Who doesn’t love a good love story? The journey of a pair of lonely souls destined to fall for one another, to find themselves in each other, to live Happily Ever After?
But at the end of every happy ending, the writer in me cannot help but ask:
“What happens next?”
What lies beyond the ever after? Where does the long road lead next?
My stories are about finding soulmates…and losing them again. Relationships that spiral from magic to despair and back again. Remembrance. Longing. Darkness. Following your heart even if you have to break it first.
As one poet described it: “Love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice”.
This is a series I hope to do more of. To pick a particular character from a story of mine and talk about them…where and how they were born/created, how their personality evolved, interesting facts about them, etc.
There are basically two ways that I come up with characters. The first is when I have the idea for a story first, and I need people to fill it. It’s starting with an entirely blank slate and purposefully making up a person who would best fill a particular role. The second way is when I start with a great idea for a character (or two), and I need a story and/or a world to plonk them down in.
The Grimms teenagers; Alayse and Issar from Tindaari; Laurel and Alex from This Chosen Fate; Jasper and Sanda from Fall. Reconcile (and Windwaker); Sarah from Ghost of Misty Lakes High; Leona from 134349; and Pandora are all main characters created to fit story ideas.
Saeli and Raphel from Seven Shades, Caleb and Fayna from Briar Rose; the entire main cast of Why Do the Lamps Burn Out?; Lily and Auru from Mask of Eldermarch; Arav and Sioned from Dog Prince; Miriam and Rane from Dragon Singer; Biana and Marcus from Mad Gaia; Stephanie and Cole from Lotus Beach; Ruth from Whither Thou Goest; Ash from Ghost of Misty Lakes High; the four teenagers and two Suoya from Sielu’suoya; Raethe and Eolissi from Reclaiming Uskelia; Zan and Xander from Dreamcatcher; the mice of Valkaria; the cats of Pharoah; Reia and Reena from Eagle, Falcon, Owl and Crow; and Eryndal from Eryndal are all characters that had stories sprout up around them.
You can see which method I tend to favor.
Characters that I don’t build from the ground up to suit a story all come from dreams, because I tend to live out wild, epic, intricate adventures when I dream. Sometimes I only remember snippets (Seven Shades), or the thrust of the romance plot (Dragon Singer)…and sometimes I remember the whole saga from beginning to end (Dog Prince). Such dreams always have me playing a certain role, sometimes more than one if I head-hop, and there are generally several other people participating in the story with me; characters I may or may not remember, or use later if I do.
Which is probably why I tend to come up with these character in pairs, or ensembles. Read more…
“don’t give me love, don’t give me faith
wisdom nor pride, give innocence instead
don’t give me love, i’ve had my share
beauty nor rest, give me truth instead
a crow flew to me, kept its distance
such a proud creation
i saw its soul, envied its pride
but needed nothing it had”
The first time I heard this song, I wasn’t overly impressed. It wasn’t bad, it just didn’t speak to me as strongly as some of the other songs on Imaginaerum. Second time, didn’t like the pacing. Or something. (Second listen is always the worst).
Third listen…I realized this was how I saw my own life. I had done this. I had divided it into birds. The lyrics are about a person looking back on their life and realizing what was/is important…a person who thinks like I do.
“an owl came to me, old and wise
pierced right through my youth
i learned its ways, envied its sense
but needed nothing it had”
Up until yesterday, I was using my birds primarily to identify certain key people I’d met, and how the stream of my own life had diverted around them. Raven, Phoenix, and Nightingale are actual people…influential people who were meant to teach me something about myself. And when I felt that I had learned the lesson, I could take the name and make it my own. Incorporate the lesson into the bird and claim it. And in doing so, move on.
A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to hold a belief system that so few people seem to understand or to respect. Which is why I will usually keep my beliefs to myself and let people assume what they will. Part of being a mockingbird is the ability to appear to be what people assume you are. It’s easier and less awkward for everyone that way.
However, here are some things I wish people knew:
I believe people are hardwired inside to look for patterns in life. I also think people who spend a lot of time nurturing their creativity tend to be especially good at this. Producing good writing, or good art, or music, or even doing things like software design or engineering…you have to take advantage of patterns. Beats and timing. Composition and color. Goal, motivation, conflict, and why people act the way they do. It’s all about being aware of patterns.
Or maybe that’s just me.
As the new year turns over, I find myself once again staring at this bit of cyberspace I call a blog and wondering what on earth to do with it.
There are many options.
I could do book reviews! Movie reviews! Post bits of my work! Writing rants and difficulties! Thoughts on characters and plots! Updates about my life!
But the way I see it, no matter what sort of content I decide upon, I’m always going to run into the same problem. Time. I simply don’t have time to keep up a regular blog AND do all the writing and artsing that I want to do. And I’ve learned that when it comes down to spending an hour or two composing a blog post or working on the current novel, I’m always going to choose the novel. The blog post never feels worth it.
This creates long periods of silence, which in turn creates the second, somewhat related problem with updating. Sometimes I will get an idea for a post, or just have something I want to ramble about, and I’ll get on here with the intent of updating. But it feels weird to jump straight into a topic apropos of nothing after a long silence on my part.
So I’ll starting talking about where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. And since it has inevitably been a while, I’ll get both bogged down and bored. I don’t want to talk about me; I want to talk about whatever it is I’m thinking about. But I feel obligated to at least provide a small update before I ramble off into oblivion, and unfortunately I have a hard time getting past that.
So I just don’t update. And the silence stretches on.
What I may do is obligate myself to giving an update on myself every six months. That way, I can mentally trick myself into not needing to do it at the beginning of every post. Heck, I may even make myself a worksheet to follow so I don’t sit down to write The Big Update and end up staring blankly at the screen going, “Ooooh, where do I start?”
I’m not going to do that right now. Just the thought of it makes me tired :/
Otherwise, I’m going to use this space simply to hash out ideas. Character thoughts, story thoughts, dream thoughts. What my idea process is like. Etc. Stuff that I do in Notepad already, whenever a new idea or insight hits me.
Over time I’m going to try and take every character I’ve created so far in every story I’ve created so far, and just go into depth about them. Where they started, how they evolved, their GMC, etc. It’s one thing I never do enough of before I start writing, and not knowing my characters as well as I should is the primary reason I write myself into holes.
I may also record dreams here, and the process by which I turn them into story conceits. And then how two or three conceits become a proper story.
I’ll probably still occasionally do posts on books and movies that get things spectacularly right, or wrong, and analyze why.
Update on myself every six months.
Whatever in between.
I expect at absolute best I could post every two weeks. In reality, it may be more like every two months. I have bigger priorities than blogging and I don’t think I need to feel guilty about that.
I got so busy yammering on about my writing last post that I neglected to share the drawings I’ve done. I did manage to finish Imaginaerum, minus the Song of Myself redo…I’m doing the epics on a different schedule. Here’s Scaretale:
In the end I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this one. When I go back through and touch up all my images, I will probably take a white pen and add some more texture and detail to the black areas. Read more…
To start off, we’re moving.
We’ve finally reached a point where the cost of rent was going to be equal to or greater than the cost of paying a mortgage on a house, so back in April we started house hunting. After several false hopes and close calls, we found a nice one. Unfortunately, it was a short sale…which meant we had to get approval from the bank that owned the house before we could get it. The typical time frame on that sort of thing averages at about 6 months.
Last weekend, we finally got our approval. That’s actually pretty good time for a short sale…but I really would have liked to do all our moving over the summer, before school started. Alas. We’re getting our inspections done this week, and hopefully we will have a closing date sometime after that.
I have been slowly packing boxes these last few weeks (more quickly now that things are moving along). I don’t know how we ever managed to fit all this stuff in here, I really don’t. Ugh.
Oh, and school starts next week. Thankfully, since we have a contract on the house, I’m going to be able to register the boy at the school near the new place (so he won’t have to transfer after a few weeks). So along with packing, I’ve been out buying school supplies, and soon I have to take him to get registered.
We’re also cat-sitting for some friends of ours. So…three cats in the house right now.
And packing is only the beginning. In the next few weeks, we’re going to be painting, cleaning the new place, cleaning the old place, moving boxes and boxes and furniture…and then we have to UNpack all this stuff. Have to get a cat door for the porch. Have to buy a washer and dryer (thank goodness the folks who owned the house last left the refrigerator!). I’d like to get the garden I have planned started.
And my poor boy is going to be transitioning to a new school while all this is going on. But it will be fabulous to have more space. We have a porch! And a backyard! We can store bikes in the garage and holiday stuff in the attic! Luxury upon luxury! I’m pretty excited.
*** Read more…
I’ve actually sat down several times in the last few months thinking, “I should probably update the blog…” But inevitably I would think of something more pressing I needed to do, like work on a picture or write or…etc. Which is why it’s now May 😛
I’ve managed to keep up my goal of churning out two NW pics per month, although I’ll admit that’s getting harder. I think I left off here at Mermaids…? So, in the order they were done:
Slow, Love, Slow:
And I’m currently in the middle of Scaretale. I’m kind of excited about being almost finished with Imaginaerum…with the exception of Song of Myself, which I’m planning to redo on a more epic scale. I’ll finally be able to line up each image and look at the flow of things, start making decisions about how to pull each of these disparate songs together thematically.
(This is why it’s actually a good thing I happened to start this project with Imaginaerum…of all their albums, this one is probably the most thematically tight, with Century Child close behind it.)
After I finish Scaretale, I’m doing While Your Lips Are Still Red as a tribute to Anette, and then I’m going straight into Once. Higher Than Hope and Creek Mary’s Blood are first, since I’ve been looking forward to putting those together.
In the writing realm, meanwhile:
Whoever reads this will probably notice my bad habit of flip-flopping between writing projects. Yeah, I do this. It’s bad. I probably shouldn’t.
I’m going to use the rest of the year to try and crank out The Mask of Eldermarch. I know, I know, I said I was going to work on Grimms, yada, yada. Yes, Grimms is still on the table. But ultimately…I want to write novels. I have so many really awesome novel ideas sitting in my queue, and the only way they’re ever going to get anywhere is if I sit down and write them, one at a bloody time.
The bones of Mask were laid before I started Shades, seven-ish years ago…it’s really about bloody time I got that one done, you know? If I can put Mask behind me, I can sit down and work my way through This Chosen Fate, and if I can do that, I can finally start on Dragon Singer. I’ve been itching to get on that one. I can finally write Dog Prince, Lotus Beach, Whither Thou Goest…all these ideas and characters that have been just gathering dust. I’d like to get started on my epic before I get too old, heh heh…not to mention the other idea for an epic I had recently.
(I could even combine them… O_O As Gru would say, “Lightbulb.” Aaaand, Ima can of worms that right now.)
Anyway, I’ve been trying to write 1000 words a day on Mask. It’s not much, but I figure if I can do that more or less every day, I could finish a draft in four-ish months. That’s not bad.
However, this summer is all up in the air, so to speak, because a large chunk of it may be taken up with moving.
Ah yes, news! The hubby and I decided to start looking for a house, as it’s gotten to the point where it would be costing us about the same to rent as it would to pay on a mortgage. We actually only started the process about three weeks ago, but we’ve made an offer on a house we liked and the owner approved it. However, it’s a short sale house, so now we’ve got to wait for Bankrupt of America to also give their go-ahead. This, we are told, could take a few months…but when it does go through, they will want to close quickly, so we’ll need to be ready.
I imagine I won’t be getting much creative stuff done if we’re in the midst of inspectors and painting and packing and moving and unpacking.
But we’ll have a house. I am so not complaining
I did manage to finish Turn Loose the Mermaids before the end of last month, keeping me on my two-per-month quota.
Went with a Lady of Shallot theme with this one, as it fit so well with the mood of the song. I’m not quite as pleased with it as I was with Storytime, mostly because of the tree leaves…but it came out pretty well. Read more…