The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

tombstone

I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

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Birthday ramblings

As I ride in the car in the dark, damp and cold I look outside and see darkness.  Taillights here and there, a few oncoming cars and streetlights on the few exits that pop up.  The brightest thing about the moment is this phone, the digital choice to blog at the moment. Oh have I mentioned I am not the driver?  So no worries on that end for all those thinking I’ve gotten so bored to blog and drive. 
Why am I on the road in the middle of the night? Kinda sorta selfish actually.  See today is officially my birthday.  Yay, go me right?  Maybe.  Thanksgiving always sucks up some of that fun, or having to share outings or whatever with my dad because he was always in town to visit. His was 5 days ago.
Anyway, back to my selfishness.  I couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the traveling thing since I knew there would be holiday traffic if I waited till late Wednesday night and leaving Tuesday afternoon would have me away from River longer than I would like (my 90yr old grandmother is allergic to cats and I’d rather keep her healthy) although Ares is in his safety harness in the back seat because she loves him to death.  So, this gave me a window of when to leave.  How do I get to enjoy my birthday without it being completely usurped by holiday and travel?  3am road trip.  I’ll get to my destination by brunch and will get the rest of the day for me.  The best part?  (VEGGIE friends look away or don’t hate me) I have nice juicy steaks marinating in hickory smoke flavor and I’ve got potatoes and buttery bearnaise sauce waiting to be fixed at the destination. This, my friends is my birthday standard.  I don’t ask for gifts just two things, be nice to me and give me a steak. 
Now you may be wondering how do I celebrate the years it falls on Thanksgiving?  Why with thanksgiving steak of course!! Priorities.
As frustrating this time of year can be to all for the general purpose I struggle with many things added to it that makes me happy to be able to choose steak over other things in life.  Some days are better than others and I can only come to terms with things during the moments, never a quick fix for what’s inside.

So I travel begrudgingly to family gatherings during a time I want to Hobbit up, grab Ionia for that much anticipated get together we should be doing with drink on hand.  I do this for probably the most wonderful piece of the darkness that surrounds ( except for the steak) and that is to look at my happy sister in law holding her first child.  I can’t wait to look into the little girls eyes to see what greatness the future has planned for her.  That, over anything else, is worth a trip.

So happy birthday to me and let’s hope I get to drink a little wine.  All my friends out there, put on your imaginary party hats, horn blowers, the random piñata, light that imaginary cake, lift your glasses and toast with me.  Remember, be nice 😀

NaNo…..NoNo

I admit it.  I did nothing to participate in this November writer extravaganza and feel that glow of accomplishment among my peers who succeeded in their month long goal of 50k words.  By all means I am on no way knocking it, seriously.  One big reason? Stress of coming up with something while simultaneously working the rest of book 2 out would probably turn me into either a raging lush or a homicidal maniac.  Maybe if lucky the combination of the two would make it entertaining.  So I have passed.  I do want to congratulate those who have or are very close to completing because you have worked your tail off to get there and its the final countdown *cue the music* and I can’t wait to see the pride from all who tried.
Me?  I will attempt to let this year pass me by and maybe jump in another year.

For the Love of a Royal (typewriter that is)

I would have said Ode, but that would entail poetry……and I haven’t written poetry, especially in a certain style, in a very long time I doubt I am any good at that. So we’ll just go with the flow and see where it takes us.

When I say the love of a Royal I mean specifically a Sea Green Vintage Royal Quiet Deluxe manual one from the 50’s.

She was my first love, my Royal, and I dare say that I have loved anything (or anyone) as much as I have her. As much as I have had an awakening of all literature that I could stand nothing can replace the opening my mind took when she came into my life.

It was silly, actually, how I came about it. Maybe fate, we’ll never know. All I know is that I was thirteen at the oldest and took a trip to the consignment shop on base. We lived overseas at the time and my father was in the military. Most of the time I felt like I had to be dragged by my hair to go to the consignment shop. It was all the way across base and tucked into the furthest corner building a young girl could imagine. It was not impressive at all. The moment you walked in it had such a dark look to it (did it have windows? if so, they were covered completely to me anyway), it was musty and full of…….junk. But someone’s junk is someone’s treasure as I found out soon enough. Bored and waiting for my family to finish their browsing I found her, my Royal. As ugly as one would think she was I couldn’t help but see a golden halo quality to it and everything else was drowned out. It was if she called to me, but how silly of a thought. I touched her, felt the curves of the sea mist beast, stroked the metal release bar, and tapped the keys ever so gently. I called to my father that I found something, he took no time at all to find me through the maze of the shop. He was amazed at my glorious find and perplexed. Why would his daughter want such an old thing as that, I’m sure he was wondering. I asked for it, no I will say I BEGGED for it. He looked at the price tag, something I honestly didn’t care about because I was so overtaken with the wonderful find. Twenty dollars, it seemed fair to him. I asked for help with it because it was so heavy (I was quite small at that age, I was always teased that I should have had lead in my shoes so the wind wouldn’t blow me away). He closed the hard-shell case and we left the shop with the best hidden treasure I had ever found.

