I learned from J.K. Rowling that when you write about your reality, you don't have to do it in an exact way. She wrote about her depression through her dementors, soul sucking creatures that drain you of your life.
What I discovered as I worked my way through my books, that my reality was seeping through the pages, as I placed my doubts, fears and questions squarely on my main character, Anne Elizabeth Pearce.
Annie is smart, hard working, beautiful and as she moves through her cases, some directly involving her and her life, she begins to doubt her abilities, blames herself for the fall of the black market and Princess Amelie's rise to vampire.
While she isn't responsible for these things, she feels she is. It makes her vulnerable and she doubts herself and her abilities.
How does it relate to my reality?
My youngest child went off to college this week for the first time, making me an empty nester. You wonder at that point, did I give my child the best I could, was his life good, does he have good thoughts of home and the experiences I tried to give him?
But that's not all. I also, on a constant basis, wonder if I'm a good writer, wonder if I can hack this life as I strive to move forward to achieve my life long dream.
My writing has become personal. Annie's journey has become my journey. As I work toward the end of The Wizard Hall Chronicles it feels very much like I'm entering a new phase of my life and my writing and I'm looking forward to what happens next.Continue reading
My writing reflects events in my life; cross roads, decisions, my horrible feelings of coming disasters. I've been incorporating all of these in Annie Pearce's journey. She's on a big journey this time. Full of adventure she didn't ask for, questioning her purpose, and feeling as though she's failing miserably. Much like I feel like right now.
It's the end of the school year, a time when decisions need to be made. I have an 18-year-old embarking on college next year and a 21-year-old who's struggling to finalize her major and what that means for her future. I have a writing career that feels as though it's spinning in one place and am struggling to fix the issue.
I always remembered J.K. Rowling discussing her depression and how she wrote about it through the use of dementors. It stuck with me. While I'm not creating a new demon to characterize a mental health issue, I am using the story and Annie's reaction to the events in the plot to work through my own life's situation.
Has it helped? I'm not so sure.
My life's issues might be a little unusual, but I am certainly not the only one who has events that weigh me down, that make me rethink my life's choices that make me sad and want to throw things. I'm dealing with that now.
It's not what we overcome but how we overcome that's important. Do we hide our heads in the sand or do we stand strong, carry on, make choices that get us to where we want to go.
I'm trying to overcome, I'm just not sure how much more I can do.
So what do you do when all seems lost, or you feel you lack control of the situation, or there's not enough time to do what you need to do?
We all struggle and rather than beat ourselves up about it, or troll others and shame them, we need to lift each other up. Read and author and review, comment on a post or like a picture. Share how you overcome and offer support.
I'm not alone and I know that I'm not. I have a friend who's going through something big too. All I can do is ask how she is and she asks that of me.
We can be compassionate, understanding and help each other. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.
Defining my life fell into two separate and distinct periods of time; life before my daughter was born with a terminal disease and the path life took after. The single defining moment for me, was that second, that single moment before she was born (via C-section) and that long moment when I realized she wasn't crying, that something was very wrong.
It sticks with you, these defining moments. Sometimes you can find yourself as a victim of the moment and let it drag you under, or you can use the moment to step forward and redefine your life and your dreams.
I fell somewhere in between. I found a way to move on, to raise my other daughter, have another child. While moving on, I seemingly found myself a victim of my circumstance, stagnating and letting that single moment define who I was.
I read Harry Potter. I loved Harry Potter. It did more than entertain; it woke up a passion in me that I hadn't realized was there.
That, coupled with a meeting of a former classmate at a twentieth class reunion, forced me to look at my life and the choices I made and something inside of me changed. I no longer wanted to let life and the bad things define how I lived my life. It was time for me to take control.
I remembered for the first time in years, that I had a dream. One that I cultivated since I was seven years old. I wanted to be a writer.
I tried over the years to write a book. I stopped at chapter 1 or paragraph 1, never completely understanding how to craft that story. Never really understanding what it was that I even wanted to say.
But this time, the jealously that my classmate was a published author and my sadness that had accumulated over a lifetime, forced me to open the book and really think about what story I wanted to tell.
It wasn't very good or very long and it took many attempts to reach the published versions I have online. I look back at the first time I typed “The End” on that very first draft and I can't help but be proud, I can't help but realize my life is no longer defined by one single event.
