Love at First Write

Happy 2012 to all of us! I’m back and hopefully with renewed drive after my break. It’s memory Monday at Muse Sings and only the 2nd of January for many of us, myself included. I decided to combine my New Year’s resolution (to write daily) with a memory on theme. When did my love for writing first start?

If you love my words, you must thank my mother, first and foremost. When I was still quite small (kindergarten) my mother held a growing collection of short stories she wrote. One in particular featured me and the smallest pumpkin I could find on the class field trip. I chose this little guy because I saw all the other children picking the biggest ones their little arms could fit around and lift. Still so small, I thought he must feel rather sad with no hope of a home or a child’s happy love. I explained this to my mother (I think, I do not remember doing so) and she wrote a darling short story from the pumpkin’s perspective. I adored it. The way she brought my little pumpkin to life as I envisioned him was nothing short of magic to me.

It wasn’t until my older sister began writing stories that I realized kids could do it too. She wrote a story about a lost unicorn with my cousin Diane that I remember rewriting with only a few changes and claiming my own, too young to yet understand the idea of plagiarism. My big sis wrote such fun stories with awesome illustrations. I dabbled here and there, but still nothing serious came of it until I was just too old to play Barbies any more.

I happen to think you’re never too old to quit playing with toys. In fact, I consider the MMORPG, World of Warcraft, that I play as nothing more than a more elaborate form of Barbies in a virtual playland. However, my story telling with Barbies grew stunted after a certain point and I always felt silly playing stories out with Barbies on my own. I was in the 7th or 8th grade when I started filling pages full of stories, tickling my friends by naming certain crazy characters after them.

My first novel attempt was actually one I forget about, hiding in the shadow of the two 200 page plus that followed unfinished.  It was a dark romance story about a fallen angel and her love for her assigned human but she failed to guard him and followed him, without memory, to his next incarnation.  I cast my friend Steve as the surprise villain at the end of the prologue; something that made him grin and laugh.

It never got passed chapter one, mostly because I rediscovered my love for fantasy novels.   I frequently forget another story I sorta co-wrote with my cousin, David, called The Blue Flame.  I think it even preceded Angel.  We played most of it out with Barbies and action figures, but I did start the novel and write a few scenes.

I soon extinguished The Blue Flame for a new love.  The Light of Doom.  This was a story about a roaming phenomenon that appeared as a light and whatever living thing it touched disappeared into it, never seen again…in that dimension.  The story features two twin sisters separated in this way.  The one lives on Earth, adopted and unusual with her long white hair and ice blue eyes.  The other lives in their home dimension/planet where this phenomenon is more well-known and frequent and is known as “the light of doom” and people assume whatever the light hits is destroyed, not just relocated.  The main character on the original world figures out otherwise and she convinces her two best friends, Atsila and Divad (Alisha and David backwards; Alisha was one of my best friends at the time and David one of my closest cousins), to seek out and enter the light on purpose.  Thus begins their adventures through a myriad of alternate dimensions, each widely different and a story in its own right.

I may pick it up again one day, but my interest in it was a bit squelched when I encountered Piers Anthony’s Fractal Mode series (similar concept with dimension travel) and the TV show Sliders only cemented the story’s loss after that.  These years later I realize that my own dimensional travel story is not lost if I’m still interested.  I have a more concrete understanding of what is and is not accidental plagiarism, along with the concept of similar ideas, but different executions and interpretations.

I released Light of Doom in favour of a new fantasy titled As Long As I Live.  This story, though it seems impossible, was even more ADHD than Doom.  It had about 20 main characters and each “getting to know the character” segment was like a loosely (or not at all) tied in short story.  The general idea was that the villain was a time traveler from the future seeking to perfect the timeline.  So each story seemed disjointed at first, but eventually these characters were going to find each other and form a sort of super hero resistance group to the villain.

It was my longest unfinished work until I finally finished a rough draft about a year ago (Forgotten Shadows).  It got to the point where so much was going on in As Long As I Live that just didn’t work once I tried pulling it together that I just gave up.  The general idea might still work some day.

