Sunday, December 21, 2014
I passed the 58,000 word mark in Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear tonight, the new John Harding series novel. Interacting with characters created out of my head with humor, violence, and situations where I can change reality is an endeavor of high entertainment. They laugh, love, chatter, kill, and live at my command. In return, they fog over the sharper edges of real life, helping me hold onto sanity at horrific times. Last blog I wrote about reviews, and the temptation to write according to what we think readers want, taking their every criticism to heart. Therein lies disaster. If any author wishes to find out what writer’s block is, simply sit at your keyboard, and try to write even a short story according to the myriad writing bibles, and reader preferences, heralded as the true way to success on any given day – they change continually, so pick any day. I guarantee that author will find the meaning of writer’s block.
That same writer could sit down at the keyboard the next day, close the writing bibles, turn off the head chatter wondering whether your creation will impress Stephen King, and stop reading what publishing gurus are saying is the next big thing. Then start writing what I’ve always encouraged, a story that makes your blood pound, your fists clench, your eyes tear up, or sends you into laughing fits. When you look away from the screen you’ll have a couple thousand words wondering where the hell they came from, and you’ll realize you had a good time while they were magically shooting from your head to your screen.
The competition in the market now is so intense, no one knows what will succeed or not succeed. I believe it is better to have a day-job, and enjoy the hell out of creating stories, rather than embrace what I call ‘The Tortured Writer’s Syndrome’. We may have varying levels of success, or not have success at all, but that’s not what writing means – not to me anyway. :)
Christmas draws near. Every Christmas I wrote my now deceased angel Joyce a long poem, with rhyming highlights of the year past, with usually much humor, and a little poignancy. I celebrate/endure Christmas for the first time in over forty years without her. I’ll end tonight with a part of the poem I did for her last Christmas. Rest in peace, baby.
In this sweet season of memories past,
With silver bells, and gifts that don’t last,
I look to you for my own Christmas role,
Where like me, years have taken their toll.
We echo each other’s unspoken thoughts,
So many years together, connecting the dots.
We lasted through sickness and life’s grief,
To forge a bond making our setbacks brief.
With the Lord’s blessing we’ll soldier ahead,
Enduring it all until taking to our final bed.
Laughing at the speed our short years go by,
Caught within the aging time warp we sigh,
Watching our hours spinning away to dust,
Hand in hand we face the final wind’s gust.
Love is too weak a word describing our end.
Through all the years you’ve been my friend.