30 September 2011

The 30th Day

One of the anomalies of the writing life that could stand more attention is the time difference between (a) events in what I call (rightly or wrongly) 'real life' and (b) their translation into prose.

For example, the events in my own life that come to mind as likely source material for my novel A Kiss Before You Leave Me occurred for the most part in the 1980s or even earlier. A relationship begun and ended; career changes, culminating in brushes with stockbrokerage; frequent trips to Paris; work as a translator, and as a services coordinator in a marginally '12-step' environment; 'family drama'--these scattered bits of source material came and went in my 'real life' more than 20 years before they resurfaced, transformed, in Kiss.

The time difference isn't always to be measured in decades. The processing, the transformations, may work themselves out in a few years or months. And there are other kinds of writing--blogging, for example, or reportage--where the time difference may seem to disappear altogether.

Still, I'm continually aware of the absence from my writing--or, at the very least, the underrepresentedness--of so much that is characteristic of my 'real life' today. To cite only two examples: a beatific relationship of over 20 years' standing, and over three years' study and practice of qigong and related arts.

Qigong is on my mind today because this post completes my experiment of 30 consecutive days of blogging. As I wrote on the first day, I undertook the experiment on the advice of my sifu, Anthony Korahais, and at the same time resolved to practice qigong every morning. For now, I'll say of my own experience only that it's been very positive in both areas, and a definite success. And I'll refer you to Sifu Anthony's own post from yesterday, which explains the 'The 30-Day Trial' in detail and which may give you some ideas for your own real life in the month ahead.