Stalemate followed along behind that idea and it is the story with the most time, effort, and world building, even if it doesn’t hold the count for the most pages and words.

And so these few decades later we arrive at today and the most recent novels in the works, set in the world of Stalemate.

The entire journey started with an innocent little binder of stories written by my mother, picked up and continued by my sister, and passing to my hands.  My sister recently said she was thinking of writing children’s stories again.  I sincerely hope she does.  I’m unsure if my mother will ever give it another go.  I sure miss that binder of stories, we lost it ages ago.

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About Saronai

I'm an eclectic amalgam of confusingly combined oddities. PS If I liked your post it means I really liked your post. You don't have to visit back, but it would be nice. Either way, I read it because I wanted to and liked it because I did. I don't do the fake like for returns thing :)
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7 Responses to Love at First Write

  1. ebonflower says:

    “In fact, I consider the MMORPG, World of Warcraft, that I play as nothing more than a more elaborate form of Barbies in a virtual playland.” – I love this! 🙂 Great post as well!

    • Saronai says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! I really enjoyed your rattie post, they’re so cute ❤

      I would really love to hear that one chirping and chattering away when given attention, it sounds absolutely adorable.

      I think people sometimes misunderstand me comparing an mmo to barbies, but the types of stories I play out in roleplay or just in my head while farming for something I want in the game are the same types of stories I preferred playing out with my dolls. Bless the boys' toys though and my having a little brother, elsewise my barbies armory would have been disappointingly imaginary. I'd "borrow" his ninja turtle sais and katanas, the masks to his Predators to put on a villain Barbie's face, the broken wings from his flying Alien Queen toy to tape to the back of Pocahontas in her duct-taped body suit so she could be a gargoyle…the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, I like my imagination and there were toys I didn't like as much because they didn't leave enough to the imagination (like the talking barbies), but back when I played with them it was pretty hard to find outfits and accessories for Barbie that helped you play grand adventures in the jungle or super heroes. I kinda fixed that a little bit the day I realized that super hero suits almost looked painted on sometimes. Sooo…I set aside the duct tape and used some acrylic paints to make Kira (the Asian barbie) into a unique super hero and Tara (unique to the cowboy barbie line) into a female version of Scorpion (from Mortal Kombat). I think my sister has both dolls in her collection now.

      So yeah, WOW (World of Warcraft) is just a superior, virtual form of that where I get to have more suitable clothes and accessories without permanently painting or cutting up my toys *grin*

  2. Eirien says:

    I love the little pumpkin story. It sounds cute and something I’d love to see a little animation of or a bedtime story. You should definitely encourage your sister and mother to continue writing! Perhaps make a new binder together to pass down to your own children…and grandchildren one day! 😀

    Barbies!? I wouldn’t say playing WoW is similar to playing w/ barbies [transmog aside, oh boy do I go broke quickly…], but then again I’ve always been a tomboy type so I’d see it as playing w/ transformers – esp w/ druids, hehe. Toys are wonderful, no matter the age. I feel doing boring ‘grown up’ stuff all the time leaves one living a short and miserable life with little adventure or creativity. Boo. 😦

    I too have had stories that I’ve put on hold – only to see them in the public spotlight (movies, novels, etc) some years later. I used to be a little upset by this, sometimes I would even try to act on every story idea and ‘race’ others to the finish line, but now I realize that pretty much every story out there has already been told – what matters most is our unique narration and description. So now I’m much more selective about what stories I really want to polish and share in public; sharing what moves me the most.

    For an example of retellings, pick a favorite fairy tale of yours and write down where else you’ve found the story before. [In a book, movie, play or other storytelling setting.] You may find your list growing very quickly!

    The stories may all share a similar theme, but the setting, characters, and maybe the plot twists keep us hooked. As long as we can identify with the characters, we’re just as content to experience their stories over and over; regardless of (or maybe because of) us already knowing the ending.

    So keep on writing!

