Some time ago I entered into an exercise with a fellow writer. We took three words and spent twenty minutes writing, using the words in the vignette. The words were raven, ink, and darkness. Here’s what I managed to write:
The Raven’s Quill
I use a raven’s quill for a reason: it represents the darkness that sometimes overwhelms, and is my weapon against that darkness. I dip the black quill into the black ink and somehow manage to scratch the blackness from my soul and onto the clean white sheet before me. Surely the paper’s purity is ruined by the act, but my soul is allowed to release that with which it is burdened.
Although it is likely long dead, I imagine that the raven from which the feather was stolen is flying across the paper, leaving in its wake a shower of black down, shedding that which is dead and useless and slowing it down, just as the ink is being drawn from the quill, as if it were the blood of demons being bled from my veins. To say the writing is healing would be a gross understatement, and to assume the healing is merely psychological would be a tragic error. The writing is definitely healing, but the healing is as physical and spiritual as it is mental.
I am not even aware, most times, of what the raven is writing in the dry paper sky, even though the words, thoughts, and feelings are being drawn from the depths of my being. And I don’t really want to know what I’m writing, for if the ink really is the blood of demons being leeched from my body, then I want nothing that will link me to those from whom the blood originates.
When I’m done, and all the blackness has been bled from within, I’m always in a quandary over what to do with the scrawling mess I’ve made. Always I contemplate doing something different, but always I come to the same decision as before, and the pages are slipped unread into the desk drawer, underneath all the past pages, and they are thereby once again saved from the fireplace. And I have no idea why I should decide to keep them, especially since I have no intention of ever reading them. I imagine it has something to do with the old raven who flew across the pages and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for being the instrument through which I am able to free myself from the blackness.
Why I’m Here
This is my author’s blog, and as such most of the content will be regarding my works, my craft, story ideas, and the like. It will be filled with opinion, and I am looking forward to your comments. In my mind—an often scary place, by the way—the expression of opinion in a respectful forum is essential to a life of freedom. I encourage passion and honesty, and as a consequence I assume that any comments encourage the same.
The keys to making this work is respect. Some of my opinions are strong and some are weak, and I won’t post anything here if I can’t bear the idea of someone expressing a passionate counter-opinion. I may also post fiction, like the vignette above, and they, too, will be laid bare to criticism and opinions.
So if you follow and comment here, please be respectful and dignified in your comments.