I have always turned to writing for comfort and pleasure. As a child, my journals were where I shared my thoughts, my feelings, and things I couldn’t explain. It was like having a reliable friend growing-up, one who was always ready to listen, who would never divulge secrets, and who would console you at any point in time. It was through this intimate relationship that I learned how to express myself.
My second form of writing for pleasure were letters. I had a lot of pen pals because my parents moved a lot for work. In each city, my friends and I would promise each other to stay in touch and write letters. We wrote and maintained contact for a long time, but I learned quickly that distance did not make the heart grow fonder, instead relationships withered, and died. This was the pre-internet era, and I wonder if they would have survived with today’s latest video and chatting capabilities.
The onslaught of emails and technology brought my letter writing to a crumbling halt. I still miss handwritten letters, and thank you notes. I will write them occasionally to my family members, letters which I hope they will cherish. There was something more heartfelt in holding a pen and a paper and inking your words to another’s heart. There was a tilt to the pen, a sense of the moment that somehow is lost when typing. Or perhaps, I am simply nostalgic for a time that has gone by. Similarly, my journal writing days are over, and when I’m overwhelmed with life or with a certain emotion, I let my fiction take sail, and transform the pain, or the joy into a story.
The more I try to create stories and immerse myself in sensory details, the more I feel a quench in my gut to return to the basics. I want to ground myself again in the words, in the formation of each sentence, in their function and utilization. I want to be able to fly more freely into fiction, and I hope this course will give me that solid foundation where I will feel capable of going the distances I need to with my writing.