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.

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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?

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To Slay A Troll

“There’s no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties…” Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

They come in many forms and yet, they are all one in the same.  We call them critics in film, hecklers in comedy, negative reviews on our books but it comes to what we should call them, it boils down to one word; troll.

It’s hard not to be affected by their words.  We’re pouring our hearts and souls into our work.  Some of us are truly gifted and are able to do this with little effort, but the majority of us labor over our little niche in creativity.  No matter the ease of which we get there, all it takes are the words of one troll to break us down.

Why do we let it get to us so easily?  We’re willing to give up everything for our passions, to sacrifice every comfort, and in some cases the ones who mean the most to us, in order to fulfill the desire to create.  Hours slip by, and in some cases, days, as we build our routines, write our breakthrough novels and create our next masterpieces. We’re THAT dedicated to our art that we don’t even notice.

And yet, when that first criticism arrives, it’s as if we’ve been stabbed in the heart.  We’re standing on the middle of the bridge with our aspirations behind us, our dreams ahead of us and we’re putting our gem on display when ‘it’ happens.  ;-(  I know, right?

We’re mortally wounded, or so we think.  The troll has leapt upon the bridge, taken our shining gem and then plunged it directly into our meaty ticker.  We’ve fallen to our knees.  We can feel our very essence pouring onto the unforgiving stone beneath us and for that brief moment we wonder if we’re going to survive the encounter.

I assure you, you can and you will.  You’ve taken a piece of that infinite and immortal soul of yours to create this new thing, this piece of art.  You’ve poured gallons of your hearts love sauce onto it, coating it until the material became saturated.  It’s yours, Dr. Frankenstein.  You created it.  It LIVES!

Get back to your feet, actor!  Arise, author!  Stand and remove the stain left upon you by this beastie!

What you have created, what you have labored over with love and soul CANNOT be destroyed by the words of another.  They try because they are jealous.  They attack because they cannot create this beautiful thing that you have.  They lash out, but because you possess something they can only ever dream of achieving!

Stand up and brandish your gem!  Let not the words of the troll sting you, for they are but words.  These creatures exist only to inflict pain upon others.  They thrive upon hate, even when they don’t understand what it is they are attacking, for they are but children lost in an adult’s playground.

You may think it’s hard to find your footing once more, but you need only but remember what you have done to get here.  You arrived on this bridge for a reason.  You are here to show the world beneath you the treasure born of your hands.  Let the troll come forth I say!  Let them fling their measly weapons at you!  And when they do, allow your creation room to breath.  Give the troll it’s fair chance, and when it fails so miserably?  Ask it if it would like to sit down now.

Chins up, artists!

Your determination brought you here.  You’ve labored, you’ve sacrificed and you have suffered worse things than what the troll can inflict upon you.

——

This is for those of us who have received a negative review, who have been heckled while performing our routines and for those who find the occasional negative criticism when we’ve given it our all.