When I Write

When I was 20 years old, I was told that some day, I would write love the way people have been trying to capture it for generations.

That statement has become one with my spirit, it isn’t discouraging or overwhelming, it is driving. It is part of the fuel that keeps me writing, that keeps me awake when there is story that need written.

I never had plans of sharing my writing. I can hear the snorts of laughter and incredulity from people who have read my blogs. Yes, I’m more used to the idea now, but writing started as my Emily Dickinson time capsule.

When he said that, it forced me into the light. 13 years later, that thought has grown. More than wanting to write something that makes people feel, I want to write something that lingers. I want 1000 years from now, when we are the ancients and someone is excavating my house, for them to find my tales and feel like the person who first read Homer felt.

I want to write something that adds to what we are as a people.

I was reading a paper for a school assignment called The Sound of Ice by Tyler Lacoma and he said:

“The stories of the Eskimo peoples have collapsed beneath us. Ka-krack. All we have are pieces. Legends and tales were passed down, orally, from family to family until they grew so fragile they now crumble to dust at a glance. It’s hard to explain how this feels, until you understand that these little fairy tales are the lifeblood of a people. Who are the Greeks without grey-eyed Athena and cunning Odysseus? Who are the Norse without grinning Loki and blustering Thor? Something…but less.”

I haven’t even finished the paper (I am so relived to finally be assigned to read something in a class I actually like so far) but I feel the weight of words that feel like a mission statement…. And I wrote a quick short story in Seraphim City, the first in months.

I should be doing homework but this is better.

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The Story

When I was very little, my grandfather would set me on his knee, open a picture book or magazine and ask me what was happening in the picture. We would sit for hours (or as it seemed to a small child) and make up stories about the political comics or what an eagle was thinking in the wildlife shot. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables years later and finally feeling like someone got my brain. There was a chapter where she said she had invented colorful back stories for all the members of her church. Yes! This was me all the time!

People always ask what I read. I don’t read much any more. People ask what I write. I haven’t written a lot or at least anything you can find. But I have a love affair with stories, sometimes loving the world the story was written and the back story more. I probably was the only person who want to know more about Hobbiton or wished there had been a chapter or two more on Diagon Alley.

There have been more disappointing news with my stories coming to life, I’ve had trouble getting together with my new artist but every time we speak he says he’s still interested in the project but with a surgery coming, everything gets to be pushed back again. Even with all that, don’t give up on me and I will continue to fight to make these stories real!

Crimes Against Descriptors

As a life long chronicler of misadventures, particularly my own, I have determined that we are not using the English language to its full potential. There are perfectly useful words and phrases people have coined recently that are being completely ignored.

For example, when I was a kid there was a TV show called Dinosaurs and it taught me that “Smoo!” meant the dirty underside of your feet, in the episode it was used as a swear word. Even as a kid I thought this was perfect, but it didn’t catch on! It is mentioned on urban dictionary but not defined.
Today’s dilemma has a bit of a back story. So in the book Guliver’s travels, the horses (which are smarter and kinder than we are) call humans, represented by cavemen, Yahoos. So when I was younger that word was an insult but highly descriptive.
“I ran into this Yahoo at work today! Took a dare to break a board with his head and ended up in the hospital. ”
Or even better, “I’ve had a Yahoo-filled day.”
Then it becomes an email carrier and a perfectly good descriptor falls out of favor.
Meanwhile, days where everyone is bitchy, argumentative, destructive, etc. I call “human” days.
“There was a lot of humanity in the room!”
I no longer use it for humane but to describe the things (mostly) only humans portray. It’s a good way to recap a pissy kind of day where everyone is out of sorts.
But what do you call that moment in a conversation when you’re chatting with a regular enough seeming person and then they just show you their crazy side? I don’t mean flying their crazy flag loud and proud “Check out my rainbow socks and suspenders,” kind of crazy, I mean “pleasant weather, how’s the family, had to beat my kids with a tennis racket last night” crazy!
I just had a conversation with a coworker:
Her “Where are you working now?”
Me “I’m covering 3 departments today”
Her “Oh, you’re like horse shit”
Me …
Her “It’s something a guy I dated used to say ‘you’re everywhere like horse shit.'”
Me “Umm never heard that expression before, how old is he? it’s been 100 years since that was a relevant saying.”
Her “Well he’s dead.”
Instantly she was serious and the conversation just ended as though I had offended her. Someone just got herself off the would-be-cool-to-have-a-drink-after-work-with list!

I was trying to decided what i was going to call those moments when I realized that already has a perfect reference and descriptors. I hated the TV show Seinfeld, but somehow I caught the episode where they went to a party. To safeguard against getting stuck in annoying conversations, they had hand signals to indicate the need for rescuing. Oblivious, Jerry missed the signal and to get out of the conversation Elaine told someone maybe a Dingo ate her baby. Just imagine it from the other woman’s perspective, having a uninteresting enough conversation with someone at a party and they just start talking about dingos. The obviously crazy are so much easier to deal with than the sneaking lunatics! At least then you can avoid them completely. The Dingo types sneak attack you.

