeves and their basic philosophies of existence. However indirectly, the exploration of an alternate world is terribly bound up in how we do and don't see ourselves.

Tate mentioned in one of her earlier posts that the reader is making determinations about who each of us is based on what they read, and, like it or not, that's true. I've turned in pieces at Wyrdsmiths that have made people shift their seats uncomfortably, and occasionally I've had to explain that I, too, shifted uncomfortably at coming across those ideas--but often those same ideas made the story stronger, and that is, in the final measurement, what counts. Its just good to have people around to remind you that the readers don't alway have an opportunity to sit down with you for a cuppa and a chat to figure out if you're a nutcase or not.

I am not, let me say definitively, a nutcase.

Just 100% Wyrd.

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