Let Us Relive Our Lives in What We Tell You

Breakfast is out of the way, more or less; all that remains is the coffee, and I’m about to refill that as soon as the song I have on finishes.  Yes, it’s six fifty-five AM and the morning has already been an hour in the making.  That means it’s time for a post.  That means it’s time to start writing.

It’s a strange live I’ve chosen for myself.  Write a blog post at six-thirty in the morning, then write code all day, then come home and edit twenty pages for a while, then time line out something because I need to know when an event could take place because of something happening to one of the characters–yeah, Research Bitches!  Finally, about eight forty I was able to relax and watch How to Train Your Dragon, which is one of my favorite movies, and far superior, in my opinion, to Toy Story 3.  Because Viking kid with a dragon.

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them--Kerry needs one of these.  Oh, and lets not forget the blowing up of your enemies . . .

You love them, you protect them, you take your girlfriend flying on them–Kerry needs one of these. Oh, and lets not forget when you use them to blow up your enemies . . .

And then I’m back at it today.  Same as it ever was.

Last night, while I was plotting out my time lines and thinking about some of the crap my kids will get into once the future rolls around, I wondered about some of the things that have drawn me to writing, as well as some of the things I’ve written.  Like it or not, there’s always a little bit of me in my stories.  Maybe it’s just a personal feeling, or perhaps it’s an idea I want to espouse.  There is at least one story I’ve written that deals with feelings I have towards other person, and another where I’m more or less returning to some emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time–which is probably one of the reasons why I find myself getting into crying jags now and then.

A lot of writers get caught up in their characters, and I find myself doing the same once in a while.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ll often start crying at the end of one of my stories not only because I’ve reached the end and there’s a huge emotional release upon typing out, “The End”, but in a few of my stories something extremely emotional has occurred between my characters, and it’s hard to hold back the feelings.  You’re digging deep into something within your own essence to throw into your characters, and when that moment happens, it’s like it happened to you.

I thought out a scene for my kids last night that hit me in ways that make a lot of sense, and at the same time left me feeling like my heart was going to wither.  It was a cold scene, but as I thought it out logically, it was the only thing possible for the plot as thought out.  It even involved making one of the hardest characters I’ve ever made reach a point where she starts crying–that’s some hard core sad right there.

I talk about these characters as if they are real people sometimes, and while I know they aren’t, they are, in a way, an extension of my own ideas and feelings, so when you give them happy times, you feel the happy times, and when you crap all over their lives and throw them into the Pit of Emotional Hell, then you’re going to experience the fall.  And trust me:  I will crap all over their lives, because life is hard for Normal people, so just imagine the sort of shit that gets thrown at you when you’re a witch.

What doesn’t kill them makes your characters stronger–but what does it do to me?  It lets me tell the tales of their lives–

And by doing so, I bring a little of my life out for all to see.

In the Brambles of Your Mind

Here it is five-forty in the morning, and I’ve been up for maybe a little more than an hour.  It’s going to be a long day, but if I can get through this without being yelled at, and getting my other work done, and not loose my mind in the process–which is always an iffy possibility–then it’s a three-day weekend for me, and some work on the novel, and a road trip, something I haven’t done in a while.  Still deciding if the road trip is tomorrow or Sunday, but right now it looks like I might be on the road early Sunday morning to go visit my planed destinations.

A Day?  For Me?

A Day? For Me?

Yesterday I discovered that January 16 is National Dragon Appreciation Day.  That’s right:  there’s a day to appreciate your dragon, or dragons if you happen to have more than one.  Yes, you little fire-breathing flying monstrosities, we do appreciate you being around, because it’s always good to have a sense of wonder about these beasties in their various incarnations.  There are few people who’ve never heard of dragons, and even fewer who probably haven’t had a dragon story inside them.

I have one:  I’ve had it for a long time.  If I think about it long enough, I’d say the idea probably came to me about fifteen years ago, maybe twelve.  But it’s been around for a long time.  And it is a stories that I have in my idea file, and that I intend to write one of these days.  In fact, it was bugging the hell out of me for a couple of weeks in December, 2013, where it was sitting in my head saying, “I’m right here, why don’t you take me out for a spin?”  Why?  Because you’re going to be a long story–novella at least–and I’m in the middle of something else.

