Friday, April 24, 2009

hello from the middle of the night

Hello to my lovely writerly types, innocent bystanders, and those of you who wandered here by mistake. Unlike Bobbie Riedel, who began her introduction with an interesting question, I have no intriguing tidbit to offer you. I'm afraid I don't even have an introduction, not really, and am only making this up as I go along.

To begin:
My name is Megan. I'm a dancer, currently taking classes at the magnificent San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and going to auditions when I can. I work at Kepler's, mainly in the evenings when I'm not dancing, and write stories. Or try to write stories. My imagination tends toward the odd, the specific, the unlikely, and things that make shortcuts in your brain by pretending to be impossible.

Some writers who have left indelible marks in my head:
Neil Gaiman, Ian McEwan, Kelly Link, Rudyard Kipling, Kazuo Ishiguro, Arthur Conan Doyle, George MacDonald, Haruki Murakami, Philip Pullman, Angela Carter, P.G. Wodehouse, and Jane Austen.
(If any of them are strangers to you, I would be happy to share zealous recommendations.)

Some things I like to write about:
Ghosts, magic tricks, levitation, glass conservatories, shadows, orange trees, illusions, ordinary people, weird people, things turning into other things, and dangerous art.

I didn't write seriously until last summer, when I went to the Clarion workshop in San Diego. Before that, stories were something that other people made so I could enjoy them. Six weeks of writing stories and reading other stories in a mad, desperate rush, all while surrounded by a group of blisteringly talented people and guided by brilliant teachers, made me realize that stories are something I like to make as well as consume.

It was a comforting discovery. Stories make me happy and writing them is, if not always easy or fun, at least very, very interesting. I'm not very good at putting them together yet, and sometimes I feel like I'm poking my fingers into the cage of a supper-deprived lion... but taking something out of my head, without being sure of what it is or how it's shaped, and putting it on paper so I can find out fills my head with slow-motion fireworks.

A miniature something (my but she carries on, you say!):
Giants are invisible these days. Back when stories mixed up with history and everything else, giants were enormous, lumbering beings who could pick up a house the way we pick up a box of books.

Back then, giants would stand still for days in a field, just to watch the birds fly around their legs.

Now, they are invisible and they live in the woods, or in the mountains, and sometimes the birds crash into them and fall down in a daze. A giant never knows when another giant lives nearby because, just as we can’t see them, they can’t see each other. They could call out, but it has been so long since they’ve spoken that they’ve forgotten the etiquette of conversation.

They are also a little afraid that nobody will be there to answer, so they stand still and sleep, and have dreams about what they used to look like.

Wait. I do have a question!

When something to write occurs to you (story, poem, essay, or whatever), how does it appear? Does it come in images? Is it like watching a movie? Do you slip into someone's skin? Is it all words, tasty and movable? What is it like to be you, wandering somewhere unmarked?

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