Daryn Bentley Wilde
It was, thus far, the only true epiphany moment I've had in this life. I was sitting in a train station in Boston, reading a small book I'd brought with me, eating a muffin and sipping a latte. A sip, and I'd slip deeper. A sip, and I'd slip deeper. I was completely engrossed in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Woolf describes in her essay, along with the necessity of achieving a basic level of individual physical comfort to support the emergence of genius, all the many lost artists and works that must have been buried with women throughout time. "When... one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." Woolf tells the tale of what might have become of Shakespeare's sister, had he had one. It is not a happy story. She could not have achieved the works of art her brother produced, even had she surpassed him in talent, for the mere fact that she was born into the gilded cage of the female body. But Woolf ends her essay with hope and a bugle call to charge: "I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister... She died young - alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh... I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worthwhile."
Nine years later, I still remember that electrifying moment as I closed the slim tome and baffled at the remains of my breakfast. I realized in Woolf's words that: I want to write. I want to write for all the women who came before and died with their genius unspoken, unscribbled, unseen. I want to write so Shakespeare's sister may indeed walk among us. And I want to write because a hundred years after my body is rotted to dust, I too want to rise up again and walk through the words on a written page.
I want to give voice to the immortal women who came before me. And I want to be immortal.
I want to write.
So I have devoted the majority of my unaccounted hours to doing just that for the past decade. I write novels, mostly fantasy, mostly with LGBTQIA characters, mostly young adult. When I write I generally give my subconscious the driver's seat, so many of my stories reflect aspects of my own life. And as regards reflections, well, I have found that one overwhelming theme that seems to appear in all my works is the idea of reflections; what we see when we look in a mirror, what we hide from ourselves even there, and if we can in fact ever know even only our own hearts.
If you want to read my work, or just hear me babble... you've come to the right place.