Now I'm a writer, who is a mother, one who lost a child. I write about the loss and how it affects me, but not as a single defining moment. It happened and it makes me sad and it always will. But it won't always make a victim of that circumstance. I finally found the confidence to truly move on and I now weave those emotions and memories into my writing to give it depth and meaning. I'm no longer defined by it, I define how I use it to motivate and move on.
So why do I write? It's an intriguing question; to ask someone why they do what they do. What brought them to their profession, hobby, fandom? I took to reading early, ravenously read through entire series. It didn't matter if it was Nancy Drew, Judy Blume, Stephen King or Harry Potter. Always with each book, as I experienced all these adventures between the pages, what I really wanted to do was write my own story.
I am a self-proclaimed introvert, perfect personality trait to write. Being the center of attention is uncomfortable, confining. But when I write, I am free of anxiety, of fear. It is on the paper that I can write and re-write to craft the words that express my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions.
To be a writer, is what I have wanted to do since I was seven years old. I have never wavered from my desire to create my own worlds, my own stories and characters. To create something lasting. When I can't form the words with my mouth, I can always type them with my fingers.
I've always been able to write about anything. Though sometimes, I just don't know what to write. But when I do, it gives me power, it gives me confidence.
I love finishing that first book, letting the story pour out of me. It gives me a great sense of pride with each draft when I see the story fill itself out, when I link each book to the other as I tell a complete story. I don't feel as confident with anything else in my life as I do when I write.
And through the highs and lows in my life, to write it was keeps me sane. When I don't write, heavy emotions can wear my down. Writing is my therapy. It is my strength.
I write because simply, writing is a part of me. When darkness gathers and envelopes me, writing is my light. It is my fire. I was born to do nothing else.
I read a blog Tara M. Martin . It was there she answered the same question; why does she write? So I had this idea to share why I wrote. And then it occurred to me. I'm going to pass the question on. To all my writer friends, why do you write? To all my non-writer friends, what is your passion.
Life should not be passionless. We should dance, sing, write exercise, mediate; do something we are passionate about every day. Every day.
So why are we so interested in the supernatural, shows and books like Charmed or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Witches of East End, Harry Potter? The ability to think a thought and move an object, think of a place and be there in seconds, wave your palm and conjure an object.
I was intrigued by the idea that we only use 10% of our brains and wonder if that means we might all be psychic if we knew how to tap into it? Maybe, or maybe it's all make-believe.
Since I so enjoy the supernatural and was a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, it was only natural that I would eventually write my own Urban Fantasy about witches and wizards, creating stories that utilize their ability to move objects, teleport, create potions or find missing people.
It's fun to create the character, give them only the skills that I wish them to have. I gave my characters the ability to divine for the location of people. Annie accomplishes this be using a crystal and something that belongs to the missing person. Her magic is channeled through the crystal and which must obey that magic until the missing is found.
So if you could have any ability wouldn't you like to teleport. Moving from location to location within seconds. This psychic ability is the primary form of transportation for my characters. Though my characters are entrenched in the non magical world and most have cars, they still prefer to move from place to place in seconds. Wouldn't you.
When Annie and Cham conjure and summon objects, they're using telekinesis, the ability to manipulate objects with their mind. Though in my world the magic in controlled through the hands. With a wave they can manipulate, move, make disappear, change something about an object all by thinking of whatever it is they wish to do.
They create potions and spells, powerful magical tools that allow them to heal themselves and others, ward off evil spirits, create magnificent light to assist them in the darkness, create magical tracking devices to instantly find Sturtagaard. I can list more but there are so many ways that I can use magic that will assist Annie and Cham in their investigations.
In the future I expect that Annie as a result of future events may end up with other psychic abilities that she doesn't have yet. In the world of fantasy there are so many ways that you can add the unexpected, because with magic, anything becomes possible.
There are so many more forms of psychic ability, giving the person the ability to see the future, percieve past events, be in two locations at the same time. If you had your choice, what magic power would you possess? I'd like telekinesis. The ability to move objects, conjure objects in order to complete tasks is appealing to me, though honestly, the ability to teleport and miss out on the long commutes in the Chicagoland area, might be far more useful.
Happy Wednesday!Continue reading
So I don't always create my own monsters. Sometimes I re-cycle from other sources, something I'm not alone in. As I researched creatures for my books, I recognized several from Harry Potter. Because sometimes, the sources for monster and creature ideas can be found in ancient Greek Mythology. Stories rich in character, monsters, places. Timeless stories about the human nature told in the fantastical or grotesque depending on the plot.
