If I find the gremlin that keeps hitting the Monday button every morning this week I will kill it with extreme prejudice. Not. Sorry. I wake up this morning at 7:30am AFTER the bus drove by. Everyone except Tuxedo Cat is still sleeping. He’s in bed, peeking out of the covers, and just waiting for me to say something. I tell him to grab his clothes and get dressed. I then wrestle with Little Bear for 15 minutes to get him out of bed, dressed, and downstairs to find Tuxedo Cat wandering in the living room with his clean clothes still in his hands not ready.
After operating on about 3-4 hours of sleep the last few days and not really being a morning person to start with I’m really just not feeling it. It’s a common misconception that hypomania is the “happy place” of the brain and one of productivity and all that. For me the irritability can crank up pretty damn high in this zone. If it’s not that then it’s the anxiety. Why? Disorganized thinking for one. Thoughts are every where. I see it when I revisit my posts. Sometimes I fix the technical errors but as of late I’ve felt lazy. I’ll get to eventually. I tend to reread my posts often and I promise I’ll fix it. Eventually.
I do finally get them to their schools and I’m pulling out of the parking lot and realized that I forgot everyone’s meds. I HOPE THE SCHOOL HAS AN AWESOME DAY. This is when the Tuxedo Cat’s Life Skills teacher comes running out and I was like “Shit, already?” and I stopped to find out what she wanted. I had an IEP meeting to go to this morning in 30 minutes. Just enough time for me to take my meds, grab coffee, and get my ass back.
For the record, the IEP went well and Tuxedo Cat is thriving. Since the last IEP meeting in spring, he’s already jumped up a whole grade level in reading. Which is awesome. And he has moved on from expressive language development to figurative language development. This last piece of information is perhaps the most exciting to me since the summer before last he had started writing his own fan fiction. It’s a shame he doesn’t share it with me often, but I don’t pry or press. Yes, it’s usually Minecraft related, but hey it’s WRITING and it’s a story. It’s typically only one handwritten page long but there is a distinct beginning, middle, and end. The best part is he’s doing it on his own. It’s not school work. And that’s exciting. It thrills me to pieces.
With that said however, we still want to work on getting him out of the house more. This kiddo would live on the computer 24/7 – not that I’m guilty of that or anything…. He does seem to like nature and we do live out in the sticks so the principle suggested that maybe we ought to try introducing him to digital photography where he goes out and take nature photos and then comes back in to do something with then on the computer. I think it’s a good idea and we’ll see how it goes. There was a time I did enjoy being outdoors. I wish I could go back to that time.
Anyway, I got no writing done in terms of short stories yesterday. I’m sorry. I put together the Chaos Pen Challenge #5 on my sister’s Writing Hollow blog and just looked at it and found myself saying, “I’ve got nothing,” even though that’s not entirely true. I’ve got some vague imagery going on in my head with it. I know the story will focus on Clarissa. I know it will be dealing with whatever is behind that door that just unlocked on the second landing. Yes, an angel will be in there… but why the hell does she go through the door and what all does she find in there? I have no idea yet. So ideas are still cooking and if I can’t get it to go anywhere then I’ll just launch another challenge, move on, and let that one brew.
Meanwhile because my brain was just churning with everything, I started looking into potential other ideas for the other project. I’m not doing yaoi – look it up if you don’t know what the Japanese genre for “boy love” is. I stumbled into by accident last time and was unhappy with the expectation to follow its popular trope of non-consent – among other things. Fuck that. I’m finding myself floating around the concept of Lilith and the varied themes of her archetype though and wondering if I can work with that. The reason I say that is because Nepenthe and Anuran did come from the same world as Thomas and Rhae – the one Experiment #5 is set in. It just so happens Nepenthe Gratia has a sister, Octavia. Yet another character that I created, developed, and then never really went anywhere with. I guess it just amused me that this little farm house at the apple orchard just happened to have a shadow demon living in it that ran around wearing nothing but black lingerie all day.
I did eventually give her a back story to explain why she was there…. and because of that back story at one point I did try to pair her off with Rue but ultimately that failed. I ended up writing myself into a dead end with that. Rue suffers from anhedonia along with reduced affect display and alexithymia.
