I’m aware that I’d tell you that my life–especially my “day job” gets in the way of my writing…which can be true time wise… and which in a another very fundamental way is far from the case. I can give you an example. The other day I was talking to someone who was saying how the only way to farm these days(to essentially do what you love, as the only reason you’d actually farm now is that you can’t imagine doing anything else)… is to keep track of the bottom line, that is to focus on the money, and how to make whatever profit you can; otherwise, you’ll go under. And that interaction helped me to get on with my writing, and to create the character I needed to move on in my novella.
I was at a point in my novella, where Connie, the protagonist, having entered the 17th century fantasy hero of Xavier, is about to enter the land that she could rightfully inherit. She needs Xavier’s help however as the antagonists– the corrupt Prince Rainier, and the powerful Leblanc– are also making a claim on the land. The land is being farmed by a group of peasants that have no real say in the matter; and who Connie feels really own the land. But their only hope to stay on it is if Connie’s claim is accepted. They are also suspect as their land is at the edge of the Agincourt kingdom, and they are thought to be under the influence of some Guian traditions–the Guians being a defeated enemy whose very existence was seen as threat to Agincourt.
So Connie and Xavier–with their guide Bre’en–were about to enter “Connie’s” land. And I didn’t have a real focus…until I thought of a character, Joachim. Joachim is one of the peasants; but he is one who leaves, who lives in the outside world…Connie get a brief glance of him riding on top of LeBlanc’s carriage before encountering him in his homeland (thus his association with one of the antagonists)…and sure enough when she meets him in his homeland, she is wary of him. And not without reason… To quote from the story, beginning when Jochaim addresses the people:
” I,Joachim, am one of you. I have seen the larger world, studied their ways. We can’t stay here. We barely feed our families. Whatever we sell to Agincourt brings in less and less!” He pauses. “They want our land. Let them take it. It is of no use to us anymore!”
People begin to mutter among themselves. Bre’en puts up her hand as she stands up to speak.
“Use to us? Is our land—a thing to be tossed away on a whim? Is it not part of us, as we are part of it?’…”
Xavier then steps in with the traditional Agincourt position–that the land belongs to Connie, whose cause he will champion…pulling away for the moment from Joachim, who I have other plans for…
And so as I often find–the inspiration that I need comes from the world around me, as I seek to write about themes that I care about in this genre
Just some thoughts
P.S. Often my biggest headache in putting out some writing is formatting…and so today–try as I might I can’t seem to get the quotation marks before “I, Joachim” to go the right way. I’m sure it’s something small but right now I’m driving myself crazy by trying to change it…so I’ll leave it for the time being…M.C.
I’m aware that I want to get back on track with my writing. For me that means getting on with my next novella in the Kooteani Brown series. In some ways, I’ve never left. I have an excellent writing consultation, Julie Rodriguez, and I’ve been careful to keep up our regular consultations–because on principle, I wasn’t prepared to give up my writing, regardless of what was going on around me. And, not surprisingly, my heart just wasn’t in it in the same way as it was before. And now I’m prepared to get back into it.
And the issue that comes up for me around all of this is: why am I doing this? Why is it so important for me to continue?…Maybe it’s as simple as: this is a creative way for me to be with what is happening–that not only gives me the distance that I need, but also gives me the opportunity to create a story with fun characters who– in their own way–grapple with some of the issues that I find in my own life.
In the most recent novella the protagonist,Connie, has to deal with “niceness” both within herself (that causes her to dishonest with Xavier, her would-be hero) and within the work situation (where the people were “too nice” to tell her what was really going on with them). In the framework I’ve chosen (with the protagonist, Connie able to escape to the fantasy world of her hero, Xavier; and Xavier able to cross back into hers), I’m able to be with the whole “niceness” things–even learn what I need to learn about it–and yet do so in a creative fun way, in my writing.
And that’s why it’s important for me to continue to write.
Just some thoughts
There are times in your life–at least in mine–where things shift…and things are going to ever be quite the same afterwards. Work wise–that has happened to me. And while I admit: it could very well be the best thing that could happen(in fact I got a bonus work wise that I thought I’d never get, which may even help me with my writing)– still the way it happened, I honestly would have preferred a less “advantageous” out come. And I’m not going to “look a gift horse in the mouth”–no apologies for accepting fully whatever the situation gives me.
The above explains why I haven’t been blogging; and why now, when I think of coming back to, I’m not going to–initially at least–go to where I left off. Instead, I decided to try something fun. It all started when I was watching “Date Night” (which I enjoyed); and in the scene where the criminals are threatening to shot the Porters at the beginning, I thought: what if they actually followed through on that?.. movie over. That got me to thinking. One of my favourite novels is: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. Re-reading it, I thought: “Archdeacon Grantly is made Bishop of Barchester”–and that’s that. No need for the rest of the book. I also like Anna Karenina; and of course that book-ender would be: Anna’s husband, Alexi Karenine, dies of some mysterious illness.
The book-ender wouldn’t have to be that obvious. In Jane Eyre, for example, Edward Rochester, upon arriving in the West Indies (in the back story) would have been so appalled by slavery that he wouldn’t have married his first wife for her fortune; rather he would have become an abolitionist, dedicating himself to that cause.
Or in Wuthering Heights. After the death of his father, Hindley Earnshaw could come back to the Heights, a calmer, more sensible man. Deciding to let bygones be bygones, he doesn’t take revenge on Heathcliff He lets Catherine and Heathcliff pursue their relationship;and for himself and his wife–they expand their acquaintances in the area to include a number of normal-type people so the marriage pool for the next generation doesn’t include only sickly cousins and with revenge seeking fathers…
Of course, I wouldn’t suggest that any of these classics should change. The choices their characters make and the circumstances are what makes the stories hauntingly timeless…and it is fun–just to think: what if…?
Just some thoughts