Monday, September 20, 2004

Conversations with characters

Reuters saying more than 300 dead in Haiti due to Tropical Storm Jeanne’s flood waters. No trees, nothing to hold the mudslides back. Sigh… more distressing news. Going there Sunday, but not to Gonaives. Haiti’s been slammed this year, between the earlier violence, the floods in May that killed thousands and now this.

Worked on revisions all day yesterday, felt like a hermit so we went to a friend’s house for Dolphin’s game. Felt a little normal again. Sometimes when I get into writing, especially when on deadline, I get totally absorbed into the setting and my characters. I walk outside and blink, wondering where the pyramids are. I can’t stop thinking about my characters. They’re little gremlins following me around. It sounds odd, but they suck me in like quicksand.

Yesterday I had an imaginary conversation with Rashid. He asked me, “So Bonnie, you have me cutting off my abuser’s balls. Don’t you think that’s violent?” I told him, “Of course it is. How better to illustrate the rage you kept hidden as a child and finally let surface?” Then he said, “But people will think I’m a vicious, violent man.” And I answered, “Not really. Your actions were justified. You killed him in a fair fight and then cut off his balls. Very symbolic. They’ll see that vulnerable loneliness in your eyes Badra sees and know how haunted you are. How much you suffered. And I think they’ll cheer because your tormentor certainly deserved it.”

He seemed satisfied. Now must wait and see if my editor is.

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