In Thanks For Every Tear

Yes, it’s an odd title for the final post of a horrific year. Yet, for me, it brings to mind what I’ll most remember about this year beyond the death and suffering. It’s what I’ll come away treasuring on the most personal level.

All that writing has given to me.

March, 2020. Little did I know this would be my last ever day at work. Photo: CA Hawthorne

I chose tears for the title because they come closest to the emotions that move me most. I’m referring to tears of joy. Those special moments when the heart doesn’t sink as it does in despair, but is instead lifted. It’s such moments that I write for more than any other.

I’ve spent over 75% of 2020 in lockdown, putting in long hours each day. It was spent editing until September when I turned to planning my NaNo novel. The rest of the year was then devoted to drafting. Novellas came after the novel.

When I say editing, I mean revisiting novels, one after the other.

How surprising (yet not) that the moments that summoned tears when I drafted still do so.

That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate the funny moments like Zepthtasha’s rylls embarrassing her yet again. Or even the breathtaking moments like Riparia in Meldenphire when the fog lifted and a scene appeared that was beyond comprehension.

No story truly works, at least for me, without all the emotions. Call the whole what you like. Balance. Contrast. Life’s spectrum. It’s those moments when the heart lifts, the eyes fill, and breathing becomes erratic that most stay with me.

Turning to yoga in May 2020 changed everything. Photo: CA Hawthorne

I’m not going to list my novel moments here for multiple reasons. There are far too many, first of all. Secondly, they’re the biggest spoilers. Most important, though, is that they’d lose all their emotional impact when read out of context.

Such moments are contained on this website, as it happens, though not necessarily where someone might expect.

In Gryphon Gray and Stepping Stones they aren’t to be found in the tragedy, but in the hope. In The Bridge in Distant Farthing it’s the realization of a truth. In lighthearted Taking Flight there’s someone else’s unexpected kindness.

As a writer, I have the privilege of conjuring moments of emotional truth. It’s amazing, when you think about it, as it is for any writer. How could someone not be grateful for that?

How strange to think that writing drains me, yet it’s writing that fills me back up.

The best part is that you can summon it all—the tears, the laughter, and the wonder—over and over again. It doesn’t drain this writer, but instead renews her. Each story I write inspires more.

December 2020. Photo: CA Hawthorne

It even surfaces in different forms, be it flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, novellas, and novels. It’s like being able to write everything from pop tunes to symphonies.

How could someone not be grateful for such an ability? Obviously, I’m not talking about sales. In my mind, if I can’t appreciate all I’ve talked about to this point, then what are sales? I might as well be producing bottle caps.

My thanks, too, apply to each and every person who has read any of the stories on this site, along with these blog posts and poetry. Each view, each like, each comment is deeply appreciated.

It was appreciated this year more than most. I’m keenly aware that my additional time spent editing and writing was, for so many others, losing vital income or missing someone lost.

It’s my hope that in some small way I provided a few minutes of distraction, entertainment, or maybe even a new perspective.

Enjoy this last day of 2020, but please, above all else, be safe.

About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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