Musings of a Lost Book

I always said I was going to write a book. Even as a child, I was writing stories, albeit poorly written, but written nonetheless. “I’m going to publish a book before I’m 30,” I would always exclaim, so proudly as if I had already written it, as though I shoved it into the back corner of my closet without anyone knowing. I started and forgotten about so many ideas that culminated in my mind. The lost pages of writings from a naïve girl who had yet to experience the world, but tried so hard to understand the complexity of it. It’s hard to write when you hadn’t experienced much. The years went by, and while I wrote here and there, I never tried to sit down and write a book. Ideas were always swirling around in my head, but it was more a journalistic style of writing that I could muster up the energy and time to do, hence the entire reason behind this blog. I did not feel worthy enough to be able to write a book… so I just never tried. Even now, I rarely publish anything to this blog that I planned to. My over-analyzing and over-critical mind keeps me from putting anything out there. Nothing is ever good enough. I second guess all my ideas and story arcs, so the characters sit unwritten in drafts waiting to come to life with a story.

Twenty came and went like the wind through the trees on a stormy day: there one moment and gone the next. It would rustle up some ideas sometimes, but then it would fall to the ground, wilt, and die. Winter set in and everything became shades of white and grey: dingy with the dirt from yesterday’s gossip. Alcohol clouded my judgement, yet created some of the most entangled lines of poetry that I would not remember writing. The crutch of a drink in my hand opened up my soul to a world of possibilities that I never knew existed. I traveled into the dark areas of my mind that created both monsters and lovers. Sip by sip the letters formed words on a white screen, shaping the players to tell a story, but muddling reality and fantasy to where the two were indistinguishable. Alcohol served its purpose by tapping into the creativeness I needed, and couldn’t find without it.

And then thirty hit me like a hurricane, ripping out the tree that thought it was strong, but its roots too inept to hold on. The time passed slowly, yet so quickly, and I had no book to show for it. The life challenges nearly drowned me, but once the storm settled, the book sank to the bottom and became locked up in my subconscious, kept hidden from the scrutiny of the modern era of over-sharing and harsh opinions from key-board warriors who knew nothing about me, except the persona I portrayed online. It wasn’t a lie. It just wasn’t the full truth: a half truth. A delicate balance must be portrayed online: be open and honest, but not too much or you’re an over-sharer looking for pity; be confident, but not so much so that you seem arrogant and attention seeking; be mysterious and captivating to lure people in, but don’t be a ghost who posts nothing and bores their followers.

I discovered battered forgotten boxes in my mother’s basement recently. Pages and pages of stories and poetry and school papers kept carefully stacked between binders reminded me of how often I used to write. I sat on the floor, not comfortably since my pregnant belly felt like it could not possibly expand any more, and opened one of the boxes. The crinkling sound of the stiffened binder flooded my mind of the days when I would spend hours creating characters and a back story, only to abandon the idea a month later. With each page I turned, the dust collected over the years made the paper smell like an old book. A library of thoughts and dreams meticulously chosen to design a narrative in which the actors submit to my musings.

For now, the musings of a lost book will be kept sealed within the author. And although it may not be a pipeline dream anymore, the voices will sleep within the musty pages, hoping to be woken up one day. And maybe, just maybe, small increments will be revealed through poetry in an effort to piece together the twisted stories of us.

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2 thoughts on “Musings of a Lost Book

  1. Well this post alone is evidence of your cohesive and thoughtful style Megan. It sounds to me as if you only wish to start once you are convinced your book or story will be perfect and a best-seller. It won’t be, but you’ll learn a huge amount by writing it.
    For what it’s worth, two things.
    1. Start out, don’t be afraid, have fun with your writing. There will be no stopping you once you find your flow.
    2. Create a protagonist, a main character, who you can love. Then let him or her tell the story in their own way.
    Best wishes

  2. What if you self-published a book full of those unfinished stories and dedicated it to every writer published or otherwise who had those dreams as a child! I would buy a book like that. . . it would be relatable and make every one of us writers smile. 😉

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