Building Walls and Novels by the Seat of my Pants.

Hello once again readers, I’m back! Thank you so much for returning to the silly ramblings that I, the Writing Fisherman, casts out. August came in hard and wet for me and was one of my more difficult months I’ve had in recent memory. Get your mind out of the gutter, my house flooded… again. Like for the third time this Summer!  After that I pulled out all the stops to keep this from happening ever again by building a new, bigger, stronger retaining wall, thereby redesigning the landscape of my yard. It took me all month to complete and I still ache.

But you didn’t tune in to read about my wall even though it appropriately fits in with today’s subject. So let me ask, what type of writer are you? More specifically I should ask, what is your writing style? planster2Do you plan your story out with charts and a chapter to chapter synopsis? Maybe use a cork board with index cards or perhaps it’s more like a crime scene with strings webbed across a wall, connecting the pictures? Or perhaps you just fly through the story letting it flow out of you as it comes? In other words, a Pantser.

I originally never knew what kind of a writer I was. I’ve been working on and off with my current story since 2011 so I might have thought I was a planner. I mean after all, I had the general direction for the story. I had most of the characters and locations fleshed out. Except as accomplished as I felt for planning it so much, I really had nothing to show for it. I think I had a collection of small scenes equating to 2,500 words total.

Then last year, when I decided to get serious with my writing, I took my general direction I had planned out and jumped headlong into NaNoWriMo. I LOVED IT!  The freedom of no thinking, just write it, was exhilarating. I was finally writing my novel and man-o-man was the word count stacking up.  For me, the best part of it was experiencing my characters actually ‘speaking’ to me. They told me their story. Told me what should happen and what they wanted. On more than one occasion, I physically gasped at something shocking they did which I hadn’t planned on! Things I didn’t know about my own characters!calvin376_2 I also learned that writing freely from my inspiration was at the heart of my writing.
Like so many of my posts here, when the inspiration strikes, I gotta run with it quick before it disappears!

After completing my rough draft I took some time away from it before starting the re-writing/editing phase which I’ve worked on devotedly for over six months now. The problem I keep running into is that joy of ‘pantsing’ had created quite a few plot strings I hadn’t planned for. New characters have been introduced which seem to promise things I have no intention of following up on. These minor character gained more attention than I meant to, inadvertently forcing some of my key side characters to suffer from this. That’s not even the worse part of it! The worst is by pantsing, I’ve created side plots which has taken the story in a different direction than where I need it to go! Egads and Gadzooks!

Thank goodness for my writing group for pointing these things out to me now. I’ve been going a chapter at a time (not always in order) and so I’ve not noticed before how crazy my early chapters had become.  Just like my retaining wall, my novel needs some planning to get it done right. Stone by stone, I need to inspect each plot, and character, to ensure what is going on is not only what I planned, but also the right step.

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The silver lining to the pantsing, aside from completing a first draft, is that it did indeed create some wonderful things which came forth naturally from the character’s voice. Not from my planning. So I suppose it’s about time to pull out the ‘ol cork board and start double checking the blueprints now, before it gets away from me and I have a bigger mess to deal with.

Has this happened to you? Do you carefully plan out your stories or are you a Pantser as well? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, see ya!

 

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Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, First Draft, NaNoWriMo, Planning Your Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Must Read For Sci-Fi Fans!

This week I am offering The Terminarch Plot free on Kindle in anticipation of the release of book 2 in the Five Rims Series: The Terminarch War. In case you haven’t seen the awesome new cover, here it is: The Terminarch War will be out by Friday, but get your copy of The Terminarch Plot now while […]

via Free Books and Book Launch! — Writing Is Hard Work

Posted in Fandom, Fiction Writing, Genre, SciFi, Sequel, Writing Friends | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only I Didn’t Say, “FUDGE!”

