Back at the beginning of summer I attended a fun library kick off program put on by the wonderful people of the Tremonton Library. Tremonton is a small town with a huge heart and it shows in the kindness and friendship of the families who came to enjoy the event. Tara and I shared an author signing table where we chatted and shared our writing journeys with each other.
We had such a great time that I knew she would be a wonderful choice to share something with the readers here on my blog.
A Love Letter to the Creative Process
When Jodi invited me to be a guest on her site, she suggested some options, like sharing an article about creativity, and then she added, “Like a love letter to the creative process.” That phrase grabbed me. I jotted it down and whether Jodi meant for me to take the phrase literally or not, in the end I did. This is my love letter to the creative process. Thanks, Jodi, for this perspective. I enjoyed connecting with my writing in this way.
I’ve been away for a bit, but I miss you. A lot.
You’ve been a friend.
At times a very good friend, at other times a nuisance, but beloved friend.
In our younger days, you would wake me in my sleep. 4 am. 3 am. 2 am. Whatever it took. Beckoning me to flip on a desk lamp, grab a notepad or fire up the laptop, and let the words pour out as fast as they could fly. Special early mornings, tender late nights, just you and me, pouring over words, finding magic swirling around us, dancing with us, seeping into a reality that belonged in another time and place but had invited us in. Together, we heard the protagonist speak, the conflict grow, the setting materialize. Characters exposed motives. Story took on movement. Action unfolded.
My little office space, or dining room table, or soft sofa radiated with life. Rich purpose swirled around me. Carols of eager joy pulsed through my veins. I miss that. I miss you.
From age five, when I learned that books came from people, I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to be first in line when you were ready to share a story. I wanted to hear it first, watch its plot unfold around me, taste the life of characters, of this other realm through you.
You indulged me. By fifth grade, when my child-authored book bulked out in pages, refusing to be restrained by the comb binding that the other students’ dozen pages fit so nicely within, others saw the passion inside me too. I told them I would be an author someday. They believed me. You believed me. You granted me courage to fight the fight to do this. To work, hard, harder than my youthful wishes understood.
I fought, I worked, I learned, I lost, I found, I rejoiced, I sorrowed, I won, I published. I found readers, I found a voice, I found purpose swirling furiously within me. With a deep hunger, I wanted to share with others the wonders from you and your stories.
Dear Muse, where did it go? Life came. Responsibilities. Other jobs. Competing professions. Success in other ways. Better financial rewards. Other purpose. Other rewards. Reality. Harsh. Cruel. Critics. Disappointment. A changing industry. No longer fun. Losing the passion. Losing me.
How do we reunite again?
Do you find me? Do you call me up again in the middle of the night and see if I will come play again?
Do I find you? Do I pound at the keyboard, over and over again, searching for you in the words, trying to see where your shadow might be?
And if we find each other again, will the magic return? Like first love, the youthful innocence that turns the passion into an addiction? Where I think of you ever waking moment? Where I hunger to be with you again?
Or, is it now mature love? More of a tempered wisdom, a comfortable friend, one who knows me so well, and I too have come to better understand you? Where we can be together, and know how the day will go. The highs, the lows, my weaknesses, our combined limitations. Yet, there would also be our love. Our deepening love, an acceptance of continuous change, of growth, of becoming.
Could we unite again? Embark on a journey together once more? If I left my fears of a final destination, and turned my focus on the present moments of creating, would you come?
I want those moments again. When in the stillness of the world around me, you allow me to see and pen a scene that is untouched by another. Those initial gasps of wonder. The first awe of beauty. A moment with you, when I see something so remarkable about human nature to be shared in a way that only fiction provides. Then eagerness comes, followed by anticipation. The hope burning inside me of a reader someday, curled up in bed, or on the couch, or during a paused moment of a vacation, and we will connect. That breathless moment when fiction speaks to a soul, when reader, writer, and you, connect together. A touch with humanity.
I want that moment again!
In its purest form. In all it’s beauty. Without the thorns of the world, just you, me, and a reader, together again, learning together, rejoicing together, crying together, loving together, being better people together.
It’s time to find you again, dear friend.
I look forward to our reunion.
Much deep appreciation and love,
About today’s featured guest:
TARA C. ALLRED is an award-winning author, instructional designer, and educator. She has been recognized as a California Scholar of the Arts for Creative Writing and is a recipient of the Howey Awards for Best Adult Book and Best Adult Author. She lives in Utah with her husband.
Her published works include Sanders’ Starfish, UnAuthored Letters, Helping Helper and The Other Side of Quiet, a Kindle Book Award Finalist and Whitney Award Winner.
Connect with Tara:
- Website: https://www.taracallred.net
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tara-C.-Allred/e/B001K8T3LI
- BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tara-c-allred
- Facebook: @TaraCAllred
- Twitter: @taracallred
Sign up for Tara C. Allred’s newsletter and receive SANDERS’ STARFISH, the first book in the John Sanders series for free. Then follow it up with the award-winning UNAUTHORED LETTERS, the second book in the series.
About Sanders’ Starfish:
Dr. John Sanders is about to begin his career as a clinical psychologist. Full of optimism, he believes he can make a difference and is eager to provide hope to a group the world has deemed hopeless. Yet in John’s quest to offer those in his care a second chance, he embarks on his own journey of self-discovery. In his search, clear answers become scrambled confusion while the unimaginable truth is trapped in a complex web.
About UnAuthored Letters:
“Allred shows excellent insight into the psychological interactions of her characters in this gripping mystery of greed and redemption.” – ForeWord Clarion Reviews
Dr. John Sanders has given Rebecca Brownell a new chance at life. After an isolated childhood, an abused adolescence, and an institutionalized existence, Rebecca is finally free to conquer her demons and build a promising life.
However, just as it appears Rebecca has achieved her dreams, eerily personal letters begin arriving in the mail. Letters sent from an unidentified source who knows far more about her past than anyone should. Letters which question and threaten Rebecca’s sanity.
UnAuthored Letters is the inspiring tale of a woman’s troubled past, a man’s quest to protect her, and their fight against a mysterious foe. It’s a story of trust strained by illness, love tried by lies, and promises terrorized by illusive danger.
Winner of the Howeys 2014 Best Adult Book & 2014 Best Adult Author
Winner of The Blot Writing Contest