Writers “Go There”—Entering the Vulnerable

 Happy Friday ya’ll. Remember, in our imaginations we’re on a plane headed to Ireland! Check out yesterday’s post if you’re confused. Yeah, I blogged on Thursday.  I’d Rather Be… 

Because today, my friend, Wendy Paine Miller is in the house and she’s talking about writing, birthing babies (I said that in the tone of Prissy from Gone with the Wind!) and her debut novella, The Disappearing Key. Wendy, take it away!

I can’t say when it was that I realized several of my novels
depict scenes that revolve around labor. I know women care about such events
and I write women’s fiction, but the process of including births in my work
wasn’t intentional. It doesn’t work like that. At least not for me anyway.
I think these scenes kept showing up in my work because I
was writing into the pain. As a writer, I was “going there.”
I have three daughters.
And I lost two babies in between my second and third.
What’s weird is I rarely ever bring this up. It’s still
hard. Seven years later, speaking the word miscarriage still swells a sizeable
knot in my throat and the backs of my eyes sting with tears.
So why, you might be thinking, why go there?
I don’t really have a clear cut answer except to say it’s
what writers do. Whether it’s a part of the catharsis or a subconscious gut instinct
that women could sit around a table all night sharing labor stories, these scenes
keep finding a way into my work.
I also think it’s because we’re bonded by birth stories. They
are our badges of courage, our completed marathons, our tour de force, our
personal Mount Everest, our interlaced threads of womanhood stringing us all
together through vulnerability—by honest life-surging events as heartbreaking
or funny or remarkable as they come.
So I write about births, as I did in the first scene of my
debut novella, THE DISAPPEARING KEY.
I feel what my character’s feel, their loss becoming my loss, their joy—my joy.
I may not always agree with their choices or understand their reasoning, but
more than anything else as I writer I aim to experience with them vicariously,
without judgment, unencumbered and fully engaged with them moment by moment.
I step away after writing these scenes with a heightened
sense of empathy, a fueled curiosity, and a deepened sense of gratitude for the
ways women bolster and enliven one another in conversations that involve

Why do
you think women are so bonded by stories of birth? Have you experienced this is
the case in your experiences with women?

lives with her husband, their three girls, and a skunk-dodging Samoyed. She

most alive when she’s laughing, speeding on a boat, reading, writing,
refurbishing furniture or taking risks. She’s authored ten novels and is
currently writing what she hopes will be your future book club pick.

Her work has been published in
numerous anthologies and online sites. Wendy graduated with a BA in English
from Wittenberg University, where she earned an Honor of Distinction for her
accrued knowledge of literature.
She’s represented by Rachelle
Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency.

Visit http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/  or connect with Wendy on Facebook or Twitter