The past year for me has been tumultuous. Sickness and death in the family, not the least of which was almost losing my husband last month to a sudden, severe illness. Surgery still pending on that, so I live in limbo. I can’t even imagine a life without him.
Not the best environment for a writing muse.
I have pressed on. Despite having to surrender to stagnation on “PIGMENTS,” I went back to complete a manuscript I’ve been working on for a number of years. “ELECTRICITY” is set on the very grounds of the campus where I work, that of Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
The campus has a darker history, before the University purchased the property. In the mid to latter part of the 20th century, the grounds housed a mental asylum. Many of the buildings have either been razed, fallen down, or been repurposed. One, though, still stands. A hulking beast at the highest point on the campus. Building 25 stands witness to the horrors it has witnessed.
I’ve been in there. I convinced a security guard to unscrew the board holding the front door shut. I walked through its haunting emptiness, filled with only the smell of mold and neglect. To feel the unspoken desperation still hovering in the stagnant air. To encounter the skeleton of a wayward bird who made his way his, but not out.
It’s where the bulk of “ELECTRICITY” is set.
Still, I had lost my voice. My writing muse. Even though I had already written over 20,000 words on the book, I was stalled. Every sentence I wrote seemed stilted. Forced. Not my own.
So I downloaded my own audiobooks – ones I’d already had published and uploaded to Audible.com. What an amazing trick this is, fellow writers! Go back and read or listen to your own words. They will revive the muse within.
I am forging ahead on “ELECTRICITY.” The words keep coming, although I’m not sure where they’re coming from or where they’re headed. I do, however, know the ending. The light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. So I have a beacon to guide me on the right path.
Stay tuned, readers. I promise, “ELECTRICITY” is imminent. And it will be filled with not only the imaginative creation of a fiction writer, but also with facts gleaned from history. And from personal, chillingly haunting experiences of my own.