Friday, July 4, 2014

Back in the Saddle

I used to ride horses a lot when I was younger, and one thing I learned early on was that if a horse threw you, the first thing you had to do (after getting back up and trying to look like you let the horse throw you) was to get back up into that saddle. Persistence is apparently something that is valued in many aspects of life, most notably in riding and writing for me.

Last month, I decided to try out Camp NaNoWriMo. The nice thing with Camp is that you can set your own goals, so the 50K of the November Insanity is not everyone's goal. It’s been so long since I’ve written that I gave myself a goal of only 15K words, which works out to 500 words per day. So far, I am ahead of schedule, which is good, since my mother’s memorial service is in just over a week, her burial two days later. The day after she is interred, I will be driving home, an all-day affair by the time traffic gets factored in. On those days, little to no writing will be accomplished.

If I sound callous about my mother’s death, I do not mean to. Mom was in the process of dying for so many years that the reality only hits at random moments; thus, I can write this with hardly a tear shed, at least so far. But on to the book, as I know Mom would be sitting here, quizzing me about it, her pretty blue eyes alight with interest, her chin on her up-tilted palm, supported by her elbow on the table.

Mom was always amazed and proud of my writing “ability”. I remember once she helped me type a term paper for college, when the sheer number that I had to write for finals was over-taxing my wrists. I “read” the paper to her and she typed. At one point, when I paused for a bit, she asked me for my rough draft, saying she could just type it from that. The look on her face when I told her that I had no draft, was creating this all in my head from a few notes, is one I will never forget.

And so, Mom, and anyone else who is interested in reading this, I will tell you about the novel. Some of you might have heard of my fan fiction novel, The Thief, written in the Robin Hood, BBC fandom. It’s gotten a few hits and a couple of reviews, despite the fact that it was written in the infancy of my return to writing. It amazes and humbles me that it still gets hits, favorited, and reviews to this day. Because of that, and my interest in the Robin Hood legend (one that goes back to the days when, as a small child, I watched Errol Flynn traipsing around the greenwood, fighting the evil bad guys with flair and ease), I have decided to do a rewrite of that novel.

Those of you who know me well, however, know that nothing in my life or my writing is ever quite so straight-forward. I love characters and am always fascinated by what makes them tick. I had a deep interest in Guy and Allan not just because they were hot, but because their characters intrigued me. Why was Guy so cruel? What made Allan turn on Robin and the gang? But Keith Allen’s portrayal of the sarcastic sheriff also intrigued me. I began to wonder about the bad guys, and the (to me) skewed idea that bad guys were bad because they were bad, and good guys were all good. Black and white faded to gray, a color I just had to see through to get to the hows and whys.

And so, to my rewrite. It began as a simple retelling of The Thief, one that was not fandom based, so that I could publish. What happened when I put fingers to keyboard to write some background info was entirely different. I have woven a whole new history for my characters, and my Robin Hood story does not even have Robin Hood in it. Yet. First, I am figuring out what exactly made the Sheriff of Nottingham into the Evil Bad Guy.

Obviously, I do not want to give the whole plot away, and since I am still in the writing stages and my characters tend to be ornery, I couldn’t tell you the whole story if I wanted to. I can tell you he does not start out as a bad man (although, his father, at this point, is a bit of a jerk). I am doing a lot of research, some of it reminders to myself, some of it new information, and I will share some of that with you in coming posts.

I am not going to promise a schedule of Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting, nor will every post be about the novel, but if you are interested, please click on the “follow me” button or the “subscribe” button, both found on the left-hand column of my page. I will also continue to post about my weight loss and how it affects my health, as well as posting about general health-related stories.

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