Death By Donut has launched! The Pismawallops PTA series is, at least for the moment, at rest. I am free at last to follow up with the new sleuth who took up residence in my brain over a year ago.
Or am I? It feels like everywhere I turn with my new characters I come crashing up against something that feels too personal, or too disturbing. I could try to write a mystery without a murder, but it's not just the primary death--it's people's backstories with their losses and traumas, all sorts of things. I'm a little scared to move forward. Am I afraid of my own feelings, or of what others will think if I write something that few people will actually know resonates with my own experience? And isn't writing about our own pain part of what we do?
I could shift from mystery to other genres, but for one thing, mysteries are what I write, what I know how to write and what my readers are coming to expect. For another, I think the basic problem will always be there: I now know what a big life-changing, traumatic event feels like. I have to acknowledge that in my writing. Maybe it means I have to take my writing to another level, not away from the humorous, but maybe towards something with more substance?
This is hard.But bit by bit I'm finding my way into the story, working through or around the things that are too difficult. One thing I've come out of this year knowing: I'm a writer.