Day’s Word Count: 3,508.

Total Word Count: 16,948.

Words to Go: 33,052.

I missed a day blogging. Sort of depressing, but given that I only wrote 98 words yesterday, I suppose I don’t feel too bad about it. I also missed my first official NaNoWriMo write-in because I woke up and felt so dang sick that I didn’t know what to do with myself, but a few hours of sleep fixed that right up. I ended up going on a date with my boyfriend to the local art museum down here, and it was just…incredible.

There is something about viewing works by such artists as Manet that really strikes you down to the very marrow in your bones. Lingering there, just a foot or two away, you can see the individual brush strokes. You realize that you are standing right in proximity to where the artist stood before he lifted his paintbrush and made another flourish. You can literally feel the raw energy in the air, stoking everything around you like a fire until you can barely breathe anymore.

I attended the exhibition, whose paintings were donated for this tour by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, for an assignment for one of my classes. We were to go and find a painting and write a 500-word reflection on it. The painting that I chose was this:

There are literally no high-quality images of this painting online, for goodness sakes. It’s “L’Enigme” by Gustave Doré, and I cannot even express to you how overcome I was when I saw this painting. I literally did a double-take, stared at it for about five minutes straight, and then began to tear up.

The story behind it is that this is after a war in France. The winged figure there, she represents France, in fact. The creature she is clinging to is a sphinx. In Greek mythology, the sphinx was a creature that tormented the countryside by asking the various passersby riddles. If they did not give a correct answer, she devoured them. The unspoken theme behind this painting, in my eyes, is the sphinx staring down at the winged figure and asking her “Why war?” And there is no answer to be had. But nothing about this painting was truly real to me until I saw the woman in the front, clinging to her child.

I want to tell a story like that one day. I want someone to read what I write and to feel something quake inside of them at the sheer magnitude of what I am saying. I want them to feel so in touch with my characters that they connect with them through the pages, that when they finish the book they find themselves imagining the rest of their stories. I want them to miss my characters like old friends. That is the power of art, and I am utterly and wholly addicted to it.

I am pleased to express a confrontation I had with one of my protagonists today, in fact. Anyone who creates should be very well familiar with the fight that your creation will occasionally put up once you’ve given them enough life. Mine went a little something like this:

Me: Tenor, go have a fight with your wife.

Tenor: No. 8|

Me: …what the heck do you m-

Tenor: I love my wife. 8| Why would I fight with her?

Me: You’re going to have a fight with your wife whether you like it or not, you know. >_<

Tenor: B| No. I refuse.

Me: … -sigh- Tara, go fight with your husband.

Tara: -shrugs- Okay. -goes off to crush his dreams-

I loved that. Even though it took me a solid day and a half to write this confrontation between them and even though I still don’t think it’s quite believable enough, it shows me that I’ve truly created something, and that he’s got a strong enough personality that he’s going to fight me tooth-and-nail to hold on to what he wants and what he needs.

This is the reason I will never understand why people drink or smoke or do drugs. Creating isn’t my anti-drug. Creating is my drug. I get a buzz and a high off of it bigger than anything else in the world. To quote a great sage by the name of Robin Williams, “Why do you think Einstein always looked like that?”

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