This Moment Changes Everything

I was a little stuck yesterday. Writing the last pages of Thicket Stars, I still hadn’t decided if I was going to let this family break, or keep it together. Neither one felt right, to be honest. I didn’t want a happy ending tied up with a pretty bow, but the evolution of my characters didn’t ring true with abandoning one another either.

Instead of forcing this key moment, I closed out early in the hopes a bit of simmering would work it out. The brain never turns off. I forget what ingredient I’m going to the pantry for between knowing I need it and arriving at the shelves; when it comes to story, my brain is a steel trap…that’s not aware it’s set and ready to spring, but that’s beside the point.

Last night, watching So You Think You Can Dance, Taylor and Robert danced to Change is Everything.  The dancers fight being together, and breaking apart. Absolutely gorgeous, choreographed by Travis Wall to an a capella version of the song. And my brain, ever-working, snapped its spring.

This moment changes everything
The course of blood within your veins
A stranger’s form, your skeleton
See the bones glow as they break free

Long, long and long ago, I was twenty-one, pregnant with my second child, and married to a man who was finding life with a wife and child, a job and another baby on the way terrifying. Claustrophobic. He was constantly battling with his love for us, and his need to fly. It manifested in too many scary nights, wondering when I’d get the call from the morgue. One day, I sat down with him and said, “I can’t do this anymore. Go. Do what you need to. I’ll be here when you’re done.”

That moment changed everything.

He didn’t go. He cried. He told me he couldn’t leave me and our daughter, the baby on the way. He loved us too much. That week was the happiest we’d had in too long. He seemed…good. Happy. At peace.

And then he was gone. Motorcycle accident. Just like that. A week later.  Another moment of change. Isn’t that what life is? A series of those moments.

It all came together last night, listening to that song, watching the push and pull of the dancers, remembering that conversation with Brian. I won’t speak for all writers, but I have no hang-ups about laying it out there on the page, all the gore and the glory of my life, for all to see. Call me an exhibitionist. It’s how I deal. It’s how I make my stories authentic and, I hope, touch my readers.

This moment changes everything. That really is the key to the climax of this story, the answer to the question: Do they break? Or do they heal? I know now. I just wrote it. Well, most of it. You’ll have to wait a while though.

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11 Comments

Filed under Thicket Stars, Writing is Life

11 responses to “This Moment Changes Everything

  1. That dance! Wow, combined with the music it was so powerful! I can see why the performance and song lyrics worked its way into your head. The power of a single moment isn’t wasted on us writers, is it? Maybe because we have lived many of them, and they’ve somehow formed what we write. Btw, I love the title of the latest WIP.

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    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      If I couldn’t write, I would dance. That would be my thing. The beauty is astounding.
      I love the title, too, but I hold out little hope it will stay that. I loved Traegar’s Lunatics, too! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never seen the show, not a reality TV fan, but it sounds like it was beautiful and inspirational to you. Writing is very personal so I think we’re all impacted by a single moment, even it if we don’t realize it at the time. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. As always, I can “feel” your words! I think the title MUST stick! I can’t wait for this one! You are simply amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! I love how we never know what’s going to trigger that moment when it all falls into place.

    Like

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