On Writing (8-22-18)

It’s been some time since I’ve drummed on the ole keyboard, more than I care to admit.  I’ve missed it.  I mean, I’ve really missed it.  The sound of the keys, as the words pour through my fingers, is one of the most soothing sounds I’ve ever known.  Watching the words form on-screen as I think of them, with only the occasional needed correction – just the very process itself…

Writing has always been my go-to escape, in the very same way that reading might be for you.

Another writer would understand.  A reader could relate.  Everyone else just looks at my funny and glances toward the nearest exit while they formulate the quickest route of escape.

There are worlds living inside of me, vibrant and full of life, just begging for a chance to be known by more than just me.  I can hear them whispering to me, often in my dreams, sometimes from the shadows, and occasionally with-in a crowd of people.

When writing, I become a living conduit for these beings.  I give them life outside of my thoughts, and in one of my most favorite places; a book.

But, the struggle is real.

As an independent writer, I have my work cut out for me.

For one, I can only work in my free time, which, isn’t all that much these days.

For those who are familiar with my first works, “The Rise and Fall of John Rizzerio,” and “The Hunter Reborn,” you know that they became available for sale almost five years ago.  Fans know they were both available with barely a year between them.

Since then, I’ve been working on the promise of the next book more than I’ve been able to actually work on it, itself, and that’s a very frustrating place for me.

When I wrote these books, I worked in retail.  The hours were very favorable, but the money I needed to bring home was not.  I brought home roughly seven hundred dollars every two weeks.  While this isn’t bad, per say, it just wasn’t enough to support a family of six.  At the time, there were very few options.  I could either get another job, or, get a better paying one.

I took the second route, but, in retrospect, I don’t know if it was any better a choice than the first.

If you’ve followed any of my non-fiction posts here, you know that I’m currently in the trucking industry.  If not, well, sorry…  Spoilers!

My first job in this industry was with a local asphalt company.  I went from eight-hour work days to fourteen.  Furthermore, with that company, I was required to stay out-of-town for a week at a time, depending on the job.

But, after a near death experience, and two years of back-breaking work, I decided the pay just wasn’t worth it.  Yes, it had doubled, but I felt I was worth more than what they were giving me.  So, I left the asphalt business and became an over the road driver for Frito-Lay.

My days are still fourteen hours long, but now I’m living in a hotel more than I am at home.  When I am at home, it’s only long enough to wash my clothes, take care of the three S’s, and sleep.  Any other time, such as when my driving clock has to be reset, is spent catching up around the house.  By the time everything is done, I’m sitting in my favorite chair, with only a few minutes left out of the day, sipping on a cold drink, and wondering where the hell they’re going to send me next.

And my writing?  Well, I’ve got the biggest imaginative blue balls in the history of writing.

Here I have this novel I’ve been working on finishing, but every time I try to get in a few keystrokes, my job opens the damn door and catches me in the act!

And it isn’t just my career that’s against me.  I no longer have any support on the home front as well, which makes things even more difficult.  Don’t get me wrong!  While my wife does accept the writer side of me, she doesn’t see my passion as a viable part of our lives.  If it doesn’t produce the green, the writing doesn’t need to be seen.

She’s never said that, let’s be clear, I was just making a bit of a rhyme to lighten it up a little.  But that is the truth of it.  As long as my writing isn’t supporting us, than it’s nothing more than a hobby in her eyes, and there will always be more important things I could be doing.  It’s more pragmatic, which I can’t argue.  I do have to take care of the house first.

I should stress that this isn’t the issue here.  Yes, it’s something on my mind.  It hurts that the one person I have to talk to about my interests, isn’t interested, but it’s not a deal breaker in our relationship.

Furthermore, I don’t want to dwell on this part of my thoughts for too much longer.  I’m not the type of person who whines about something when they aren’t getting the things they’ve been working toward.  What I’m simply trying to accomplish is the sharing of some insight into my situation, and in the process, I’ve wandered all over the spectrum.

Recapping, I’m short on time, literally ALL of the time.

