(Lack Of) Writing Report June 9, 2018
About a month ago my wife planned a long vacation in the Canadian Rockies with her cousins.
This worked out great for me:
It would give me plenty of time to wrap up a couple of long delayed projects, do some literary housekeeping, polish up a few stories, and resubmit some old ones to new markets.
As Al Swearengen once observed, ”Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.”
Before I could do any of the office projects I wanted, my older daughter required an emergency appendectomy…and that led to a near tragic comedy of errors that saw her in the hospital for over two weeks, with new complications stretching out her stay every time she started to make some headway towards recovery.
She’s better, she’s out, she’s on the mend.
But it was a rough 3+ weeks for us -- her family, her sister’s family, my wife and me -- and as far as my intended projects went, well, we’ll let Bobby Burns sum it up this time:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley
So that’s why I haven’t gotten any real work done in the interval since my last writing report.
I did get some work done; I took a laptop to the hospital with me and was able to do weekly updates and download research links, but nothing significant.
Until this morning…and since it’s a fine example of how this writer’s mind works, I’ll share it.
Years ago I came up with an idea for a character:
Cute name, clever gimmick, fits right into a popular light hearted fantasy sub-genre.
Call this character Cutey for convenience.
Only one problem:/
There’s nothing for this character to do.
So…file Cutey away, wait for the day when something turns up…
This morning I was thinking about a popular series and how they recently did some very out-of-character stories that should have irrevocably changed the series…
…but they got away with it by fobbing them off as “imaginary stories” or “alternate timeline” tales.
Which got me to thinking about how they could do such things on a regular basis; i.e., by introducing a character who could make these things appear to happen via dreams or hallucinations.
Then you could fold / spindle / mutilate / murder the characters endlessly, because nothing would change about them in the waking world.
Dreamwalkers are common spiritual entities found throughout history in cultures all around the world. Sometimes they’re wholly malicious (Hellooooooo, Freddy Krueger…), sometimes they are more justice oriented.
So I thought about a character to add to the series -- we’ll call this character Grim -- who would take umbrage at some of the moral and ethical shortcuts the characters take in their waking lives and visits them in their dreams to show them the surreal / symbolic consequences of their actions.
That way terrible things could happen while they slept, but they remained unharmed while awake…
…and suddenly I had a function for Cutey:
Cutey would be the entity that could show them how to escape the nightmare Grim put them in, and the method used would be applicable in the real world to correct the errors they had committed while awake.
And just as suddenly Cutey & Grim’s relationship popped into sharp focus:
They’re the yin and yang, the light and dark, the sweet and sour of existence.
Grim is not judgmental and vindictive, but Grim shows consequences.
Cutey is fun and forgiving, but Cutey won’t cut slack -- you have to do the work if you want to escape your consequences.
Sunuvagun, we can do something with this.
And I will.
© Buzz Dixon