Sunday, July 27, 2014

Of Afraid and Fear

"Don't be afraid."

Those were her only words before I walked through the door. The air was tense and the lighting just above pitchblack. Somewhere deep inside I heard rattling. The sound of terrible things with secret shapes. The imagination was their own limitation, and mine ran wild She told me not to be afraid.

Was she fucking kidding? If there was any reason to feel brave, it had to be the sword at my side. The weight was solid, reassuring, a reminder that the darkness was as light as air. I was made of stouter stuff than nightmares.

And if I wasn't, the sword certainly was.

Fuck, I got this update in under the wire, didn't I? Sorry about that! Work, life, and writing have been busy. I'm up to 45,000 on the second book, though, and waiting to hear from agents. A friend or two have taken a pass at the book, as well, reaffirming my self-esteem.

Apparently the book doesn't suck. Now the second one... that's still up in the air.

It's weird. You write one good book, and you're afraid. What if the second sucks? What if you've lost that particular bit of magic? What if you only had it in you to create one good story, and that was it? I think that's the writer's biggest fear. I'll probably hold on to that with every novel I happen to write. If nothing else, it'll keep me sharp.

After all, fear is one hell of a motivator, folks.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lucky Day

I'm lucky.

Usually I'd tell you the opposite. A black cloud has followed me most of my life. I am not lucky because I'm wealthy, or wise, or had an easy life. Literally none of those are true. Just take a look at my back account, poor life choices, and emotional scars. No, nein, nope. I've been extremely unlucky when it comes to those things. What I'm talking about is writing, my passion, my dream, that little hope inside that's taken up inside my chest.

I seem to almost be there. I've got several agents looking over my stuff, seemingly pretty interested in it. Sure, this is the first step before many more. I have more editing to do, they need to sell it to editors, there's contract negotiations, and of course subsequent books before I can finally make this a career.

But dammit, dammit, I've read about excellent writers who took ten, twenty years to achieve the same I have. Me, I'm on year two, and I'm at this stage. It's not talent, intelligence, or anything else that's gotten me here. It's just luck.

And for once, I'm happy to have it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Who Are You?

She was tough.

Some of it was forged, true, gained from that carpshoot known as experience. The rest was all natural. There was an inner strength in the girl that wasn't normal in the modern world. It wasn't what you found in the day-to-day, but rather the things epics and poems were made of. She was a modern day Theseus, seizing the bull by the horns and never letting go.

Aleksandra was tough, and one day the world would be thankful for it.

The above is what I wrote for a friend. It was an exercise in what I thought about her, painting a rather accurate depiction, if I do say so myself. So let's try something here, a little experiment if you will!

Leave a post. It can be one word or a million, but it simply has to be there. Leave it, along with your name, and I'll respond with a description about you. Maybe you'll like it, perhaps you'll hate it, but it'll be entirely colored from my perspective. If you're like me, you like having something written about yourself. If you're not like me, well, get off your goddamned high horse.

Seriously. Fucker.

Of course, it might help if I know who you are to begin with. If you're an unknown, well, I can't promise the write-up that I'll leave.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Rafael Ink

I realized in seventh grade that I'd never be human.

Carl Vonderberg had stepped forward, demanding lunch money. Carl had never been especially smart, so he had waited until we had bought our lunches to demand our money. Imagine his rage when he realized there wasn't a penny between us. He postured, he threatened, smearing spaghetti into shirts and our noses in shit. The other children bowed their heads.

I raised mine. I had spent all my life being a good little boy. My mother had coached me extensively, from actions to reactions, a list of particulars that she constantly revised. She was the trainer, I was the beast, and it was her job to keep me at bay. I could never tell whether her eyes were filled with love or fear.

Carl's pig eyes were definitely filled with fear. The fork that had been in my hand was now in his, coating his fat fingers in blood. He opened his mouth and howled.

I didn't give him time for much else. My fist rocketed into his jaw, and then I was on him. A jab, a punch, every blow strengthening my advantage while driving him into the floor. I felt hands wrap around my arms, pulling me up, jerking me to stand. I tried to return to the fight, but it was no use.

So I looked around.

There were no cheers for the hero. No laughter, no clapping, nothing but a terrible silence. They weren't impressed by me, but terrified of me. It's then that I understood what I was. He was dumb and mean, but I was smart and cruel. He would punch, while I would tear. He would bruise, while I would break.

I was a monster more terrible than Carl could ever be. It all made such perfect sense. I still don't know why it took me so long to realize it. A wolf never imagines it's a sheep, so why did I include myself as one of the bleating masses? Maybe that moment of crystal clarity should have left me horrified, even sad.

Instead, I felt elated. I had found my true purpose.

I was a hunter amongst so much prey.

Some good news on the agent fronts, guys. I've got a tentative email or two with just enough interest to leave me excited. Now if it can blossom into something more, hell, you'll see me dancing and singing in the streets. I don't know if I ever felt like I'd finally get to this point.

Now that I'm almost (maybe) there, it feels incredible. There'll be a lot of long waiting ahead, scary silence, and frustrations, I'm sure. But there's a lot of hope there, too.

Fingers crossed.

This story was inspired by my friend Trish. She told me to tell me to tell her a story of Rafael Ink, a roleplaying character that she gave me some years ago. I gave her a brief little blurb and she asked, "Psshaaw, issat it?"

Apparently it wasn't.