Hearing Voices?

I missed a couple of blog posts this week.  I blame my getting acquainted with Twitter and reading all of the fun tweets.  I can see how easy it is to scroll through things and get caught up in the short, simple messages.  So, back on track, back to the words and the typing and the creating of word soup or maybe word vomit.  I’ve had a lot of different characters come down and sit with me lately, all trying to get an edge in over the other, trying to sell me on why they should hit the page.  Some have definitely not made the cut, others are getting fleshed out (this is a strange and creepy expression if you ask me) and others are quiet.  It’s those quiet ones I worry about, they grow into the loudest voices after a while.  They kick the chair over they’ve patiently been sitting in and then demand the attention in the room.  And you know what?  All those other voices, primary, secondary, maybe even the tertiary ones, they all shut up and listen.

I thought I’d share a small sample of a character I killed off a couple of years ago when I was fooling around with darker characters.  I loved Nigel, I still love him in some small way since he pops back up in my waiting room of characters.  I went through a phase and read a fair amount of Regency romance and other historical romance novels and like I do with everything, I wondered if I could write in that genre.  A little backstory, Nigel was a Victorian doctor.  He lived on the outskirts of London and after aiding a few prominent families be began to make a name for himself.  He rarely accepted dinner invitations as he held a dark secret.  He lost his wife, he was unable to heal her and now he’s taken on the idea he can craft her spirit a new body, from his patient’s bodies.  Even if his patient’s didn’t need to lose a body part, he made it happen.  He was unable to shake the spirit of his wife and move forward, the pain too deep.

This is Nigel’s last scene:

There was a heaviness in the air, a finality that weighed down the ruined estate even further in its despair. The secrets that the estate held, they whispered excitedly to each other as a realization shone through the darkness. The image at the bottom of the stairs, what did it mean?

The day had been ordinary, dull. The same stagnant breath that slowly repeated day in and day out, uninterrupted unless the owner decided to haunt the premise. The owner had not been out to visit of late, the house accustomed to having only the ghostly tenant wander through the halls. The air rent with a strange tingled sensation as the owner suddenly appeared by horseback, his body slouched and inebriated, the horse slowing and stopping to bring its swaying rider to a stop in front of the broken, unhinged doors.

The doctor fell to the ground with a resounding smack. The harsh, hard earth did not even register though the alcohol daze that he had drowned himself in that morning. He lifted his head and squinted through the door and down the great hallway. Rusted suits of armor, rotted tapestries and countless other remnants of his former life taunted him to enter, to lose himself like he always did when he returned to wallow. Arm over arm, he crawled his way in to the hall. Slowly pushing himself up to his feet, he walked towards the back hall where he knew his darkest demon would find him.

“Nig!” the tinkling tone broke through the silence. A sounding of a bell, but not quite a perfect ring. “Nig!” she called again. The doctor felt his body convulse as her voice beckoned him more fervently. He stumbled down the hall and towards the mess of bottles, his boots crunching on shards of glass. She appeared from around the side, ethereal and beautiful as always. His breath knocked from his laboring chest. He reached for him and screamed in torment, agony from her chase of him finally beating him. He fell to his knees, collapsing in grief and hurt. He could no longer continue, he had to be free.

The drug moved slowly through his body, he was slightly conscious of the fact his fuzzy mind may be hallucinating due to his delusional thoughts or the poison working itself through his system. He could no longer take a full breath, he closed his eyes and waited. Suddenly a laugh broke from his throat, he covered his ears and screamed again as he could not stop her voice calling him back to her. He grabbed blindly for the shards of the discarded bottles from previous visits, raising a jagged end, he pressed deeply into his wrist, no pain registering. He sliced across both his wrists and felt only relief, the end to a torment. He felt her presence as his heart pumped precious blood out through his open wounds. She stroked the hair from his forehead. “Finally, Nigel, baby. Come back to me. Please.”

With a confidence that he would finally be free, he exhaled and closed his eyes, leaving behind only a trace memory of his existence.

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Twitter!

Twitter account @shburgessauthorI joined Twitter!  I know, I’m late to the game 🙂  I have remained fairly social media blind to Twitter, remaining steadfastly loyal to Facebook and good old fashioned sleuthing through Google.  However, now, it’s just me and 140 characters of fun.  If you’re over at Twitter, look me up!  It should be fun, I’m sure I’ll be fumbling around.

What’s Up, Jack?

