Aisircul and GH

Despite the bit that I posted earlier, so far I am struggling with my two leads for Prairie Fire, Aisircul and Jane Singer. My primary trouble is that I do not know who they are, or why they would be interested in each other.

I have a good grasp on Aisircul, which does not surprise me, as male characters grab my attention better than female characters. Jane, my heroine — the character you’d think an aspiring romance writer would have the better handle on — is as smoke. She refuses to solidify. What little idea I have of her is a blonde 20-something who is almost Belle-like in her cheerfulness, a not-quite Purity Sue. This is unfortunate, because that’s the sort of character I can’t abide.

Aisircul, however, is proving resistant to the idea of romance. He doesn’t seem to feel that he would be right, or that he should fall in love. It doesn’t seem to be a case of feeling he doesn’t deserve love, but rather that he somehow shouldn’t ask, that he should be content with his lot as it is. And he is very happy with where he is — pretty much anything beats being in Hell.

In the meantime, while I wrestle with those two (or perhaps pack Aisircul off to a different tale), I’ve been feeling pulled to work on Getting Hammered, the namesake of this blog, again. I have 11 more sections thought up, and a few of them started, but they have languished while I went off to work on small exorcisms (a story that may never see the light of day).

I’m going to get something written, doggone it…

Adrian: Now what?

On Monday, I came to the realization that the reason nothing else was coming to mind for The Apocalypse of Adrian Reinhardt, was that nothing else needed to come. The story, not developing fully into a novel, had come to an end as a short story.

Because of this, it feels as though the last ten years have come to a sudden, thudding stop; as though after flying freely, changing ever so often, rising again and again like a phoenix, Adrian has slammed into a wall.

This strikes me as unfair. But what do I do?

The most obvious thing would be to go back and see if there’s anything else that can be added. To get it to novel length, however, that would be a lot of “anything else” to add, to the point where it would stretch the framing device beyond the point of disbelief. A man, no matter how much he may love to write, is not going to bust out a book-length account of his life, while recovering from a self-inflicted abdominal wound, in just a few days.

So that won’t work. I know; I’ve tried. I’ve looked over it for a while, seeing what else can be done, and I’m not seeing what I can do. Granted, I’ve looked at it for a while; I have probably started to glaze over creatively when it comes to Adrian.

However, this might just be a sign that I need to let him go. Adrian has been a character of mine for a little more than ten years now. He’s changed several times over the years, beginning existence as a 60-year-old English professor saddled with a drinking problem and unfaithful wife, and finally ending (at the moment, anyway), as a 34-year-old call center employee who was viciously raped by a colleague.

Over that time, he’s gotten tired of flying, and has wanted to land and rest. Frankly, I’ve also gotten tired of him, a little: “Is he ever going to have a home?”

I’ve tried to make changes this year that will allow me to break free of either old habits, or things I no longer want to do. At the beginning of this year, the four of us were planning on moving to Salina. That ultimately didn’t work out, but other changes I’ve tried to make have either stuck (leaving a D&D game I was involved in), or are in the process of sticking (reducing my weight). I think putting Adrian to rest at last in a story will allow me to move on creatively, and make a new story that is its own world, without any ‘outside influence,’ so to speak.

So I guess this is goodbye, Adrian. Fly away now.

Getting Hammered: Waking up

My husband Chris and I find gaming to be a relaxing and ongoing hobby. (By now, if you’re surprised that I’m a gamer, then you must have flipped directly to this page.) We often game together, just us two.

We once had a game set in Lawrence and the surrounding area, using Wizards of the Coast’s d20 Modern rules. We had several original characters, but we couldn’t resist bringing in a few old favorites, such as Gerald “Spark” Corner, Chris’s God-fearing, inventive vampire from White Wolf’s World of Darkness, and Lasairian.

You’ve met Lasairian. (Unless you flipped here, in which case you might want to back up a few chapters.)

Chris was GM first. As a result, even though we quickly determined we were up against a very dangerous, serious foe, the tone was fairly light – no real gloom and doom hanging over us.

