I am currently faceless. At least, my characters are.
I could make them up out of my head, the visages that inhabit my created world. I have done that in the past.
Don’t wanna. Not this time.
Part of the process is a kind of falling in love. One of the ways that happens is to write to a physical model. David in The Spiritkeeper. Terry Everything. They had faces I could look at; faces in the printouts and interviews that I would stare at until the clues to their owners’ natures came clear.
I won’t tell you who those faces belonged to in the real world. Folks close to me already know (an apologies to them for the regalement). For the folks who don’t, I risk being labeled as a stalker, a moniker that’s probably uncomfortably close to being true.
I stare as a kind of meditation; as a contemplation into a still, deep pool. I’ll admit this, although I probably shouldn’t: It is a kind of falling in love.
Is the love real? Yes. Intensely. Does it have a place in the real world? No. Am I aware of the difference? Mostly. Does the contradiction trouble me? Not one damned bit.
As writers, we build high towers of worship for ourselves, all the better to see to the horizon. Sometimes we have a tough time finding our way down. Much of the time, we don’t want to.
I can’t command the face to appear. Like the love who shows up unexpectedly one day in a real-life doorway, bearing in his presence a stroke of personal lightning, we cannot ask it to come. We can only wait watchfully. We can only hope. And once we find what we didn’t know what we were looking for, we will look at it longingly. We will dine with it and take walks with it. We will wish it good-night from the next pillow’s vantage.
We will write love letters to the image the image in our heads. And we will call it a book.