Friday, November 26, 2010

The Writer's Holiday

Writers never take a break. Always thinking, always coming up with the next plot story or novel. So when a holiday comes along it takes the writer out of their world and puts him in the larger world for at least a day and usually longer. The writer then turns on the side that faces the world  as the ritual of holiday rolls along. But like the bit player in the play they are no longer sure about, the writer is always just a little off center with one foot in and one foot out. The holidays can be a challenge.

Not that the holidays are not a challenge for a lot of people. Expectations are expectations. Ritual must be observed and for the liturgists it is their greatest revenge. All those people who exist on the periphery of society (artists, writers, street people) must come in for oxygen and partake. This is not a prison sentence it is just a change of hats and maybe it is a hat worn once a year. Holidays belong to the well adjusted, the balanced individual who can put themselves aside readily. Writers have a hard time with putting themselves aside generally speaking.

The problem is you are always in the third person. And at the very time you are watching your in laws or your parents or those cousins from Kansas make a Christmas toast you are thinking how really weird this all is. Of course the tape recorder is rolling and it is all stored for future use. Writers suck up the oxygen and after they have taken about as much as they can they are ready to go back to their world. But not so fast. The holidays are a season and for the first time the writer is trapped. And so you drink. You make merry. You enjoy the moment. Then you write that blistering story, poem, or novel burning it all down.
Rocket Man will be out in January

Books by William Hazelgrove