It was mentioned to me by more than one of my fellow authors this past week that my recent writing has taken a decidedly darker bent. While not intentional, on stepping back it makes sense. Death has been swirling around me – and not in remote ways. In the past four months, my family has suffered not one but two devastating losses – one expected, the other not at all. My close neighbor friend’s daughter slipped in the shower, hit her head and died. We’ve just passed the one year anniversary of one of my childhood friend’s death. I won’t mention the ongoing death stories in the news.
As a result, emotions have been pretty raw with everyone under this roof. I honestly expected this would push me into a writing slump, but it would appear to have had the opposite effect, spurring me to write more than usual – albeit with darker subject matter. Writing is cathartic in several ways. Escaping into a fantasy world is how it starts, but I’ve noticed no matter how innocent or light it is intended, it goes dark. Someone dies, and the characters left have to figure out a way to pick up the pieces and move on. I guess this has become my way of figuring out how to do that for myself, and how to help my wife and children heal from the enormous and unfair wounds that life has ripped into them.
Those of you who express yourselves in writing, music, art, or other ways I am sure are familiar with the process, or something akin to it. Those of you who enjoy reading should be prepared for some darker material from me for awhile. Like all things in life, this will be temporary.
Peace and love to all of you and your families. Put nothing off, leave nothing unsaid, and ensure your loved ones are well taken care of. You never know if today will be your last.
– J.M. Ames