I'm wrestling with demons. This novel I'm working on has brought me to a very dark place that troubles me. The angry heroin addict with a thing for his sister, the childless woman whose grip on reality is tenuous at best, the twin succubi, the faded rock star who slides, effortlessly, into murderous madness: Where do they come from? Certainly they come from inside of me, yet they are not me. Or are they? I hate them and love them in the same way I alternately hate and love myself.
Is it any wonder that I can't wait for my children to be out of school for the summer? My cheerful, funny children with their giggles and pointless jokes and sweat and endless questions and small demands. I need their light and their love and their unblemished hearts. I crave Thin Man movies and jigsaw puzzles and Cole Porter songs and mornings at the lake where we swim. These things are also me.

I wonder sometimes what I would do if I didn't have this job, this habit of writing, if I couldn't let those dark expressions of myself out. I wonder about all those people walking around with demons inside, unsuspecting the truth about themselves. Some days, I'm very glad I can't see into other peoples' heads.

(This is a re-post from the blog on my myspace page today.)

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Comment by Laura Benedict on June 3, 2007 at 2:53am
Great observation, Christa.
I get so buried in it sometimes, I forget that it's probably some kind of defense mechanism that my brain has employed to keep me sane. I love the notion of a demon-slaying symbiotic relationship between writers and readers.
Comment by Christa M. Miller on June 3, 2007 at 12:22am
I tend to think we write about demons because we're more sensitive to their impact on us and our society than others. Reading our words is enough for many people to process the bad things they see. Those who don't read find other outlets - sports or TV or, well, crime. Then we write about them too.

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