‘A Comfortable Enough Life’ came to me on a sultry September night. I had spent the day folding and putting away summer clothing to make room for the fuzzy sweaters and wool coats of autumn. A vague vision of the protagonists (Wilson and Briggs) entered my mind and I sat on the floor of my closet to pen a draft.
When I wrote this story, I was exploring different ranges and perspectives in my writing. I think that all writers (and artists) must be able to get behind the eyes of people from all backgrounds (younger, older, opposite sex). At the time, there was a sticky note pinned to my wall that read, “tight, terse, athletic prose, like Hemingway.” This was a reminder for me to balance my masculine and feminine voices in writing. I try not to write in terms of gender, but rather in terms of what is best for the story that I am writing. A male narrator was best for this story, and despite our difference in gender, his speaking voice is not all that distant from my own.
At its core, this story is about forbidden love. This is a rich and tangled topic for these characters. Wilson is open with his sexuality, but has been cut off by his family. Briggs, on the other hand, is willing to conceal his true self and settle for a comfortable enough life to remain in the good graces of his family. The love that exists between Wilson and Briggs lives on, unspoken. The most poignant (haunting, even) part of this story is Briggs. It is torturous to consider suffering through life without embracing ones’ true self.
[aesop_parallax img=”http://www.razorlitmag.com/wp-content/uploads/annabelle-praznik-2.jpg” parallaxbg=”on” parallaxspeed=”5″ captionposition=”bottom-left” lightbox=”on” floater=”on” floatermedia=”Because it takes longer to write by hand, I find that every word scrawled across the page must hold purpose and meaning. This is why my workspace is divided in half. I have a desk for the analog, and I have a desk for the digital, so that I can always begin writing in longhand.” floaterposition=”center” floaterdirection=”up”]
I believe that writers must read everyday, just as they must write everyday. I know writers who don’t read while they are writing, because they do not want to be too influenced by another author. I, personally, disagree with this. I think that we must absorb and reflect what inspires us.
—Annabelle Fern Praznik