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Personal Thoughts

Inspired vs. Contrived

Earlier this week, I finished the rough draft for my first-ever short story, a little tale called “Loralee and The Green,” which will be released soon from 7DS Books (keep checking my blog or the 7DS website in the next couple months for more information). It’s a psychological thriller with a dash of horror.
As you may or may not know, in February 2013 I became a published author with my debut novel, SURREAL ECSTASY, which is very personal to me. It’s also inspired. That’s the way my brain works – I have to be inspired to write. When I first made myself write SE, it started out as a YA novel. When I wrote it, I was disgusted to realize my effort was obviously forced, and had little inspiration.
So I put my notebook aside (didn’t have a laptop back in September 2011) and put it out of my mind. As I have noted in previous blog posts, words for SE’s chapter 1 just came to me out of nowhere, just like in the old days when I used to write poems, and the first couple of lines would just appear in my head. SURREAL ECSTASY is an inspired novel.
The emotions residing inside are real, and not just those of Morgan, our protagonist. The supporting characters also have real emotions that come from a genuine place inside my heart. Ree’s struggle to always be the exceptional being that is expected of him, Dess’ struggle to be patient with people who don’t see eye-to-eye with her, even Adim’s struggle of trying to persist when the world seems against him – I give these feelings as much reality as possible. I’ve always been an emotional writer.
My second novel, DAYDREAMER (coming this year from Ring of Fire Publishing, who also published my debut novel), is also inspired, but in a manner that’s quite different from SE. I wrote DAYDREAMER as I was writing SE, at first as a “break” from the intense, emotionally-draining writing that I had to do for SE. I’d write DAYDREAMER for fun, a story meant for teens that’s told in a more lighthearted manner, a story that still has serious issues but doesn’t have the grown-up sex, drugs, and profanity. I suppose I wrote DAYDREAMER to comfort myself from the intense SURREAL ECSTASY.
“Loralee and The Green” was fun and educational to write. I grew up a little morbid because I was exposed to horror movies at an early age, and I loved horror way before I even knew what paranormal even meant. I worshipped Hitchcock and Stephen King.
This may sound strange, but parts of this short story are inspired as well. A scene (that I can’t reveal right now) reminds me of something actually happened to me when I was a little girl. I think it was a prank played on me by my cousin, who to this day refuses to admit it was her doing. Either she did it, or my life really is one long horror movie. I’m not sure I want to know which it is.
Anyhow, I think I’m allowed to give myself a pat on the back. I think I’m writing at a pace which is a good balance between strong work ethic and making time for inspiration. Writing is art and art, as we all know, is best when it’s pure and inspired. Putting a little elbow grease into it and sometimes forcing yourself to work when you don’t feel like it can actually be beneficial as well. Like I said, I believe it’s all about achieving that perfect balance between the two.
Having finished all of this so far this year, I’m in need of a brief “recharging” period. I need to remember who I was without the writing, because if I don’t, the next manuscript that I work on (the sequel to SURREAL ECSTASY) will be contrived, and I cannot and will not do that to my own series.
So, I’m doing laundry and other boring chores. I’m playing Candy Crush and Disney City Girl on Facebook. I’m spending time with the kids, reading “Star” magazine, playing in the park, and eating extra dark chocolate gelato. Sitting here and typing this blog entry was the most time I’ve spent typing at a computer in a while.
I need this time to find Chrissy again, because I never want to deviate from my formula as a writer. I’m not saying that my method or my writing is better or worse than anyone else’s; it’s just my process, and I have to stick with it. Nor does it mean that I won’t learn and grow, because I’m learning every day, believe me. I’ll continue to grow and have new skills to put to use in future stories, but I will always retain that bit of inspiration, those small parts of my own emotions that I project into my work.


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