Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ghostwriting...why I do it

"Peace" by Frederick Richard Pickersgill, 1871
As an author, I often find myself writing stories, novels, poems, and essays that involve ghosts, spirits, the souls of those who have left our sides. As a reader, I love to read books in which the supernatural are, well...natural. As a viewer of films and television programs, I am drawn to subject matter, both fiction and documentary, that explores the existence of the spirit world. So, why is that? Why am I continually pulled in this direction? And I might add, judging by the proliferation of literary and cinematic examples of ghostly stories, I am not alone in this fascination.

After giving it some thought, I have drawn the conclusion that my own interest lies in the joining of three worlds into one. The world of Magic. The other-worldly world of the Afterlife. And the world of Everyday Life. So many books, television programs, and films have utilized the land of fantasy, where magicians and wizards and good-hearted witches cast spells and use their magical powers to make their worlds better places. Regarding the Afterlife, it's not
"Dancing Fairies" by August Malmstrom, 1866
only books and film, but entire religions and philosophies that see the death of our physical bodies, not as an end to our existence but as a freeing of spirits from the restrictions and limitations of those earthly bodies. (Kind of like those fantastical magical beings who can fly from place to place and walk through walls.) And so, that leaves us in the here and now, dreaming of magical abilities and hoping our lives, and the lives of those we love, are not limited to the years we have here on this earthly plane.

The Afterlife, then, becomes an existence in which magic is made real and in which we have hope for the ongoing life of ourselves and our loved ones. It follows, therefore, that when we are faced with proof or validation of those beings (our future selves) who have "gone on beyond," we come to realize that the world, our Everyday Life world, is actually a pretty magical place. A world inhabited by future ghosts, spirits, the souls of those who have yet to leave our sides.

One of my poems, "Ghostwriter," was selected for publication in the 2017 edition of Estuaries, the visual arts and literary review of the College of the Albemarle. Follow this link and find my poem on page 20.

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