    …this ends my first ramble of 2012. Happy new year! 😀

    • Saronai says:

      Well, I’m a roleplayer by default and never really used my Barbies as fashion show or high school let’s go to the mall and such play. My Barbies were played with more like action figures most of the time and I was known to tape the masks to my brother’s predators over a few of their faces for a story, make duct tape body suits, tape broken Alien Queen wings to them and what not. So yeah, wow is very much to me a virtual version of the way I use to play Barbies, including my inability to enjoy roleplaying alone 😛

      I quite agree with you about retellings and I realize all that now, so I may pick them up again one day, but at the time I gave up on them I thought for sure my own inter-dimensional travel story would get me in trouble for plagiarism despite the details being very different.

      I was more tomboy than not myself, with some girls my stories with Barbies were a bit more tame, but my favourite times with them were crafting adventures, danger, and heroic rescues. Maybe I should write a specific memory post about a play session with barbies because every time I mention playing them it seems people assume the typical “playing with dolls” picture.

      I felt kinda guilty when I first saw Toy Story, even as an adult. I use to occasionally cut up, swap, and tape/glue different toys together. Oh no, my poor toys, did they feel the same about me as Sid’s did to him?! The second movie made me feel better. I think I was more like Amy at the end of the movie (Where the Barbie at the end is all painted on one side with a half shaved head. “You’ll like Amy! She’s an artist!”). I really did love my toys and frequently imagined they’d get jealous of each other if I didn’t spend at least some-what equal time with them. I remember sometimes going to bed and sleeping with someone other than my old Kitty. I really wanted to sleep with Kitty every time, but I thought it only fair I occasionally sleep with someone else so they wouldn’t feel unloved.

      As to passing the binder down to our children and grandchildren, that’s definitely something I would love. I’ve even considered trying to rewrite my mom’s stories by memory. Not really the same though. I talked to my mom in recent years about it and she was rather dismissive saying it was just something to do when she was bored. She’s got crosswords and such now. For my part, I do work on stories for my son. I’m thinking of relocating them to a notebook rather than typed at the computer. Perhaps it’s pure nostalgia for me, but it feels more special that way, handwritten and all.

      And you receive my first ramble of 2012 (unless you count my post lol)! Happy new year to you too!

      • Saronai says:

        And for the record, my Dolls of the World Italian Barbie looked positively wicked in her goldish body-suit, long, braided-back brown hair, gold Hercules sword, and a gold predator mask taped to her face.

        She made an awesome villain ❤

        Pocahontas also made an awesome gargoyle and yeah, okay, my centaurs coulda been better, but I couldn't remove the heads of the bigger horses, so it ended up being a little Kelly doll shoved into the hole for a My Little Pony's head *giggle* Still looked pretty sweet, even if I couldn't create any adult centaurs.

      • Eirien says:

        Heyas!

        Pardon me for thinking of the ‘typical’ Barbie pushed in the media. Silly me. A heroic barbie with a predator mask sounds really badass! I might have played with those dolls if I had your lovely imagination.

        I think we would have made fun playmates though I’m sure you’d have given me a weary eye towards my somewhat chewed and melted toys. 🙂

        (My excuse is I had sneaky pets and sometimes maybe accidentally left toys where they could melt…yeah.)

        Never watched ToyStory series(?) unless you count the brief passings by electronic departments – seems they’re always playing some version of it. Hmm, maybe I should have rented it after all!

        I love your rambles. Thank you for them, always. May they continue to be awesome throughout 2012…

        …AND BEYOND! *heroic pose* (c wut i did thar?!)

  3. I found it interesting to read about your memories of writing and how you came to love doing it. I began when I was very young, not writing so much as telling stories, acting them out with paper figures I drew and doing all the voices. It’s my love of a narrative that compels me to write, so in a sense I never really write anything short, even a comment. I’m entranced by the story of the Angel and the man she loved , but failed to save. Have you ever thought of finishing it? It’s a beautiful idea and so intrinsically Romantic a notion it couldn’t fail to gather readers.

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