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Is there a writer alive who doesn’t live the characters aloud? Any one who of us who doesn’t walk through a scene, using the body to prove the images? Any of us who does not perform the characters into a mirror?

It’s a shaming confession, I know. A surfacing of the inner ham. A kind of no-harm-no-foul schizophrenia that puts the characters’ truths into our eyes and ears. A way to settle in the calming sounds of our own voices. A double-checking of rhythm and flow. In a person like me, whose unwillingness to appear foolish borders on the pathological, the test is an exercise in self-tolerance. Or blindness. I haven’t decided which.

There is a step further. Method writing. I’ve already suggested on these pages the lengths to which it can go…the frenzy of melancholy, the numbing despair that I revisited in order to bring that to a character at the end of love. An immersion into a sensory world that borders on the terrifying (or maybe just on the 60s). This is the calling-back of the joys and pains, the seeing and hearing and touching and tasting and smelling that has found a permanent place into our memories.

We write what we know. We re-create what we remember. We walk through it. We give it back to ourselves. As a person who does not believe that everything happens for a reason, this is the writerly experience that gives the lie to my belief.

You felt it. You heard it. You kept it. Use it.

Remember, The Spiritkeeper is being shared, serially, Tuesdays and Saturdays (for now) on I love this book, and I’d love it if you’d join me there!


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