 

Greetings once again readers! Many, many thanks to those who keep coming back and to those new ones who’ve subscribed in the past week! And before you ask, no, I’ve not been fishing in a while again. *sigh*12-4-14
For this week’s post I was inspired by my brother, though accidentally. You see I’m quite the movie quote guy and it all started as a kid with my little brother. We watched tons of movies growing up in the 80’s and with the introduction of the VCR we got to re-watch them repeatedly. I still remember the thrill we had from being ‘gifted’ our own blank, VHS tapes to record our favorite movies! Woo, thanks Dad! You get the idea, we watched a lot of things over and over. One in particular was, “A Christmas Story.” This movie, like so many others, we know by heart and use lines from them in our everyday life.
0_2_no_swearingSo when my brother used ‘fudge’ in a recent tale about him swimming with sharks it got me thinking about foul language in our writing.
When is it acceptable? How often can you use it, or should you use it? Can it be replaced with another word like, ‘fudge’, or ‘chert’? (That last one is a little nod to a friend’s Sci-Fi series, The Terminarch Plot, check it out!)
I’m no expert on any subject of writing, but I am a writer and I have my own opinions on it. That’s why you’re reading this, right? In many ways, I think it comes down to two main things: your target audience, and the characters in the story. There’s also the notion that some foul words are just more acceptable in everyday life, like ‘damn’, and sometimes the synonym of ‘crap’.  Depends on which television channel you’re watching I suppose.
However this doesn’t change the fact the TV writers are taking into account each line of dialogue to best express what that character is trying to say. How different would Friends be if it was full of dirty dialogue? Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some colorful adult references here and there at times, but it would be a different show if it was peppered with the actual words. excessiveSimilarly, imagine this years’ mega-hit movie, Deadpool without the extreme foul language. Love it or hate it, the producers had a specific target audience in mind all along, and they reaped the rewards for it. Had they backed off last minute and softened it to a PG-13 rating, I’m not convinced it would’ve been the smash hit it was. Instead they delivered on the promise of going excessively over the top with outrageous, language and more, but with heart.
Same idea goes with your writing. You’re most likely NOT using foul language if you’re writing a YA romance with the vampire of your dreams. Neither would you write a werewolf horror adventure where the beast hunts down gang members without some occasional blue language. (Note to self: write werewolf story!)
profanity-1024x723Then there’s character traits, and personalities to consider. A bad guy is holding a gun someone’s head and says, “I’ll shoot her in the head, I swear it!” Is that enough to invoke the feelings you want in the scene or should it be, “I’ll splatter her f***ing brains all over the f***ing wall a**hole!” Seems to raise the tension, doesn’t it? On the other hand, a character who curses like a sailor at sea in the beginning of your tale, may change and start catching themselves due to whatever growth you’re putting them through. And let’s face it, some characters are going to be douchebags and curse without restraint, but that doesn’t mean they all need to.
17104Any good writer is going to review, edit, stress out, and debate every single line of their manuscript before releasing it to the public.  You need to do this to ensure it is the best possible product you can provide. Ask yourself, does my character’s words sound mechanic, or does it sound like the way someone actually speaks? Also, is the foul language I’m using trite, therefore it’s lazy writing, or is it necessary for the what I hope to accomplish in the scene?
Now I’m the last person to preach on a soapbox about language, trust me. I just think when it comes to telling a story whether that be a novel, a movie, or even a song, there are good times and bad for using it. Don’t let the language you use be like the obligatory, awkward nude shot present in so many movies! It’s not necessary to move the story along  and only there to please a few people, and I believe your audience can tell the difference. Choosing your words wisely could be what makes your story stand out from being just another book, or a best seller.
Now go write that damn book!
Posted in Am writing, Fiction Writing, Foul Language, Uncategorized, Write Every Day | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

3 Writing Lessons I’ve (Re-)Learned in the Past Year.

As with many things which loom in the ‘near future’ for me, my One-Year Anniversary of blogging on WordPress came and went while I was busy doing something else. Thank you for coming back regularly to check on me and read what I write! After all without you, the reader, I’d be speaking to myself!

