Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Reality

Have you ever noticed that when things are intense they take on a surreal feeling? How the most real things seem over the top? Like this past week and a half.

I could have lost my daughter.

If lack of insurance had kept her BF from taking her in, if he hadn't had the idea to check google again for signs and symptoms matching hers under circulation instead of leg pain and said let's go, if one of the clots had broke free and landed in her lungs or her brain, if any one of these things had happened, my daughter would not likely have survived.

This past week I had to bully to get my daughter the necessary care. The doctors didn't want to call in a specialist, I insisted even though everyone including my daughter rolled their eyes and thought I was over reacting. I yelled at the BF's grandma after she came in yelling at me. (I did try to hug her first, but... she was insistent that they were only doing surgery on my say so.) I made everyone listen to me. I don't usually get that insistent. But, I knew there was a better option for my daughter.

My ex has become completely in accord with me, even when we don't agree. Her BF has had an eye opener, and even my daughter is no longer angry with me. It's a lost cause on the grandma, but hey, it's a small price to pay to give my daughter a chance at having children. During this past week, all of this has been my only reality. My younger kids were being taken care of my MIL and even their care evolved around how to get her a chance to see my daughter. Everything in our life evolved around this event.

Now, she's still in hospital, playing a waiting game. She's looking a bit sickly from headache and nausea, but all in all she's much improved. Going back to "real life" I've realized how basic I really am. Yes, I'm a complicated individual. But in a lot of ways, I'm simple.

I'm a mother. I'm a wife. I'm an artist. I'm a writer. Each of things say pretty much everything about me if you want to get down to brass tacks. I am a mother. My daughter and I have had a fair share of the hard road together, but as I explained to the aforementioned grandma, I'm her mother and I will do what's best for her whether they like it or not.

See, I'm stubborn when it's important :D

As I'm dealing with the day to day things and I'm trying to get back to "real life" I have an odd feeling. As if I've been really living and now I'm going back to the rehearsal for the next show. And this past week is turning into something surreal as if it happened in a show.

Sometimes I think these intense times reveal who we really are. The "it's a stressful time" is an excuse. I yell too much at my kids. In my opinion. Maybe I don't yell enough in someone else's opinion. But our lives are very stressful and I'm intensely worried about all of them. And I realized that's who I am-I'm loud and everyone can love me or leave me for it, but there it is :D

As I'm looking at the intense situation my character is going through, I wonder if I've really helped the reader to see and feel the intenseness and leave the surreal feeling there as well. I want it there. To me, if I can incorporate this after math of surreal into the character, I'll have succeeded.

How many times in our writing do we forget to get down to brass tacks with our characters because we're so busy making things complicated? Sometimes, the most basic qualities can bring out the strongest conflicts. Do we as writers use this enough? It really is intense. The most intense moments I had were sprung out of a basic concept. I'm a mother. Think of your favorite books. Are your favorite characters simple making them complicated? Taking a very simple concept, you can complicate the heck out of things. Try it for an exercise with one of your characters if you're a writer. If you're a reader, look back at your favorite characters and pay attention to the next book you read. Wha't the character's basic motivation?


  1. I know exactly what you mean, and I think you're right. We only find out who we (and others) really are when the chips are down and it's all got very 'real'. 'Real' life isn't that real for most of us. We're insulated by basic comforts that we take for granted, like having somewhere to sleep at night and food in the fridge. And money to buy food if the fridge is empty. If you go through something where you no longer have these basic things and still like the person looking back at you from the mirror, I take that as a sign that you're closer to who you really are. Which is important for getting what you want out of life. You have to know what you've got to work with.

  2. Well said, my friend. :) We are overly insulated by those creature comforts. It's easy to get lazy and indolent and forget what's really important.