My Creative Process

My gifted writing friend Ailsa Abraham tagged me, and asked if I’d join this blog hop. I’m supposed to answer four questions, and then nominate three others to share their creative processes, if they wish. I have no problem with this. So, here goes.

1. What are you working on?

That depends. How do you define working? I actually have a work in progress (WIP), but I’ve been at a dead stop working on it for over a month now, due to life. Life seems to get in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?

My WIPs title is The White Witch. The story of Mystica (a fairy), who becomes known as the White Witch. I wrote the original framework for NaNoWriMo 2011, and am finally working to clean it up. I fully expect to self publish it, when I finish, which will cause me to ask questions of my writing friends, and learn how to put a publishable story together.

According to my Psychiatrist, I’m supposed to have the story completed by NaNoWriMo 2014. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, look out JuNoWriMo 2014, when I’ll be making a big push on the story.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Honest answer. I have no idea. It’s a fantasy, except it’s not a fantasy. It’s actually science fiction, although that isn’t apparent in The White Witch. It has dragons. But they’re not the giant, fire-breathing kind. It has fairies, but they live in a kingdom. It has villages of humans, and of fairies, and of both.

How is it different from others in the same genre? I’m writing it. How’s that for an answer? Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be explaining myself in the next two questions.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I write what I write because it feels like I’m doing what I’m meant to do. It has nothing to do with the mythical creations of right and wrong. Nothing to do with fame. Nothing to do with following a dream. None of those normal person reasons. I write what I write because it’s what’s inside of me, and writing is the only way I’ve found to bring what’s inside to the outside, where I can see it. I don’t write to make social commentary, or to create a marketable, and profitable, product. I write, because it’s in my blood. Because it’s part of how I cope with the world I live in, part of how I grow my understanding of this world, part of how I learn. What I learn about people, what I understand about life, becomes visible to me in what I write. That’s why I write what I write.

4. How does your writing process work?

Magic. There’s actually a technical way to describe how I write. In the field of Computer Science there’s a system development method known as bottom up development. Simplified, bottom up development consists of developing tiny parts of the full product. Developers write the parts independently from each other, and lay the foundation for putting the parts together, to build the product

This is how I write. I write flash fiction pieces. I write flash fiction stories. They happen in random time order. As they collect, I string them together into a proper sequence of events, thus building a story from the bottom up. Building a story from pieces, each of which started independent of the others.

I don’t craft a big plot, with an outline, and a timeline. I don’t map out the characters I’ll have in the story before they show up in the parts. I write the parts, and fit them together into a story. I described my NaNoWriMo 2013 effort as making a movie. Write scenes in the order they happened in my head. Then, glue them together into a cohesive whole.

My nominees:


In short, I don’t have any. But, if you’d like to share your creative process, feel free to join in.


#MWBB 36 : Howlin For You

Friday night. And I was alone. In my car. Going to watch a movie. With no one. Going to eat a dinner somewhere. With no one. Going to lie on my bed, with my eyes open, staring at the ceiling all night. Again.

That’s not how I wanted to spend my Friday night. I wanted to spend it with her. Take her to a movie she wanted to watch. I’d have even gone to watch one of those love story movies, if that’s what she’d wanted. I wouldn’t have cared what movie. I wouldn’t have seen the movie, or remembered it. I’d have seen her. I’d have talked with her. I’d have sat next to her. Maybe she’d have even held my hand.

But she wasn’t with me. I’d picked a movie for me. Just like I did every Friday night. One movie after another. And I sat through it, wishing she was there.

After the move I’d have taken her to dinner. A real restaurant. With sit down service. Not a pizza place. Not fast food. She liked Italian. So I’d have picked an Italian place. She’d sit across the table from me. We’d talk about the movie. And about work, and school, and our friends. I’d get to watch her again. See the way the light shined through her hair. See the way her hair caressed her neck and shoulders. I’d wish I could put my hands where her hair was, letting my fingertips trace the curves of her shoulders. I’d stare into her eyes, and forget everything. No studies. No projects. No deadlines. Nothing. I’d just stare into her soft blue eyes. And get lost. I’d talk about anything she wanted. For as long as she wanted. And we’d get a desert. And split it. Two spoons, one for each of us.

Instead, I went to Taco Bell. A fast food burrito, and an absurdly big cup of Mountain Dew. I wolfed both down, and got out of there as quickly as I could. I’d learned. If I kept moving, I didn’t notice as much how she wasn’t there.

After dinner, if she wanted, I’d drive to the ocean front. And we’d take a walk on the beach. She’d take off her shoes, and walk barefoot on the sand. And she’d hold my hand. Her graceful, delicate fingers laced through mine. Our palms pressed together. I wouldn’t even notice the ocean breeze, or the sounds of the waves. I wouldn’t even notice the other people there. All I’d see was her. All I’d feel was her hand, holding mine.

Instead, I went home. To my room, shut the door, and turned off the lights. And I pulled aside my curtains, and looked out the window, into the dark. I stared at the stars, and the moon. I knew they were alone. So far from everyone, and everything. The stars couldn’t talk to each other. No one could visit them. Stars were isolated islands in an ocean larger than I could ever imagine. The stars were alone.

Like me.

Without her.

I slept with the curtains open that night. Lying on my bed. Staring at the stars for hours. Until I passed out. I’d done good. I was proud of myself.

I didn’t cry.

546 Words

This is my entry for week 36 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

Friday Night Write #15 : Closer Than This

I never intended to let her get so close. To let her past all my defenses. Past the image I let everyone see. But I had. I looked at her. Asleep. On the sofa. Wearing nothing but this lacy black lingerie. My pillow stuck under her head. My blanket keeping her warm.

I was both terrified and thrilled. I wanted her to stay, and I wanted to never see her again. So, I just stood there and stared at her, watching her sleep. Wishing I could remember that moment all my life.

I didn’t understand at all how she wound up on my sofa all night. She’d called me, and asked to come over. She’d done that for years. I never knew when she’d call. But I always made time for her. So, I’d told her it was OK. We’d gone to eat dinner. If you can call Subway sandwiches dinner. Then, we’d walked all over the local Wal-Mart store. All 130,000 square feet of it.

I have to admit, it was not easy to stand there while she looked at women’s lingerie. Didn’t help me any when she held up that black lace one in front of herself. “Oh, this is pretty,” she’d said. And then she’d asked me, “What do you think? Do you like this one?”
I’d frozen solid. Couldn’t blink my eyes. Couldn’t twitch my fingers. Couldn’t talk. She’d laughed, and kept it.

We’d gone to the electronics department. And she’d found a movie she wanted to watch. “I’ve never see it. I missed it when it was in theaters.” She showed it to me. Some silly love story, chick-flick movie. The kind you only watch when a girl drags you to it, and makes you. She kept that too.

When we finished shopping, we returned to my place. She put that movie on. “Watch it with me.” How could I refuse? We sat down on the sofa and before I knew what was going on, she had pulled my arm over her shoulders, and then snuggled in against me.
I don’t remember the movie. I know we watched it all. But I have no idea what happened it in.

Sometime during the movie, she got up, went to the bathroom, and changed into that black lace. She came back, put her feet up on the sofa, and stretched out, putting her head in my lap. She’d pulled my arm around her. Right under her breasts.

When the movie ended, I realized she was asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up. So, I let her sleep. With her head in my lap. After a while, she woke up. “Can I just stay here tonight?”

She could have asked me anything. I’d have said yes.

So, there she was. On my sofa. Under my blanket. Her head on my pillow. And me, standing there, watching her, wondering how she got so close to me. And if she knew how close she was.