Because my time for writing has to be outside of my schedule, finding any of it to use at all has been like discovering the location of Captain Jack’s (lost) buried treasure, if you know what I mean.

And it isn’t just the writing.  There’s the promoting, the editing, the finding time for, as well as setting up of, signings, and the many other responsibilities I have to shoulder.

Anyone else would crack.  They would say; “Fuck it,” and just let the writing go.  After all, don’t they always say; “If you love something, let it go.  If it’s meant to be, it will come back to you.”  I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but I do know you’ve heard the saying.

Not me, though.  I don’t have that luxury.

You see, it’s because of those other worlds, those characters, who are begging to be set free, that I write.  They are always scratching at my brain, which itches as a constant reminder.  They are always whispering from the shadows, calling my name, or moving just enough that I’ll look twice their way.  I’ll never move on, I’ll never forget about them, because they won’t let me.

Even as we speak, (which is a funny phrase to use, considering the format), John and Chloe are calling out to me, begging me to come back to them.  And even if you haven’t been following, it (their story) still needs to be told.  Their friend’s lives depend upon it.  Hell, their very world depends upon it!

I suppose I’ve taken up enough of your time.  I know I’ve used up enough of my own.  This post is approaching twelve hundred words, which is a number count I could have used towards the aforementioned characters…

Do I regret it?  No.  Nor am I sorry as well.  Just sharing myself with you, even a little, has been therapeutic, to say the least.

I’ve come to realize that, very much like the train of a certain Casey Jones, circa 1900, my life’s direction is very much out of my control.   Whether I like it or not, writing has to be on the back burner, only to be warmed up when I’m home alone, after everyone is asleep, or in the rare instance I have some time off-  such as a thirty-four hour reset.

I love writing, and, I love reading.  But I love sharing my worlds with you even more.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

R. Richardsson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depression is very real.  It is also treatable.  If you believe you are suffering from depression, please seek help as soon as possible.  You are not alone.  You are never alone.

 

 

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Trespasser (Part XXX)

John stared absently at the scabs on the backs of his knuckles, and wondered how they had gotten there.  There was some residual pain, as if they had been previously injured, but he couldn’t recall how, if when, that would have happened.  It was as if he was peering through a thick fog, and his memory was the shadow hidden beneath its damp embrace.

His house was empty, his wife and daughter having long since gone to her parents. For what reason, he also couldn’t remember, only that he had only spoken to them once, since.  She had been angry with him, accusing him of being hurtful during their last conversation, but like the mystery of his hands, this, too, was something he couldn’t remember doing.

He should be angry.  Shouldn’t he?  It felt as if there was something he should be remembering, something that felt more important than the two things most recently on his mind.

He looked around as if in a daze, seeing his surroundings for what felt like the first time today.  He was at the dining room table, upon which were the remains of his last several meals.  He didn’t remember eating recently, but the evidence couldn’t be denied.  Not by him, nor by the several dozen flies that flew from plate to plate, tasting his decaying leftovers.

The room smelled, ripe from the lack of cleanliness, and he wrinkled his nose in disgust.  If he had been hungry before, that feeling was long since gone.  He made a mental note to clean before his family got home as he turned and walked into the living room.  The thought was forgotten before he’d finished passing through the door.

His living room was in no better shape.  Apparently, he had taken a few meals in here as well.  Three plates, each with the remains of forgotten meals upon them, sat upon the coffee table, along with an empty pizza box.  But was that there before?  Hadn’t he had friends over?

He couldn’t remember.

It also didn’t matter right now.  He would have to clean that up later, he thought as he lay down on his couch.  He wrinkled his nose as he noticed another funky smell in the air, but before he could identify it, he had been overcome with sleep.

– – – – – – – – – –

Hours later, (or was it minutes?), he shot up off of the couch, shrieking.   His skin was clammy, and his hair stood out wildly on the right side of his head, but none of these things he would notice until the fear had run its course, nearly two minutes later.

