I imagine characters or they imagine me - somehow, somehow they take shape, speak, move, become, flesh, breadth and somehow I follow them.
Along the way, I place them or they place me - there is a description of a house or a plot of land or the kitchen table or the edge of a cliff where they stand - to begin with.
Where they end up is often beyond me, but that is the point of the whole endeavor, isn't it, character who live beyond the page, beyond story, and yet within it, yet organically it, characters who are story.
Alistair MacLeod comes to mind, all the fisherman and miners and sons of hard lives in Island, and the deft frail characters of Penelope Fitzgerald, and Lorrie Moore's Birds of America, the woman who drops the baby, the woman who kisses the Blarney stone, with her mother, those women, those characters who I think I've met sometime before, not because they are familiar but because they resonate, because reading them, I forgot I was reading them…I forgot I was accessing them by reading - there they were, flesh, breadth, spirit and there I was, flesh, breadth, spirit.
This and that about being here and there, faraway and close...