A superstitious person would fear everything about the number 13. They would avoid having thirteen of anything, and live in fear the entire day on Friday the thirteenth; black cats, ladders and broken mirrors would be double-trouble that day. I don’t go for superstition, and I keep telling myself that 2013 hasn’t been a bad year because of the number 13. I’ve had worse years, after all. I mean, it was 2012 when I almost died, and 13 had nothing to do with that.
From January till May, work was going pretty well. Typical annoyances, nothing out of the ordinary, but also not happy-go-lucky. I even had a little work to help get me through the summer, which wasn’t bad at all. I’m not dreading this August all that much; things aren’t perfect, but they are also not completely off-the-wall crazy. It’s right in the middle, and that’s really the best you can hope for.
The worst thing that anyone said to me when I mention I was a fantasy writer was, “you gotta stay grounded in reality.” That stung, and I have to keep reminding myself not to let it bother me; I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. The fact is, I do deal with reality. I pay my bills, I do things with my family, I look after my health and my home, and I work extremely hard, to the point where I have less time for writing. I am very much grounded in reality, but my mind is so much richer than leaving it at that. I know what’s going on in the world, and I help where I am able. After that, in the time that is left to me, I write.
I imagine a different world, somewhere incredible and magical, but far from perfect. Lorata is not an escape from reality, but an addition to it. It is another world, with problems and histories all its own. It is what I turn to when I am done with my obligations in reality.
Lorata has always been there for me. I know that if I gave up and didn’t get help back in October, I would never be able to finish book one and share my world with others. While I was dealing with the aftermath of that whole ordeal, writing helped me get through it all. I worked a lot on book three during that time… Looking back, part of it may have been because one of my characters was facing that same thing that I was. I didn’t write it because of what I had been through; it has been apart of his story for a long time, so it was more of a coincidence.
As summer approached, I knew that I was ready to finish book one. A co-worker said that her daughter had needed to get an agent in order to get published, and I knew that I would have to do the same thing. I was on the last part, and I knew it was going to be difficult to write because of how it ends. I will not give any spoilers here, but I will say that I had always planned to end book one a certain way, but setting down the paragraphs and pages leading up to it had to be done just right. The last chapter ended up being incredibly long, and I have since broken it up into several chapters, but in the end I successfully did the most important thing: I finished book one.
It has all of its scenes, all of its chapters. I have an outline, a dramatis personae, even a draft of a query letter. I have gotten a lot of work done this year, despite the mess that I am dealing with in reality. Still, it’s not like I have left reality by the wayside. I added a couple upgrades to the house, did a ton of organizing and cleaning, and so on. Once I have more money, I will have more cleaning done.
That’s the great thing about writing: it’s free. And if I’m not getting paid to do it, at least I can do it for free. I don’t have to stare at a screen that makes me feel like I’m killing brain cells or being lied to, and I’m not eating junk food and risking heat stroke; I’m actually creating something, and it might be something that somebody else will actually love. That kind of power is incredible– I can be creative, and some else will be inspired by it? I find that fascinating.
My imagination and creativity have always been my strong points. They are traits of the mind, and on the same note, I crave other things that make my mind strong. I am intellectual, scientific, meditative… all of those things and more. What I am not is a fan of sports or sporting events like the Olympics, so consider that before telling anyone they are not grounded in reality; being a sports fan is no more reality than playing Battlefront, GTA or an MMORPG. Reality is worrying that the world is in chaos right now, trying to fight for human rights, economy and ecology. Reality would be teachers getting paid more than football players; there’s a fantasy for you to think about.
My year so far? Interesting, to say that least. Then again, there is a supposed Chinese curse that goes something like, “may you live a long and interesting life.” The good news is, I’m making a lot of progress in my writing. For that, I am very happy.