Transmuting Tragedy Into Romance
The day Gwyn Cready, our guest writer this month, joined the Mindful Writers Group, her poignant face and somber demeanor intrigued me. There was something about her that I felt connected to. What was it?
Then last July at our one-on-one meeting, I asked her what inspired her to write romance novels. ‘Death of my younger sister when I was 34,’ Gwyn said. During our conversation, at certain moments, her eyes welled up. An outpouring of emotion, a floodgate of forgotten memories opened in my heart.
A sorrow dormant within Gwyn stirred a latent emotion inside me. I too had lost my brother in my mid 30’s. My 38 year-old-brother, my mother and my father passed away within eighteen months. Life seemed meaningless. Numbness enveloped me. When my sensation returned I felt emptiness that in turn gave way to fear and guilt. What was I to do? I began to journal. With meticulous details I wrote how I felt and the thoughts that crammed my mind. Daily journaling combined with sitting still in silence helped me return to my self.
Personal tragedies give rise to feelings of shame, guilt, fear, despair and so on. If we embrace them head on, surrender to them by writing them without restrictions, in time, they tend to dissipate. Meditation, that is witnessing our body and watching our thoughts, melts the residue. Writing Meditation transmutes tragedies into creativity and links the practitioner with her or his spiritual dimension.
What I wrote in my journal for decades eventually became part of my debut novel, The Immigrant Wife.
Gwyn overcame the pain and sorrow of losing her sister, Claire, by writing. For almost a decade she wrote for the sake of writing. She surrendered to her sorrow channelizing her emotions into art, into stories, into creativity. In the process, her personal tragedy got transmuted into tales of romance and love. She candidly narrates the story of writing her sister’s memoirs in her heartfelt post, “Candy.” (See Writing and Meditation Page).
The author of six romance novels with three more on the way, Gwyn Cready is the recipient of the 2009 RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance. She has been called “the master of time travel romance.” She lives on Mt. Washington with her family and is working when she can on a memoir about her younger sister. Her books are available at Internet and bookstores.
SO TOUCHING!! This such an impressive piece, Madhu. It’s amazing the way your story intersects with Gwyn’s. I’m so honored to know you both! This is the best thing I’ve read in a long long time. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself.
What a gift; to be able to turn tragedy into creativity! In the name of her sister, Gwyn is bringing delight to her readers, and offering all of us an escape from some of the harsher realities we face. Thank you for telling us about her.