I can see them in the shadows. Especially this time of year, when the darkness comes so early and lingers so long. There’s a flicker, there a movement. An idea set aside some time in the past that resurfaces, shivering through your memory like the wail of the cold wind.
The approaching end of a year always seems to make me look back on things almost done, half done, left undone for whatever reasons. The abundance of unfinished manuscripts and story ideas that litter my hard drive (along with a dash of self-induced guilt) fall deep within that category. Even if I remove them, maybe place them on a disk or whatever to save for another day, they FEEL like they’re still there.
And it’s not just the ghosts of the manuscripts that seem to haunt me more as yet another year draws to a close. The characters come out of hiding. No long winter’s nap for them. And I’ll see or hear things that remind me of the “people” who inhabit those phantom worlds. A glance at the suitcase on the top shelf of my closet jolts me into remembering the scene in which my heroine packs to leave the brooding hero as he silently watches, as she remembers him saying he could never let her go. The tone of the holidays changes as I’m reminded of the heroine who’s accustomed to spending them alone—until she realizes she has a stalker keeping her company. And watching the snow pile up outside my door returns to mind the clusters of a near-future society I half-imagined, where the inhabitants defend themselves against the weather changes—and monsters—they’ve created as a result.
They’re all there. And reminding me that they are before this last shuttering of yet another year.
Do you find the ghosts of manuscripts past haunting you more in these days of shortened sunlight and more time spent inside?