Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction

One of the strangest and sometimes exciting aspects to being a creator of stories is how sometimes you find the world around you imitating your creations. My book entitled: Connections in Crimson depicts a tragic tale where our hero finds someone that not only understands him, but also shares the same “abilities” making their relationship grow that much faster and closer with each passing day. Unfortunately, fate is not on their side and in the end, the hero finds his love sacrificing herself to save others.  It was a rather emotional chapter to a novel which I drafted in 2012.

Not long ago, I had to put aside my writing as I found myself in the process of moving. This kept me from blogging and editing, so I resigned myself to taking care of these things when time permitted. When I finally got settled in and returned to editing my book, I found that the scenes and characters no longer felt like the stuff of fiction. My own life was easily reflected in those pages and I struggled to regain the mindset required to continue the editing process because I more easily sympathized with every sense of loss the hero felt and reading the foreshadowing of the coming loss struck me as karmic irony.

I found myself thinking of fictional overlaps to real life like in the movie/book Stranger Than Fiction where a character started hearing the writer narrate the tale of his life and was helpless to do anything to stop it. (Mostly) I also read a post by Neil Gaiman who one day saw a quote from his past works tattooed on the shoulder of a passerby. (Yes, he blogged about it and I was captivated by the notion.)

Seeing these wonderful stories in our imagination is a gift that I am always returning to time after time. However, as I mentioned before, living out a scenario in real life is a bit unsettling to say the least. I remember thinking about Stranger Than Fiction when I was forcing myself back to editing my tale and saw the overlap in my own life. In one scene, the narrator is going on about how the main character was cursing to the heavens, which, of course, he could hear and ends up yelling: “No, I’m not! I’m cursing you, you stupid voice!”

I didn’t go so far as cursing at the heavens, but for the briefest of moments, I did think how terrible it was to be writing a tragic story while living through on in real life. Experience is said to be the best teacher and matters of the heart are the harshest of lessons in life. Of course, in retrospect, we can always see how life’s pitfalls could have been avoided. It’s just one of those things we make mental notes of for the next time such a situation arises. Unfortunately, by the time we identify such things, it is usually too late and we find ourselves nervously turning the page of life with as much awareness of what lies ahead as the characters we write.

As in my book, my own tragedy unfolded like a plot which most anyone looking from the outside could have predicted.  I then found myself doing what we all do when life knocks the wind out of you and kicks you a few times just for the heck of it: I got up, tended to my wounds and turned the page.

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