Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What do you do when you're going the wrong direction?

Hang in there, baby!
So what do you do when you realize you're going the wrong direction? Mapquest? Tom Tom? If only life gave us the option of a satellite directory. But the answer isn't that complicated. You just stop. And turn. Maybe not all the way around, or you end up where you started. Though maybe some of us need to just go back to the beginning and start over. Most of us, just a few degree's turn will suffice.

I started this blog as a blog about writing, but I've discovered only a billion or so other people have writing blogs and a lot of them are very good. I follow a few. I recently learned quite a few things from a HUGE blogger named Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. He challenged readers of his blog to pick some other blogs they'd like to try to connect with and to know the reason WHY. I realized that it really isn't other writers that I want to connect with (though the connections can and are mutually beneficial.) Truly, the people I want to reach are READERS. As a writer, I am an avid reader, so it stands to reason that many of the readers I want to reach are going to be writers as well.

Rasta beagle gets an epiphany!
I puzzled and fretted over what direction to take Tyro Writer and was struck by an EPIPHANY. (That's the word of the week, by the way.) Well, maybe it wasn't quite an epiphany, just a really interesting idea.

I've learned at workshops at writer's conferences that backstory drags the story down. So you have to be careful how much you use and where you use it. With that said, I've decided to tell the backstory of my characters. ARCs of Dream Weaver are slowly trickling out into the hands of readers and thus far the reviews are highly encouraging. And they're not from my mom and my sister. Beta readers are already wanting more about Emari, Nick, Sabre, Eddyson and Ivy. So this is the place to find it.

I know it seems an odd place to begin the introduction of a novel to an audience, by introducing a character that is secondary, even if only by a smidge. But I love Sabre James. The research to develop him has taken me places I would never have dreamed of going and forced me *grimace* to study history *violent shudder*. Besides, Sabre is a very misunderstood man…

Because birth records in the 1700’s were a thing of the rich and royalty, Sabre’s birth date is not precise. He was approximately six years old, using innate intelligence and wits to survive, when ruffians from a labor ship bound for America rousted him from his hovel and slung him onboard.

The Account of My Life by Sabre James
    I don’t remember much of my childhood in the streets of London. It was so long ago. I remember the fog, damp and dirty, wending its way through my soul. I scoured London’s port near Gravesend, begging coppers and stivers, even a crust of bread to dull the gnarling inside my stomach. Arriving passengers on the coaches from London often had a spare coin or two, unless the greedy driver cleaned them out first, then rewarded me with a blow from his whip.
    My memories are absent of family, no loving embraces or firm pats on the back. Only slobbering kisses from foul drunken whores and a boot in the seat from slavering watermen. Only filth and hunger and cold and desperation to survive, something more of instinct rather than desire.
    Rough hands jerked me from my hovel one night and dragged me away, took me to a ship where I stumbled, weak and feeble, up the gangway. I was cast down before the captain of the vessel. “There’s a good lad,” he spoke kindly to me though I’d no idea why he’d be kind to the likes of me. I was scrubbed in a vat of frigid soapy water, held under by a crewman till my lungs nearly burst, and emerged into a cacophony of raucous laughter.
    The sea roiled and bubbled beneath me as the ship set sail at dawn. My vomit stained the decks more oft than not for the first two weeks onboard. I had a go of flinging myself overboard, if only to cease my suffering but the barnacled hands of my master stayed me, and his crew hung me by my ankle over the bow until I blacked out.
    The Capt. was good to me, kept me on a cot in his own cabin, tried to coerce me to converse with him, tho I had little use for conversation. I remembered not even my own name, (the watermen and whores called me ‘gutter rat'). So my master took to calling me Sabre, like the sword he kept on his bedstead. He found my eyes gazing mystified at the weapon and the touch of a smile upon my lips. He raised the blade and placed it lovingly in my hands. “Sabre,” he said in soft growling purr. From that moment, when he bellowed the word, I scurried to his side for his command. Tho leathered and grizzly, his heart found a soft place for me, perhaps in ode to the son he lost. Often he saved me from the torments of his men, and refused to hire me out like all the other men, women and children on the ship who labored for his profit.
    Despite his kindness, after many years, I knew there was more to the world than the sea, ports of call and indentured servants. I yearned for the land and excitement. At 19 I took leave of my master and lord, put off in a port in the colonies. I soon enlisted in the Maryland Militia under General Smallwood. During my enlistment, his Pennsylvania division was set to harass the British army but the Brits got wind of us and routed us in the dark of night. Having removed their flints from their muskets, they attacked only with bayonets. It was a bloody barbaric assault and our company was fallen upon by Red Coats. I was wounded in what history dubbed as Paoli’s Massacre. Bleeding profusely from chest, leg and facial wounds, I was left for dead.
    I lay in a clump of bushes, bleeding from my wounds, unbeknownst to my fellows, as the Brits wielded chaos and routed the lot. Dawn broke and wisps of steam rose from the bodies of the dead and dieing. Loyalist Tories picked off the vanquishing in the name of the king and were chivied by local farmers. The patriot farmers dug a common trench on a hillside above the battlefield in which to lay the deceased.
    I shivered as shock chilled me from within and rain drenched me from without. Death’s ice cold hand clutched my own, his frost blue lips summoned me...

There is still so much to know about Sabre's 250 some-odd years, so check back often to read more of his tale.

One lone, brave bloom
"Once in a lifetime, you get to do something bigger and braver than you think you can." *author unknown. From a Hallmark movie commercial   

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