I Am On A Role…
and a roll…when it comes to writing the future of a gift society. Remember Fuller Banks, a character in my novel The Potluck? For those of you who have not read or don’t recall earlier posts containing excerpts from this book, Fuller is a financier who brings the expensive Russian caviar to a gathering of spiritual adventurers. Later, he explains why he was invited to join that group, “I would say that it’s because I am a rich man, and I view that as a blessing. And blessings are spiritual, aren’t they? It makes me happy to give people gifts that they can’t afford for themselves. I do occasionally help people in need, but it makes me a lot happier to give some ordinary person an unexpected luxury item. Something that gives them pleasure.”
“The Horse Knows The Way”
I haven’t mentioned the writing my future group lately. Actually it was retired some time back after I finished writing The Potluck and began focusing my attention on this blog. Most of the members weren’t writing anyway, and I no longer felt the need to read to them as they can now read for themselves right here. Which they are doing. They are a loyal group and I appreciate everything they are doing to support me.
Meanwhile, the title of my blog has taken on a new meaning. Originally it was “Writing My Future,” subtitled “How I Wrote My Book.” Like this suggests, I am–consciously and unconsciously–writing my future through Renee. But what is also happening is that I am writing again, which was always my first love in terms of vocation. I abandoned that love many years ago because I believed the fiction police (writing teachers, editors, publishers…) when they told me I was unworthy. Now the love of my life has come back to me with the gift of The Potluck. So I have changed the title of my blog to “Writing…My Future.” It’s pure genie–ous, my three wishes are being granted all at once: a spiritual adventure, magical grandchildren and a future of writing. Excitement!
Joe Came To Help Me, Not Just Lucy!
Some things are not obvious until you are ready for them to be obvious. For example, I have a friend who writes a newsletter about self-love. To me it is obvious she writes it so she can learn how to love herself; but to her it’s not obvious because it is not yet a conscious desire. As she looks around her she only sees the need to love oneself reflected in the mirror of others.
Likewise, writing one’s future can be a conscious act, but the unconscious will always find a way in. My conscious desire was to write a spiritual adventure because I wanted one for myself. And now in the mirror of Renee I also am brought face-to-face with my unconscious longing to have a magical relationship with my own grandchildren.
When my friend writes the self-love stuff, the good news is that her readers benefit as well–and so I hope it is the same with some of you when I write about Renee, who, by the way, in our last excerpt was surprised to find Joe at her front door:
How Cool! Rita Likes Elvis!
We are getting close to the end of Chapter 4, so today I’m going to use my allotment of words to move quickly toward that goal, which I will achieve next time. Remember Renee had just asked Rita about where Joe wanted her to follow him:
“Here, I guess. He told me about this group and invited me to come. So I did.”
“And I kept coming cause I like it. Everybody treats me nice here.”
Monty pushed his chair back and stood up. “I’m afraid we will have to be leaving soon. It’s getting late and there are some folks out there who need me to show up in their dreams.”
Ada waved her hand in the air, “Wait! There’s still one matter of business. Renee, we like to offer our spiritual novices a day with anyone here to learn more about their peculiar brand of spiritual adventure. For example, since you seem fascinated with the idea of being able to research the God particle, perhaps you would like to spend a day with Reese in her laboratory.”
I’m Getting Annoyed With Renee!
I think I told you that this novel is writing itself, which is a wonderful turn of events for a writer: No writer’s block! No story outlines. No character boards. All this and a free Muse, too! (Thanks again, Muse. I know you are reading this, and I love you for everything you do for me!)
This has been so fun, but now I’m starting to tire of Renee. From the beginning she has been indecisive: To spiritually adventure or not adventure? What to wear? What food to bring to the potluck…And now she’s getting downright judgmental. Personally, I would be thrilled to have such eccentric characters show up in my life to entertain me; yet all she can do is criticize how they live their peculiar (charmingly peculiar, in my opinion) brand of spirituality.
