by DVORA WAYSMAN
How do ideas form? How do you transform thoughts into words that become stories and poems? I have often been asked these questions, and my real reply is: magic and miracles, but its not an answer that would satisfy anyone but another writer. Yet composers are rarely asked: Where does your music come from? as listeners hear a haunting melodic refrain or the awe-inspiring crashing crescendo of a symphony or concerto. They may query an artist if its a real place when they see a magical landscape forming in oils on his canvas, but usually the questions are reserved for writers.
I have been teaching Creative Writing for 35 years. I always quote a two-line poem I heard as a child from my older sister (author unknown),
Writing is dreaming, head in the skies.
Reading is sharing another mans eyes.
I was 7 when my sister read it to me, and at that moment, my writers soul was born. I felt I had all these secrets I wanted to share, and I wanted my readers to be able to see, hear, smell, touch and taste them to share my eyes.
I have written and published more than 5,000 articles in my life, and thirteen books. In one historical novel (The Pomegranate Pendant published by Chaim Mazo Publishing, both in English and Hebrew and now a movie titled “The Golden Pomegranate”) I wrote in the first person as a 14-year-old child bride from Yemen who came to live in Jerusalem in the Holy Land 100 years ago. For the duration of writing that novel, I WAS Mazal ben-Yechiya even though I had never visited or lived in Yemen, and my Jerusalem is of a different era.
In Back of Beyond (published by Pitspopany), I was a 12-year-old American boy named Danny
visiting Ayers Rock in Australias north and having all kinds of adventures with an
aboriginal boy named Muri. In my novel Esther (published by H.C.I. in Florida) I am a London journalist named Max involved with a three-decades- long love affair with Esther even though in truth I am a woman who has been married for 58 years and have 18 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. My writing space involves vivid imagination, nostalgia, reminiscinces, dreams both fulfilled and unfulfilled; songs I sang; jokes I laughed at; the pain of loss; the joy of sharing.
I dont write at an orderly desk overlooking mountains or lakes. I do finish up working at my computer, but the Muse is always with me – in my dreams at night; when I glimpse a stranger with a beautiful face, or even one lined with broken commandments; when a grandchild offers me a tiny hand with love and trust; when I see a star in a black velvet sky or the dewdrop that nestles in the heart of a rose. I write out of love or of pain, out of tenderness or passion. If I am breathing, I am writing.
So where is my writing space? I guess it is in my heart.