Whoops!

Sorry, everyone, I completely lost a day.

That’s what happens when you time travel. Er, spend time travelling. I didn’t travel in time, really. *backs away slowly, shifty-eyed*

Actually, it’s quite simple. I spent a week travelling, and since I’ve been home, I’ve been working and sleeping and that’s about it. Today, when I should have had this post up bright and early, I was more focused on doing Mom-and-Wife things than authorial things. Which is, really, normal. As  a writer, we can spend rather a lot of time with our heads firmly stuck in the clouds, the better to see our imaginary worlds with. However, real life must intrude from time to time. With practice, you can learn how to switch back and forth fairly seamlessly and rapidly. I’m still working on that practice, to be honest.

It helps to keep a list. I make lists for a lot of things in life – earlier today it was a rough budget plan for the rest of the year, as my husband and I discussed what’s coming that we know of (the emergency fund is for the other things) and how we can plan ahead rather than be blindsided. In real life, this is very practical and usually works. In a story, as an author, blindsiding a character is fun and what leads to all the best plot points.

Like falling in love at first sight. My daughter gets rather indignant about the concept – if you don’t mind spoilers, I did an interview with her about Wonder Woman, which she loved, but the romantic subplot bothered her a lot. I think she’s right, somewhat. I also think she’s not yet seventeen and will learn in time that sometimes the most incompatible couples actually work very well. Which is why romantic tales about star-crossed lovers (don’t even get her started on Romeo and Juliet!) have been around since people started making stories up. I’ve done it, myself, both directly and indirectly. At some point my MC in the work-in-progress is going to have to explain how she came to be mostly Athabaskan with a bit of Inuit. I told my Mom that, and she gave me a look, and said ‘you do know those tribes are enemies?’ Yes, I did know, and that’s why I wrote the sc3ene with the MC being a bit touchy about her ancestors.

It doesn’t just happen in books. My First Reader and I would be incompatible on paper. We have a large gap in our ages, I’m a free spirit, he’s much more grounded. I’m always wearing rose-colored glasses, he adds a drop of acid to my sweet… it works. It’s better together than when we’re apart. I take things from real life, and put them in books, sometimes, and one of those things will likely be his reaction to my return home after this trip. “No more travelling without me!” Yes, dear. I didn’t like it, either. And that works very well whether I’m writing a SF novel of space travel with one left on the planet, or a fantasy tale of a quest undertaken while the other stays home in the village prosaically tending the farm. People are people, no matter what setting you build around them.

While I was on the plane(s) I was reading, working my way through an Introduction to Bioarcheology, Dead Men Do Tell Tales (case files from a forensic anthropologist) and 1177 BC: the year Civilization Collapsed. The connecting thread through all of them, other than history, is the people. Even if you’re reading their stories through bones and artifacts, you can still connect and relate to them. The long-dead Hatshepsut who became a king in order to rule. The bones of the men who threw spears, and the women who ground at pestles. The bones warped by disease and trauma… there are stories of love, loss, warfare, and family, here. I’m not consciously mining history for stories and plots. But I do pick up bits and pieces that I can weave into tales later. Sometimes after I’ve forgotten where they came from.

And in the middle of all of this is my son joggling my elbow and wanting to know if I will buy him a kit to build a robot. Which reminds me that where we came from is very far from where we’re going – I can search online and find robot kits for as little as 20$ on Amazon – solar powered, to boot!

 

11 Comments

Filed under CEDAR SANDERSON, WRITING: ART

11 responses to “Whoops!

  1. paladin3001

    meh, better late than never.

  2. 1177 BC is a great book!
    The Sea Peoples are particularly fascinating. We have enough hard information to know that they are real but not enough information to say almost anything else about them for certain. We don’t even know for certain if they were a single actual people/culture or if they were just one or more hordes of opportunity, pirate gangs, out searching for loot!
    Would that group of societies fallen without them? Were they primarily an effect rather than a causal factor of the dominoes of multi-civalizationional collapse?

  3. Another addition to the TBR file. Thanks, Cedar. 🙂

    Tell the kid that “Love at First Sight” is real, but it’s more like instant attraction, and unless followed with liking and respect is going to end in tears.

    • I will! Sanford and I call it the spark of attraction. Unless you feed that, it’s never going to make it into a fire, much less a bank of coals that will keep you warm a long time.

    • *mischievous grin* I wonder how the kiddy would react to ‘fall in love with someone based on their writing’ – because that’s how Rhys fell for me, or so he says. He never had any interest in girls until he read my writing. He said ‘for the first time ever, I was interested in a woman, wanted to know more about her.’

      He and I were cuddling early this morning (because Sunday!), and I was reminiscing about how I thought of how cute he was from the first photo of him I ever saw.

      He said “You fell for me before you saw the photo.”

      While true, it was definitely the eyes that cemented that ‘fall in love.’ And the smile. (Cross Colin Morgan at the start of his Merlin role with David Tennant, and that’s Rhys, back in high school.) I realized I had it bad when I found myself just staring at his photo with a smile on my face.

  4. Christopher M. Chupik

    If you travel to the future, you could find some pretty cool robot kits for your son . . .

  5. Mary

    I didn’t travel in time, really.

    You didn’t? How remarkable! Most of us travel in time at the rate of 60 minutes an hour — suspicion strikes — how did you get to today without it?

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