My most sincere apologies to my readers. I know it has been a few days since I last posted. No, I have no excuse other than that I have been busy with other things, which is no excuse for not attending to my daily blog posts. So, please believe me when I say, with sincerity, “I’m sorry.” Thank you for your understanding and continued readership of my blog!
I am going to cram into this blog post yesterday’s thoughts that are half-finished. These are bits I have written yesterday that did not make my 1000-word cut and therefore did not get posted. Think of it as a backstory, if you must.
Speculative fiction. That is a wide-ranging, somewhat all-encompassing description of what a genre other than romance and non-fiction is. It includes fantasy, science fiction, horror, utopian, dystopian, alternate history, apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, superhero, and supernatural genres. Speculative fiction is subdivided, but all of these genres can overlap to some extent.
I tend to write fantasy or supernatural that overlaps with horror and occasionally science fiction, if that narrows it down at all for you. Of course, since you have not seen my short stories, you would not know what kind of fiction I wrote at all, come to think of it. I did post one short story of mine not long ago, titled “A Demon’s Redemption”. That is definitely supernatural fantasy with a bit of horror. Genre is sometimes very difficult to define and identify, I must say. There are some stories and novels that I read and I wonder what I just read in terms of genre, even though it hardly matters if it was that good of a story.
Right now, I am working on a story in a different area of speculative fiction altogether. I am working on an outline for a story in the alternate history genre. That is not as easy as it sounds. What I am attempting to do is put a backstory to a well-known religious parable that does not conflict with the reactions of any of the historical parable as it is, but instead changes the meaning of the words and questions that the main characters state. It changes it, but it does not, if you get my drift. I am telling it from a different viewpoint, as well, which is both challenging and fun. I want to tell it from the viewpoint of every character in the parable, if possible — even the pack animal!
It does not add much to my word count, but let me explain the word count idea to you before you get upset about me not posting anything less than 1000 words lately. The 1000 words per day is an assignment — homework, if you will — from my doctor to get me to do something with my day besides dwell on things that drag me down, or at least get what is dragging me down out on paper (even if that paper is digital). The idea is that I will have ideas for short fiction and incorporate some of it into my short stories, eventually allowing the short story fiction to take over. Stream of consciousness thought is not bad, either. It gives people a clue as to how my mind works and what is going on in my life. Sometimes that is more fascinating than fiction. Most of the time, it is not, because I cannot bring myself to tell the tales from my memory that would really excite people. Why? They are what haunt me in the darkness and the shadowy recesses of my mind and give me the diagnosis of PTSD. I need to start climbing regularly again before we see about telling those tales…
Yesterday was filled with a variety of activities. First, I listened and took notes on Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass online. I love the way Gaiman teaches because he explains things in a way that makes you believe that you can do it, too — you can write stories. I also read a couple of short stories from a book titled Mythic Journeys, a collection of short stories by various authors. This collection of stories is one that contains retold legends and myths with a twist of some sort. They are fun and most of them are disturbing enough to hold my interest because they use common folklore and mythology as a basis for the twist that the various authors put on their stories. I even evaluated one because I could hear the characters, and they were different in my head than they were for the author. That does not make the author wrong or me right, but it created a conflict for me as a reader while trying to get through the story because the voices and the gender roles and identities were mixed up for almost all of the characters. Perhaps that was what the author intended, but if it was, it was certainly distracting. I found myself having to recalibrate constantly while trying to continue with the short story and, by the end, I was satisfied with the ending, but not much of the character development because of the voice and gender problems. For example, the sage was supposed to be a woman, according to the author, but the dialogue and actions were that of a man. The opposite was true for one of the main characters, whose voice and actions were that of a woman, but the character was male, and then another of the main characters, which had the same troubled presentation as the sage. It was confusing. And confusion is distracting in a story. Anyway, the plot was good, but not at all about what it seemed to be about at first glance due to the gender and dialogue clash. I wrote some notes on that one. I spent the majority of the day with my husband and, when I got back to my mother’s house, continued taking notes on Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass after checking to see if I had any e-mails that could confirm or deny my admission into the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at SNHU.
Regretably, I did not go climbing when I was in the city yesterday. I have been taking my statin again now for about three weeks and I hurt badly all over. It seems that there is no way around the pain that the statins cause me and no way around the inherited trait of hyperlipidemia that my father’s side passed down to me. I will have to climb through the pain. The most difficult part is getting to the climbing gym. Once on the wall, I am glued to it. I am going to have to find a way to get myself to the wall, basically. Mind over matter is not so easy at times.