Dita Parker

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Brothers Grim

Once upon a time, in a galaxy not that far away, there will be a very serious man and a very serious woman. So serious about what they're doing that when my life got very serious indeed, I seriously doubted my ability to see to their HEA for a while. 

It was really not that bad of a situation. It was worse. You see, it's not them I started writing about when I first paid a visit to their particular place and time, or it paid me one, it was another serious dude. Serious about his life and his duties, and committed to a woman he had never met but knew he would one day have by his side. His problem: He didn't know when and where. Mine: I didn't either. 

But: I did know the world and people around him. I saw his family much more clearly than I saw him, but when two more serious men stepped into the story, I said get outta here. Literally, go and get your own story, which was of course the wrong thing to say because that was exactly what they wanted. 

They argued a strong case. Presented me with their given circumstances (what I talked about in my last post, remember? What do you mean "No"?), promised to be worth my time and effort, lured me with the individual quandaries they were in knowing full well I would not be able to resist coming to their rescue. 

I told you it gets worse before it gets better. But come on. Three brothers. Really? What is it with these unholy trinities? All that was missing was bosoms a-heaving, mighty shafts a-swinging and the foul stench of Eau de Sequel and I'd be all set. I told them to get lost and let me concentrate on the serious gentleman in search of the woman of his dreams. 

It gets worse. These two guys knew that story wasn't ripe yet, that Mr. Serious and I needed some more time, but, as I was informed, they would be happy to keep me company. It's not as if anything bad could happen, right? As in, I set things in stone I can't change later even if I wanted to. As in, the aroma of those other stories gets too strong and I don't notice it even while I detest that smell. As in, I invest time in three stories without any guarantee Ellora's Cave or anyone else for that matter wants a single one of them.

It gets worse still. I like writing genre with a touch of humor; I like my characters to have a sense of humor, to see the lighter side of maybe a not so ha-ha funny situation. But during a winter when life became less about ha-ha and more about sad smiles, these men, these men who were by no means boring or uninteresting, only...serious... Their company became too much to bear.

I knew I was in trouble when I started calling them The Brothers Grim. I was being harsh, I was being unfair, and I was absolutely evading my responsibilities to my characters the moment I started writing something lighter, something shorter, something with a touch of funny just to get away from them for a while.

I've sent out that Quickie. I'm about to send out the first story of my Brothers Grim, the youngest of them, who I thought might go last and who ended up going first. No bosoms a-heaving, no mighty shafts a-swinging and, I hope, with such a faint odor of that Eau de Sequel you'll agree, if and when those stories come out, they're not sequels but equals. That's how I'm treating and writing those Righteous Brothers. Distinct and able to stand alone.

If you know you will not be coming back, don't step out in the middle of a story. If time is precious and publication the only goal, maybe it's wiser to tackle your stories one at a time. If you need to know the whole arc and every aspect of whatever you're planning on writing, don't do what I did. 

But if those worlds and characters fascinate you enough, call to you so loud and clear and unrelenting that you can't wait to find out how it plays out; that you know a breather is just a breather, things will only get better with some time and distance; that you're not leaving them for good and never would... Ah, you know what to do.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Il ├ętait une fois...la vie

Happy Earth Day, dearest denizens. There is nothing I could say that could take on the wisdom, eloquence and no-nonsense of Yann Arthus-Bertrand or his movie Home

Have you come across his Vu du ciel (Seen from above) documentaries or his La Terre vu du ciel (Earth from above) book? Spectacular.

You'll find the movie and more on the Home Project's YouTube channel.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Illusionist

How are you, sweetie daaarlings? Enjoying your life sentence on planet Earth?

I went off the deep end, dove down and deeper still, in search of that missing heart of mine. I haven't located it yet, but I have a hunch how to retrieve it when I do. I don't expect to get it back in mint condition, but I do expect to swim my way back to you. I wanted out of those waters as soon as I had him them, but there are no healthy ways to speed up these things, only hurtful ones, hurtful in the long run. 

But: I am in the business of make believe, of making you believe, so let's suspend disbelief for a moment, shall we, and pretend together. Imagine a day when that ache in the belly, that sensation of being strangled is gone. When that heart is back in its place, a little worse for wear but not so obviously I couldn't fool us into believing there was never anything wrong with it. I might not feel so now, but I can imagine.

I can imagine because the first thing I registered this morning wasn't heaviness but a woodpecker knocking at the top of a lamp post, a sure sign of spring. Stupid bird, waking me up. Smart bird, using an amplifier. I can imagine because when my youngest whispers "Mommy, don't be sad, I love you," it's my child's voice I hear, not hers, six words to break and mend that heart.

I can imagine because I step outside and find the snow gone from the streets. I can feel the ground beneath my feet and it feels good at long last. I can imagine because I have breakfasts to make and hairs to brush, I have books to write and languages to sort out, and, I quote, "I have my health." [bangs head against door] "I have my health." [and again] A lover friend to come home to, so many things to be thankful for. Those are not illusions but proof of life. That is all I focus on while I try to swim, not tread water.

Play along, will you. Let me come and prattle on or ponder, talk books and movies and men and sex and women and life, the universe and everything. I swim so much faster that way, every day a little closer. Let's pretend it's already that day somewhere in the future and I'm already that much closer to you. I know I said I wouldn't rush it...but I'm swimming as fast as I can.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New York minute

Sorry I'm not in, I've gone is search of my heart. I seem to have misplaced it on Saturday; at least I feel like a donor.

Leave a light on when you go, okay? I need it to find my way back to the den; I wouldn't want to lose you, too.

It's okay. I don't care how much this hurts as long as she no longer suffers. It's all right. As soon as I find that heart I'll be back up on all fours in no time.

Now go tell someone you love them, and I do mean right now. You have one minute. Go.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Onion Song

Sweetie daaarlings, I'm signing off for an extended weekend of eating and drinking and family fun, writing when I can steal the time (I will, I will, I must!), and most definitely reading, for the wee ones and by myself.

Get some rest if you can, or raise hell, go crazy, life is way too short to be cool 24/7. That's an order. Disobeying this order will result in very unnecessary headaches of your choice that come Tuesday next will make you rather regret not listening to Dita this April first. Chillax, for me, pleeease. I'm batting my eyelashes here, oh yes I am, emphatic, hypnotic. And my feminine wiles do nothing for you, do they? Damn.

Fools are my theme, let satire be my song, said Lord Byron. I'll leave you with this link to perpetual April Fools'. It would all be cute and funny if some of it wasn't so dead-on.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.