© 2020 Bill Murphy
Writing is a more than a hobby with me, it’s a passion. Writing is more than enjoyment, it’s therapeutic. It’s an expression and an extension of myself. It’s a compulsion.
I feel a definite need to record memories of the past and of my childhood. The present is built upon the past. We should learn from the past, and understand not to repeat those same mistakes. That’s one of the reasons I write on these things, it’s a mission.
But I receive my greatest enjoyment from writing fiction. And this morning, after several hours of writing delight, I suddenly questioned my own glee in doing this. I asked myself, “Why do I enjoy this so much?”
Memoirs are recollections of actual people, places, and things. Fiction is writings about people, places, and things that are nothing more than the mental creations of the author. Creation is the key word here.
My second question to myself was, “Am I playing God?”
I remember a movie from many years ago, in the heyday of Hollywood’s pre-Star wars and Rambo flicks, when Heracles, Atlas, and Zeus, reigned supreme. The scene which made a lasting impression on me was of a gathering of the gods on high. They were standing on a fluffy cloud, with a large circular cut-out in the center. Surrounding this hole in the heavens, was a low marble wall. The whole thing reminded me of a circular, backyard swimming pool. The gods sat around on the edge of this opening, while peering down onto the earth below. They got their jollies by slinging flaming bolts of lightning onto the hapless mortals below, just to watch them jump, and by releasing Minotaurs and Hydras to chase them into the hills. These gods were at play, and their toys were folks like us. Is my writing like this? Am I ‘toying’ with ‘my creations?’
I don’t want to be God, or any god for that matter. The Bible tells us that we should strive to be ‘Christlike,’ by my track record proves that I do a poor job of it. So making a pretense of god-like-ness is not a consideration. So, what is it that pulls me toward fiction?
I do admit to having an active and fertile imagination. I always have and hope I always will. My mother summed it up perfectly: “He plays well alone,” she said.
And, so far that is, my memory is fairly strong. Couple this with coming from a large extended family (Mom was one of six and Dad one of thirteen), throw in the memories of all of those characters for a span of almost eighty years, and my brain has a wealth of subject material. My creative juices, as far as writing goes, are blessed by streams and rivers of memories emptying into that ever growing lake. Perhaps one day, as you read my musings, you may recognize a vague shadow of yourself. Relax! I seriously doubt that you’ll find any flaming lightning rods headed your way!
See ya between the pages!