I know – I’m a slacker. I’m hoping to get back to Six Sentence Sunday and Tuesday Tales after this week, but I’m still getting used to being back at The Dayjob (number 256) and finishing some edits and other stuff. Truly now I’m really finding that balance (and still trying to get a few online things to WORK so that I might be diligent and get my swag printed for June and stuff…my kingdom for things that would work the way they’re supposed to.) Anywho – I’ve also been alerted that sometime in April my story ‘Last Letter Home‘ will be in The Realm Beyond’s issue 3 and I’m really stoked about that. I love genre magazines and I love that particular story. It’s one of those weird little ramblings my brain came up with at 3am one morning when it occurred to me that there weren’t enough stories about princesses running off with dragons.
So at the moment I’m trying to finish up a few guest posts, set up the blog for the giveaway this weekend, get a column out to Fandom Scene, and other fun stuff so that I might carve out some time to get back to writing. I have three long manuscripts I really want to get done before the end of the summer and while I feel strongly about them I tend to hide from them as well. I know – I’m a complicated chicky. This is nothing compared to the idea that’s knocking in the back of my head that I’m clearing way for. But all of these do share something in common: female leads exploring slightly uncomfortable territory. I suppose I should keep it clean and specify that I’m talking about emotional territory here. I’ve been doing a lot with aspects of love (like actual aspects and not the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical) and dark emotional territory and all that good stuff.
A few years ago I had a lot of stuff going on in my life that weren’t pleasant and it all culminated in bringing up a lot of emotional crap that I’d thought I’d put behind. Truth be told I don’t like the term demons because I don’t believe in them, but I do think people carry around their own personal ghosts or bogeymen. They don’t even have to be that big of a deal; if they’re something that you don’t want to deal with then they’re going to effect you just the same. The thing is running will only make you tired. You can run for years and then turn around and suddenly find a bogeyman right in front of you, waiting to see what you’re going to do. And that’s where I found myself a couple of years ago – face to face with a whole pack of them. I was tired of running and tired of feeling like crap so I decided to invite them all to lunch.
It’s a habit I’ve slowly developed since then. I invite whatever issue I’m uncomfortable about and we have a little sit down or conversation. And somehow these have slowly faded from being bogeymen and morphed into fertile ideas. I still tend to get a little tentative about developing them, but I’m also passionate about them. In my discussion of fairy tales on Fandom Scene I’ve talked about the metaphor of the hero/heroine going into the woods…things can’t happen until they allow themselves to go through some sort of transformation. And I think that applies here, too. The first jaunt into the woods for me wasn’t of my own volition, but I find myself going back there willingly to sort of put to rest things as they come up. What can I say? There comes a time when you can’t stay a little girl any longer and you have to go into the unknown and deal with stuff as it comes. I just think that I’m very lucky to be able to do that with some utterly fabulous ideas that can incorporate other realms and worlds, to boot. I’ve also found out that my bogeymen are partial to potato chips so they can’t be all bad, either.
I get it’s probably a little unconventional, but I also think artists and writers and such think differently than other people. We’re willing to use our whole palette to express ourselves and work out things through ideas and devices. Think of how many genre stories you’ve identified because they encompass aspects that you’re feeling right at the moment you’re reading them. It’s a powerful tool and can produce some powerful writing – at least I hope so. In the meantime I’ll just keep walking through the woods and setting out sandwiches.