I continue trying to pin my concentration, and the quilting I've been doing lately definitely helps. However, it is rare that I get an hour like this, sans homework, sans high school projects, sans melodrama that every adolescent is heir to, and I know I must work on my unfinished stories.
But here is the thing: I have lost control over them. They seem have acquired a consciousness of their own and often, I hear them snickering at me from beneath my closed laptop; I hear them murmuring, plotting, bickering with each other, calling out to each other, completely ignoring me. They wake me up with their constant cacophony and I can hear them singing each to each; they will not sing to me!
Like my daughter, they too have outgrown a need for me. But like my daughter, I haven't outgrown them. My everyday life is spiced up with my fictional characters' responses. I recognize spaces the stories unfold in. As I teach my fiction students the joys of flirting with perspective, my stories change tunes, voices, selves behind my eyes.
I disapprove of their brazen conduct, their lack of decorum. They remind me of the daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law triads of Hindi soap operas, those family sagas for which I have a fascinated disgust, like Milton's for Satan.
After all, I am constructing these stories (confound it, I still think of them as mine!), and how do they represent me to the larger world? Whatever will everyone think? Is THIS what I brought up and nurtured? Don't they realise the immense responsibility I shoulder in acknowledging them?
The really frightening thing is, what if I am the kind of writer they say I am? Someone very, very much unlike the kind I had always thought myself to be?
So I refuse to let them out.
Jealously, I keep them atop towers with no doors and have snipped off their long hair.
I am still looking for a way to quiet them, though.