So this will be my new qualifier, “I got attacked by a Dingo today,” to represent those days when I’m lulled into a false sense of security speaking to someone and then their crazy smacks me between my eyes. Watch out for Dingos!

The Search for the Right Artist

Well, it is now week 4 of the hunt for the perfect artist to join the Seraphim City team. I honestly had no idea how involved this would be. As before, my requirements were; nice, talented, and local. I can’t really see myself handing my “baby” over to someone who can’t sit across from me, share an intelligent conversation and get excited about the projects potential (yes I want anyone who would join up to come to comic con with me!) Meanwhile, my faith in humanity has taken a bit of a bruising with last minute cancelations, creepy inquiries, ridiculous price tags and people who just plain can’t follow basic instructions.

Thankfully, I feel like the search is at an end and I’m hoping that by the beginning of next week I will be announcing our new artist. Not having an artist has greatly deflated the fun of blogging and my writing on every level. It is only the passion and faith of my family that has kept me going through this setback. At the end of the day though, I have committed to making Seraphim City a reality through this blog and the graphic novels that will come into being! Thank you for your patience!

Jill

Remembering the smartest thing I ever said…

They say that anything worth having comes with a cost, usually in blood, sweat, and tears. But let’s be honest and add money, time, and heartache to that list.

I want the stories of Seraphim City to come to life, but the obstacles are stacking up. The most recent bump in the road has made me heart sore and I’ve lost my zest and joy for posting about it.

With that in mind, I remembered the smartest thing I ever said; two years ago my gf was upset about the turns life had taken and I said:

“It is not about being “derailed” in your life. Derailed means a train with neat tracks, built years before with clear and easy starting points and destinations. You are a mother, there is no train to drive you through life!
You are riding a Yak, through a tropical rain forest, there are no roads and the Yak disagrees with your life choices. This is your life, embrace the yak! ”

It is still completely true but I still feel defeated. I’m gonna stare at the yak photo for a little while and hopefully it will propel me forward, even if it does disagree with me…

Jill

Men have called me mad…

Has this ever happened to you?

“You live in other worlds?” Laughing mockingly. “What is wrong with you?”

This was a classmates response to me wanting to be a writer in highschool. Annoyed I retorted “No I create other worlds.”

Nowadays almost everyone is a writer of some sort, but there is a special look reserved for the poets and fantasy fiction writers. Yeah we are all weird and fly that geek flag high!

“I AM come of a race noted for vigor of fancy and ardor of passion. Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence — whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound — does not spring from disease of thought — from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” Edgar Allan Poe

Jill

My First Comic-Con

From the instant I walked through the front door, I knew I was in a special place. It took less than 30 steps to realized I was out-geeked in every way… And I loved it!

Imagine if you would, combining: a flea market, your local Renaissance Festival , a furry convention, Halloween, an art show, and just for kicks, let’s throw in a few celebrities.

Once beyond those first few steps I was astounded by the sheer number of stuff vendors had to sell. Who knew there were so many types of collectible mini cars or life size busts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters (or at least that’s what I hope those were). My inner introvert gulped twice before I dove head first into the mazes of fun toys. It’s totally cliche but I looked for the Captain American stuff at every table, because he’s awesome and I’d want to be him… (Unlike my sister who wants to marry him! – gay girl/straight girl differences).

I did another post on the different types of vendors here but I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced all the different types. There was the Bored, the Grouchy/desperate, the Conspiracy Theorist, the once famous, Passionate Collectors, and the comfy. How can you not be entertained by such a group?
The people there were just as fun/funny. This too will be its own post soon.
Then of course there were the celebrities. I was told it was open, but I had no idea it was literally a card table between you and someone you grew up watching.
I told Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons) that she was much funnier than Carlton on the Fresh Prince. I told Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) of Star Trek Deep Space Nine I loved seeing a strong female character in sic fi and I met Warf (Michael Dorn)!

Warf of Star Trek, of gagh and kapla and smiles that looked more like snarls. Warf of my childhood, where my mother introduced me to her trekkiness and I loved the crap out of Next Generation. I think it was pure luck I didn’t make an ass of myself. I wasn’t star struck but I was definitely excited! He is insanely soft spoken until he want to be.

My only real complaint was that comicon is not for the broke. $20 to get in might not sound like much but that’s 2+hrs of work for me. To get a phone photo with warf would have been an additional $25 and that seemed too much, so instead I shook his hand and wished I were richer… Or maybe that the rest of the world wasn’t in such a hurry to get richer.
All in all, my first comicon experience was awesome. (Don’t bother making the “cherry popping” jokes I’ve already heard them.) and I can’t wait until we have enough created material to have our own table, hopefully next time!
Jill

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Kyla Came Too!

 

Kyla

Kyla