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I got tired while listening to myself.

 

It’s crazy how things have changed for me in the past year. Taking the advice of a friend, I started this blog not just as an alternate way to write, but also for getting my voice out there and for accountability. As of my first blog, I’d written in the neighborhood of 2,000+ words of mostly sporadic lines of my novel. Maybe a paragraph or two in places. Most of it was character building. How they related to each other. The main story conflict. The history of the story location and so on. From that first post in late June to around October last year I’d written an additional 1,500 perhaps, and re-written the same things multiple times.

It was during that time I learned my first lesson – Writing/Critique Groups are an Essential Tool for Writers of Every Level. I found my group almost a year ago, as of this post, and the value of going has been immeasurable. Reading my stuff aloud to the group has changed from me being nervous, to anxious for their feedback, in spite of the dreaded, “you’re telling, not showing,” or, “what viewpoint is this supposed to be?” RipI’ve said before that I love attending these meetings but I can’t stress enough how much it has helped me. Being part of a writing group is perhaps the best thing you can do.

Well, let me amend that for what goes with lesson two which is – Write Every Day. The reason I have it listed second is because I learned this lesson well during NaNoWriMo. Having that deadline forced me to allot time each day to writing and in doing so created a rhythm which my story fed off of. That November I consciously decided to push ahead, ignoring my critical-thinking side, and successfully wrote an average of 1,400 words per day. I still went deer hunting, and I missed a day or two for various reasons but alas, I reached the coveted 50,000 word mark on my novel right at the end of November. I still miss some NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-Squaredays occasionally but now I feel the pressure building each day I DO NOT write. Like a geyser welling up inside me. It is because I write each day that my story now sits at over 62,000 words!

My third lesson learned is – Be An Avid Reader. A writing friend once said, “A good writer is a good reader.” and he’s right. I’ve always enjoyed reading and would typically read a few books per year. Having a membership on Goodreads is especially useful with this. It tracks my progress in a book I’m currently reading, and I can provide a review after. It also provides suggestions for you based on what you’ve read, and liked, and encourages you at the beginning of the year to set a reading goal for that year. I’ve crushed my goal of 10 this year and am currently on my 14th. Enjoyment aside, reading various genres has helped me

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Is there a better spot to read?

grow as a writer as well as I examine things like, how it is written, style, dialogue, and character development. Sometimes I may even discover something to use in my own writing or develop a new story idea.

So there you go. My list of three things I’ve learned in the past year of writing and blogging. True there are so many more lessons I could go on about but these are, I think, the key lessons. I believe they are ones I, and perhaps yourself, already know/knew but I had to truly experience them to rediscover their value.  Plus I like keeping my blogs as short reads. Perhaps I’ll make a add-on list at a later date. How about you? What lessons do you live by in regards to your writing life? Until next time!

Posted in Am writing, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Goodreads, NaNoWriMo, Write Every Day, Writing Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Writing for a Livin’

I WENT FISHING!

Now that I got that out of my system welcome back to another little blog by the Writing Fisherman. I really appreciate that you keep coming back as if I have something of value to say. Thanks!

I’m putting myself out there today as I thought I’d share a few of my early published writings I did for websites years ago. See I used to be a stay-at-home Dad while my wife was first starting off in the USAF. (Side-note: NEVER forget that women proudly serve as well! I can’t tell you how often she puts up with people saying stupid things to her, automatically assuming I was the active duty person. But that is a rant for another time.)

IMG_2217I spent several years at home attending online classes from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I enjoyed the classes and loved being home raising our daughters who were too young for school, unlike big brother. For a while I thought I’d be happy writing children’s stories with the occasional crossover into more adult themes. However, I was never able to maintain momentum with a story like I can today.

