When I was first writing Butcherbird, two years ago (well, almost), my Nana died. I kept writing. I made myself. Loved the book more than before because it was a focus, it was important. Vital, even.
I finished the book and began editing it the next year with the help of Whiti Hereaka. I’m working through it again now, hopefully the last big edits it will need, and then more people died. First my grandmother in law, and then one of the dad’s in our homeschooling group.
The bodies are racking up!
Despite my now well medicated brain, I still managed to get the feeling that my book was killing people.
I know. I know. Ridiculous, right? And yet, there is possession in this book, there are bad spirits and death and sometimes, the brain forms connections you just can’t shake.
I froze up. Couldn’t work on it. Couldn’t handle more death. Was terrified my book would take someone else too.
So, I did what any creative person did – performed an exorcism of sorts! Or a cleansing. Whatever you want to call it. Shaking out the ghosts and imbuing it with new energy.
How to exorcise a book:
Find a key link to the book: Birds play a prominent role in my story. They act as omens, guardians of a sort, so I found a feather.
Figure out what’s going on: I was blocked because of death and fear, so I dipped that feather in purple ink (of course it was purple…) and wrote out my intentions. I was positive, because that’s what I want to focus on.
More links! I burned that letter – fire plays a role in my book too, and I wanted to cast my intentions to the wind, let the birds take them, protect them, guard me as I work on this edit. And then I drove to the beach and I scattered those ashes and let the feather fly free. And damn, it felt good. Like I was letting go of all my worries. This book is wonderful and I’m excited to finish it now, to get it out into the world one way or another.
It’s no killer, but it’s a killer book 😉