Some mysteries flow over the centuries. Some never are solved, and the passion to discover it never dies down. There is one that has persisted down through the ages. It is the mystery of alchemy.
What is Alchemy
The Royal Society of Chemistry had this to say about alchemy: “Simplified, the aims of the alchemists were threefold: to find the Stone of Knowledge (The Philosophers’ Stone), to discover the medium of Eternal Youth and Health, and to discover the transmutation of metals. To the medieval alchemist’s mind the different elements were but the same original substance in varying degrees of purity. Gold was the purest of all and silver followed closely.” (https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/alchemy/what-is-alchemy) It has been seen as sorcery and witchcraft by many over the years. Sad to say, this filtered over into anyone who practiced any form of medicine.
Alchemy was early chemistry but done in a way that made it look shady. It sought answers that appeared to be magical. In truth, those who practiced it were the earliest chemist. They just didn’t understand what they were working with.
Playing With the Supernatural
The early years of chemistry did seem like witchcraft. The understanding of the physical world around us was limited years ago. Anything that stretched beyond the understanding of the present day was witchcraft and deserved death. That meant even the legitimate explorers of chemistry were seen with distrustful eyes.
It was all connected to magic. That was deemed evil and dangerous. It was observed as a slight against society and God. Alchemist looked into the supernatural to find the secret for long life and riches untold.
A Joy for Writers
The supernatural has always been a wonderful playground for writers. It should be. Everything is possible. There really are no rules as, to our knowledge, it is not a real possibility.
Alchemy has been dabbled in by many authors. By dabbled, I mean mentioned or highly woven into a plot. This can be a subject matter that can allow characters the ability to do so much more. Even with a book that shows alchemy as nothing but science fiction, it can add so much more depth to the plot. It is a great mystery to give all the needed twists and turns in a story.
No, I’m not crazy. Okay, maybe I am, but that is not the point here. The point is that I seriously think I’m haunted. There are voices in my head. They whisper in my ear. I have to be haunted.
In my free time, I’m a writer. That means not much time writing as I work full-time. Well, at least there is not much actual writing going on. But I hear the characters talk to me no matter what I’m doing, even moving product around the country.
Yes, I said they talk to me. I can be in the middle of processing an order for my day job. A whisper in my head creates a scene or an entirely new plot idea. I hear the characters tell me what they think should happen or how they want to develop. They don’t always agree with the way I see a story going. They tend to have their own opinions and like to voice them.
But the voices are not really why I think I’m haunted. It is the voices of past characters who keep coming back to remind me that they are not dead. Yep, their souls are still there and like to drop hints for more stories about them. Like I don’t have enough story ideas!!! They add to the list.
Characters never really leave for the fictional after-life. They stick around like ghosts. They are not solid, but their essence is there to torture you. I say torture because I have laid them to rest and moved on. But they refuse to just fade into the night. They persist to plot and scheme.
I don’t mean to complain. Their presence is not always terrifying as you expect from a haunting. There are times when they bring a smile to my face. I remember getting to know them and experiencing so many adventures with them. Oh, the memories!
Only writers can understand the idea of being haunted by fictional people. It is a most unique situations. I’m just glad my hauntings aren’t like King’s. That would be an experience I’d pass on.
Teenagers can be very dramatic. I mean VERY! Trust me when I say this. I’ve had three. The drama puts TV shows to shame.
It never fails for my seventeen year old daughter to daily give me a run down on the drama in her teenage group. I know who is dating who, who broke up with who, and who did something royally stupid.
I have to admit here that there are times I just want to scream. I get sick of hearing about it all especially since I know most of the drama will be forgotten in a few hours by all involved. Over time, I began to notice ideas taking root in my mind as the drama swirled around me.
After I had dropped the kids off at the coffee shop, I thought on what had been said. What if this happened? What if that happened? Stories begin to form in my mind.
What just happened? Teenage drama penetrated my writing sphere! Yep, I’ve been invaded by the dark side.
I have a young adult story started due to my daughter and her friends talking about a girl asking a guy out to a dance and to only be turned down by the jerk. That was their word for him, not mine.
There are stories present in all that drama. I just have to sift through the ultra-drama, or at least some of it. Even that kind of over the top can be inspiration for me as a writer.
Maybe the pain and suffering of that drama will pay off.
It is true that you can have too much of a good thing. Too much fruit can increase your sugar levels and make you sick. Too much of your favorite foods can have you not wanthing them for a while. You can get too much of a good thing. Even writing.
I’ve been writing up to 2000 words a day for the last month and a half. Finished one story and picked up another that was halfway done. Then I felt sick to write even one line. I had done too much of it without a break. That was too much of a good thing.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that I need to step away from projects for a spell. I will put all my energy into a project and then can’t do more. I have to step away for a few days or weeks before the interest returns. Maybe my brain just needs recharging. Maybe too many thoughts are rummaging around up there.
Currently, I have been away from my writing for nearly a week. The urge is upon me again. I’ve spent these days off reading and watching shows. Inspiration has struck in several areas. Suddenly, I felt rejuvenated. Now I finished a short story and am working on the next chapter in the novel that is my current WIP.
This is exciting. I feel new energy. Now I have to make sure I don’t burn out quickly again. In order to avoid that, I’m going to force myself to have time away to just read and take walks. I think I can. I think I can. I sure hope I can.