So… how the hell do you have a relationship with that? As it is I still have trouble conveying Rue in a way that readers can understand her without thinking she is a robot. I mean this is someone that resorts to using the rare and toxic plant “crimson regret” discussed in Surge of the Soul Eater for the sole purpose of FEELING SOMETHING. The woman is a wreck and as much as my writer’s mind wants for her to have joy, the clinical mind in me says the prognosis for that is bad. I don’t know enough on a professional level what would need to happen for someone like this to be successful socially. Not after all she has been through, raised in a world of war as a warrior, ripped from that dying world, to now live somewhere she isn’t needed and basically becomes a displaced veteran.
And sadly, the only reason Octavia makes any attempt to have a relationship with Rue is because of her back story. So that’s not going to work, at all. The original back story was that she was bound to serve the Whitaker family line generations ago. Another part of her back story involved memory loss beyond so many years. I never decided how many. She’s a demon so…. I don’t know, 13 I guess is as good as any. It doesn’t matter, the point is she doesn’t remember any more why she’s there only that she has to be there and that she has to serve a member of the family – their every whim and desire. But I the only explanation I gave for that memory thing was she wanted to escape grief. The rest should be self explanatory. By the time Rue’s generation is of age, she is the only one available but doesn’t appear interested at all.
On the surface it looks like there’s nothing to see and no story to tell. And for Rue there isn’t. In fact unless Octavia point blank says something, she isn’t going to catch a clue here. My first attempt at this was through Rue’s eyes. What if I went through Octavia’s eyes? How does she feel about this? What’s going on in her head? What are her thoughts regarding her place in the house? Does she know that she’s just a servant or was that lost with the memories too? Is she even aware of the spell’s directive? If not, how is she responding to the drive of the directive?
And of course my deviant brain had more questions. What if I twist the back story a little? What if Octavia isn’t the original? What if she is a simulacrum? What if there isn’t a spell on her and this drive is just coming from a latent memory of the spell from the original? What happens if she discovers the truth? Would it be liberating? Would it be devastating? Both? What would she do with that truth? What happened to the original? Why was she created? Who created her? Why didn’t they place the binding spell on her too? Does it matter? Does she want to know? Does she try to find any of that out?
And last but not least… who could truly love what is essentially a living doll?
So many questions.
For what it’s worth, my sister – the one that is the BSN psych nurse – says that while the prognosis is poor for Rue, I shouldn’t completely discount her. For people like Rue, emotional investment is critical. How many people would make the effort required to form a relationship with someone like her? So for someone like Rue, people like Octavia, who do go to great lengths to make those connections, would be very important and highly valued. I don’t imagine the relationship would be typical mind you but it seems like I’m not capable of writing about “normal” people anyhow.
And here I was entertaining the idea of Octavia meeting a pretty boy…. or two. Still could happen given the Lilith archetype. There is a thing called reverse harem in anime. The only one I recall watching was Fruits Basket and it was tame as hell. To this day I wish the anime had completed the story line. Never did get my hands on the manga. Oh wait, take that back I also watched Ouran High School Host Club – that one is a little risqué but over all it behaves itself. Cute as hell though. I’ve watched it more than once now. Again this one didn’t finish to where the manga ends from what I understand, but the anime at least ends in a good spot. No cliff hangers.
She also suggested that I put the Octavia ideas on hold for now while I let this year’s NaNo book, Surge of the Soul Eater, rest before I start revising it due to how all of this is tied to Tales of the Phoenix. Her concern is that these characters are so intertwined that I ought to revise the first book before launching a new story in the same world. Personally I would like Thomas and Rhae to have their own series inside that world as Experiment #5 and let this become whatever it becomes. I don’t want this to be a sequel to Surge of the Soul Eater.
The problem I have with shelving this train of thought is that the thoughts are here RIGHT NOW. Yes… I do have the Chaos Pen project to play with. And yes there is the Surge of the Soul Eater to revise. Chaos Pen is just therapeutic writing exercises. “Surge” is in the resting stage for now. I’ve committed it to rest for one month. I have made some notes over on the series’ blog as to what changes need to be addressed as I think of them, but other than that I haven’t looked at the draft. The point I’m trying make here is I get what she’s saying but my brain is driving me nuts and I worry that if I set this aside for later, later will never come because my brain will latch onto some other thing to focus on.