“But, you can drop that story and come stroke my scaly head, can’t you?  I’m gonna be a lot of fun!”  Nope, sorry ol’ chap.  You’re just gonna have to wait your turn.  I have a plan, and I’m sticking to it, and when I do write your story, it’s gonna be a good one.  But it’s coming when I say it comes, Flammy, and not a second sooner.

When you’re working on a story, you gotta finish, and that means you have to leave those pesky and nagging ideas in the bramble to scoot around and root for food, or whatever the hell it is a put-aside idea does when you’re not working on it.  And sometimes it’s best, because if you have an idea pop into your head–one of those mythical plot bunnies I keep hearing about–then I, at least, run the risk of writing something that’s eventually gonna piss me off.

That happened last year.  I can even tell you when:  late April, 2012.  A friend asked me if I would write a story for them, and they were pretty persistent about it, and eventually I gave in.  I set up the story, started into writing it . . . and about three thousand words in I said, “Screw this,” and put the story aside.  As of this moment, it’s the only one I’ve started in the last two-and-a-half years that I decided wasn’t worth my time finishing.

No, I won't write about killer robot hamsters!

No, I won’t write about killer robot hamsters!

That story wasn’t a cute little bunny that came hopping out of the bushes, it was more like one of those insane war rabbits from Watership Down, and it was necessary to go all Bigwig on it’s butt and put it in it’s place.  Because if I’d spent my time–no, back up and rephrase that:  if I’d wasted my time on that story, I wouldn’t have written Diner’s at the Memory’s End, and I’d feel worse for the wear, because I like what I did with the second story, and realize there was no place in my life for that first.

There are a few things in my idea file that will never see the light of day, that may never get written.  That’s okay, because there are a lot of writers out there who’ll tell you they had a great idea come up, they wrote it down, and when they returned to the idea later, it was as if they’d found a hairball in the middle of their new white shag carpet.  What is this thing?  How did it get here?

Don’t worry, buddy.  Sometimes your mind does that.  Clean up and move on–

You got a story waiting for you in another part of the house.

The First Ember of Regret

Last night I reached a point that I didn’t think I’d ever reach in my writing.  Was it perfection?  Hardly.  I’ll never be a perfect writer, no matter how many millions of words I string together over the next twenty-five years.  Was it a feeling of ineptitude?  Nope.  I’m not an inept writer; I’m learning the craft every day, understanding what can and can’t be done.  Was it hopelessness?  Naw.  I start feeling hopeless enough on things that aren’t writer related that I don’t need it for my writing life.

No, what I felt was regret–over a character I had to kill.

It’s like this:  there is a chapter in Part Three where Jeannette–she who has been chased all over the city so that someone can mount her head on a pike and laugh about it–has finally gotten the upper hand, and has decided the only way to keep people from screwing with her is to lay down her own Hammer of the Goddess.  With that she figures out a way to find the people who’ve been making her life hell–a word only she uses–she goes after them . . .

With no let up, and no mercy.

This means turning her forces loose, and engaging in the magical version of The Chicago Way:  “They bring a wand, you bring a gargoyle.  They blow off one of your arms, you consume them all in black fire and smile as they die screaming.”  She knows it’s the only way to make the best of a bad situation, and she knows there comes a point where she has to get her own hands dirty in order to make a point.

In the end she decides to take out this guy–

Only . . . he’s not that bad.

Yes, he’s on the wrong side of the line here.  Yes, he’s giving counsel to the bad witch, but for the most part he’s seen a someone standing on the sideline, marginalized by one too many egos in his group.  So in terms of being a bad guy, he’s not that bad.

Still, he’s on the other side of that line, so when the time came for him to die, I smoked him.  I at least gave him a clean death, a warrior’s death, and not the “Imma Cat and I’m gonna make you die horribly” death I gave another character.  But dead is dead, and the dude went down for the count pretty fast.

Right after I edited the scene, that was when the feeling hit:  where I go, “You know, I really feel bad killing this guy.”  The character even admits he escaped death once before, so he knew how not to pee in the wrong pool.  Still . . . it was part of the plan to have him die, and he did.

Case close, even if I did feel a little bad about it.

Maybe I’d have felt better if I’d had a dragon burn his face off.  At least then I could say it wasn’t my fault, blame the dragon–

Naw.  That’s been done.

Though dragons in the story would be cool . . .