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London
As I pondered over what I could delve into for this Writer Wednesday post, I aimlessly searched through quotes on Pinterest.  Yes, I’m a shameless pinner of, well, way too many pins.  (Pinterest could certainly be a whole other topic of interest.)  I skimmed through writing quotes and this one made me sit up with a bit of a laugh.  For some reason, it just made me visualize Jack London out in the middle of a wintry forest, club in hand, chasing after a figment of inspiration.

Can something really be designated as inspiration if a person has to club it?  I feel as though, yes, one does have to go out into the world and investigate their surroundings in hopes the muses are kind and sprinkle in some inspiration but I don’t know if I could just grab inspiration out of thin air and create.  I envy that kind of magical creation, if it does indeed exist.

Some days, I find inspiration in every place I look.  My brain becomes a dumping ground of ideas, a gumball machine being filled with ideas for me to chew on or allow to grow stale with age.  Most days, however, I run low on inspiration.  It gets used up in my adult job or by others trying to find inspiration in their own life.  Perhaps I should gift them a club or, at the very least, suggest they find their own club to beat up inspiration.

I need to focus this week on writing a few more chapters for my current WIP.  Inspiration has been a bit low.  Perhaps it’s time to break out the club.  Should I work on my evil eye?  Maybe I can intimidate inspiration first, before resulting to further measures.  Fingers are crossed!

How Do You Write?

I vowed after translating the majority of my last novel out of notebooks, journals, napkins, and scraps of paper, I’d never hand write another book.  I struggled, at times, to decipher sloppy cursive passages I’d scribbled at the end of a long work day.  After translating most of it and learning the joys of trying not to self-edit as I type (something I’ve already done a million and one times to this simple blog post) I felt comfortable writing at length on my laptop.  Hearing the clack of the keys as my fingers flew in an attempt to capture all of my wild thoughts became a simple pleasure.  A night cap, if you will.

So, why am I drawn to start almost every new project by committing pen to paper?  I’m back in the same tortuous loop of decryption!  It’s laborious.  It almost feels like a waste of writing time.  But is it?  The muses seem to strike best when I’m conversing with my characters and letting their dialogue flow across the page, as though I’m their therapist taking notes while they speak to me from whatever seat happens to be in the room.  I don’t go back and self-edit, it’s more stream of consciousness writing.  In some small way, the same feeling I get from my fingers tapping on keys, I get from keeping my cursive skills alive on the page.

I know I’ll be cursing in a couple of days or weeks when I start my conversion to the computer.  Hand writing anything seems so analog today in the digital world.  Maybe it’ll be a nice keepsake down the road, the scraps of writing from a crazed mind.  And maybe it’ll be fuel for a backyard fire.  Either way, as the ink flows, the hope is the words will too, and then the click of the keys will sound.  All things which equal a happy writer.

Finding Motivation

Quote: You fail only if you stop writing. - Ray BradburyI’ll admit it, I’ve been through a writing dry spell lately.  At least, novel writing.  I still get the same old clips and phrases and prose, which tend to roll out of me when I’ve been inspired by a song or visual stimulation.  (Have I mentioned before I have a love of landscape photography?)  I have started more than 2 novels and have a notebook full of ideas for more novels.  So, why then can’t I settle on one idea?  There are numerous excuses I could post here, including many which would explain my blogging hiatus.  But, at the end of the day, it’s just that I have not cracked my knuckles and felt the keys fly under my fingers as I get a solid idea put on screen.

It’s been a year since I finished my first novel.  A book which took me 5+ years to pluck from the depths of my dreams and believe it was worth telling.  My goal was to complete it by the time I turned 35, the bonus would be if I could find representation and/or a publisher to start the ball rolling on getting it out there to readers.  35 is right around the corner…  I’ve finished and I had Sunday Submissions set aside and somehow, I submitted to Sunday and the craziness of life.  Time to whip myself back into writer shape.  It’s time to really focus and get this going because this dream isn’t going to just come on a fluffy pillow presented by some footman from the days of old.  Nope, this is an elusive one I’ve got to chase down.  The chase is on, my friends.

Motivational Monday

Forward is ForwardI find this one to be very appropriate today.  My notes and writings may be a jumbled mess but at least I’m going.  I’ve worried going back to work would stifle my creativity and ruin my writing time.  I’ll admit I’m pretty tired most nights but I can feel an inking of the writing gene kicking back in.  So, slowly but surely, the next story will come.  I had planned for it to be the next book in my series, however, I think this crazy bird story idea is calling my name.