I Know I Need to Kill Him, But…

This time last year I was struggling with the idea of killing off one of the main characters in the book I am writing.  Way back in the early planning stages, I knew this character would die.  He had to.  A huge chunk of the storyline could not happen if he didn’t meet his Maker.

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But somewhere between the initial creation of this character and my molding him into a perfectly flawed but still loveable goon, the worst happened.

I fell in love.

Yup.  You read that right.

It happens a lot to me.  One minute I am frantically writing down character traits, giving birth to personalities and creating backstories.  The next minute I am looking at this wondrous human being I have produced out  of thin air and thinking “How you doin’?” (Heavy “Friends” tv show reference, if you don’t get that last line.)

 

I love the underdog, the loser, the bad boy.  I will go to the pound and fall head over heels for the mangiest mutt they have.  I will root for the team that has no chance in hell of ever winning a championship.  Because I know, no matter how bleak it may seem, there’s a story there that will melt your heart and lift your spirits.  A down-on-his-luck rogue who will make you think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world.  A puppy that was abused by its last family but now showers you with unconditional love.  A hockey team full of misfits that have more heart and perseverance than any other team out there.

 

 

These are my people.  These are the characters who speak to me when I sit at my desk with my pen and notebook.  I give them life.  I give them a voice.  They give me hope.  I love these characters the best.  They make me want to share their stories.

So this time last year, I was sick with worry.  I knew I had to kill this amazing man who I felt such a connection to but I  just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Yes, his life was filled with one bad decision after another.  Morality was not in his vocabulary.  He had seen and done some unspeakable things.  But in his defense, I recognized that all of this could be attributed to a terrible childhood.  And he tried to do the right thing.  Sometimes.  And he loved the heroine of my story.  My God, they were so perfect together and <sigh> those romantic things he said to her when no one was around…and if you only knew how truly sweet and loving this tough guy could be when he wanted to and…

I kept him alive for just a little longer than I initially planned.  But now the time has come.  He has come to the edge of the cliff and I need to shove him off.  There is no turning back.  I tell myself “Just do it fast.  It won’t hurt all that much and you’ll feel relieved once it’s finally over with and you can finally move on.”  Once I kill him off, I can take the story to where I originally intended it to go.  As long as he remains alive, none of what I planned out makes any sense and the entire project is going to take even longer than it already has.  Which, at the moment, feels like forever.

Time to rip off that band-aid.  Wish me luck!

Love and Peace!

Currently Listening To:

Halsey and G Easy – Him and I

Taylor Swift – New Year’s Day

Chris Stapleton – Nothing Compares to You

 

 

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I Can Do This…Right?

I have wanted to be an author, a writer, a storyteller  – for as long as I knew what those things were.  I can recall sitting in the back of the classroom at the Catholic grammar school I attended, one of the few non-Catholics in the room.  Sister Mary Margaret was instructing the class on the do’s and don’ts of accepting the body of Christ, and since I would never be required to line up at Church with the other kids and eat the wafer, during religion class begin to daydream.  I would create little scenes in my head – scenes full of dark, moldy dungeons and luminous princesses and handsome young knights who would climb in through windows to fight off dragons, ultimately sweeping the grateful princess (who would, ironically, always look like me) off her feet.

In my early teens, I filled notebook after notebook with stories of romance and betrayal and heartbreak.  Teen angst at its best.  Most of the stories, funny enough, focused on the heroine (me!) and some astoundingly famous, talented, handsome man – a real-life rock star, professional athlete, actor or whatever current celebrity had caught my eye at the time of writing.  I was drafting fanfic before fanfic was a thing, I guess.

When I wabigstock_story_2226743s in my late teens and early 20’s, I tried my hand at writing poetry.  Bad, sappy, nonsensical poetry.  But my gift of storytelling never left me.  While I was busy raising kids and taking care of a house and a family, I put away my writing for many years, but still managed to create entertaining stories for my little ones each night before the went to sleep.  Sometimes one of “Mommy’s quick bedtime stories” lasted an hour or more, simply because Mommy was having way too much fun conceiving it on the fly.  I think I enjoyed it more than my kids did.

No matter which phase of my life I was in, the dream was always to write a book of my very own, to create a story so thought-provoking and detailed, with complex characters with relationships and issues that the reader could identify with.  I wanted to create characters a reader would fall in love with.  After my divorce, I set out to finally do just that.  It was my time, I told myself.  A door had opened for me.  This was my opportunity to begin the journey of achieving my #1 goal of becoming a published author.

I have been divorced for 16 years now.  In that time, I was a paid blogger for 6 months.  I interned at my local newspaper and had three articles published, one of which (a “riveting” piece about the yearly Memorial Day parade in a neighboring town) made the front page.  In my defense, it is extremely difficult to be a single mom (with no support from her ex) of two active boys when you work a full-time job and try to write in your “off hours”.  Because basically, there are no “off hours” when you are a single mom.

Now, however, my kids are much older.  I still work full time at a job that keeps me extremely busy (I work a lot of overtime during our busy season, which comes twice a year).  But I do have a lot more free time than I used to.  I also have managed to create and stick with what I look at as my smartest body of work so far – a novel I have been editing, and re-editing, and then editing some more, for the past 2 years.  I have surpassed so many self-imposed deadlines that I have lost count.  I am still as in love with my characters and storyline now as I was in the early days (which I think is a good thing since most of my writer friends who have been doing this longer than me tell me you can sometimes lose interest in your work if you let it go on for too long).

