Friends?

August of 2008 I started following someone’s blog.

Today she asked me to stop.

It’s hard to explain the feeling I have right now. I suppose its grief. Even though I never met her in person, I came to care about her. In someways she became to me the collage student that I imagine Nigel might be.

I feel loss and sadness.

I gave part of myself to her.

The questions is, was it worth it. Did I get enough out of it, did she get enough out of it, to make the pain I feel now worth it?

I can’t answer that question, but I have to believe it was. I found her site by Gods leading. I helped send her on a mission trip this summer. I think my words may have had some impact on her – I hope for the better.

When God leads me to a place for a season, I need to have faith that I was there for the right amount of time, and thank him for the time I did have with her.

And maybe God knew I needed to feel a little more pain to help me finish my story.

Artists Quarters

Last night I did a dramatic reading of Hector’s most recent blog – http://Hathrae.com/hector

It was mostly a dialog between Hector and a young woman. Emma spoke the parts of the young woman and I spoke hector’s parts and the narration. One of the other guys there read the traveler’s parts which were three lines at the end.

The reading was very well received and I felt good about it.

Newsletter

I am busy writing the third addition of the Unremembered Loss news letter. This month’s newsletter is going to focus on one of the “evil” races in my book. I was just going to call them ocrs, but enough people told me that unless I was exactly matching one of the already established definitions of orc, I should call them something else.

So say hello to the Turpis, and stay tuned for the newsletter to find out about them.

106,000 words

Progress on the book is slow. I made 106,000 words today, just 70 days after 90,000. That’s an impressive 228 words a day.

All sarcasm aside, I haven’t been make lots of progress on the book, but I have been writing a lot. I have a couple dozen posts up now, and some of them, like the one I wrote tonight, are almost 1,800 words all by themselves.

So the questions is – Am I spending my time where I should?

I think the answer is yes. While I really do want to get the novel done, what is more important is to get my thoughts out. Right now the parts that are left in the novel aren’t the parts I need to be talking about. On the other hand, the blogs I’ve been writing have been coming from the heart.

Tonight I finished the third part of Hector’s story about being robbed. I’m not sure why this is an important story for me, but I’ve learned to not worry about it and just see where it goes. I hope that I’m learning the lessons that Hector is.

I did do a quick survey of the novel and it looks like there are only three pieces that I’ve started than need to be finished. One is a pretty big piece that I’m now thinking about removing. Beside the mostly done chapters, I have places holders in for another ten that need to be written. Of these, three really are needed, the rest may go to the way side.

If my guess of 115,00 words was right, it means I’ve got about 20 pages to go. That doesn’t sound like so much. I think Christmas may still be a good goal.

On a side note, a couple people have suggested I might be able to take all of the blogs I’ve been doing so far and make them into a book – a prequel of sorts. It’s an interesting idea.

Blogging in other people’s voices

I’ve started blog sites for four of the five main characters in my novel; I’ll get the last one up one of these days. It has been an interesting process, and I think helpful as a writer, too. I have tried to make each blog site different, reflecting the personality of the character. It has also been interesting writing blogs for each of them. Blogs, or in the case journal entries, can be very personal things. I’m trying to let that personality show in each entry.


Annay is the main character of the story. http://hathrae.com/annay/ She is young, confident, intellectual, with a keen eye. Her site is about what she’s been thinking about. So far there is one post there, about the first time she met fairies.

Hector is a young man. http://www.hathrae.com/hector/ He is a man of faith, searching for his direction in life, leading with his heart, and sharing his passion for life.

Julie is another young woman. http://hathrae.com/julie/wordpress/ She is independent, free thinking, adventurous, and in touch with her emotions. She is a ranger and scout, spending a lot of her times in the woods, tracking, hunting and acting as a guide for others.

Master Samuel Gees is an old man, a powerful wizard, and a teacher. http://hathrae.com/samuel/ He is reflective and misses his younger days. He writes about the past, his triumphs and failures.


As I write each blog entry I try to get into the character’s head. I start writing knowing the topic I’m going to write about, but usually not the content. I let the words flow and see where they take me. My most recent post was for Samuel. I knew it was going to be the memory of an adventure with his dwarven friend Red Beard. I knew they were going to an island just off the coast. I knew that there would be some problem with water. That’s what I knew, and I started writing.

What I ended up with was not what I expected. I figured there would be some monsters, some fighting, some powerful magic (he is a power wizard after all), and Red Beard falling into the water. What I ended up with was a trap, a beautiful woman, a stubborn dwarf, and a love story.


I think that the process of blogging for my characters and been a two edged sword. I think I can write better in their voices for having done it. I think my novel will be better for it. I have started to build much deeper backstories for each of them. But, it has taken time. Time that I could have been spending writing the novel.

In the end I think I’m glad that I’m doing the extra work. If writing was my money making job, then it might be the wrong choice. Since it is just a passion, a way to share my life, and my own personal therapy, then it is probably the right thing to do.

I would love to have my novel done, but in the end, for me, it is all about letting these characters speak through me. Whether they speak through a novel or a blog site really doesn’t matter. It is the sharing and exploring that is helpful to me.

Father – Chapter 4

Posted the first line of chapter four of my 140-character-a-day story. The story is getting pretty intense. In chapter four we get to learn what drove Jill to the streets.

Please go read it and give it a “thumbs up” if your like it, or “follow it” if you want to be updated when I make new posts (the phone icon).

http://textnovel.com/story_detail.php?story_id=878

Hathrae.com

I just took the website, for the world that my novel is set in, live. It has been a long time coming and I’m not sure that I haven’t just bitten off more than I can chew.

It is currently 8 pages in length, but is set to be a hundred or more over time. I’ve created it to look like a bunch of newsletters. Each page has a little flash movie on the top for navigation, and then one or more pages that “page in” when the navigation is pressed. Each page is an In Design page that has been saved as a flash movie.

I’ve set it up so that everything is linked through one PHP page. This way it should be easy for me to update the site by adding pages. The links are all embedded in the flash movies and In Design documents.

The questions is, will this be easer than just doing a WordPress page? The problem I see it that there is no way for people to leave comments, but people can leave comments here about that site.

Look for more to come soon.

Hint Fiction

I just entered another writing contest. This one is called Hint Fiction. The idea is that you write just the hint of a story in 25 words.

Here are the two stories I entered.

You can find out more at

http://www.robertswartwood.com/?page_id=8

I Hoped We Could All Be Friends.

We kiss. He yells. I duck. Knife hits. You cry. We run. Car crashes. We’re okay. He finds us. She finds us. We run on.

Flight 723

Rocked by turbulence, smoke fills the cabin, a baby cries, and masks drop. Spinning, falling, fading to blackness. We’re floating. A sea of endless dreams.

And here are two I didn’t enter

One Last Chance

Free. Limited time. It’s a matter of life and … Hurry. Time is of the essence. Kiss. The end is near. Will I see you again?

Lost

The moon is full, illuminating the countryside. The wind carries the sent of wolf. There is nowhere to run, and no way to find home.