I had a rough childhood. External forces appeared (at the time) to take a great deal of joy in showing me my faults and punishing me (very often, severely) for them. I am the product of long-running, systematic child abuse. I only rarely watched any television whatsoever (only when I could sneak peeks somehow), I can count on one hand the movies I went to (with 3 or 4 fingers left over), I received toys for Christmas and my birthday that I was not allowed to play with..to make a long story short (even if it is too late), I had absolutely no outlet for the boundless energy and creativity that a child possesses.
Except in school. In school, I had access to the library, where I could read tales of adventure and imagination and, for a small time, forget about my own existence. I had the computer that opened up whole worlds to me. I escaped into these things and into myself. I day-dreamed. I acted out whole scenes where I was the hero. I lived, for the most part, in my own head. When I'd walk down the street, I wasn't walking...I was a super-hero saving the damsel in distress (and, later, as I got older, got the sweet rewards that heroes get but are rarely mentioned in contemporary comic books) or a child genius saving the world from governments or...well, I think you get the idea. You can't imagine my embarrassment the first time I was walking to the store (to pick up one of the endless lists of things my mother needed...though I think part of it was to get me out of the house), pretending to be fighting a super-villain and have someone stop me to ask me if I was alright because the person thought I was having some kind of fit as I was 'shadow boxing' (or whatever you want to call it). Sadly, it wasn't the last time I embarrassed myself doing it, either.
I loved reading. I have always loved reading. It wasn't until the 11th grade and a creative writing course that I found I liked writing as well. I remember the assignment was simple - describe the directions you use to tie your shoes. The teacher expected a page, maybe a page and a half. I stopped at 21 pages of a story about how my shoes were actually an alien and I had to fight with him and his 'sole-ful' brothers (yes, I really used that) to save the world from shoeless-ness. I detailed how each of my steps weakened the alien. It was a long story but...it *DID* have the steps I used to tie my shoes, which is probably why the teacher gave me a 'D' instead of an 'F'. Her remarks, however, were that my story was engaging and interesting and she hoped that I would continue writing stories like this...just not on an assignment such as this.
Embarrassed? Yes, I was embarrassed. It was the only 'D' in my class and I was, have been, pretty damn intelligent. I stayed after to discuss it with my teacher - and, yes, I even still remember her name - and she seemed very sincere about me continuing to write, to the point that she said she'd be happy to read anything I wrote and critique me on it. And she did, too, which made me happy.
I started a little story back then about a reluctant mage. I didn't finish it and my teacher never saw it. I added to it over time, refining it, often imagining the scenes and 'living through them' in my imagination. That's how I write - it's the only way I can write - I get an idea, 'live through some of the scenes' in my imagination, and then commit the scenes - as best I can, they never come out the same for some reason - to computer.
Fast forward a few years and throw in a mild addiction to porn as well as a marriage, kids...in short, a life. My time is not my own, anymore, but I still find some time to write...even that story about the mage, though it has changed and become more refined over the years. I think I'm ready to write it...but I can't get it to come out right. So I decide, in a moment of dubious brilliance, to practice 'my craft'. I start to write erotica, sometimes just refining what I read and other times coming up with whole stories on my own. I figure this will give me practice and get me ready to write the story I've wanted to write since the 11th grade.
Two problems. I'm a procrastinator and I'm mildly lazy. For some reason, I can get to a point in a long story and I just...stop. I don't know why. I can't fathom it. It isn't because I don't 'know' the story. It isn't because the story is getting away from me. I know these stories backwards and forwards - hell, I've *LIVED* some of them (in my imagination, at least). I swear, I'll be in a great mood, ready to do some writing, open up the Word document and the notes for it in my OneNote and...just completely lose interest. Or, worse, get an idea for a totally unrelated story and start working on that. It's frustrating and more than a little maddening. I mean, sometimes I just end up stopping and closing down Word - when I was eager and raring to go not a moment earlier. I sometimes wonder about my own sanity.
That's kind of what happened to Traveller. It isn't that I don't want to finish it. It isn't that I don't know what happens - hell, I know how the whole thing is supposed to 'end' (hint: it doesn't, not really) two or three books down the line. I even know what the two or three books are going to be about!
So, I tried a new direction with the 'Speed Demon' series. Short stories with an arc between them. Little vignettes that can be read on their own but will progress the over-all plot from story to story. I thought about it like the little television shows that you can watch an hour at a time but has a subliminal plot that progresses - like 'Lost', 'Haven'...and others. I'm sure I'm missing a few.
I even fucked that up. As I was reaching one of the primary cliffs, I just couldn't finish it. Lethargy...hell, at this point, I don't know what to call it.
It wasn't fair to me but, even worse, it wasn't fair to all of you who were reading the stories I was putting out. So, I decided I would not post ANYTHING of any kind until it was completed.
Then, there were some intensely personal problems in Real Life. I lost the will, if not the ability, to write. My flighty muse...just stopped showing up, I guess. Other than work and a single project (and even that project is a procrastination project - I started it in 2011 or 2012, I think, and just picked it back up...but more on that in my next blog post), I think this is the only thing I've really written in maybe a year.
Life has a way of renewing itself. I'm not anywhere as prolific as I was...but I'm writing again. Little things, mostly; I'm still having quite a bit of trouble at 'finishing' the damn things but at least I'm writing again. That project that I'll discuss later has been a big help because it's kind of tangential to that story I started in 11th grade. I've promised myself that if I can finish even one book of that project, I'll start writing the story from 11th grade (which is mainstream and not erotica...and hopefully, I can have it actually published)...and continue on the project as well.
So...where does that leave me (and you)?
Traveller: WILL get finished. I haven't planned it out yet, but I'm hoping to finish the story by December of this year.
Speed Demon: WILL get finished - at least this first 'arc'. I'm not sure when...which is sad because the final story in this 'arc' is probably about half-way done. I need to 'bake' it a little more...so if you see this middle-aged gent 'shadow boxing' while walking down the street...just shake your head, pat his shoulder and wish him well...