Tiptoeing in the Darkness

I’m a big fan of dystopic literature.  I like books that speculate on how miserable our future could be, because I take comfort in knowing that it probably won’t be that bad, or if it is, at least I’ll know what to expect.  The book “Feed” by M.T. Anderson is still one of my all-time favorites for this genre (he should have won the National Book Award for this one).

I’m working on a speculative fiction that is dystopic as well, and I am enjoying the process probably more than I should.  I get to toy with all kinds of dark and frightening aspects of possibility. My main character has, thus far, built and used a taser, insulted dead people, outsmarted rapists, and contemplated murdering a toddler. And she is only sixteen years old.

I’m pushing myself to limits – and beyond them – that I would never have thought about before.  In the past, I have tiptoed to the edge of these dark places, then turned and ran in the opposite direction.  Recently, I started tiptoeing into the darkness and peeking around at the beasties lurking in the corners.  It was scary – at first. Not anymore. Now, it’s sort of liberating.  It feels as if, having confronted many of my own writing taboos (some of which I didn’t know I had!), there are no limits now. There is no dark place that can’t stomp through in my boots and announce, “Here I am, and you don’t scare me.”

It’s sort of fun.

No – it’s really fun!

I have really conquered nothing more than my own beliefs and misconceptions, but that is still noteworthy to me.  I feel sort of heroic – like I’ve gotten over myself in a way.

(One day, I will look like the girl in the middle, not the Ork on the side)

I’ve realized that the past year has been one of transition for me. Change is hard, and even when it is for the better we humans are resistant do stepping out of our ruts. 

I’ve been lucky to have some good friends – old and new – who’ve helped to nudge me out of my comfort zone so that I could move forward.

Carol, as always, is a guiding force for me.  My dear friend Ed has taught me to be brave. My new friend and fellow writer Jared has helped me to trust. My friend Jan has reminded me to persevere.  All of this has helped to move me off center and restore a sense of purpose I haven’t felt for a while. 

I can’t wait to see what pops up next!


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