Pretending

Did Edgar Allen Poe ever write a pleasant or happy piece? I wonder how invasive an author’s emotions are on their writing. Can you really write a jubilant uplifting scene when you’re despondent? Can you really write a dejected, woeful scene when you’re skipping on air in ecstatic reverie?

How good are you at pretending? As fiction writers write, they must enter into the minds and emotions of those they portray. If fair Bonnie is having a really good day, picking daisies in a billowing field under a blue sky full of song birds, but you, the author, are feeling like shit, hating life and the crap that’s piled upon your shoulders; will you give Bonnie all she deserves?

I suppose the opposite holds true too. Though I can’t imagine too often feeling like rainbows are following me around, and leprechauns skip across my path aching to show me their pots of gold. Yeah, just try and write like Poe with that kind of saccharine grin on your face.

— The raven, pecking at the tallow remaining in the bones of the deceased, cawed raucously as the whip from the hearse driver snapped above its head. “Bah! Be gone ye foul fowl. Yer likes be givin’ me death’s own shivers.” The raven took startled flight, but circled high over the procession as it wounds its way through the stark countryside, the leafless trees bowing their condolences, the stone ways grinding their pity. The hearse plodded its way to the ancient church and the open grave waiting there. —

Now, am I having a good day or a poor one? Is life shining like a triple sun in my eyes, or is Neptune dangling like an anchor about my neck?

Could I write a happy scene? I could try. But the thought of it pains me to even have bubbling within my mind. Is this how Poe felt his whole life? Damn!

 

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