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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Casting Shadows

I was making shadow puppets on the wall of Markus's stall the other night while I filled his water buckets. Because filling water buckets is one of those small drudgeries of horse ownership. He was unimpressed. He's an unimpressable kind of horse.

The shadows got me thinking.

The things that have impressed us in life - they've left shadows over us. A shape fell across us and we looked up and marveled. And at some point, we got big enough to realize we were casting our own shadows, across the things we love. The shadows are the un-retouched, honest shapes of ourselves. And we can't pull a Peter Pan and slough them off, go looking to have Wendy sew them back on again. They're with us always.

My shadow falls across my writing and that used to frustrate me. There were things I refused to do, and I hated that I couldn't stop refusing them. It was like wishing not to be spurned by the cool kids, though I'd never buy a new wardrobe, toss my hair, and try to become one of them. I've come to realize, on this book journey, that it's not a matter of refusing to do things. I can't change the shape of my shadow, is all. Becoming aware of that has gotten me to a comfy spot. It's enabled me to more fully embrace the joy of writing a male lead like Johnny Russell, who doesn't fit the mold and is so much more fun because of it.

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