I did start writing though for a, now long-closed, fan-site of the Kansas City Chiefs where I would do commentary and recap of the previous game. It was mostly my own optimistic opinions, which typically led to debates with readers, which was good for driving traffic. I did it for free to gain exposure and had a blast in the two seasons I wrote for the site.

During that time I struck out many, many times sending queries to different magazines typically trying to peddle my adventures as a stay-at-home Dad with three kids. Let me tell you I had plenty to share! Alas, no one was interested but fortunately I’d made friends in the ICL (Institute of Children’s Lit) Chat Room. They’d heard about some upstart websites for writers who were actively looking for articles. So, I sent them some of my stuff and next thing you know I’ve got my first sale as a writer at The Busy Freelancer titled, What’s Your Motivation?

A few months later I had my next and one I’m more proud of with Write From Home, Christmas Fitness. This one felt more sincere as it reflected my love of fitness.

Neither articles were groundbreaking by any means. Actually I get a chuckle now about my article on motivating others to write when I myself struggled so hard! I even stopped writing for several years to go back into the workforce. Still, when I start getting down on myself looking back at lost/wasted time, at least I have these things to remind me that, just maybe, I can do this. I absolutely feel I’m a better story teller today, than I was then and I’ve certainly learned a lot about the craft I didn’t know back then. Perhaps one day soon I’ll see as the Eagles song goes, “that it wasn’t really wasted time.”

IMG_2197Last time I mentioned it was almost Father’s Day and the hope was that maybe I’d get a chance to go fishing. Well I did indeed early that morning on my own, and again this past Sunday with my youngest son, Kiefer. On Father’s Day I caught a few including this BIG surprising 6-pounder that I had no idea was in there! Prior to then, I’d caught nothing over 3-pounds in this lake. It was indeed a welcome surprise, and one I put back to hopefully catch another day. Then yesterday, Kiefer was the one on fire catching the most. I’m not complaining though as days like this are scarce for me this year and I treasure them just as I do all my family.
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Do you have some old writing to share? Perhaps a memory made even more fond due to the sacrifices which must be made to reach your goals? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to read them! Until next time, take care!

 

 

Posted in Am writing, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Fishing, Reasons to Write | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Adventure to Write About

Hello readers! I’m back after a hiatus of pure busyness in my life. First, as always thank you for checking back with me to read the continuous ramblings of me, the Writing Fisherman. It’s good to take a breath from everything and get back to you!

Let’s see, since I last posted my garage flooded, but the tornado avoided us. Thanks to this I’ve had tons of outdoor/indoor projects at my home which were all on a timeline to complete. Along with this ordeal was my writing group hosting our first annual workshop the first weekend of June, which went amazing! Family reunions, and garage sales commenced in between and somehow I’ve made time, most mornings, to write. Everything culminated this week in a chance meeting with a REAL Fanboy.

As I said, my writing has surprisingly gone on fairly uninterrupted. I’ve stayed committed to getting in at least an hour each day, usually in the morning when the house is quiet. Funny thing happened though. I had a specific chapter on my mind lately and I kept pushing it away wanting to wait until I got to it naturally. Then one day I hit a writing wall and just couldn’t get around it, so I decided to click the chapter on my mind to re-energize my momentum. I was shocked to find I’d somehow skipped this chapter all-together in the first draft, and the first run through edit! All that was there was a one paragraph summary of what the chapter is supposed to be! The good thing is that I was now prepared to write it out thoughtfully. I knew full well not just what I had planned to have there, but what else I now knew NEEDED to be there.