As the dreams faded from memory, they took with them the feelings they had inspired, leaving him to wonder what it was that had frightened him.  He looked around as if in shock, struggling to regain his bearings as he finally realized he was awake.  The room was darker, and the light behind the curtains fell closer to the wall than it did when he lay down, suggesting it was now late in the afternoon.

“…tho gooooood!”

The familiar, nasally voice, of someone he knew screamed at him from the shadows, and he screamed as well.  He screamed as he fell to the floor.  He screamed as he curled into a fetal position.  He screamed, and he screamed, and he screamed, until he could hear the laughter no longer.

The Morelli Bros. (Chapter II, Part IV)

Deep within the bowels of the fort, where the shadows were cast by molten rivers, and only the most fearsome guardians awaited, was imprisoned a young lady of royal importance.  The fourth child of her family, a princess to the Toadstool name, and a fighter in her own right, she came from a race of people who were very similar in appearance to the two plumbers that had come to her rescue.

She’d barely escaped the initial attack, which had begun several feet above the Royal Palace.  A flying galleon sank beneath the clouds and docked against her father’s balcony.  Rabid Chomps, a rare breed of man-eating plant, that unless chained to the heaviest weight would eat any and everything in their paths, had made short work of her parents.

* * * * * * * * * *

She awakened to the sound of panicked shouts outside of her room.  There were tortured screams coming from every direction; through her window, the walls, in the distance, beneath the hurried cries of those outside, and for a brief moment, she had been disoriented.  As she struggled to free herself from her blanket, two guards burst through the door, each looking worse the wear.

The guard on the right, whose name was Nu’iratha, was covered in blood.  His sword was drawn, but it wasn’t blood that covered the iron.  A brackish ooze, slightly green in tint, dripped from the point of his blade. 

“Your majesty,” he said with a touch of desperation in his voice.  “You must come with me!”

The other guard, whose uniform and weapon had seen less battle, and whose name she recalled as Pou’ic, was frantically glancing over his shoulder, down the hall that led to her parents chambers.  

“You must hurry,” the latter cried.  “They’re coming!”

As she sat up, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed, inserting her feet into her slippers as she’d done a countless number of previous mornings.  The difference between each of those times and this one, was that they weren’t to the sound of battle.

Screams echoed off of the walls, each originating from different points of her ancestral home.  Smoke rose into the air, outside of her window, and bestial roars preceded what could only been the death cries of her people.  Forgetting her modesty, she rose in only her night-gown and rushed to her wardrobe.

“Your majesty, ” Nu’iratha protested, “we don’t have time!”

“We’ll have to make it, then,” she grunted through her teeth.  “It’ll not do, for a princess to be seen in her night-clothes, during battle.”

She grabbed a dress and pulled it over her head, securing it to her waist with an embroidered belt.  From this, she hung a small pouch, the contents of which she always had on hand; an enlarging mushroom, a fire-flower, and a green mushroom, though never used, was supposed to reverse time a short distance, when the need was desperate.

As she was fitting her shoes, the battle came to her door. 

Pou’ic suddenly lunged forward and shoved the other guard into the room.  As he did, he shouted; “Keep her safe!  She may be surviving member of the royal family!” He pulled the door shut behind him, locked it from the outside, and slid the key under the door.  “Love live the Queen,” he shouted heroically.

“Queen,” she mouthed.  

“Worry not, your highness,” Nu’iratha had said.   The others may yet live!

* * * * * * * * * *

She awoke with a start, helpless to contain the yelp that escaped her lips.  She struggled to remember where she had been taken, the memory not as fresh as the one she had just escaped.

The most unexpected sensation she felt was the heat.  Sweat beaded upon her skin, already, and the air was thick with moisture.  Her dress clung to her skin, soaked from perspiration and reeking of fear.  Beneath this was the smell of wet straw.

A single torch lit the room, though its meager light fought hard to push the darkness to the farthest side.  She saw only one door, a mighty steel portcullis, of which there was no way to open from this side.

Defeated, she slumped back into the mound of straw from which she had awoken, and cried.