When real life imitates art

“What’s happened to Ana Adored?” you might ask.

Ana Adored tells the story of domestic violence and the death of a friend.

Guess what’s been part of my life in the past month?

Sometimes, I think our writer’s brain shuts down and refuses to let us process the art we have created before we knew it would become part of our lives.

I didn’t write the scenes of a character visiting a dying friend; Maren Smith did. Yet Maren has said good-bye to more than one important person in her life, and a few weeks ago I held the hand of a woman who had become my surrogate grandmother. I baked rolls and lemon bars for her memorial service, and I washed dishes and arranged the church fellowship hall along with the others who had known her.

I did write the scenes where characters deal with expressions of anger gone wrong. Bit by bit, I as the author (and Maren as co-author) discovered the story beyond an offhand comment. “This story ended up having an important message,” Maren said. I curled up into a ball, fighting back personal demons as my home transformed into a temporary emergency shelter for a woman who may or may not have been in danger of her life. I was naive then; I’ve become a sadder but wiser Ana now. I don’t know whether anything I was told actually matched with objective real-life events, but for an intense, grueling period I believed every word. I believed that this woman’s life and the life of her child were in my hands, and I toppled every shred of my life in order to protect theirs.

Then the dust cleared, and the stories didn’t quite match. Facts didn’t check out.

As I’ve circled around Ana Adored in the past month, reflexes have shouted, “No! Go away! I don’t want to deal with you!”

Writing (and editing) with Maren has taught me a great deal. We have complementary styles, strengths, and approaches to storytelling. I am grateful to have this chance to work with her, and I am terrified at revealing our product to the general audience.

What is Ana Adored, you might ask? The story of a happily-ever-after, set in our everyday world where we’re lucky to receive a happily-for-now.

I hope you, my readers, are safe. I hope that you and those around you will value your life and keep it safe. I also hope that you will find joy in the happily-ever-after of a character named Ana who bears absolutely no resemblance to yours truly. 🙂

Maren and I are working as hard as we can to bring you the story of Ana. We hope you’ll like it.

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11 thoughts on “When real life imitates art

  1. Renee says:

    Ana, I just know that your story will be wonderful. I am sorry about the loss of your friend. You will always have your memories and a will carry a piece of her with you. She touched your life in a special way that you will never forget. Everybody who touches our life’s impacts and changes us in some way. Your friend taught you something that will stay with you always. I am sorry that you may have been mislead in the other situation but please know what a special person you are to open your home and life in response to the perception of abuse. Many times people will say if only I had reached out or done something… You did it. Without thought your first reaction was to protect and be a friend to someone. You are a special person and I am sure many will find joy in your story. I always do. Smile, friend.
    Blessings – Renee

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  2. Roz Harrison says:

    (((HUGS))) Ana, ditto Renee too, she said it perfectly. I’m so sorry for your loss. You and Sara enriched each other’s lives and I’m sure you have many wonderful memories.

    You are such a wonderful, kind and caring person with a loving soul. I’m sorry you were misled about the situation with your friend, but what you did for her was wonderful and special.

    Looking forward to the story 🙂

    Hugs
    Roz

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  3. nancygoldberglevine says:

    I know all too well what happens when real life intervenes. I know the story will be great and I’m glad you have good memories of your friend. Sometimes, I write scenes that are based on things that happened in real life. What’s funny is when I write a scene and then it’s re-created in real life. There’s a scene in my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s short story that just came out, “Damsel in Disguise,” where the heroine, Raven, sings “I Got You Babe” with her friend, Jay’s band. About a month ago, the real life Jay Galloway was talking about Sonny Bono and singing “I Got You Babe” in the cab. LOL!

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