Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I've been thinking about the themes in my novels lately. Whenever people asked, I always blithely said, "Escape. My novels are all about escape."
And, on the surface, that seems true. The two novels I've finished (as yet unpublished) and the one I've started on all have people fleeing their homes. In DEPARTURE, a mother takes her three children and runs away to Europe. In TRAIL MIX, two women leave behind their husbands and teenage children to hike the Appalachian Trail.
So, obviously, escaping from their humdrum lives is the point. But if I look at the end, they return to that life they were escaping from. It's not the life they want to avoid; it's themselves they need to change. So the escape is a search for an opportunity to change, to improve. In TRAIL MIX, my characters have to get over superficial worries and find the beauty in living again. In DEPARTURE, Annie must become a stronger person, find out what she enjoys, before she can be the wife and mother she wants to be.
And thinking about that search for beauty and the true person on the inside, made me think about Christmas and how my family and I probably didn't need any of the presents that made us shriek with joy. Maybe we just needed to stand for a minute in the sun beaming through the window and feel it warm on our face, to realize that we don't have to escape to find beauty.
Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

ESCAPE. Yet another topic I could go on and on about and appreciate your perspective. Since this is your blog, I'll spare you and your readers. But I have to scatter a few thoughts.

I have friends who believe any kind of escape is wrong but I beg to differ. Even Meditation is a form of escape. Personally, if I don't find a way to escape alittle, (i.e. running with my mates on the trail, I leave behind all the other roles I play in life, I even leave behind my life) unconscious forces end up shaking my life up in a very big way.

This topic has made me realize that don't find myself having the 'fantasy' I used to have when I found myself alone in the car, running another errand, (The fantasy of not taking my exit, just driving straight up the highway and leaving everything behind).

Today, my fantasies are walking the dog in the quiet dark morning, having a cup of coffee on the front porch, running with my mates, just being around people I can be me with, watching my hubby and dog take a nap on the couch on a Sunday afternoon....

Maybe my fantasies are merely indicators of what's going or not going so well in my life.

Paulita said...

Sounds like you're pretty content. People search forever to get that.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Escape can be a way to find your way back home. Not a bad thing but a necessary journey to a place where you can be.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

I think "escaping" might be one way of putting one's life in perspective. It's often difficult to "see" your life when you are in the midst of it.


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