RipThe writing workshop, hosted by the Writer’s of Warrensburg, went better than we’d hoped. We maxed out our capacity for the venue and generated great interest in future events. Spending the day listening to other authors speak on various subjects was a real treat as we had both traditionally published authors, and independent ones. There was even one who does both, which was fascinating to hear about! Afterwards was our book signing at Hastings. In all we had nine authors who sold a total of forty-two books during the two hour event. For me, it was particularly fun as I hit it off with author, W.L.Ripley, who it turns out, knew my family. Here are links to the Amazon Author page for just a few of the authors in attendance. W.L.Ripley, G.A.EdwardsStephanie Flint, James Young, Christine J. Gilbert, R.M.Kinder, and  Stan C. Smith.

fanboys

If you’ve been following me for a while now, you’ve perhaps heard me speaking about a podcast called, Fanboys on Fiction. I LOVE this show and cannot recommend it highly enough. I’ve corresponded with the guys in it this past year and developed a rapport with author, Roger Colby. To my great surprise, he let me know he’d soon be in the area and hoped to have time to meet, which we did this week. It was a blast! We spoke for a few hours about writing, publishing, our stories and our families, and just life in general. I really think I could’ve spoken all night IMG_2188with him if not for the parking garage I was using which charges an exorbitant amount after the initial three-hour free parking. Sadly, his podcast has come to an end but Roger now has his own YouTube show you can check out, here. He recently uploaded a reading of one of his published short stories, “Rust” which is amazing. Finally, here is a link for Roger’s Amazon Author page to check out his other books.

In spite of all the fun I’ve had in the face of non-stop, utter busyness, I’ve not fished one day. I think it’s been like two months since my last short trip, which is a long time for me. But who knows, it is Father’s Day weekend after all! Thanks again for coming by, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Fanboys on Fiction, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Inspiration, Thriller Fiction, Writing Club, Writing Friends, Writing Workshop | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Update for May

We’re halfway through May, so I thought it was time for a novel update. See what I did there? Cute, right? Okay, don’t run off please, I’m just so thrilled you keep coming back to read my ramblings!

So far so good with the editing. I’m keeping up with writing everyday, which has been a huge boost to my creativity, and with keeping into the groove. Plus we’ve been setting goals at each Writer’s Club meeting and I enjoy the feeling of reaching said goals. By doing this I’ve been averaging a chapter a week edited, or re-written all together. To keep my own time spent to a minimum at the meetings, I only bring a chapter at a time for critique.  They’re kind of long anyway. So far, I’m refraining from going back to make the edits until I have the entire book done although I’m  considering otherwise as there are some suggested edits I don’t want to forget. I just don’t want to get caught up in editing the same chapter over and over. What do you do?

Book Cover sampleI did allow myself a day to play with potential cover ideas and this is what I came up with. No, this is not the actual bridge but the style and location reminds me greatly of the real place. The bridge in my story was long ago replaced by a concrete one not nearly as spooky.

Speaking of, I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you the tale my story is based on. Let’s set the way-back-machine to the late 80’s when I first heard and experienced it; ready?

The legends are that during the Civil War, kidnapped infant children were cast into the river below in an effort to strike back at one side, or the other along with the unwanted babies of slaves. The ghosts of these babies are now in limbo below the bridge and if you dare to dangle your feet over the side, you will feel them trying to climb up to escape their purgatory. The bridge also serves as a barrier for a Hell Hound (or black panther demon depending on who you were riding with that night). It roams the area, guarding the cemetery, which resides at the end of a winding drive on the other side of the bridge, a short distance away. For decades the area is rumored to be the locale for human sacrifice and other ghosts all under the protection of the Hell Hound. If you dare visit, and he spots you, he will chase you down and drag your soul to Hell. That is unless you make it back across the bridge before he can.

There’s so much more to it than that but for the purposes of always wanting to keep my blogs on the short side, it’ll do. My story is based on this and follows a teenage girl who will not only discover all the horrors of this place, but also how her family fits in with its history, perhaps even its future.

Creature conceptAs for the Hell Hound, allow me to share with you some original concept art done by my daughter, Anni. I’ve not shown this around to anyone yet so YOU are getting a first look at the beast! She had some great ideas to expand on it while keeping visual cues from the original idea. Among my favorite of her ideas was the eyes. They glow an emerald green and the pupils appear like an upside down cross which are both cat like, and reptilian. In my tale it actually is named for the ancient Germanic/Norse creature, Roggenwolf. I love it!

