There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Story Bone - Revenant Going the Final Mile

While a Revenant can seem a worn subject in fiction, even having movies and comics made of the idea (The Crow and Spawn), most of these returned to avenge their own brutal killings. What if, to avenge some other wrong, someone made them self a Revenant? Say, their wife was killed horribly, and the legal system was unable to help them. They don’t have the contacts to track down the perpetrators in normal life. But as a Revenant, they’d have access to supernatural powers to track and punish those responsible. A Revenant spured and formed by agape.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Story Bone - Border Crossings

Listening to a Fresh Air story on NPR when I had an interesting idea. The story was on children illegal aliens trying to reach their mothers in the US. The trials, tribulations, everything they have to go through to get across the border and then the problems that arise after they’re over the border. So I got to thinking, would there be such a border crossing between Heaven and Hell (of the Christian variety)? Would people be able to get over the border? What would they do for or in Heaven (the chores, the same type of jobs that our illegals take)? What would they get from it? Grace? Can you transfer Grace from one person to another, could they bundle Grace back with them across the border?

Many illegals send money back to their families. Many come to take jobs that US citizens don’t really want, or don’t want to pay a lot for. Many are migrant/seasonal passing back and forth across the border every year.

A further complication for the Heaven/Hell scenario is what if people meet those they loved or knew? Would the other person turn them in?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Muse Sings

Here’s another link I recommend, Tobias Buckell “Getting Past Being Joe Blow Neopro,” as a podcast. I have to admit, I have sinned. I’ve wasted time when I should be writing, I’ve been rude to people at conventions, and I’ve let uncomfortable silences slip into conversations with editors. I hereby apologize for all of them.

So, now, how does one find time. That seems to be a common question. So let me go through my thing. I work a full-time job, I have a one-hour commute, so if I work an 8-hour day, that translates to ten hours. I get no lunch hour (union contractual thing). I have been working 11 to 12 hour days lately. Overtime is shiny, but deadly. Okay, add to that I am an elected official of my village. That means that at least one, more than likely two, nights a week I have meetings. I also have other work that needs to be completed at home. Most recently I spent an afternoon going through a manual for NIMS (National Incident Management System) and taking a test. That’s an afternoon I wont get back. I also do freelance design work. That’s a job that’ll wack out a few hours in the evening and is slightly unpredictable. I also attend a writer’s workshop every other week.

When do I find time to write? Whenever and where ever I can. I have a notebook with me at all times. When there’s a line bothering me I write it down. DO IT NOW, before you forget. Always have something to write with. And if you don’t and a line comes to you, find something, a napkin, the back of a receipt, anything. And then transfer it to your notebook when you can. Then write the story when you find yourself with a spare hour or two. You don’t have to write it all in one sitting, and try not to edit yourself when your writing the first draft, there’ll be time for that later. When you have some time and don’t feel inspired, well, that’s what you’ve been waiting for to do the rewrites.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kilgore Trout Redux

Whenever I read Mark Twain, I hear Kurt Vonengaut speaking. And when I hear Kurt speaking, I read Twain. So it goes.

Exercise February

Okay, so here's another assignment for my writer's group.
Flesh out this character - Juliana Reade, age 52; she is an extrovert, but gets easily depressed.

And here's my solution:

Jewels stationed herself on the green leather and chrome stool closest to the door. It was her stool, her favorite place. Jackson, the bartender, made her Long Island Ice Tea before coming over to say, “hi,” and then retreated to the darker end of the bar to talk with another regular. Jewels didn’t understand why Jackson didn’t want to talk anymore. She had been his favorite. She liked talking to people.

“Juliana Reade,” her momma would say. “Stop talking and get your ass in this house.”

Her momma was long dead now, smoked herself into an early grave when Jewels was only 38. She raised her glass, “Fourteen years, momma, and I haven’t smoked another one since we buried you.”

Someone came in the bar behind her and Jewels automatically said, “Hiya, sit a spell.” She had become the unofficial greeter of the bar. The shadow that had come in mumbled something back and headed for one of the booths on the other wall. The bar was only a small one, they hadn’t gone far away, but Jewels felt adrift at the end of the bar, cast away by the regulars and the newcomers. She had always felt welcome before, but just like the other familiar places, welcome eventual wears thin. Her positive attitude veneer melted away and her shoulder pads slumped. She felt enormously tired at having to find another place as her home other than home.

Show, don't tell.