Monday, June 30, 2008

Sometimes, you have to do something drastic

I know I already posted today, and usually I don't post more than once a day. But I wanted to document something I did tonight.

After writing the last entry, I was thinking about how I said that I felt I should give up the Coral story completely and utterly. I knew that that would be no easy task, given that I'd been wrestling with revising it for at least five years. So, I decided to do a drastic thing, something I've never done with any of my writing (I think). I didn't really pray about it exactly, but something told me it was the right thing to do, and I think it was more than just my conscience.

I gathered together all the papers having to do with Coral's storyline out to my mom's little office area...AND I SHREDDED THEM. EVERY LAST ONE.

I figured if I did it any other way -- simply throwing them away, burning them if necessary, etc -- that I would be able to retrieve them later when I regretted the action. But this way it's over. Finis.

I know, those of you who read this blog (if anybody does) probably think, IS SHE CRAZY? Yeah, probably I am. But something about what I did feels right. You've got to let bygones be bygones sometimes, put the past behind you.

This is the only time I remember ever actually destroying my own work like that. Throwing something away is one thing -- doing something like shredding it is something else entirely.

Dear God, I feel that you wanted me to do this, to move on. Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I may have done this in a fit of madness, in a moment of desperation that was not from you. If I did, forgive me. Please, God, I know that you gave me this writing talent for a reason. I feel that you would not have given me this talent if you didn't want me to do something with it for you. I dedicate my pen and its products to you, God. I know I can't do this on my own. I fail miserably, as I have seen. Please give me a spirit of discernment, a spirit that is able to discern what story ideas to pursue and which to abandon. My head is so full of story ideas all the time, but only so many are good and right. Help me and guide me to ones you want me to pursue, God. Be with me as I plan and write my stories, that I may do glory to you in these processes. Be with me when the day comes that the time is right for me to try to get my work published. Oh, and Lord, help me in my response to criticism in my life, not only of my writing but of everything I do. Help me not to be so defensive, so afraid of being vulnerable. Help me to be able to discern what is constructive criticism and what is nonconstructive. Give me a sense of calm in these situations, so that I can deal with the criticism in a nonaggressive manner. I pray that you help me to not be constantly fearing rejection. Fear is an evil thing in that occasion. Some fear can be good, I suppose, but too much of it can paralyze a person, and I feel that fear has done that in my life. Please drive out the fear somehow. Like the young Solomon, I ask you for wisdom on how to deal with what resides in my sphere of life right now. Amen.

(Big sigh of relief)

It's good to pray, isn't it? I haven't prayed like that in a while. Not since the night I couldn't sleep and lay on my bed talking to God (or the ceiling, not sure which) about a lot of different things, and discovered some hidden fears -- for instance, that my best friend Amy, who's in the Army Reserves, would get deployed abroad (say, to Iraq) and get killed in action. I don't know why the death of my best friend scares me like that, but it does. Well, I guess since I've known her since 4th grade, we've gotten close, even when we've been physically separated.

I realize I have written not solely Christian stuff. Case in point: the Code Lyoko fanfic manuscript I have sitting in my paper tray right now, which I had thought was lost forever but which I found almost complete when doing my major room cleanup (it's missing a page or two in the last chapter). Fanfics are a whole other thing in itself. Why would I save a fanfic like that? Because, although this particular fanfic began as something I started writing when I was bored in anthropology class, it turned out to be a very well-written story, especially for my first full-length CL fanfic (I'd written another previously, but because it was for the 500-word challenge on Fiction Express, it wasn't a fully fleshed fanfic). Granted, it's based on a theory I formed after the end of season 3, so none of the stuff in season 4 regarding its main characters -- William Dunbar and Franz Hopper -- is taken into account (i.e., that Franz dies at the end of season 4 after sacrificing himself to save Aelita and that William doesn't come back from Lyoko in the same way my fic says). Therefore, were I ever to post this fic to a fanfiction site, I'd have to put some kind of disclaimer regarding the time it was written. Anyway, I think it was a far cry from my first attempts at fanfiction -- episode-based Pokémon fanfics starring Team Rocket and narrated by Jessie. I improved a little bit with my Tenchi Muyo fanfics, though I had difficulty with my triple crossover fic (Tenchi Muyo/Sailor Moon/Pokémon), which featured things like the Tenchi girls becoming Sailor Senshi to help fight Team Rocket (technically, Sasami does have a magical girl form in the TM canon -- Pretty Sammy -- but the others don't).

When re-reading through the "notes" for my Avalon novel today while eating lunch and on the way to get my new bus pass, I could more or less pinpoint when I was writing parts by stuff I wrote in the margins of the composition book the "notes" are in. There are footnotes for the notes at one place that refer to the term "bodhisattva" and the Ramayana, indicating that they were written during the fall school semester of 2006, when I was taking a class in Asian Philosophy and Religion (just checked some paperwork from my orientation to confirm this). One page has some notes on the top that seem to have been written when I saw certain ads on the ad reel at the movie theater. Not all these notes are like that though- some notes are just notes to myself, like ones that says "Look up oath of chivalry" and "look up duration of moon cycles" (both on the same page) and other research reminders (this has shown up in other serious synopses I've done). These sidenotes are usually that sort of thing. One note explains a cultural reference: "Alerix Konerlin is a famous fantasy novel character on R Andromedae who has adventures similar to Harry Potter."

Okay now I'm just rambling. I'm going to go downstairs with my computer since Andrew went to go bowling (at 9:30 at night...why?) and I'm by myself. I also need to do laundry. Ciao.

1 comment:

Robert P said...


My name is Robert. I work at Stater Bros. #125, Oak Glen, which is how I stumbled across your blog. I've been reading it for about a month or so. To be honest I don't know why I read it. Other than a love of reading and our mutual employer, we have absolutely nothing in common. But I felt that I should say hi. So Hi. May you find what you are seeking, whatever that may be.