Being a writer is like battling multiple personalities. I have created many versatile characters, each with their own individual voice. They've have the power to distract me, interrupt social situations, and keep me bound and chained to my computer. They also have the ability to cause insomnia, and confusion. They've made me happy, sad, and frustrated. My relentless determination has kept me driven to provide a resolution for each and everyone of them.
When my husband, Mike was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia my fiction world was interrupted, draped with a black curtain I couldn't see through. My characters and their lives were at a standstill, drifting on a raft, further and further away from the shores of my story telling.
Suddenly my life, along with these catastrophic events forced me to look at my own reality, and attempt to create or manipulate a solution, but this was a resolution I couldn't control or predict.
My thoughts and my voice, along with the events in my life began to scream with an ear-piercing reality, overriding any of the voices of the characters that I'd created. My fiction world became silenced. Real life was yelling in my face, echoing through my mind, my future forever altered. The urge to express my feelings, my heart aches and pain became an annoying stalker I wasn't sure I could or should give my attention to. I've only ever dabbled in poetry because I had to, an assignment for school that I would stumble through.
Throughout my husband's battle, and after his death spawned a reaction as well as undesirable behaviors in others that I never saw coming. My journey into widowhood has been a multifaceted experience, one dominated by pain, loneliness, and the often inappropriate reactions and opinions of others while adjusting to my new status.
My fiction production had stopped cold, dying a slow death, just as my husband, Mike had. I'd even gone as far as confessing to my dear friend, and fellow author, Loc Glin that it might all be 'over.' My life as writer had been taken away from me, corroded by Mike's Leukemia. I'd sent her an email, telling her that I'd reached the end, no longer able to create, listen and converse with my characters. My fictitious planet had spun out of control, and was unreachable.
Loc didn't just email, she called me promptly right after the email had gone through.
"Listen to the voices that are there...don't ignore them. They have something to say."
Her guidance, that one statement was the birth of my journey into the nonfiction world. I grabbed onto my angst, making peace with my devastating circumstances.
"You have so much to share," she'd insisted. "Once a writer, always a writer. I hate to tell you this, Justine, but it'll never be over." Her laughter over the line warmed me, renewing my spirit. Loc had crawled inside my head, embracing the plethora of emotions that come with losing a loved one. "Just sit down and see what happens. Something is bound to come."
Real life came at me like an avalanche I couldn't stop. It flowed. My thoughts and ideas were snowballing. They required no plot, and no outline. God had already made the outline, I just needed to get the words out and down as I rode on the coattails of my emotions.
All it takes is the power of one person, and one action to change a course. My pain and loss became my production, fueling a memoir series that will consist of three books. I give credit to Loc today for her unyielding friendship, love and support. My first release in the series- titled- "Leukemia, My Husband, and Me: A Turbulent Triangle" is a title she created. I give her full credit in giving me free rein and a much needed pat on the back to get me back at my desk and get busy. Please visit my website below that will consist of my nonfiction works. This website is dedicated to my husband, Mike and reflects our battle with his AML leukemia. In closing I'd like to add that my fiction writing is making a slow comeback. In the upcoming months I will have a release through Evernight Publications, titled- "All In."
Michael J. Szot
JC Cerrigone/ Nonfiction works