So there’s my progress report for May. I beginning to believe my original idea of the book being ready by June was quite naive of me, but I am improving the story with each passing day so more time is good. I’d still love to have it ready this Summer however so that’s what I’m aiming for.  That, and to go fishing again one day for the love of God! It’s been so long! Please let me know how you go about editing after receiving feedback. Do you wait and do it all later, or do you dive back in right away while it’s fresh? Thanks for stopping by friends!

 

Posted in Am writing, Editing/Revising, Fiction Writing, New Writer, Thriller Fiction, Uncategorized, Urban Legends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writers Workshop on June 4, 2016

To go along with my last post on being in a Writer’s Club, here’s the information about our upcoming Writer’s Workshop!

G. A. Edwards-Author and Speaker

Cena’s Nook, Bed and Breakfast

And

Writers of Warrensburg

Old Druminvite you to a

Workshop for Writers

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

9:00-3:00

in Warrensburg, MO

Followed by a multi-author book signing at local Hastings Entertainment.

We offer interactive workshops from published writers and experienced editors with the specific goal of helping YOU craft and market your own most rewarding and profitable work. You will work directly with industry professionals during small group critique sessions. Whether you’re just starting as an author or have been writing for some time, our workshop has been designed with the goal of appealing to all skill levels and a variety of genres.

Check out the Line Up of Industry Professionals

G. A. Edwards  G. A. Edwards is a retired English teacher now spending her days as a writer and speaker sharing the joys of literature one word at a time. A voracious reader of all…

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The Benefits of a Writing Club

I’m trying to get a little more prolific with my blogging, so here I am a week later with a new one.  As always, thank you, for stopping by my blog! I’ve clearly somehow misled you into believing I have something valuable to say, or is deep and thought provoking, so hopefully you do find an inkling of something good in here.

First, a bit of an update as I’ve fallen behind in keeping you informed; the fishing has been lacking but my writing has been proficient! (Look at me with the proper use of big words, it’s like I’m edumicated or something) Sadly, I haven’t gotten a line wet looking for bass in weeks, so I think I’m due to go soon or I may go into fits. However I’ve allotted myself a certain time each day for writing and this has led to some very productive editing and doctoring of my novel. I’m averaging a chapter a week lately, which keeps me in line with goals, my own and those set in my writing group. Segway!

I give a lot of props to my favorite podcast, “Fanboys on Fiction”, and one in particular thing they’d suggested was to find, or start, a local writing club. Seriously people, you need to check these guys out on iTunes or online here. The show is hotter than an afternoon on Tattooine. Anyway, heeding this advice I took the plunge and found a group here in my small college town which meets twice a month at Hastings. It was the best thing I could’ve done for my writing! Just attending has made me a better writer.snoopy

The group is led by an established Author and semi-retired English teacher who, to all our benefit, loves to edit and critique, and does so gently with suggestions on how you might fix it. There are no outbursts of, “Your story sucks!” going on here, but the group isn’t just about critique and editing. The writers who attend have the opportunity to discover their own voice and style, and develop good writing habits through bi-weekly group challenges.

We vet each other’s work by providing copies to the table then reading the samples aloud. Even after hours of editing your own work, you’d be amazed at the errors you yourself will find when reading it for others! Still, you now have multiple points of view and critique to pour over and see what’s working for this reader but not for that one. I get to hear their opinions, perhaps gain insight into an aspect I hadn’t thought of before, or even gain a new idea. At the same time, I’m getting thicker skinned through their critique! Not that this was a problem for me before, but now I know I can handle it if someone was to say something mean.

Attending a writer’s club has become an invaluable part of my writing time which I cannot recommend more. Plus, for me, I get the added bonus of a daughter who attends with me! Her presence gives us both a chance to further discuss the meeting afterwards during the ride home. I’ve found that this time with her, reviewing each session, is as equally beneficial as the meetings themselves due to having the occasional different perspective on a subject.

