Have you ever thought about this? By soul mate, I’m not talking about which character from fiction you’d want to hook up with or have as your lover (that could be another post), but which character feels most like you? If you were to undergo some sort of weird science disaster and somehow morph from your real life into fiction, which character would you surface as? Is there someone you’ve read whose voice feels so close to your own, who thinks your thoughts?
The character doesn’t have to have the same gender as you, be around your age or have any of the same life accoutrements that you do, just a character who, when you read, you recognize in some inner place as almost you?
For me, it would have to be Astrid from White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Our lives are nothing alike, but the way Astrid sees the world, the way she expresses things in her inner monologues, just describes ways that I have thought and felt much better than I ever could. I have some of these passages bookmarked with post-it notes. Every few years, I go back and reread White Oleander and it’s always a trippy experience to read someone thinking some of my thoughts and feeling some of your feelings.
So, who’s your literary soul mate?
About a month ago, I sent out a short story of mine called “Dark As Roses” to Realms of Fantasy. The story isn’t all that fantastical. It’s mainly about regular people and events, but the main character has the ability to see colors around people depending on their moods, and the core of the story is her struggle to either run from her ability and the complications that come with it, or to embrace it and find a way to live with it. I guess the term for that kind of story is “magical realism,” or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.
Well, today I had it returned with a form rejection slip paper-clipped to the manuscript. It’s frustrating, but it’s so common in a way, to myself and to all writers at some point, that I don’t even feel that disappointed. Or, at least not yet. Sometimes it’s like I have a time-delay reaction to things.
One thing that gives me reassurance is yesterday I read an interview with Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, probably my favorite book EVER, and she wrote about getting rejected for years, and how when she got accepted somewhere, she had a party and papered the walls with her old rejection letters. So, it happens to all of us.
As they say the only thing to do is to keep trying, so I think I’ll go back to working on rewriting my book manuscript.
“Angels of the Silences” – Counting Crows