by Babette Hughes
People who know that I write for love and not money probably think there’s something wrong with my moorings. They don’t quite comprehend that writing can be an end in itself, even a profoundly rewarding one. In fact, writing goes into the making of a good life.
A good life, for me at least, means making connections with the world around me. It means a heightened awareness of people with sensitivity to all sorts of subtle shadings. It means an existence without murkiness. The discipline of writing conditions the mind for this kind of life. It has enabled me to develop a tri-dimensional or stereoscopic habit.
The women in my life become more defined over time in their own uniqueness, and, as I write, I feel a sisterhood blossom like spring flowers. We are wives, widows, daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, and aunts. We run houses and businesses, we nurture babies and husbands, and we take care of parents. We garden and run for Congress as we listen and console. Writing reveals these fulfilling, frustrating, and satisfying roles to me in a new dimension, exciting my imagination.
When I sit down to write, I change places with fate. I am its master at last. For a little while I am no longer one of millions dominated by forces outside my control--I become truly omnipotent. What could be sweeter? I create my characters and make things happen or not happen to them. I make them happy or sad. I look at life from a few steps back, as if viewing a painting. I fashion, manipulate, and maneuver. I know what is going to happen because I make it happen.
We women are a mixed lot--invincible and vulnerable, independent and needy, insecure and powerful. I have tried, in my writing, to understand and celebrate the gloriously complicated lives of women for my own and my readers’ discovery. To me, this is the supreme function of all writing. It is no easy calling, but its rewards go so far beyond the mundane that I hope to practice it for as many years as I have left on earth.
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Sunstone Press just released Babette Hughes’ second book, The Hat, a historical novel about a bride coming of age amidst the Cleveland Mafia during Prohibition. Babette lives in Texas with her husband, JD, and dog, Polly. Visit the author at http://www.babettehughes.com/ and join her fans on Facebook.
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