The Best Lies

This boy had a VERY upset stomach the past few days. He is usually rambunctious and full of energy, so seeing him with no appetite, tail hanging, moping around behind me was emotionally/mentally draining. He’s thankfully on the mend now and back to his happy self. He wants to play; I want to sleep.

Little writing — and by little I mean none — was accomplished this week. Not that I wasn’t thinking about it. I do that constantly, whether I want to or not, especially at 1 AM when I’d prefer to be asleep. But somehow, that’s when my best thoughts come.

Last night yielded this: “Sometimes there were dreams, hazy half-remembrances of brighter colors, but they were followed by pain, an iron taste filling her mouth, and she let herself forget.” (I’m really proud of that sentence.)

This marks the 60th post on my blog since I began at the end of January. I don’t recognize myself as the same writer I was then. I won’t say I’m better, just different. I’m starting to understand that a writer’s job is to shape the negative space, manipulate the reader’s eye into thinking they see what is invisible and finding patterns that were never there. “The novelist’s business is lying.” (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness). Good lies contain a grain of truth. The best lies start in the teller’s mind and finish in the listener’s. Then it must be true. It was the listener’s idea all along.

So I write, and I re-write and I re-write until I find the words I was looking for from the beginning. The voice must speak with confidence, even if it cracks and breaks, mumbles and mispronounces, stutters and forgets. Yesterday’s wisdom will be tomorrow’s folly, but nothing is gained standing still. And perhaps along the way, we can fool ourselves into thinking we are one step closer to perfection.

Or perhaps… I’m just sleep-deprived.

More soon.

~ R. E. Rule