Worlds can change within moments.
When you write a book, one moment you can kill off a character. A few days later, you may rewrite and allow the character to live. Or it might go the other way. This happened with me last month. I killed a character and then my sisters convinced me that Lilith needed to show more humanity up front. So with a stroke of the pen, I changed her path.
Real life can change as quickly.
I spent Christmas Eve at my sister’s house so I would be there Christmas morning. 2:30 AM my sister’s heart broke as her beloved husband went home to spend Christmas Day with the Savior. My pen couldn’t change anything. As a writer, I control the world. As a sister, all I could do was hold her and cry with her and her family. No eraser, no delete key.
This week our family is gathering around in love. For 44 years my sister and brother-in-law were one person. Now they are separated for awhile. Nothing I could write would ever be as poignant. No love story as deep. No catharsis as whole.
My niece asked me today if I missed her father. Yes. I do. He could be a character. He could rile you up. He could touch your heart. He was a wonderfully complex character that appears in the best books.
He made me a cane to help me walk, a journal to keep thoughts in (designed for a vampire since that is what I write about), he taught me about savings and getting out of debt, and he showed me that he loved me by the respect he demonstrated for my teaching and my intelligence and a lot of other things.
Yes, I will miss him.