I am 2 chapters away from finishing the first draft of my story (I like to say story even though I mean novel, because to me saying you’re working on a novel sounds pretentious. Also because storyteller falls more in line with my beliefs than writer). The story is of course “Beyond the Southerly Weepers,” and it centers around a man (who is a cyborg) and his family as they are expelled from their safe-but-suffocating life in Las Lomas and forced to face the abundant dangers lurking in the Cal wilderness. The story is also post apocalyptic, but so far in the future a sort of dystopian government has installed itself as the sole power in the land of Cal.
At the same time that this first draft is nearing it’s close life has happened.
That’s what this post is about. The personal shit a story teller might be mired in as there project draws to a close. I’ve always wondered, what might have been happening in Rowling’s life when she finally figured out just how Harry’s parents died, or how Twain felt when he finally put down the last words of “a Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court.”
That’s what this is about from here on out, so if this kind of thing doesn’t interest you it’s cool if you decide to keep scrolling.
I’ve graduated from my community college in just five years (six of I’m honest, and I joke about the time it’s taken me to assuage the sting of failure). Isn’t it a load of bull that I can accomplish something I should be proud of and still torture myself with judgment I’ll never air anywhere but here? There’s a lot of that in me, and in the story of my cyborg as well.
I think maybe there is a post on me about how the stories we write can very much become a kind of therapy for us and a tool to over diagnose our every personality flaw should we choose.
All this to say it is a time in my life where I can’t help but take stock in my life and tally up the pros and cons.
Two and a half years ago my license was suspended and last week I (with the help of friends and family) have just jumped through the last hoop the state of California set between me and mobility. I can drive again. That is a pro.
I’ve been in what might be called a serious relationship for about 10 years (I know, a long time). And in that time I have hurt the relationship, and she has hurt the relationship (a lot). I’m not sure we’re good for each other, but you might say that at this point we deserve each other.
That was cynical…
She’s intelligent, she’s active, her hobbies are amazing (she breeds fancy shrimp in our spare room downstairs), and I’m still attracted to her (which isn’t something everyone who’s been together as long as we have can say).
She’s fallen in love, emotionally, with some of my closest friends. Which fucking sucks. And I’ve gotten use to there alway being a problem that needs to be fixed.
Recently we’ve decided to give our relationship a real chance, and I have to figure out how to be friends with her again. I love her, but we haven’t been good friends for a long time.
This could be a pro
Parents and family-
Not being able to drive for so long has also put a strain on my relationship with my parents, family and friends back home. They are at once familiar and unknown all at the same time, and even if they won’t admit it I sense some hurt in them (perhaps my ow projection).
For both my family and my girl, the chance to rebuild and forge something good is a pro.
I live in a college town and go to school, so I have to live with roommates. In order to get this chance with my girl I had to hurt the dynamic of our apartment, and the change is palpable. If I get what I want things will not be the same. Part of me would have rather left them all than hurt the dynamic they had.
This is a con because I feel very guilty about everything.
All of this is in my writing. Of my darkest thoughts I’ve articulated to myself I once believed a character (Emily) that I was writing for my book was based on a real person, but since that person is not who I thought she’d was I find myself writing Emily and thinking it’s just fiction.
Thompson’s (my cyborg) world is a world that is not what it seems at first glance. When you think you know even its most vicious dangers, it has only lolled you into a false sense of security (you never know everything). That’s when you have to be really scared, because something is coming, a truth you overlooked, and in my world and in my experience truth is deadly.
Any writers or storytellers on here that have an experience they’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments!