I’m So Totally Screwed
My writing group tells me they hate me.
Not because I’m irritating or obnoxious (I’m actually quite hilarious and fun to be around, I swear), but because I get story ideas a lot. And not just story ideas, but whole books will form in my head long before I ever sit down to write. Last I counted, I had 52 books filed away to be written someday, two dozen of those being the separate components of series-es (?) I am planning to write.
My writing buddies say they hate me because they love my stories, but more aptly, because they’ve seen the process of a new one coming to me. It’s like Jack’s beanstalk – the seed gets covered with dirt, a leaf sprouts and I see it. Two seconds later, it reaches the sky.
I would say it has something to do with some weird aspect of my brain that a lady wrote a thesis about when I was young, but more aptly, I think I have a very dedicated muse. And she’s one hell of a siren! Cause she’s screaming right now.
So two weeks ago, I saw an image. It came to me out of no where, a woman on the ledge of a cliff, standing between a beast and the little boy it aimed to do harm. Then, without explanation, she threw herself off the precipice of that high cliff in an effort to protect him. I heard what she said before she did it, I saw the fervor of the action, but I had no clue why. Therein lies the adventure – discovering why.
For some writers, it takes sitting down and writing it out to discover the answers. For some of us, if we quiet our minds, the story tells itself to us before we sit to write it. We know that it will unfold in a brand new, exotic way when we sit to hammer it out, but the bones have been collected and are on display in the museum of our mind.
What a weird visual that was? ANYWAY! My point is this…
I’ve had a story in my heart since I was 14. I call it Annabelle. It is my anchor that I return to in between other stories, the one that has grown and evolved and told itself to me anew and afresh every few weeks and months for many years now. It has evolved to be a story that is now six or seven books long, and there is a second series of five books (that I call Aaron) which takes place in the same world. Annabelle was intended to be my first novel. Instead, I heard about Well Dressing (the actual decoration of wells) in England and The Offering leapt onto my laptop screen one night. When I was close to done with that, though Annabelle was to come next, one night while walking around my neighborhood listening to Billy Idol, I saw an image of Alexander Skarsgard doing the greatest rock slide of all time on the hardwood floor of a living room and Catch My Fall exploded. Now, I’ve actually WRITTEN the first two lines of Annabelle, this tried and true old friend, just to be able to say I’m in the middle of a project, but suddenly this new story is proclaiming itself due.
Which is difficult to honor, given this new story is yet another tale that takes place in the world of Annabelle. It is separate, they overlap in ways that it wouldn’t matter which one I write first, but still… how do I forgo the originator of the world for a single story that takes place therein?
Do I attempt to write both at the same time? Can I ask that of myself? Do I become an old school Mormon and marry two novels at once and try to keep them both happy?
I don’t know, but I will tell you this… it told me its title – The Guardian of Lost Kings.
It also told me its last (and perhaps first) line.
“If it chooses you, no matter how hard you try to run from it, Greatness will always find you.”
How do I fucking argue with that?
Maybe I don’t. Off to the pub.