Of course it wouldn’t be right not to ask how this relates to my writing experiment. Still, the hardest thing in life is to see yourself as others see you, so I must ask you, my faithful followers: maybe you know me personally, or maybe you have only gotten to know me through these posts and/or the pithy subscriber letters I send you every week; either way, please be honest and tell me what similarities–and differences, if you would be so kind–you see between me–J.K.–and Renee C. Wright. I am most grateful in advance for your comments: there’s a place the end of this post or you can e-mail them to me.
Back to Renee–if, indeed, you can take any more of her right now!–various members of the potluck have just finished explaining why they do what they do, and in Joe’s absence Reese observes how his walking away gets more attention than any explanation ever could:
The Ultimate Spiritual Adventure
Before I started writing about Renee, I didn’t even know I wanted to know where God hangs out. I’m sure you have heard that old joke where one person announces s/he has found God, and the other responds, “I didn’t know he was missing.”
While “missing” may be too strong a word to describe my feelings, Renee definitely got me thinking: what if God is playing a fun game of hide-and-seek? Is God in the breath as Buddhists claim? Or in the heart as Christians say? What about in the laboratory as is suggested in this next segment of The Potluck? (If you recall, we last left off with Ada pointing out that inviting Renee to join the group had a purpose):
“As is our usual custom with the initiation of the spiritually adventurous, we will now allow Renee to ask a question of one person from our group. That person will give a response and discussion will follow. Renee?”
Wait A Minute! I Wanted To Write My Future And Now I Am!
I am writing my future as a writer, don’t you see, because even though I am writing a book about a character seeking adventure, in the process I have become a published writer. Which is, as I have told you, has always been my deepest desire. And now back to Renee:
Madame Pappionovitch clasped Renee’s hand warmly, “Police come upstairs. All Monty’s friends are velcome here. Let’s haf a cup of tea and get acquainted.” Her accent had a Slavic thickness.
They followed her up the narrow wooden steps. Madame’s breathing was labored and her fat ankles rippled over the edges of her sturdy oxfords. She was wearing a flowered apron which covered most of her striped house dress, and a cotton paisley babushka was wrapped tightly over her forehead, its exaggerated V trailing down her plump and sweaty back.
I Had To! My Audience Wanted More.
One of the two group members who has been writing and waiting for it to happen admits at our next meeting that what she wrote has already happened. I do not tell them that my next installment is something I wrote many years ago, which has also already happened to me. Or at least part of it has already happened.
I Would Never Do What Renee is Going to Do! Or Would I?
I read the next segment to the group and also send it to my Muse. Everyone loves it, especially the Muse, whose favorite ejaculation is becoming “Wow!”
In spite of the fact that a few minutes earlier Renee had been ready for anything to relieve her boredom, she felt indignant. How dare he suggest leaving? As if he were indicating she had no life! And it was true, she did have a life–of sorts. Like most people she had friends, extended family such as aunts, uncles, cousins and a brother and sister-in-law who lived several hundred miles away in her home town. And then there was Edward’s sister and brother, their children, and of course several couples whose company they enjoyed socially, not to mention Edward’s many business acquaintances.
“I’m afraid you have assumed too much,” she responded primly to Monty’s invitation, which did not seem so much of an invitation as a command. “What I mean is, I’m not sure I want to go anywhere anymore.” That was a lie, but she had just happened to remember that it’s usually prudent to look before you leap.
All I Ever Wanted Was To Be A Writer!
Meanwhile my writing cohorts are faltering. The one with the garden gets bored and says she doesn’t like controlling what happens next. She likes surprises, even if they are unpleasant. She wants to drop out of the group. The night train rider moves from writing to creating a vision board. The other two continue to write and wait for it to happen. I, on the other hand, am on a roll. I write my next segment and read it aloud to them:
One red and orange October morning, as was her custom, Renee had seated herself on her sun porch to review her list of to-dos for the day. With its view of the garden, the sun porch was an idyllic place, but she hardly noticed because she was so infernally bored with her life. She felt like screaming, but instead she rose from her chair and said very, very loudly, “Something needs to happen NOW!”