I apologize in advance for the following post as it is one of my ramblings…
I had recently stumbled across a short story contest that has a deadline for submission at the end of this month. The rules of the contest will force me to break out of my normal genre of Horror. The journey to draft this story has been very difficult as it cannot be filled with any graphic violence, and with that I am assuming no paranormal. So, no zombies or ghosties! I know you are thinking, “Why in the world are you even attempting this?” Well, this experience will make me a well-rounded author. Sometimes you just need to break out of the routine. Breaking from a routine always strengthens a routine, if you catch my drift!
As nights turn into mornings, I struggle to write this piece which cannot exceed 2,000 words. The theme it is just your basic short story completion (sans explicit sex, graphic language, or graphic violence). This type of contest definitely derails from my routine. Again, I know what you are thinking, “This is just a basic short story contest, why you are struggling so much?” Because I am having issues dropping my “routine”! I mean, I really don’t have to break from the paranormal routine, it is not a rule that is set in stone, but I sort of feel like testing myself. I want to experience this struggle from my norm. I want to see if I can do this and what I can do to help change my normal literary “thoughts”. Adaptations are good. It makes us evolve.
So, this story which I am in the process of drafting is actually on the border of inspirational (as in spiritually inspirational). I had no intention of writing an “inspirational” story. I just sort of started typing, and the words fell into place. Sadly, in the midst of drafting, I failed at keeping the “horror” out. Death slipped in. I have no idea how she did it, but she did. Halfway through allowing my brain to spill out onto the pages in the form of words, I noticed death made her appearance. Not once, but THREE times. Oh, the agony. I try and I try to write a story that does not have an aspect of “death”, “horror”, or the “macabre” in it. Yest, again, I failed. She just has to make her appearance everywhere.
Maybe that is my sign. I cannot run from her. Death is there along every step of the journey through life. I will be the first to admit, and truthfully admit, I do not fear death. A painful death, yes, but death itself, no. She is a part of the balance of life. Just think, should death ever give up her day job, no one would die. Our entire would be overpopulated, not just by people, but animals too. Especially overpopulated by rabbits! You know how much rabbits reproduce. Just think if rabbits would never die. We would wade through an endless sea of bunnies. They would take over all the land, and eat all of the carrots. They would be an infection… an infection with their cute fuzzy cotton tails and wiggly little noses.
Sorry to have gotten off track, but in this I have found my reason for allowing death her appearance in my stories. Because she is there to keep the balance of life and writing. The balance of life because at some point this life must end. The balance of writing, because all good writers must allow their Egos to die. Letting go of the Ego is only the beginning. Once the Ego is dead, our imagination can expand. I killed my Ego the moment I started this blog. Ego does not only mean pride, but fear as well. I feared placing myself in the public eye. Yet, if I want to be a famous author someday, I would have to show my true colors. In my writing, I place death on the forefront to show that she is not scary, she is not malicious, she just needs to “be”. If we ever turn our backs and allow her to disappear, the balance of everything will be broken. We will have a world that will be overrun with bunnies and Egos. So never fear death, just acknowledge her existence and reason.
Always remember that, you “wascally wabbits”.
Mors principium est.
©2011, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative – visit Amanda Headlee — It is Always Darkest Before the Dawn for the original source of this content.