When we got home, I set it upon my desk. For a moment I looked at the tweed square box that housed my soon-to-be love. Such an ugly box, but I didn’t care, for inside of it was my future. I snapped open the case, and heaved the hefty typewriter out of it. It is funny that when it was built they considered it portable. Maybe for a full grown man or husky woman but I couldn’t see how it would be of any use for me to make it portable. The case got shoved away and I stared at it for moments, looking it over in all its glory. I checked out every possible thing there could be to check out and decided to grab some paper to give her a try.

Nothing felt so exhilarating as when I was typing on her. The sounds of the metal keys as I pushed them down to hear the quick clacking sound it made once it hit the paper; the ding of the moment I needed to go to the next line or even the writers best friend, the backspace key. It had its own corrector to my amazement, white strips on the ink ribbon that with the flip of the switch I could make my mistake disappear. Every day I spent time on her, slaving away at ideas that floated around in my head, ones that I used to be able to only do from writing on hundreds of papers that surrounded my room. Seriously, the odd things I wrote probably wouldn’t have made much sense to me, even back then. But I wrote. And I wrote long and hard and I got better. I got better at the action of it getting over 30 words per minute, which is a great feat for using something that had no quick plastic keys, only hard push buttons. I now can fly across the keyboard like the wind was at my back and I STILL love the backspace key. The best invention ever. Of course there was no spell check on her, which is something I have to admit is great for a first draft, or fourth, of anything written to this day. As much as I grew with the times and everyone had one of the nice electric typewriters (we weren’t at the great word-processing age that we are now, but mind you I’m not close to forty so lets not age me quite yet). I chose to stay with my Royal. My ever faithful lover of the mind.

I credit her for everything wonderful and wicked, and maybe even foul that has come from my mind and placed out for all to see (or none). As the years grew on, my imagination grew more vivid, my wording became clearer and more defined, and this passion of writing overtook me. It was at that moment I realized that it was something that I wanted to do. I didn’t care about being famous, because I stayed in reality and understood I would not be part of that minority. I wish I still had all that work that I had done, but I suppose fate pulled a cruel joke with a not-so-lovely teenager made it disappear, calling it rubbish and making me feel less worthy than I was. I put my Royal in its box, keeping it in my sight always. As I grew older I went back and forth between her and the literal pen to paper. It was much easier to carry with me a notebook for my visions than to cart her around. But she stayed there, and I loved her. I transferred my scribble (I do not say that lightly because even I have a hard time translating what I’ve written) onto my desktop, sometimes my laptop. The flash drive is the best thing ever and I can carry copies of my life’s worth on such a small thing. But I never forgot my Royal.

I am told she is worth quite a bit on the market at this moment, I could never sell her. I just know that because of her my visions turned into the written word that made me the confident writer than I am to this day, churning out idea after idea. But she sits in her box. That disgusting hard-shell Tweed isn’t the best of anything but imagine it as a cover of a suitcase with its ugly olive and brown tones. What is inside the box is the most beautiful of creatures and will continue to be such a thing. Maybe one of these days, when I feel nostalgic and pets that wouldn’t be startled by its harshly soothing sounds, I will pull her out again and take yet another spin. Until then she is safe from the world. How many people do you know that can say they still have their first love? As morbid a thought that could be, in the idea of a human, I find it comforting that she will forever be by my side to be passed on through the generations beyond even my imagination.

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The fall into the swirly bowl of media…….and life

As I have posted before…….As technically savvy I thought I was in regard to being social has bypassed me as everybody grabs their gadgets within gadgets and checks into whatever app that tellsImageeveryone how yummy their food is, or posting pictures instantly to make a person realize how much fun that they are having and how much they are part of the “in crowd” and how much you may be missing.

I’m not crotchety, old, or just set in my ways.  I’m learning the ropes, it is taking an interesting journey.  A few weeks ago I never would have thought I would be a blogger or tweet or have a web page alone.  But guess what?  I do and it is probably the closest to a miracle as a person like me could get. I still have few followers on twitter, but ya know, its a slow process.  What could I tweet when I don’t have an audience.  I won’t have an audience until I tweet and blog and update my author page on Facebook.  See the endless cycle? Social networking is like getting a swirly from the mean kids at school.  Or that old school merry-go-round you ran on as a kid you pushed and pushed to go as fast as you could go to see who could hold on the longest and if the person pushing it at full force could jump in to join in the mayhem of utter dizziness.

BUT SOCIAL IS GOOD. I’m definitely not one to say it is bad.  I have admitted I have a Facebook addiction.  I am sooooooooooooo in love with Pinterest.  Seriously, who can get enough of smart-ass ecards and things in regard to Star Trek, Star, Wars, The Whedonverse and the Moffotheads with their love-hate relationship as we impatiently await the next season of Sherlock and of course when the new Doctor Who will be coming.  Media is telling us all this, keeping us connected as odd as we are.  Where else can people find something involved with each other that would have never connected them otherwise.  And that is THANKFUL TO MEDIA.  I have met the greatest amount of people through all of this.  We all have our loves.

