Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Much Post

Apparently, I'm not the only one that looked at the title of my last post and thought about my character Much. As I seem to have participated in false advertising at very least in Rowan's case, here is a post on Much.

Here is Much.

You will notice there are no defining features. This is not to say he doesn't have them (he has messy brown hair, waits two days past when he SHOULD shave, doesn't care that much about his clothes, has grey eyes, is tall, solid, and nineteen--basically, he and Robin are polar opposites in build). It's to say I do not have a picture of him.

Though actually, someone from the Iowa Young Writers' Studio DID draw him when critiquing my chapter, but I'm too lazy to go find it.

Anyway, he does not have a picture. He would like to know that if any of you are fantabulous artisans or picture-finders, he would be much obliged if you tried, but don't expect "the author" to approve. My excuse is it is very hard to find the RIGHT pictures when a character is fully developed. Find one early on in the process, folks.

I am getting sidetracked. Much is from Forest of Lies and I have only found one person who disliked him. The funny thing is, FoL readers don't even KNOW as much about him as I do, and how awesome he really is. It must be sheer luck that that bled through and everyone got it from osmosis.

Much: Or I'm just too witty to pass up.

Or that.

It's funny about Much, because originally he was actually very annoying. For your FoL-readers out there, he originally acted more like my Will Scarlett. Yes. Bad, huh? Then I wrote one scene where he was completely "out of character" and I discovered that was his real character. Live chat sessions with him also brought out the goofy, sproingy side that you see some of in Forest of Lies.

Much is Robin's closest friend. They knew each other a little as boys, got off badly when Robin originally escaped from the Sheriff, and then grew together after they both turned back to Jesus. He's the second-oldest of a two-boy family, and because of both that position and his sometimes eccentric personality, his father basically ignored him. So he ran off to join outlaws (not Robin) and ended up not liking it that much.

He recovered from his past better and quicker than Robin, partially helped by the fact that he spends so much time supporting and protecting Robin that he doesn't leave time for brooding and feeling sorry for himself. He was actually very attracted to Marian, but when he saw that Robin was too, he backed off.  Their friendship is one of my favorite relationships that I have gotten to write and discover. They really needed each other there for a spell, and it showed. Much's sacrifice in Forest of Lies messed Robin up horribly. And, to keep this from getting more depressing or boring, here he is.

Much: Um. Hi. No, that's boring too. SPROING!!!

That's all you got? Really?

Much: Yeah, I don't know these people. I just promise not to defenestrate any of them.

Okay, I'll take it back then. Some random facts: originally I had a marriage arranged for him and except for Marian, he's a bit scared silly of girls.


I just did.

Much: *pout*

So there ya go, Rowan.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Much is Required

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For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
-Luke 12:48

I've been thinking about this verse a lot lately. I kind of imagine it's from my recent tendency to look at topics in the "Prayer Requests" topic of the One Year Adventure Novel forum.

It's gotten to the point that I feel very sheepish about posting anything there--school troubles, money and college troubles, college fears--because when I look at that board it just all seems so trivial. I'm not normally and regularly depressed. I like my family. Immediate and extended. I actually (gasp) like the Christmas season and don't feel compelled to wear black all the time. I haven't been emotionally and physically abused by myself or anyone else.

The biggest and most constant "problem" with my life is the lack of money, and my dad even has a steady job, for the first time in ages. There is a $20,000 gap between scholarships I've won or have a chance to win and the actual cost of college, but that's not going to kill me. It's a family of 10, my parents do what they can. There are a lot worse things that could be happening.

I wonder sometimes if my opinion of my life is just because I don't recognize things that are supposed to distress me. I could say I get depressed, but it is in bouts and almost always related to to academic performance. Not really a heart-throb there. I don't spend my life Hamlet-ing and though I've cried myself to sleep, it's not every night or every week or even every month. Most recently it was just because I felt called to college and didn't want to live in New York City.


There is something else, though. It's just something I'm used to living with. I have all of these words, all of these thoughts, but it is like they're locked inside of me. They come out when I write novels, when I talk to people online, when I write blog posts. But normally, they're stuck inside.

Again, though, doesn't seem like a huge tragedy. Except that I know it is wrong. And I don't know why I'm so scared. Entering the online world has shown me just how much I really do like--and love--people. I don't know why it's so hard in real life.

All this combined makes me wonder if Luke 12:48 is pointing at me--not just me, of course--and is something of a warning. I have a solid base in my family. I've grown up Christian--I've claimed it as my own now, but I always had that support system. Life is really fairly easy, all things considered.

And it's not supposed to be. Jesus didn't promise easy.

There's a topic on the forum right now where the argument is being made that some people just get to be happy and comfortable, and other people have to be depressed and live in an earthly hell. I don't believe this, exactly. I'm thinking, though, that I'm not quite where I should be yet. Life hasn't slugged me with a lot of things, so I wonder if I'm more equipped for going out there and taking some of this stuff that's wrong with the world head-on.

I always feel a little defensive when I realize I have no idea what some of my friends and acquaintances, my fellow writers, are going through. I suddenly want to hide, somehow. Thinking I must be missing something that's wrong with my life or I must be about in for a dozy. Which I suppose could be true.

"It is best to love first what you are fitted to love, I suppose: you must start somewhere and have some roots, and the soil of the Shire is deep." -Meriadoc Brandybuck

I've grown up in the Shire, not on the borders of Mordor. That doesn't mean I can't get out there and battle evil with those who have. God has plans for all of us: sometimes it just a matter of finding out exactly what it is.

Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Writing Fountain

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My writing is like a fountain.

When I frantically submitted two college applications before running out of the door to catch my car to catch my plane to New York City (as for King’s? I’m in love), I had no desire to write. None. It was like my fountain had dried up in the college essays I’d been hammering out, and going on hiatus from my blog gave me relief that I didn’t have to come up with anything profound (ha) for awhile, at least.

It’s strange, those essays, though I suppose I’m good at them, are like salt water. Unlike my fountain of noveling, editing, and blogging, it’s salt water, and though I can spew it out just fine, it leaves me feeling parched, and then I can’t even do the writing I love.

But the almost two weeks off have given my fountain time to come, and the water started trickling through dry grooves, and ideas for editing Quintessence (oh, I never said. I finished it. In October. Sorry.), and new and old blog post ideas began surfacing.

I had to dam this gurgling stream and get out my saltwater again--I have lots of it to go yet. And I have things that have nothing to do with writing to do, too. Algebra and Physics and Economics and Government.

But writing is pushing at the dam. I re-wrote the first chapter of Quintessence to help relieve that pressure. I brainstormed ideas for the sequel to Quintessence, tentatively titled Dust, for the same reason. Writing this is a quick way of releasing more. I’ve been thinking about it, and I imagine the words bubbling behind my mouth. Not quite an accurate picture, because the words come from my mind and fingers, not from my mouth. But I imagine it all the same. The rushing torrent, not currently abated by the salt water I have to deal with.

Some people might call this bubbling inspiration. It’s not quite the same, though. Inspiration is when I know in a flash the way a scene should go, when a blog post pops into my mind fully grown. It’s when I absolutely have to get something down or I lose it. This bubbling is different. It pushes and teases my mind with half-formed thoughts that only translate into write. Write something. Write something before you explode.

Anything could come from the bubbling.

This time, it’s this.

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