Then I took over.

I was, to be honest, a little reluctant to do so. My penchant for making almost any game or story I touch darker was well-established by that point. Why I do that is still unclear to me. I suspect it may have something to do with all the horror movies and books I’ve ingested.

But I digress, again. But hold that thought.

I took over. I immediately made the story darker, by means of a plotline involving a character getting betrayed by one of his own people, kidnapped, and sold to agents of the Big Bad, who promptly experimented on and tortured him. That character was Lasairian.[1]

To make matters worse (for the party), after they successfully staged a daring rescue, the villain contacted the party. He informed them that he hadn’t planned on “returning” Lasairian yet, and that if he didn’t turn himself over, then innocent people would be targeted for destruction.

With hardly a moment’s hesitation (though it took longer than that to play out), Lasairian agreed to go back so that no innocents would be hurt. One of Chris’s characters mounted an impressive argument against this course of action, the gist of which was a) by going back, you’re giving the bad guy what he wants, and b) people are going to get hurt anyway in this conflict. Ultimately, however, Lasairian went back. He was gone for another four days. During that time, the other characters debated if they had done the right thing by letting him return.

I wrote up what happened to him over those 96 hours. What the villain and his minions did to him.

It nauseated me. Sickened me.

Continue reading “Getting Hammered: Waking up”

On resolutions, and writing.

Normally, when a new year begins, I have come up with a list of resolutions. Most of my resolutions make appearances year after year, such as losing weight, finishing my latest writing project, getting such and such organized, etc. In years past, the list has been long.

This year, I’ve narrowed it down to two: “Reduce the waistline, and build up the bottom line.”

Pretty simple. Lose at least some weight — I’m tired of setting numerical goals; they only stress me — and end the year with more money set aside for emergencies and savings than I have now. I can accomplish those.

As for my writing…

Getting Hammered, the book, is doing well. I think I might set a goal of finishing one section a month. If I do that, by the end of this year, I’d have 19 completed chapters. Not bad! By then, I’m certain to have come up with new observations. Will Getting Hammered ever end? At the rate I’m going, if I ever publish it, I think new editions (“Now with even more stuff!”) will be required every so often.

Hunger and Red Sand, on the other, hand…

I’ll have to get back to you on this one, Dear Reader.


Now that my chapter on distractions is done, I’m thinking about moving on to a big can of worms: Christian hypocrisy.

Any suggestions out there on what I should address in this section (tentatively titled “Jesus He Knows Me” — after the Genesis song)? Being blind to your own sins is very easy, and I don’t want to leave anything out. So please let me know what you’ve seen, experienced, thought and felt.

Getting Hammered: Goodbye, Lasairian

None of us are frozen in time. We are always growing, changing, learning from our experiences. Some habits, views, philosophies, may crystallize, but overall, life is change.

So why should a character, from a movie, book, or game, be so frozen?

Adrian Reinhardt, as I’ll talk about elsewhere, is a man in near-constant flux. My oldest literary creation has gotten older, younger, been married, divorced, widowed, a murderer, rape survivor, and possibly other things. He’s human.

Lasairian isn’t, but he can change as well. I think he should, too. He seems to have stuck.

When I made him years ago, he was just a character for a game. He was a ringer, an intended spy, who morphed into a Christian evangelist who defied expectations, including mine. He traveled around encouraging others to change, to grow. Since that time, though, as he’s taken up residence inside my head, his form, abilities and outlook have remained static. He still glows; he still dresses like a monk; he still has his impressive track record from the game — preaching, starting an entirely new branch of Christianity, developing a powerful spell, and healing others with a touch.

He’s intimidating, and that works against his current position as the avatar of my aspirations. He’s who I picture when I think about what I can do in the world. An avatar who makes you feel bad about yourself does not help when you’re looking for inspiration.

Playing Lasairian encouraged me to look deeper at my own faith, to examine it and how my life is. Playing him helped inspire me to write Getting Hammered. But now I think it’s time for him to go.

That’s the change.

Continue reading “Getting Hammered: Goodbye, Lasairian”