I have recently begun a new chapter of my life, and with my writing by completing my first fiction novel. During this process, my relationship with my oldest daughter has blossomed, and I couldn’t be more grateful. She is an extremely gifted and talented girl. She was more than just a monumental part of the inspiration for my young adult novel, she was my main character… so I’m dedicating it to her whether it gets published or not. At the moment it’s complete, but I’m in the middle of a massive rewrite in third person, and changing the entire voice… so it will be a while before I think it’s polished enough to query to agents or publishing houses.
Meanwhile, A little background on my oldest. She’s been very captivated by manga (Japanese anime) for several years, and she’s really, really good. In June of 2009, she drew this character on a piece of notebook paper:
I used a software program to remove the lines from the notebook paper and added some depth… but not too much. Anyone that has ever used this kind of program knows that the digital intricacies involved in graphic design are very tedious and time consuming. I ended up with a pretty interesting scheme. Retouch aside, the emotion and sadness in this character really moved me – and worried me. I wondered if she was trying to express how she felt and was reaching out to me… was she in pain? Our relationship grew exponentially that summer as I watched my little girl become a young woman. She inspired me, and compelled me to inspire her, by drawing this character yet again, as I let the story unfold in front of her. She’s remembered the bits and pieces that have been the most important in the novel, and is recalling them and creating animated drawings that will probably end up being part of the finished product somehow, be it a graphic novel, or otherwise.
Last year, before we embarked on this creative journey together, I watched her read Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, all four books, and some 3000 pages, back to back. I couldn’t believe that she had abandoned her texting obsession to actually read… and read A LOT. Since my house is so busy, I told myself I couldn’t commit to that kind of reading, but she persuaded me to read the first book after I’d seen the movie, and expressed a mediocre attitude about it; telling me that the movie had not done Stephenie Meyer justice. I was surprised that I couldn’t put that book down… or the others – I mean, a teen romance with vampires and werewolves? Really? It had been a really long time since I’d voluntarily read anything that didn’t utterly depress me. I don’t know how I found the time to fit it into my busy schedule, but I read the Twilight Saga, all four books, back to back, just like she did. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from that the tree. Looking back, I dunno what wrapped me in to that strange story. I’m not going to give it a review, because I don’t want to hurt any feelings, but I did find it entertaining. Maybe I just needed another world and had forgotten what it’s like to escape, and it was something that I really needed during this time of my life because let’s face it folks, sometimes the real world isn’t that great of a place to be and trying to raise children and guide them through it can be daunting.
It was after this episode that I started to scrutinize my own writing habits (which I had reserved for circular venues that did nothing more than foster hate). My then-blog contained roughly 50 entries (and lots of words) dedicated to trying to prove to other people that they were wrong… and I was right. My own cynicism had pushed me into a corner and narrowed my experiences to such a degree that I literally felt trapped and suffocated. The only creative writing I was doing was in the form of scientific debate (on topics that will remain nameless here and in the forever-after). I had been in the mortgage banking industry for fifteen years, and was later a victim of the job market that resulted in being laid off in 2008. After this recovery, I had the layoff hatchet chasing me again during the latter part of 2009. Obviously, my career choices needed just as much scrutiny as my writing habits. It’s been since college, but I decided that I was ready to attempt the fine arts again…a bit older and wiser this time around. The blog is simply a good outlet for the everyday clutter in my head, if I don’t get it out of me, I will go mad. Published or not published, I’ll still write. I’m a writer. I have to.