Where It Comes From...
Some things in our lives command attention.
When we are sick, our health becomes serious. When we find out we have a disease, we take account of our lives. When we have children, the entire world looks unsafe. If the bank is empty, worry and survival come to the forefront.
But for writers (and other artists), there is something else. Deep inside there resides feelings and ideas that must be communicated and shared. The art is in figuring out a way to show it to the public. So, we grasp. A certain image could have come from a nightmare. The hero was a person or a combination of people we knew as a child. The villain is a teacher, coach, and movie monster packed into one. We take the pieces we have gathered in life and make them fit into the puzzle that makes the most sense and creates the clearest picture.
And while we do that, we go absolutely crazy.
The world’s largest jigsaw puzzle consisted of 551,232 pieces (at the time of this blogging). As human beings, we have billions of pieces to draw from. An old dentist’s office, the way someone once smirked, or the big red furry thing from a Bugs Bunny episode. They all swim around in our heads and we have to pluck the perfect one at the right time. And when we can’t find the piece we want for a story, we hit writer’s block, or go to writing groups, or, quit.
Strange thing is, I’ve tried to quit writing before. I thought I could find peace of mind, psychological solitude, a little more sanity if I could just cut out all of the things running around in my head. Perhaps if I didn’t feel the need to write it all down, the circus would stop.
That was not the case. It got worse. Even if it wasn’t all important, or nowhere close to lit-tra-chure, I had to write. When a short story isn’t popping up, I work on a book. When I need a break, I blog. And most importantly, when I get spare time, I read as much as I possibly can.
Reading is a way of life, fuel, giving to oneself. I have met many adults who could not read, or could not read well. The level of frustration is constant, and the feeling of being taken advantage of or duped is always there. Reading is a wonderful skill, to me, the most essential skill to get by these days. To read, to be able to spell words properly, and to wield the power of communication is awesome.
I have four year old twin boys. I watched them and their friends struggle to speak. There is a huge difference between a screaming and pointing toddler, anger rising and final realization by parent, and the child saying, “I, water.” Say it clearly, loud enough to be heard. Make your words matter, and remember that words you read matter, too.
And if I can contribute to the world of reading while I do my humble writing thing, well... count me in.
Marcy Italiano lives in Waterloo, Ontario with her husband Giasone and twin boys. Books available: KATRINA AND THE FRENCHMAN: A JOURNAL FROM THE STREET – 2009, SPIRITS AND DEATH IN NIAGARA –2008, PAIN MACHINE - 2003. Marcy has also written many dark fiction stories, the most recent publication is “Dance at My Funeral” in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Issue 4. She has published poetry in both magazines and online. She also works on songwriting with “G”. To find out more please visit www.marcyitaliano.com.