ElegyYou know how projects mutate?  I really hate that – I’ll come out and say it.  You see, I’m a control freak and I LIKE knowing where my writing is going.

Don’t get me wrong, when my writing speaks to me and gets me over a hump or around a block, I am a big fan.  When my characters take a life of their own and tell me things that I never knew about them, I love it.  But when a project that has specific aims at the beginning flip turns upside-down on me, I am not a happy camper.  In fact, what my sister calls “the wrath of La Joie” is provoked in this case.  Je grump.

I had this happen just today.  In Advanced Techniques of Composition (otherwise known as one of the biggest wastes of class time on earth), I have turned in three major essays as of . . . now.  The first was called a memory dump,  the second a research paper, and the third a simple springboard from an outside essay.  The fourth has been dubbed a “capstone.”  This capstone piece can be an expansion of one of the previous major or minor essays (yuck) or a completely new essay.  I decided that I really wanted to work with my blog about Mike, “Mourning.”  I turned it in today with a few changes that made it much better.  I love editing!  I received an edit or two, about as many compliments as edits, and then was handed the paper back.  Tah-dah.  I knew that Gruber (the teacher) would not accept “An Elegy for an Accidental Angel” as my capstone, on account of length and I’ve just turned it in too early.  Damn.

Je grump.  Again.

So the project, with the alchemical mixture of my big mouth and Gruber’s quiet pressure, mutated.  I am now writing a whole score of extremely personal elegies, all surrounding deaths from this summer.  Mike, Grammy, Denise, and my brother’s marriage.  This capstone has become intensely close to home.  I’m not happy about that.  I’ve already been forced to write a personal record of my breakup and recovery from it for this class, and now this?  Mike’s story was private enough as it is . . . there’s a reason I went all Hugovian on his last name.

These pieces of my life, of this past summer, are extremely difficult to even think about.  Writing about Mike was all that allowed me to return to school the following day.  Maybe that’s why the project mutated: I have some moving on yet to do.  The good news in all of this is the prospect of the project has grasped my consciousness and sparked the creativity.  It’s all being organized within time as well as being similarly lyricized in style like “Mourning.”

These elegies are less for Grammy, Mike, Sarah and Price, or Denise and more for the end of my mourning.  They’re my song for the end of my mourning and the beginning of my joy.  Because the happiness is there, in the memories and the daily life.  There is so much happiness to be enjoyed within this life, ready as it is to be lived.

And I suppose I can learn to enjoy writing ridiculously alive projects that take charge without permission while I’m at it.  I suppose.  Je grump.  >(