And to say that I’ve created them?
Silly, utter twaddle.
I love all of my characters, just as I’d imagine one loves all of one’s children, fiercely, irrationally, unconditionally. When they hurt, I hurt. When they’re attacked, I defend them. And when they fight, it takes me two days to write the scene, it’s simply impossible to immerse myself in one side of a situation and then take on the other without a night of sleep in between. They have inspired in me joy, rage, giddiness, peace, a full range of emotion and then-some.
A character who has been with me in one form or another almost since I began writing, a character I’ve hated as much as loved, with whom I’ve struggled mightily, who has been a woman and a man and back again, whose vulnerability and humanity have emerged and receded like male pattern baldness, today knocked me for a loop.
I envy her.
This is difficult to admit, not only because I rooted out envy long, long ago, when I understood that my only competitor is myself, but also because she’s just so damned flawed.
I envy her. I envy her outspokenness, her in-your-face-ness, her ability to be petty and conniving and generous and totally, unexpectedly kind, all from a level of self-centeredness that would shame me, were I still holding onto it that far from adolescence. I envy her uncompromising unwillingness to be anything other than who she is, warts and all, take it or leave it, whether she laughs or cries or craughs or lies, and she does all of those things again and again.
I aspire to her freedom.
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