What are your loves?  You know we all have inner geeks inside of us, I proudly wear mine on my sleeve.  My biggest part of it that is still attached to the human world.  Books. I’m not talking about e-books.  I’m talking straight up book store (used has that extra bit) when you glance through your genre’s and just pull a book of the shelf.  Who really can tell how good a new book smells.  Even a used one, the thought of the many owners that have enjoyed something you know that you will love or despise.  Then in steps technology.  I will have no room to talk because that is exactly how I am sending my book out.  Through e-books, although I admit my first e-reader is some sort of Sony 5 year ago gen.  I own an ipod touch, as a gift. I LOVE it.  I get to love MORE on my Facebook and my Pinterest.  The search and maps? phenomenal.  Those damn angry birds have gotten the better of me though.  I have a kindle app where I can download my books to read, but the backlog of books keep building. I am such a bad girl. How does one balance everything at the one time?  Supermom’s/dad’s college age and those totally snarky teenager who roll their eyerytime I ask a question about my tech.  But I score points because I hold a real R2D2 Android phone.  It could fall apart but until I get another one, I will guess at the empty spots on the pull out keyboard, Yeah I’m one of those.  But once again I have brownie points. Where I volunteer and my friends I’m “cool”  (what’s the word the days? remember I’ve bypassed that era however the hell that happened because i am seriously not old, although how old is too old?). I have tattoo’s and still wanting more, I have multiple ear piercings and *gasp* a nose ring.  The drama on that one.  I’ve got bright red streaks in my hair.  I’m called “red” and “itty bitty firecracker” Cause I’m short and I don’t give a damn.

I am me, you are you and if we learn something from each other then the world will continue to flourish as a society pushing back the ways of our old and move forward which yes, I get begrudgingly on and grab that ring and hope that anybody cares about what I say.  I’m mad don’t you know?

Tis the life of a writer.  Good news on that front in about two weeks, less than a month my first book will be out.  DO NOT BE SHY please please please read what I have to offer and if you are interested.  I don’t feel it is part of the standard vampire genre and it offers a bit for each gender.  I swear they don’t sparkle and no matter what it seems it is not young adult and has quite a few tough situations. Things change, be ready, but it is definitely worth a good read. Check out my synopsis and the FREE chapter One.  Who can say no to free?  You’ll get the heads up, and if your friends might like that kind of thing. pass it on.  Pass this blog, or my website on.

Go to my main website: https://jsriddle.com/

the part where my book and synopsis is https://jsriddle.com/

Like my facebook, follow my tweets. Guide me through this.  Stop by and say something. I want to know what I am doing right and what I’m doing wrong.  We have to learn from one another don’t we?

Shameless plug over now.

Procrastination and Indecisive

It’s a rainy day and I’m so behind on everything and what do I end up doing? STILL trying to get things situated on this site. Hopefully now that that’s over I can get back to doing what I love best.  Oh wait, no time for gaming, no time to watch a nice Asian Horror Movie (although I watched Paranormal Activity 4 last night while working on the ebook formatting for Rise of a Queen go me! go me!), so back to the book.  My big question?  Should I work on book one to get it ready or should I go back to work on #2?  Its a tough one. I want to both, I know……find something else to do.  Oh wait, no that won’t work either.  Procrastination should be my middle name.

Needing my cover art and I’ve feel so much better.

Do I Sleep?

That one is up for discussion.  Yes, there are times my pillow hits the head, but then there are times when my mind won’t shut up and I end up back on the computer, laptop, or find one of my hundreds of notebooks hidden around the house.  Anybody touches a red one and the will burn in the pits of their choosing.

Do I sound starky when I talk about myself?  Do I sound overconfident? Maybe.

But in all honesty I am trying to make the best of the technological world and I am by not means old.  How old is too old anyway. lots of philisophical questions that are meant to be thought upon at a much later date.

But for now, I should most definitely attempt going to sleep.  If you haven’t checked out my page, I’ve added the synopsis of the book I will be putting out very soon and the first chapter.

Figuring this thing out

I’ve been working on this page for about 2 days now and I MAY have it figured out, I’m not the most tech savvy but I am thankful for a few friends of mine who has been guiding me in the right direction.

I am contemplating putting up a little bit of my work, but bare with me while I get this figured out.  Until then, explore, like, and comment to let me know that you acknowledge that I in fact do exist beyond my own imagination

The First Post……aka writer’s block

I have been writing for so many years you would think that keeping up a blog would be very easy.  I use Facebook on a daily basis so I am used to status feeds and re-posting of cute, geeky, or just downright freaky pictures. But blogging isn’t about that now is it?  Its supposed to be about me, what goes on in my life, and every update that I could think of importance, am I correct?  If not, by all means someone point me in the right direction.

Let’s get to the main reason I am here.  I am an author.  It is the electronics age and it seems that you have to have 1,000,001 different ways to get your information out there even before you publish a single book.  So guess what I’m trying to do?  Yep, that’s right. Advance to the next level and get that first book out there in everyone’s hands.  So yes, I am here to shamelessly give every detail I can about the book and the writing process as I avoid that gritting humble tone in the back of my mind that eerily sounds  a lot like my grandmother telling me not to flaunt it.