I borrowed the idea of Tartarus Prison from Greek mythology. Hades's underworld, a place where once you enter, you can never leave and Hades's rules with an iron hand. No one ever escaped. In my Urban Fantasy, the prison houses the worst of the worst in demons, vampires, dark wizards. So horrendous, no one would ever want to find themselves there, a place that could turn a rather normal person crazy nuts. It is magic you know.
Who should guard such a place filled with the mystical creatures? It can't be the mere mortal, the one who lacks the strength and agility to handle the multitude of beings that pass through the doors. The logical choice could have been Cerebus the three-headed guard dog which defended the entrance to Tartarus. Though it would be borrowing from Greek Mythology and fit in my story, it would be taking from Harry Potter, too new to not be considered stealing.
I ran across the story of the Hundred Handers. The three children of Gaia the Earth Goddess and Uranus the Sky God. Their children so ugly, fierce and frightening, their father tossed them into a pit in Tartarus. They sought revenge against their father, eventually fighting with the Olympians and against the Titans, for control of the universe.
I've asserted in The Day of First Sun, that the giant guards were descendants of the Hundred Handers, with less arms and heads, mere giants, big and strong enough to handle the creatures that paraded through the prison on a fairly regular basis.
Greek Mythology allowed the ancient Greeks to explore and explain the world. I wondered, what would vicious fifty headed, hundred handed creatures be trying to explain. Their mother loved them regardless of their hideousness, their father threw them into a pit. Experts suggest that because these were considered the first beings created from procreation, and their parents disagreed on their care, it caused fighting between the Gaia and Uranus. In other words this is the first instance illustrating marital strife.
There was always a reason for the stories, an explanation, a lesson to be learned if you know where to find them.
I know there are a lot of people out here who don't enjoy science fiction or fantasy because they prefer stories that are grounded in reality rather than in the make-believe. This idea fascinates me because the fantasy is all around us. We start reading with books from Dr. Seuss, we watch Sesame Street or read Harry Potter. And in our personal lives, we dream. The dream, the ultimate fantasy in which we create worlds that often times make no sense are completely scary and odd and are not in any way based in reality.
Did you know that we have on average, about five dreams a night. We would then, on average, dream for about six years of our lives. We do our dream in REM sleep which can last as little as five minutes or as long as two hours. During this period our brain waves are more active while dreaming than when awake. We spend so much time dreaming and many of us don't even remember what we spent the night dreaming.
So what is the purpose of our dreams? Might they be a reaction to our daily lives, a way for our brain to sort through the images and experiences of the day and put them in some order that makes sense to us?
I have a recurring dream. It's not uncommon, I know others have had a similar dream. But it always appears at times in my life when I'm searching for a career or ready to make that move from stay at home mom to career woman. It started when I graduated college and couldn't find a job. It took me two years to find a permanent job with benefits and in that time, I spent much of my dream state reliving that dream when you show up to class for a test and realize you haven't been to class all semester. You find yourself scrambling to learn the material in the next five minutes so you can either write that 50 page paper or take that final. It's stressful as you look at your eminent failure. I usually wake up realizing that in my waking life, there's something more that I'm looking for. I stopped having those dreams after finally getting that first job and it's rarely showed up again. I must be more satisfied in my life or maybe I'm more confident and finding a job isn't as stressful. I can't say for sure.
Other visions and dreams appear to me at times. They're far more mysterious as I haven't found a source for what they mean. I've had that dream that I've been running without shoes. Though the more common version is dreaming about being naked, my stops at the shoes. You know how difficult it is to run through the forest without shoes on? I do know it has something to do with feeling vulnerable. Do I feel that way? Along with nudity there's the dream about loosing your teeth. Also about vulnerability. Since I've had that as well, I must feel vulnerable at some point in my life.
How about the dream that I'm being chased by a lion, alligator or some other wild animal. I'm guessing it means I'm running scared from something. What that is, I'm not sure.
Here's a quick list of the common dreams. Have you ever had any of them?
Naked/Nudity – This can mean lack of freedom or vulnerability. Feeling exposed or baring your soul.
Flying – You're finding a way to move beyond your limitations or soaring above your problems. It may also mean feeling carefree and weightless, represent success or your amibitions are being achieved.
Lateness – Missed opportunity, disappointment or the inability to make a connection.
Teeth – Dreams about teeth can represent decision that need to be made. Debating both sides of an argument. If you loose your teeth maybe yo feel a loss of control.
These are some of my most interest reoccurring dreams. What are yours?
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