Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's been a while...

This way, that way, so many things to do, not enough hours in a day or days in a week. It struck me the other day as I crashed into my living room recliner just how little time there is for simple enjoyments, get togethers with friends and escapes from responsibilities. A recipe for stress? Do we all suffer from it?

I'm a writer, an author by trade and here I am, hardly able to squeeze out some creative moments at the end of the day. I used to believe it was due to my household of five, but I'm not so sure anymore. We are a busy lot, three kids going in all directions, but they seem to go with the flow more than the "typical" teens. In fact, they've been more of a help than a hinder.

This isn't to say I haven't gotten any writing done. In fact I have one, Rise of the Arcadians, finished and ready for edit and another as of yet untitled well on its way with another Among the Ancients sitting well begun on a back burner while I research more for its plot base. It's fine without that research I'm told, but I really need to do it, to set the base of the book solidly into knowing what I don't yet know. Sure, I could shoot it off to editing and start focusing on marketing, but it's not in me to do that until I'm satisfied with it. I need more time to devote to it.

There's been a discussion around my home about what we have coined "fluff." We use it both for books and for movies. I have nothing against "fluff" and even enjoy it at times. But I need more, stories that are layered with questions and puzzles to uncover. And I need much more than fluff when I'm writing. When my characters are "fluff" or existing in a plot of "fluff" I'm bored.

So what is fluff? For us, it's basically simple storylines that have one shallow purpose and no reverberating mood left when they finish. My middle daughter recently called Devil Wears Prada "fluff" but my oldest loved it. I haven't seen the movie, not one I would choose to watch really. My husband comes home every night and watches some show full of pranksters. Yes, it can be entertaining. It's also fluff.

I remember a question someone asked me when I first started with my writing. Why didn't I write children's books or some sweet romance? It's what was expected of me from acquaintances. I've always been known as sweet and quiet little me. Only a few of my closest friends expected what I do write. I have a new answer for this now. Mysteries/thrillers/horror/sci-fi/fantasy let you examine very deep life changing things from angles a character can reach and then play out for readers without seeming forced or feeling preachy. Two things I don't care to be towards others, especially readers. I have too much respect for them for that. I want it there for them to ponder if they wish or leave behind if they so choose.

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