I'm going to focus on romance today, because there's nothing better to discuss on such a wonderful day. Below is a short, tender moment between Lt. Sarah Bryson and her husband, William Bryson, from Ruby Caves. This is an important scene. The hug, the quietness- a moment to let everyone relax before the extreme, inevitable violence. This is one of the parts where I actually (mostly) stray from putting my characters into emotional turmoil. Here, Sarah is fighting the past, even while remembering it. Remembering helps her keep focus of what's ahead of her.
Pop culture has provided us with many snarky heroes, insults, and comebacks. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with a good threat or warning. When I watch Arnold Schwarzenegger threaten a much smaller guy, I start laughing at the ridiculous ways directors and screenwriters have to find to physically harm Arnold. When Liam Neeson threatens to kill his daughter’s kidnapper, his icy exterior and later bloodbath make it terrifying.
Humans have always been capable of extreme violence, but as stated in my last post, not everyone has to experience it. I do not like physical conflict and try to avoid it at all costs- so far I have been successful. Although I joke with myself and others that I watch enough impromptu street fight videos to know how to fight now…
Violence in the world is a terrifying, brutal thing to watch. Some experience it often. Others may never see it their entire lives. Regardless, it is a catalyst or reaction of conflict in many of my stories. For this reason when I portray violence in my story I have made a habit of attempting to not glorify it. We have seen those really gory movies that appear to rip people limb from limb, eviscerate them, behead them, and more. We know the tools of the trade. I am going to discuss the detail I put in my stories, and the reactions of my characters. This post is devoted to creature violence seen in Ruby Caves.
Senioritis hit me hard for the Fall 2016 semester but I still made it out of my four classes alright. In three of them I earned a B. The fourth was a C+ (with .5 of a point away from a B). Papers, papers, and more papers. It is draining on the psyche to write so many of them. When I was finally done at the end of the day I don’t want to write. I’m so exhausted I need to let go of my laptop for a while. And I do not want to sit at my desk with a notebook. All I wanted to do was make dinner and watch a movie or TV show. Writing is not compatible with a tired me. It started affecting the pacing of my stories.
Happy Turkey Day, I hope everyone celebrating has gotten home safe with their loved ones! We take the tradition of saying, “I am thankful…” before dinner seriously. Personally I am thankful the ride home was smooth. I am also thankful for my family’s safety. I am thankful Mom is taking her life in stride and continues to be the moral guardian in my own life. I am thankful my brother is doing well in his classes and enjoying a strong social network. I am thankful my sister is getting the opportunity of a lifetime in Louisiana. I am thankful my grandmother is in good health and continues to be a strong link to family in other states, via stories of her early life in Florida.
I completed handwriting Manny back in July but have not gotten to typing it up yet
I am still doing work on Mutant Cowboy Space Pirate
I am handwriting emotionally intense scenes for Ruby Caves- these are coming out beautifully
I am working on a Harold the Wizard story entitled Harold the Wondrous
I apparently spelled Wondrous wrong when handwriting the story- Word 2013 flagged it- what I had originally spelled was Wonderous. Whoops
Owl People of Winnie County has been completed (typed on Word) for a long time now but I have yet to send it through editing
From the very beginning of Ruby Caves, Dave has been part of Its world. From the very beginning of Dave, he has been followed by the Irish goddess of war Morrigan and the Grim Reaper. They have been his guardians and friends for a long time. Unfortunately, they have no place in his world anymore. In Ruby Caves I try to create a relatively concrete, grounded world with werewolves and other beasts running through it.
Magic realism does not apply just because Dave can see them. It only applies when the entire world is in on the joke. Like if UFOs were to exists and everyone believed (and/or accept) them to be a part of everyday life. In the world of Ruby Caves the government and a few select, quieted, citizens knows about the existence of mythological creatures and alien life. Not everyone knows nor accepts their existence. As of yet I have not really involved gods into my stories.
Back in October 2015, I released a few excerpts from my stories Mutant Cowboy Space Pirate and Ruby Caves in PDF format. If you haven’t read Halloween Excerpt 2 yet, check it out. Otherwise this post won’t make too much sense. This is about the werewolf problem in a sleepy little town in northern New Hampshire. During a violent werewolf attack on their cabin at a resort, Michael, the primary protagonist, discovers his father is also a werewolf. I only put in a couple of paragraphs about it in the excerpt, to find a clear enough ending for it.
In honor of Mother’s Day I want to talk about my mother’s influence on my writing. Without her, a lot of vital aspects in my stories wouldn’t exist.
She has helped me immensely with cleaning up the plot for Ruby Caves. The same goes for Radiation Road, Mutant Cowboy Space Pirate, Vodka Men, and the extended cut of Atrocity (called Wish List).
She lets me know when a scene is too gory and helps tone it down. This primarily goes for Wish List. The Wendigo story was the first (and bloodiest, so far) story I ever wrote. I’m trying to give my readers an adrenaline rush through my writing, not gross them out. She’s helped me find my own limits. Too add to this, she also lets me know when a scene has dragged on for too long.
Dave being Polish. She gave me the idea for his last name (Kaczmarczyk) and from there his life was filled out. It roughly translates to “destroy peace” and some of her ideas on his characters fit that name very well. Dave is not altruistic, he is ruthlessly pragmatic. While his stories aren’t grounded in reality his fighting style sure fits what a human can reasonably achieve. His intrinsic ability to see and speak to the gods for what they are- the reason Death and Nemain (one of the Morrigan sisters) stick with him- was her idea.
Death looking like Humphrey Bogart at the end of Vodka Men. I hadn’t even considered it, but really, would you mind if Mr. Bogart came to you at the end of your life? I sure wouldn’t. Death is usually a skeleton to Dave (there goes the intrinsic vision) but to people he looks like the actor.
Her analytical nature is a major inspiration for Sarah Case’s personality. She is scary good at winning debates. She can more often than not defuse a situation. She has undying loyalty and support to us (me, my brother, and my sister) naturally. However, my mom gave me a critical point about Sarah’s relationship with William that altered the final outcome of the story. It has stuck with me.
She wrote the hilarious scene in Nutmeg Episode Seven: “Monster” where Nutmeg 3/8 is indecisive about eating Harland the thief. She almost wrote the entirety of Episode Eight: “Z” where Agent S almost runs over Travis Garcia. I only came back towards the end of that episode.
Finally, she has inspired me to add a little more humor to my stories. I came to the conclusion myself after she mentioned it to me. I don’t enjoy reading hopelessly bleak stories where there is little to no change in the character. The same goes for movies. Atrocity and Vodka Men are thematically my darkest stories, but they are meant as tragedies. And while I will add humor, it doesn’t mean I’m going to go soft on the drama or terror when it is necessary. A little genre blending never hurt anyone.
Thanks Mom, I love you! And to all the other people out there reading this, thank your mothers. For better or worse, there is no denying a mother's influence on our lives. Now stop reading this and enjoy Mother’s Day!
I am an author. I am a fan of horror, thrillers, and comedy.