Posted: August 16, 2012 in FICTION, historical fantasy

The Park at 21 Rue Raynouard

Searching the soul late at night is what we writers do while you mortals are safe and sound and tucked in for the evening. We muse and ponder and wrangle and wonder at all of the infinite possibilities of life, whether it be real or fictional life. To us, it is all the same. I thought for a while I was doing a spectacular balance beam routine while straddling the fine line between the real and the fake. Turns out, I was not even on the beam! I was way over in the corner of the gym staring down at my socks. I realize now that I have no stronghold whatsoever in this world or the world of fiction. They have become one creature filled with the spectacular and the mundane and the longer I live the more I wonder if we really are in The Matrix. Any modern astrophysicist would tell me that indeed we are in a matrix of sorts and that energy and matter are the same thing and on and on and on. He or she would make perfect sense and be full of logic, but that would do nothing to quiet the stirring voices underneath it all. Logic doesn’t work in the realms the writers live in. We live in Imagination and Intuition and Nightmares and Speculation and Dreams and Emotion and Instinct and Primal Forces and on and on and on. I can only speak for myself and knew that long ago I was drawn into another world created by books. Something was born in me and continued to grow the more I read. I could not read enough books as a child and each book has stamped pictures in my head that are encoded as realistically as any real memory. There was another world as well. My family lived on the edge of a forest which was magical and powerful and mysteriously beautiful. I was drawn to the woods as much as I was drawn into words. Both worlds became completely real for me as I was only a child and didn’t know any better. I followed a voice that came to life through the adventures of Grimm and C.S. Lewis and Hans Christian Anderson. I found courage where there was none. I was brave like the children who found themselves in Narnia and fighting off monsters with swords of men. I began to acquire the characteristics of the characters in my books. I was no longer just me. In the woods I also learned how to be and how to blend in and how to move with the animals.  I became stealthy and primitive and my instincts sharpened quickly which helped me enormously to surive middle school! I was an animal and a scholar and a pirate and a magician. I could become anyone at anytime and these were all completely interchangeable. I had a cast of characters that would take over this book worm’s body and throw it into action. If I had stayed in the little town I grew up in and never left it for these wonderful worlds I had discovered, I would not be who I am today. I certainly would not be a writer. I would be whatever they told me to be. For my father I think his secret wish was to see his sons with doctorates. The town would have me become something mediocre and dull. They tried from the very beginning to clip my wings that had grown under the protection of the mighty maples and elms that had become my guardians. Even the trees spoke to me and I listened very carefully. The forest was my home and my books were my sanctuary. The combination created a unique specimen who refuses to listen to anything but those voices underneath the din. If I were one to regret things I might regret I didn’t take someone else’s advice on what to do with my life. I have unflinchingly listened to that little voice within and it did not make me rich and famous. It made me a well travelled American with many friends all over the globe. It made me publish my book myself because that is how it had to be. It made me do all sorts of crazy things that still make no sense today and I have no interest in questioning it. There are things and people and places in my life today that I could not imagine not having. My soul is happy. Even when I am totally broke and going through a rough spot, my soul is happy. The artist in me actually enjoys the financial hard times. Now that is a real artist! I do get lofty in this head of mine sometimes and I am humbly reminded that it wasn’t me that acheived all this. It was something inside me that had been growing all along ever since that first book and the first time I realized the woods were mine forever. There are times when I wonder if I am completely mad and a complete fool for following my muse, but then something happens or someone happens that reminds me I am exactly where I need to be. My soul is happy. Even now it is sprawling underneath an oak tree and reading about the Shire while basking in the dappled sunlight. Here is to your happy souls my Beloved Immortals!

  1. God, I gotte watch that movie Matrix! It sounds as if worlds collide there–and who knew? I mean…Keanu? (secret fan from his ecxellent adventures…and…gulp…Lake House) Thomas I love this write. It’s richly embroidered with scene (the woods & childhood) and content (the stuff that led you here, today) It is richer still than lots of stuff I read in this genre (blog genre..?) and this isn’t idle flattery.

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