In the last few months I’ve met so many amazing people who have joined my street team. Lorraine, or Rain is one of my new friends. She sends me little notes about blog posts she thinks I’ll like, names of authors she thinks I might want to connect with, she RT’s my tweets, reads my posts and my novel, and stops by my Twitter page to make sweet comments. That’s amazing! If it wasn’t for social media I would have never met her.
Rain Passchier is a writer and filmmaker based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked for major media outlets across Canada as a journalist, online producer and editor before venturing into film. Her first novel, Scorpion Grail, is slated to be released next year.
Please welcome her and enjoy reading her post today.
Dancing with Demons in Life and Art
Summer 2013. Tropics.
The sound hits when I’m at the door heading to the hotel pool. The snap of metal, a phish of air, a pull ring peeling back. My gray-haired mother in her chi-chi clothes opening her first beer of the day. Just like back in the day when I was small and she was young.
The past tugs at my arm, trying to reel me back in. Little girl tears pushed back by a big girl wipe. Down to the pool and still waters. I cut through the smooth surface, skimming the bottom until I surface on the other side. Alone in the early morning sun.
This is where my story begins and the seduction of the past ends. A slow, haunting passage that erupted in a torrent of words now boxed away. As I’ve learned, feeding your demons is easier than releasing them. The dance always began and ended the same way. Hopefulness tinged with the fear that it wouldn’t work out and it never did.
Stand-ins always made it seem brand new, at least for a while. A retreat would follow and there would be some soul searching until the next time someone tugged at my arm. It became the signature rhythm of my life, clocked by a metronome counting out my hours and days.
The terror of realizing how it could all end led me to the proverbial fork in the road. The choice had always been the same. Letting go or more of the same. What had changed is that I could now see and feel the difference. Finally.
Transformation of any kind is a radical shift from the familiar into the unknown. There is a scare factor attached to letting go and separating from your known world, no matter how dangerous or destructive it may be.
Writing the last chapter first is a belated piece of advice I applied to my life. I needed to commit my vision to words.
For writers and filmmakers, the fork in the road is part of the hero’s journey. Just as my own journey changed, so did the character arc of my protagonist in my novel. I was immersed in a rewrite and realized the ending no longer fit. The manic jostle of words that I once struggled to contain evaporated.
Each day, I continued to write and work on other projects with the understanding that I needed to give it a rest. I’ve picked it up again and this time around I’m allowing my characters to lead instead of telling them what to do. The baggage has been junked.
For now, the words are being channeled into a script that is nearing completion. It began with a beat sheet that is typically associated with film. Use it for anything with three acts and in need of a blueprint. A book, your life.
A game plan can guide you and your protagonist through the dark night of the soul that typically comes at the end of the second act. The exhilarating part comes next and it’s triggered by a profound insight.
In the Wizard of Oz, this is where Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy she’s always had the power to get back to Kansas. It’s when the disappointment of finding out the wizard is an ordinary man is vanquished. It’s when Dorothy finds her way home.
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What are the demons in your writing life?