There is a skittering in my pulse, its source the mental gnaw that my editor must think me quite odd. She, however, is a professional. If my two-word pitch, “Tammy Unplugged,” for the April blog caused her concern, she said nothing. Beyond my formidable accumulation of verbs and nouns, she knows my heart. And perhaps, after this series, you will as well.
While many writers seek solace in the development of a “persona,” I am of the “runs naked through the sprinkler” set. Few redactions and minimal edits. I am who I am. I have committed myself to paper, and I draw from both the heady ephemera and the toxic abyss of my personality when creating characters. I write “who” I know. If there isn’t some real element of my characters to me, how can I as writer expect my reader to believe any element of my story? This is my method.
Over the next few installments, you will meet my foundational personalities, the bits and pieces of me that make me whole and enable me to draw from them when building characters who will carry a bit of me through the stories I write. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to “unplug” those elemental people running through the sprinkler in your mind.
Week Two: Music, Poetry and... erm….Sex?
Lyric - The poettess Lyric and her twin sister Myth came along in the summer of 1982, and for four years completely controlled the brain. She is green-eyed and a dancer. She is a talented rhymer, and only with much cajoling transitioned to free verse. She is, when given the time, incredibly prolific—once writing eight sets of lyrics in the space of a few hours. Unfortunately, Lyric is both bipolar and OCD when it comes to writing. She is a creature of extremes. A worshipper crying to God in one moment, and then creating baby monsters in my brain the next. She plays trumpet, but prefers guitar and keyboard, if she would have been disciplined enough to learn more than a few chords. Lyric does not accept the existence of Mara or TL in the brain because Mara and TL are in direct competition with her for the creativity dendrites. If given the opportunity, Lyric will self-destruct. She is currently sulking somewhere in my subconscious.
Myth - the artist, and Lyric's twin. Myth loves to sketch and paint primarily animals (especially large cats) but if she loves someone, like the kids or a dear friend, she will do portraits. She craves the scent of turpentine and oil paint. She is addicted to paper of all kinds. She also enjoys calligraphy. Myth is a voracious reader and loses herself in the study of world myths and religions. Myth believes that all myths and ancient religions weren't really pagan as much as precursors to the knowledge of God. She is patient, tolerant, gentle, and kind. She is a tactile soul, savoring the feel of a loved one's hair, or the exquisite vibrancy found in the color of someone's eyes. Myth appreciates smooth jazz, worship music, and Enya. She loves to see the artist in others and nurture talent. Myth sees the good in Mara and Grendel's mom but cannot abide by the Banshee (you'll meet them next week). Myth is the only personality who knows how to access peace... She finds it in the smallest moments—a spider web glistening in wet grass, the scent of fresh coffee, a sleeping baby... Myth is a praying soul who often pens her visions and believes dreams are kisses from God. Unfortunately, we don't have time for Myth. She is silent. Still. I wonder if I have lost her...
Mara Reber - (pronounced Ree-Ber) actress Mara first appeared in a dream in the early 80's (college years). She is the "beautiful one," sensual, hedonistic. Mara likes silk, satin, wicker, stained glass, crystal—beautiful things and beautiful people. She is dramatic, an actress who craves the center stage, a spotlight of her own. Mara is brown-eyed, with titian red hair, always in ringlets. You will never see her in jeans. She can be haughty, chilly, and vengeful, but is basically relegated to a dark corner since the appearance of stretch marks and the double chin. Mara laments things like warts and wrinkles and fat and gray hair, and since she is the keeper of my libido... sigh. She is the hostile woman scorned in my head, imperious and unsatisfied. She usually detests all of us, with the exception of Bug. She thinks Bo is an uncultured cretan. Mara is a user of people and opportunities. She is the one who looks out through my eyes and calls me a hag. She came to me named, and after a bit of research I found out the word "mara" means "bitter." Mara is a "professed pagan" but often embellishes the truth about herself if she thinks it will make her more charismatic. She struggles with the concept of "Father God" and does not want to let go of her own personal control, but she is not above trying to "bargain" with her Creator for something good. We aren't sure why she has a last name, but the root of Reber is "vinesman."