I do suffer from occasional bouts of writer’s block.  In addition, my lack of writing time during my crazy work schedule frustrates me to no end.  I become filled with doubt at times that this book will ever see the light off day.  I believe in this work and these wonderful beings I have created on paper.  I want to give them life and share them with the world.  I dream of the day that I see my name on the cover, the day I hand my mom the book I have written and say “Here you go, Mom.  You now have a daughter who is a published author”.  I dream of seeing that pride in her eyes.  I dream of what my kids will tell their kids and grandkids after I am gone.  Maybe during bedtime, they will create stories of a strong, devoted mom who overcame all obstacles and followed her heart to accomplish her lifelong dream.

But then my throat tightens and I feel the terror rise up from my gut.  What if I don’t accomplish what I set out to do?  What if I never finish my book?  What if I don’t publish it and all this will be for naught?  Someday when I am taking my last breath, will I look back on my life with regret?  No one can make this happen but me.  I can finish this book, and make it as great as I know it could be, or I can let fear overtake me and procrastinate each weekend until I can’t bear to even think.

I have to do this.  I NEED to finish this.  I can do this.  I can do this.  Right?  I CAN DO THIS.  WRITE!!!!!!

Wish me luck!

Love and Peace!

Currently Listening To:

Tom Petty – “Running Down a Dream”

The One

“You know when you know.”

My mom told me that once when I asked her how you can tell if the guy you are dating is “the one”.  At the time, I was a foolish, lovesick 19-year-old, smitten by just one in what would end up being a very long line of “Mr. Rights” (Mr. Right Now, perhaps?).  Those days I was self-absorbed and clueless, with my head in the clouds, enamored more by the idea of falling in love than in actually loving someone other than myself.  I had no clue what it meant to truly give your heart to someone, nor did I fully grasp my own self-worth and what I deserved in return.4409235798_bca675126c_b

Now here I am, 50-ish, divorced, with a long, rocky road of past relationships behind me.  There is no “special guy” in my sites right now, nor am I looking for one.  Am I giving up on men?  Far from it.  Men intrigue me.  I raised two of my own.  I work with all men.  Some of my best friends are men!  I love everything about them, love spending time with them, love meeting new men and learning what makes them tick.  I just love men!  But I am just not in a spot right now where I feel like I want to actively search for someone just for the sake of entering into a relationship.  Maybe that sounds jaded…I really am trying not to be.  But I have been through the mill, have had my share of heartbreaks.  I’ve been with some amazing guys who I spent years and years with, only to find out they were liars and cheaters after investing all of my time – and my heart.  That kind of investment you don’t get a return on, sadly.  So, needless to say, I am holding on tightly to my “bank account” these days.

My mom still holds out hope that someday I will find “the one”.  Her dream is for me to meet a nice Jewish doctor (we aren’t Jewish, so don’t ask me why she wants this for me, but it’s her dream, so like a good daughter, I don’t question).  I’d be just as content curling up with a good book and a box of Double Stuff Oreos.

You know when you know!

Peace, Love and Oreos!!!! ❤

Currently Listening To:

Rufus & Chaka Khan “Sweet Thing”

A Little Pick Me Up

I’m working on a particularly heart-wrenching scene at the moment.  It’s an argument between two people who are coming to the end of their relationship, and even though neither of them wants to admit out loud it’s the end, they know.  This is a tough one for me to write because this particular moment – and the dialogue – is semi-autobiographical.  The scene is thick with stinging discomfort and deep-rooted memories of a time I’d rather not stir up in my memory banks.  But…I’m a writer!  If I have to dig up some raw emotions in order to communicate my story, so be it.

As always, I’ve got my music blasting in order to keep my sanity in check and my depression at bay.  Nothing like a little Journey to pull you out of a hole.  : )    When all is said and done, if even just one reader says they got something out of it, this will all be worth it.

Hope you are having a peaceful week!  Love!

Currently listening to:

Lucina Williams “Changed the Locks”

My Chemical Romance “I Don’t Love You”

Miley Cyrus “Adore You”

Journey “Send Her My Love”

Velvet Revolver “Fall to Pieces”

 

 

A Little Writing Music…

I am working on the novel today.  So many new ideas!  The creative part of my brain is moving faster than I can type.

In the meantime, these are just a few of the songs on my playlist today as I try to figure this all out.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Currently Listening To:

ZZ Ward “Last Love Song” “All these notes and all these words are all that’s left in me. Bend these pages, count my woes.  One last song to set me free.”

Steve Moakler “Suitcase”  “Everybody wants to chase the rainbow and find a pot of gold, hoping for a suitcase full of money, but all I want is you, honey.”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Walls”  “Some things are over. Some things go on. Part of me you carry. Part of me is gone.”

Everclear “Learning How To Smile”  “Yes I know there ain’t no finish line. I know this never ends but I’m just learning how to fall and climb back up again.”

Jason Aldean “Night Train”   “Got a moon and a billion stars, sound of steel and old boxcars.  The thought of you is driving me insane…”

 

For Your Listening Pleasure…

Last 5 songs on shuffle…

Ray Lamontagne “Shelter”  “Has anybody ever made such a fool out of you?”

Ryan Adams “Come Pick Me Up”  “I wish you’d make up my bed so I could make up my mind.”

Holly Williams “The Highway”  “I am wishing for the life that I used to live, giving everything that I had to give.”

Sam Hunt “Make You Miss Me” (Acoustic Version)  “I ain’t gonna be that easy to leave.”

Chris Stapleton “Fire Away”  “Your love might be my damnation, but I’ll cry to my grave.”

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