Broken Glass & Writing

I broke a drinking glass this morning, right next to my Labrador walking alongside of me in our dining room. My groggy brain fired information; I saw the spray pattern and I grabbed my dog’s collar. We performed a very quick, prayer filled maneuvering around the glass shards. All I thought of was her paw pads, calloused but delicate and sensitive, being cut open and bleeding. We both escaped harm and the glass was cleaned up, with multiple passes of the broom, vacuum and a damp cloth.

I’m awake now, life. And thank you, gravity. You made life interesting once more.

Broken glass often takes a role in my novels. My first novel (S.O.P.), glass is in the creation stories circulating in my fictional world.* Glass takes a role in M.B., too, in the rising action but also in the concluding chapters where the characters reflect on mental illness and their shared trials.

What draws me to broken glass? It goes everywhere; it looks beautiful but it’s dangerous; and you never really know if it’s all gone. Often, months later, you find a piece in a corner, winking at you maliciously like a waiting cobra. It’s often indicative of passionate emotion, particularly violence or sorrow. It reflects, can make illusions and is always the silent observer. Stand before a mirror and try this out. The mirror is saying nothing; your own thoughts are what you hear.

When you think of broken glass, what comes to mind? Broken beer bottles left in your front yard by a passing drinker? A storefront window, bashed in by a gang? A car accident? Something philosophical, like sin or the effects of our action on others? Or perhaps something beautiful and benign, like recycled glass or mosaic tile art?

Any themes you tend to repeat in your writing? Leave a comment below. Happy writing.

Song: Studio Ghibli Cello Collection, Various Artists

*This book isn’t published yet, but I have it in my nest waiting to be edited after M.B. (my second novel) is finished.


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