Scrape the Rust, Oil the Joints

There is some bad poetry on this blog. There’s some decent writing. This is a legitimate time capsule of Jaclyn, sampling a limited selection of moods and phases.

I wish I’d kept better track of this metamorphosis. My intent is to return to my early ways of consistent written disclosure, especially about myself. You could call it narcissism. Since I don’t have a chubby, dribbling baby to photograph and swoon over, why not reminisce over my own awkward (and far less cute) spiritual, emotional, professional, artistic, cosmetological growth? (gosh, do I like words)

But, for both our sakes, I hope this isn’t narcissism. I hope what I do here is actually the opposite.

I want to write like I did in high school.

When I “got an idea” as a teenager, I didn’t as much “get” it, as the idea GOT me. It possessed me, descended on me like a dove. Its silky, shimmering image–of the idea, you see–would move and grow. Not just in my mind, but in my every sense. It was as if worlds grew from seeds, and something I’d eaten of this world had contained a world-starting seed, a tiny embryo that was sprouting and unfurling inside me.

It probably sounds pretty weird if you haven’t had this kind of experience. Don’t worry– it’s about to get weirder.

See, once the seed of a new, imagined world starts to grow, it needs a bigger and bigger place to live. The space inside one little human isn’t enough. The baby world seedling needed transplanting. For me, the next viable plot was my laptop. Ahh, my high school laptop. In the early 2000’s, mine was sidewalk gray, and about three inches thick. It was awesome, this tool I used to lay down fresh, green thoughts.

Here’s the Twilight Zone part, unless you can relate. As I typed, I never really knew what my story was going to be about. I might have a character or two, and a setting, but that was about it. Writing revealed to me the story. It never felt like I was “creating” or “crafting” anything, like we always say we’re doing as English undergrads or highfalutin bloggers.

Writing became like reading for me. I had been a voracious reader growing up, and could never seem to find books long enough (until I picked up Atlas Shrugged), and I especially loved stories that surprised me (though I still have an affinity for Animorphs and Garfield comics). To write was like reading the most suspenseful, unpredictable story. There were no book summaries to give everything away, or paragraphs further down the page to woo my eyes and spoil the next turn before I’d finished Jo March’s monologue. And best of all, the story could stretch on forever.

I marvel at how unknowingly close to such a great Truth I was so long ago. If only I had remembered. It would’ve saved me such angst and anxiety as I scrabbled for an existence of my own. I fought, and tried, pretended, and strove. I cried when I should’ve laughed, and laughed when I should’ve cringed.

The Truth is, stories are Given. Even my Very Bad Stories, the Andalite fanfiction and A:tLA roleplays, they came on me in the purity of inspiration. It’s not the stories’ fault my mortal kiddie hands muddied them up.

Yes, writing is work, and takes disciplined practice to get good. I’m not at all implying that creativity can only be achieved by “creatives” with muses whispering in their ears. What I do mean, however, is that there is a Voice whispering in the ears of all of us. I mean that we are not so much creators, as creations.

And creations do what they were created to do, using the stuff they are given.

Hence my effortless, one-dimensional stories. There are others that were better that I’d say experienced this process, but the hour is already altogether too late, and it’s this creation’s time for sleeping.

 

In my next post I’ll talk about spaghetti machines, and bring this post full circle by explaining why I wish you had a more full-bodied written account of my awkwardly insectlike metamorphosis.

Thanks for reading. Noodle-loo!

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