Long story short, to improve your writing you must eventually show it to others. In my opinion, one of the best places to do this is in a writer’s club where your craft is nurtured as you gain confidence in your prose. If there isn’t one near you, contact some other writers you know and make your own! As for getting an English teacher to join you, it could only help you. You just can’t have ours!

Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you ever find yourself near Warrensburg, Missouri on the first, or third, Tuesday of each month come to Hastings and join us! Thanks for stopping by!Warrensburg_MO

Posted in Am writing, Editing/Revising, Fanboys on Fiction, Fiction Writing, First Draft, Inspiration, New Writer, Reasons to Write, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Already Gone

Hello readers and thank you for checking out this weeks’ random thoughts on writing, fishing, or just life in general.  This week I do indeed have something different as I comment on long ago memories which have come back to me this year. I hope you enjoy it!

I’ve been aware of my own mortality since fourth grade.  It was a cool, early-Spring day and the rare occasion that I was walking home from school alone.  Being alone gives you time to think and at that tender age of nine I somehow came upon the deep, philosophical realization that I was the only person in the world who saw with my own eyes.  Previous to this I had the silly notion that everyone else could see, and hear, the world like everyone else did in the same way.  (I  also believed for a short while that people on tv and movies who were injured or killed really were but like I said, I was nine.)  Now I realized that within my own mind, my eyes, my ears, my touch, I was alone and even more frightening, I realized one day I would die.

All of this frightened me into silence for days, unsure how to put into words how I was feeling other than just telling my parents I didn’t want to die.  Fortunately, being young as I was, the mind switches gears quick and before long I learned to turn off that fear hidden deep inside and move on enjoying my life.  I knew I was changed after that as well.  I was still a kid but at the same time I was no longer unaware.  From that day on, even at my young age, I began to really appreciate all the things in my life.  Movies & television, music, even my toys and especially my family and friends had new value for me.  For sure I didn’t value these in the same way I do now, but it was certainly a change for me and I moment of my life I’ve never forgotten.

I’ve reminisced of this often in the past several months.  At least all of 2016 for sure for I’m constantly reminded of my youth lately.  Fond memories of growing up in the 80’s, yet also reminded of the inevitability of growing older and the cost of doing so.

It started in December with the return of Star Wars and the classic, beloved characters of my youth.  Han Solo, Chewbacca, Leia, X-Wings, and of course the legendary Millennium Falcon!  My heart soared seeing these back on the big screen and I felt like a kid again.  Then came the losses of David Bowe, Alan Rickman, and Eagles front man Glenn Frey, all within a short time.

Each of them were a part of my youth either in television like MTv (in the beginning when they showed 24hr music videos) or in movies. I believe Rickman did a musical or two in his time but Bowe and Frey also crossed over into television shows and movies in the 80’s. Glenn Frey in particular left me melancholy for days and I listened to his music, either solo or with the Eagles, for a week straight.

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There were others we lost along the way.  George Kennedy, Vanity, and most recently, Merle Haggard and Prince.  Of these, naturally Prince was the most shocking to my 80’s upbringing and I’ve tuned in to his music for a few days as well.  Granted, many of these artists were active, perhaps even in their prime in the 70’s and before, but they were still very active and popular in my time as well.

The reason I’m writing this now is more of a reminder to me to constantly enjoy the things in life.  My family for sure, but also the little everyday things.  A good song on the radio.  A great performance in tv or movies.  Appreciate them now and every day before they’re gone. I’m also writing for perspective.  The loss of these artists have inspired me to push harder at my own dreams and not to give in to frustrations.  Keep writing!

Hope this wasn’t too much of a downer for my readers this week.  Let me know one of your childhood memories, something that stands out as a potential life-changer for you.  Thanks again for stopping by!

Posted in Am writing, Distractions, Fandom, Reasons to Write, Star Wars, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments