Inspiration: One Word

After some advice from the fantastic Charles Yallowitz about writing down topics to cover on here, I’m going to give it a shot. Normally I just blog about whatever comes to mind (which is usually apologies for my lack of blogging), but with Reave going live soon (NEXT WEEK – aiming for December 4th), I do have several things I’d like to cover on here pertaining more specifically to the book/series than, say, progress with it.

Be patient with me while I try this thing out – attempting to stay on one subject, for one, and actually having a focus in an entry, for another. I’ve always struggled with thinking nobody would give a crap about anything I had to say, so . . . guess I need to just get over that and write about whatever I want. Over the next eight days or so, I’ll be trying this out (seeing if I can stick with it when it’s more firm than my usual blogging routine). Maybe not the best time to experiment with things, but I’m worried I’m going to lose my mind and it’s possible that this will help me calm down a bit (blogging).

In this specific entry, I’ll say how the series came about as a whole. Don’t ask me what the next entry will be about. I have some ideas, but I’m not that advanced in ‘plan-blogging’, so . . . let’s not get too crazy.

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while, you’ll know that I’ve written more than just this one series that I’m releasing now. This one is the second that I ‘finished’ (why do they never SEEM finished?). If you’ve been following my blog for an EXTREMELY long time, I believe I said something waaaaay far back in the archives about one word popping into my head, essentially creating . . . this series. It popped into my head and I started writing that night. Didn’t get out of my head.

Wow, I suck at this, I’m all over the place. Don’t ask me how I manage to write books. Anyway . . .

After writing and going through that first series several times – which I am determined will never see the light of day – I took a break. I should say that my ‘break’ only lasted about a month or so. When setting off into novel-writing, I had no idea how emotionally/mentally taxing it can be. Of course, I never thought I would write a fiction book either, due to an unquestionable lack of imagination (which I found at some point – don’t ask me how). 

That first series was draining in a lot of ways, but they all have been. Anyway, the entire thing was rife with paranormal things and was . . . pretty typical of the genre as a whole.

When ideas for other series began popping into my head, needless to say, I wanted to leave ‘paranormal’ COMPLETELY out. I’d had my fill of it for a time and decided I might go back to it eventually. I wanted to stretch myself, to try new things and writing styles (mostly stretch the newly-found imagination). And, above all . . . no paranormal.

Thus, I created a strange fantasy world with no magic or creatures running around. Despite it being a different ‘place’, at times it can seem like it’s not. There are a few things in later books (that do NOT exist here), which clarify it a bit more. But I like that about it – that it’s different and the same at once.

I’ll admit that when I sat down to write the first book, I intended for it to be a dystopian novel. I got a decent way through it and one word (again), changed everything. I wasn’t going to say what the word was because I didn’t want to admit that I ran around shouting the word (fist in air) for a day or so, but I’ll go ahead.

Concrete.

I didn’t want there to be concrete. How could there not be concrete? But . . . how could there be concrete? It just didn’t fit. (I don’t even want to get into the questioning that followed – which I’d never thought about. I’ll say there were a lot of things along the lines of, ‘. . . . . wait. How are there no guns?’)

(I should clarify that I’m talking about concrete in the modern form. Like, “Hey, let me go call that concrete company and have them send out a truck so we can get this thing poured.”)

It took me a small amount of time to get over that roadblock (CONCRETE!), but I did. Guns and concrete trucks do not exist there.

Looking at it now, I can’t even believe what it started out as. What it is . . . it’s what it should’ve been all along. I’m just glad I realized in the first book.

I don’t know that I consider it a typical fantasy novel, given the lack of magic and whatnot, but I can’t really consider it anything else. I tried. It just fits. Even if certain aspects make it seem like it could take place here in our non-magical world . . . it couldn’t. Maybe because . . . it doesn’t. I’m weird, I don’t know.

The entire purpose of this particular entry was to point out that inspiration can be a very simple thing – just a single word. A single word started this series, and a single word changed it.

It’s the little things that make me love being a pantser.

And the word that started it all?

Reaper.

Simple, yes. Not so simple in my head.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day I’ll do the entry about them – the assassins. They’re loads of fun, let me tell you . . .

(I’ll try to focus better on the next.)

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Shetland Ponies and Contemplation

I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating lately – on varying subjects, and with varying intensity.  Situations have a lot to do with the way that I’ve been spending my time; I have little else to do, at least for a short while longer.  The time of contemplating and thinking is almost over…it’s going to cease and give way to doing.  A lot of the thinking has revolved around planning – planning for this, or planning for that, and always trying to determine the best (most efficient) way to go about accomplishing things or just simply…getting them done.

Some of the thinking has been over other things – things that I have no control over, things that have nothing to do with getting other things done.  Those subjects are more difficult for me to manage.

I posted an entry awhile back about getting into contact with one of my dearest friends, and the resulting feelings because of it.  It made me do a lot of contemplating over myself as a person – the ways that I had changed since turning into a hermit of sorts.  It’s kind of like…walking through a doorway, but different.  On one side, you were who you used to be.  And on the other?  Who you are today.

I felt like time almost stopped while I was sitting in my shed, writing my books.  I could feel it passing, I could feel myself aging.  I could feel my heart changing.  It just seemed to happen so quickly.  Years of time – years of my life – spent…thinking, typing, thinking.  Writing.

It’s so funny because yes, I have always been a thinker.  The funny thing is that I can remember being so selfish with my thoughts.  I’m not anymore.  I’m selfish with my time.  I have more important things that I should be doing.  I suppose that feeling purpose will do that to you.

Have I changed so much?

Is there any bit of that person left?

I don’t know.  Maybe somewhere.

It doesn’t matter…I’m simply asking.

I’m being so dramatic, I know.  I’m a writer; it’s what I do.  If you could see how so NOT-dramatic I am in person, you would laugh at me.  I wonder sometimes how I can actually make up stories, pull them out of my head piece by piece, and make them live.  I wonder that a lot of the time, actually.  I’m selling myself short.  I always sell myself short.  It’s what I do.

I like it that way.  I wouldn’t enjoy riding around on a high horse.  That’s a lot further to fall.  The realistic, sensible thing to do is to ride on a horse that’s fitting of your stature and capability.  I know who I am.  I know what I’m capable of.  Don’t I?

Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe I’ve been wrong.

Again, I…don’t know.

This is why I prefer sitting in my shed in my solitude.  Interacting with people makes me think.

I don’t have time for this.  I don’t have time to constantly be rearranging my self-perception when I have so many other things to be doing.

Maybe I like riding around on my little Shetland pony.  Do I?  I believe so.

This probably sounds crazy, but I’m trying to work through it – write through it.

All of this – every bit of it – is stemming from the interactions that I’ve been having with people over the past several months.  I’ve been told a lot of…things.  A lot of words that I’m not accustomed to having associated with me have been lightly tossed into the general vicinity of my face.

Inspiring.  Are you serious?

People have said that my accomplishments thus far are ‘awesome‘ (the word is suitable enough).  Do you realize how many people have thought absolutely nothing of it?

Happy.  People tell me that I look happy.  Is it such a rarely appropriate word that it’s worth mentioning?  Is nobody else in this world happy?  I can remember a time where I never thought I would be.  I am, though.  I am so happy, and I’m so glad that it shows.

And then there was the word used during a conversation with an old friend yesterday.  Profound.  He told me that I was profound now.  What a word to be called!  This coming from someone who could remember me taking a sip of nail polish remover (likely in the fifth grade, when I was definitely old enough to know better).  I wouldn’t normally mention something so ridiculous; I’m just swallowing my pride for the sake of understanding. (A side-note: Please, for the love of all that is holy in this world, do NOT do that)…

I’m used to the high praise, in a sense.  My husband does it constantly.  He always tells me that I’m awesome, or amazing, or that one thing or another that I’ve done is just…the most AMAZING thing in the entire world.  I always tell myself that he’s completely biased, thus making his praising….tainted, I suppose.  My parents will always smile and go along with whatever decisions I make in life – often knowing I’m choosing wrong, mind you – so that I can learn my lesson.  They love me, and they always let me do what I believe will make me happy, thus tainting their opinions of me, and lessening the believability of their words (where they pertain to me).

But people that I don’t really know?  People that I haven’t spoken to in seven, or ten years?

I can’t make excuses to myself for the things that they’ve said to me.  I can’t shrug it off, or let it roll down my back without a second thought.  How could they be biased?

Profound.  If you could only hear me scoff at that word being associated with me.  And if you could only understand what all of those things mean to me.

He said something about words yesterday that really hit home.  Words are my life.  I am constantly struggling to get them out correctly, appropriately…perfectly.  And I am always failing.

Am I failing as badly as I believe I am?  Am I failing as badly as I tell myself I am?

Maybe…maybe I’m not.  To other people.

I need to feel like I fail with words.  That’s what keeps me struggling for improvement.

I suppose that I need to come to another understanding with myself.

I will stay on my humble little Shetland pony, but I need to come to terms with the fact that…my best might not ever be good enough for myself, but maybe…

Maybe it’s enough to suffice for everyone else.

I’m alright with that.

 

My god, I need to start writing another book soon.  This thinking about myself is driving me up a never-ending wall.

Basically, the entire purpose of this was to say that everything (like the things mentioned) has been extremely strange for me.  I’m not used to it.

But I need to say thank you to any and everyone who has shown even the vaguest interest in my work.  My work means the entire world to me.  I couldn’t possibly express my gratitude.  All that I can say is thank you, from the absolute bottom of my heart.