A Stalking Horse

We all do it.  

We all seek approval for our scribbles.

When someone asks to read our work, we are all a flutter…

Our words will see the light of day, the passion on the pages released!

But stalking that euphoric landscape, in that vista of bliss lurks a distant figure on a horse.

The rider has always been there – he existed before you started writing.

The horse isn’t black, the rider doesn’t wear a cloak and hood – no scythe can be seen.

This rider isn’t death.

The man’s name no one knows for sure – for he has many and yet he also has none.

Yet all who tell tales know who he is, all instinctively recognise the rider.

Sometimes he stays on the peripheries, sometimes though he rides up close and tramples the seeds of you work under steel shod hooves.

Sometimes you destroy your own crops first…

You can see him; you could scare him off – you could wave your arms and shout at him to go away – but you don’t.

You stand rigid.

This rider knows your secret shame.

He knows you are scared and so he can slowly canter from the far hill – time is on his side.

You have a small stick and a heart full of passion for your work…

He’s getting closer…

Will you stand your ground, defend the seeds you have sown – or will this crop suffer the fate of so many other failed harvests?

The bark is rough in your hand…  

The last safe refuge.

The timid can use their imagination to give strength to a royal hand they are too afraid to play.

Scribblers of tall tales can stride like a colossus over the environment of their own creation.

It is liberating.

Fears can be exorcised, terrors purged – others can fall while the writer can remain strong.

Creativity is the release for the captivated soul – the mundane can become fantastic – even for a few hours…

Beautiful women, handsome men – all can be approached, the legacies of reality temporally suspended.

Ideas that you would never discuss in ‘polite society’ are given free reign.

Angels may indeed stand aside afraid of placing their next footstep, but the writer has no such inhibition – the writer in the midst of collective terror is calm.

Errors can be corrected, mistakes deleted leaving only the chosen purity remaining.

The typed word, the collection of pages upon pages of narrative, a world of their creation – it is an achievement that has them standing next to Sheila taking that long deserved bow…

But the escape only lasts so long.

The auditorium that was impassive while the worlds were created now takes an audible intake of breath…

The footlights become bright, the crowd becomes visible – are they about to clap, or is this silence not a pause before accolades rain down, is this moment about to become extended indifference, or an exiting audience confirming their rejection of your works?

Such a scenario can be avoided.

If you never offer up – you can never be rejected.

Logic can be cruel in its simplicity.

But if rejection can be avoided, then so too the opportunity for applause…

So, we stand in the auditorium, the lights begin to rise…

Are they shuffling to give an ovation, or standing to exit…?

Falling in love again!

Falling back into love is realising that you never were ‘out’ of love, that you’d just forgotten just how important that person is to you.

And, as it is with life, so too is it with writing.

Some random spark, some unforeseen act reignites the passion that was only ever patiently waiting in the wings.

The honeymoon period is reimagined, the passion familiar, even if the touches are already known – nothing for being revisited is stale, love allows everything to be continually reborn, reinvigorated – and it’s awesome!

I am an unapologetic romantic – and art does indeed imitate life.

I am again writing random out of sequence scenes for Amy Grace. 

Phrases toying with your imagination become pages of action.

Joining these snippets together is an act of love.

And this ladies and gentlemen is where we are – and it is good.

Stay safe and remain sane!