When I write, I jump into n written world and exist amongst the characters of that world. When I make the jump, exactly where do I go? Is it a familiar place, a place anyone else would recognise?
Maybe, but then again, maybe not. If you could see what I imagine and insert myself into, feeling, seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting, it might not strike you so different from reality, especially if you live in this area. I build my stories by that with which I am familiar, and that means I most often set stories in New England. Of the ten stories I’ve written to date, all but one are set here in whole or part. On the periphery of the story I’ll use actual town. highway, and geographical features names, but most often, the location setting is fictional Derryfield and Three Sisters college situated in that city. Three Sisters is a fictional historic college for women used in several stories, although I do not connect the stories or characters.
From there, I take license to create my world. Three of the ten stories have a science fiction element, which really gives me the ability to control every element of a world free of the encumbrance of reality. Yet, in the sci-fi stories, I don’t try to write scenes spectacular that film directors love to build into stories and dwell upon, I try to use the sci-fi element to enhance an unfolding human story, not overwhelm and overshadow the story. So even though there might be something beyond our current capability or knowledge built in, that element is only a bridge or facilitator to telling a human story.
In all, including the sci-fi, there are feminist and lgbt undertones, sometimes prominent, sometimes in passing. There are hurts and wounds that will never heal completely, but there are characters that adjust and build atop the wounds, making do with what they have.
In the first story, I talk some on medicinal marijuana (for the record, I support, but I am not a pot smoker.) In the second, it is about trust in one another, and broken trust. My one novel tackles consequences of a false accusation of steroid use and loss of a partner to an intentional withholding of medical services to a transgender woman. Another is of a vigilante women’s group dealing with domestic violence. Following is a story on a transgender woman who recalls how she was abused by a priest as a child, two on coming out in 1969, one of a student, one of a married woman, and finally, one on a homophobic and racist attack upon two day sailors.
In each, I feel what they feel. I see the world through their eyes, because they see the world through my eyes. It is a strange, circular involvement that makes creating stories the most enjoyable professional undertaking of my life.