Is It Just Me?

I’m working on my next book and it’s been so long since my last one that I have to go back and review.

Not by choice, of course.  If I could, I would write for ten to fourteen hours each day instead of driving.  Unfortunately, the latter pays better.  Even more unfortunate, It only allows for less than a handful of hours per week of ‘me’ time.  Finally, at the bottom of the unfortunate well, is me reading my last book for consistency issues.  I know what I want to do, I just can’t remember how I got here.

backTracking

I had to ask myself, “Has it been so long since I got here?”

The answer is “Yes, yes it has.”

I published The Hunter Reborn in 2013.  And while it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, I still have the need to return and refresh.  My protagonist is always at the top of my thoughts.  His adventures, past and current, dominate my creative process, so much, that I have little time to pursue any of my smaller writing projects.  Yet, I find myself struggling to remember some of the details.

OF course I don’t expect to remember them all, I’m just disappointed at my lack of idyllic memory.

So I ask again, “Is it just me,” or do you also have to return, and refresh?  Whether writing the next book in a series, or just for the sake of it?

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.

 

 

My Friend, My Love, My Creation

Most times, new characters are born rather beautifully. They come with rich back-stories and have a deep family history. They speak to me for hours about who they are, where they live, what they do for a living, etc. Other times, they burst forth kicking and screaming.

They’re wearing straight-jackets and slamming themselves madly against my psyche. They’re roughly cut from raw emotion, they know very little about who they are, where they came from, or who their families are. The only thing they know is their desire to have the same chance at life as the aforementioned.

While I do so enjoy the company of my more ‘fleshed’ out characters, mainly because they are familiar to me, like family or good friends, I find myself oddly drawn to these new beings. They want the same things that we all have, that which has come so easily to their cousins; a life of their own.  They are like children, in a way.  They don’t know what’s behind them, nor do they have a clue what’s ahead of them.  They must learn, through my guidance, of course, what they like or do not like.

Sometimes I can control the process. Sometimes, I can even help form them into something appropriate enough to tell a story about. This isn’t always the case, however, and any writer can tell you that it isn’t always going to be a good thing.

You’re not always going to have a ‘good’ character.  Every so often, as I am helping this character come to life, we discover that he or she isn’t so savory a person.  Maybe said character is a villain?  Or maybe, something much, much, worse. I don’t always like telling the story of these characters, but again, as a writer I don’t always have a choice.  They desire a chance at life.  They demand that their story be heard.  And as a storyteller, I am compelled to share.

Perhaps what awaits in the end is poetic?  Or, perhaps not.  It isn’t for me to decide. You see, much like the character types I have described, so too do the stories exist as well. Some lay in wait, ready to pounce my thoughts without a moment’s notice.  Other times, they are a rough gem that needs worked into something you may or may not appreciate.

Just as is the case of the character, some stories may be beautiful designs that inspire you to continue turning the page.  Others might be an atrocious train-wreck that forces you to turn the pages until you reach the end. This isn’t to say that they aren’t very good.

It’s a tricky subject; horror.

What one person may consider good, might be another’s kryptonite.  I may have written the most descriptive decapitation in such a way that you have never seen before, but what may make one jump out of his/her seat in excitement, might have another turning their head in disgust.

Such is life.

By now, I hope that my readers have come to expect a certain style to my writing.  You’ve survived the first two tales of John Rizzerio and are eagerly waiting the finale, or you have been keeping up with my webseries and are looking for the next post to appear.  You know that I don’t always pull the punches.

Some of my characters may seem like somebody you could run into on the street. Others, a friendly neighbor or work acquaintance.  Then there are those, like the protagonists of ‘She Has A Pretty Face Though’, and ‘The Box’, who each have their own issues to resolve. In the end, was their story worth it?  Was it poetic, or did you enjoy following their journey?

Of course, you’ll have your own opinions that I would LOVE to hear!  But, in the end, I will still continue to tell the stories as they demand to be told, in their own entireties.  While I depend upon you, my faithful readers, to help guide me down the path of your interests, I hope that you continue to stick with me as I share with you my creations.  They are a labor of love, a part of myself in much the same way that my children are, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to introduce you to them.

They are family, after all.