No one has told me to stop, so I’m still writing these extensions of my “Finding Mister Wright” story from this past winter break. Here’s another one: “Stupid, Macho, and Wicked” (opens as a PDF in a new window; ~2600 words/10 pages long).
Writing Marshall and the gang has been cathartic. I started writing them when we thought my dad was getting better, wrote some more when he was dying, and I’m still writing them after he’s gone. They’re not my most conflicted characters nor my most adventurous, nor even my most publish-worthy. But they comfort me. Maybe because I get to see, through them, the joy of love and family with fresh eyes. I like to think a lot of my dad’s wisdom comes through in these characters. Certainly, many story elements are drawn from personal experience, but their slow growth and evolution over all of these stories has offered me a lot of personal succor, too. A confirmation that life goes on, and can be good. And, that my writing can still be full of silliness and simplicity even when I think a lot about growing older and change and death.
This particular story doesn’t touch so seriously on any of those subjects, but it does flit around one or two a bit. I wonder sometimes if that’s the nature of Marshall and his story, or the way of all things. Take a look, if it please you. If not, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back next time with a more serious discussion of writing in general.
‘Til then: happy writing!
Just the first page alone, I’m getting tears from sensing the close connection you have with your dad. It’s like it’s his joy of having you that you’ve passed down to your children, and also into your writing. It’s so powerful.
Your writing celebrates your father’s life, and It’s just so beautiful to see that captured here. It may seem like these aren’t worth publishing because they don’t really lead anywhere, but the emotion behind it is all it needs. Sometimes, we just need a little comfort bubble every now and then.
Hey there, dear!
Wow. It’s been very quiet on my page since I posted this one, so I thought folks had gotten tired of these short fics and given up on me. Whether that’s true or not, though, your comment made a lot of things really come to light for me. That our writing doesn’t always need that outsider validation to be true to our own selves, and to mean something to us. Thank you! *hugs*
It’s so great to have characters and places you can come back to. Sometimes it’s an escape, sometimes it’s a reunion, sometimes it’s just working through something on a page. I’m so glad they have been with you through everything. 🙂
Thanks, Kourtney. This doesn’t put me any closer to that valued publishing goal we all seem to be chasing, but I’m enjoying the stories regardless. I’m actually rather tired of conflict, at the moment, LOL!
Maybe these snippets themselves won’t be part of a published work, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the ideas and characters are. Your fondness for them is clear, and they’re developing into three-dimensional people with distinct personalities. These fun breaks from the more conflict-oriented stories may also be your subconscious working behind the scenes on another project for you. 🙂
Thanks, JM – I hadn’t really internalized that idea that maybe I’m needing these little breaks to get through some rougher stuff. 🙂
I would disagree. Everything you write makes you a better writer. You learn something new in each story. So it’s all building toward that goal. 🙂 Hugs!
You’re right. I *really* need to stop obsessing over stats and just concentrate on the quality of the writing, whether it’s seen or not. *hugs*
If ever I could point to a story, series of stories, or just snippets of time to show how a family should feel in a story, it would be here. Maybe it’s the realism, maybe it’s the stage of life we are in right now, maybe it’s just me, but these are simply wonderful.
I definitely see parallels between Marshall and Ross Finch, which I rather enjoy seeing, but also some very stark differences. Marshall has a light, a joy to him that Ross didn’t upon introduction. Could be that’s just the power of new fatherhood, but there is a kind of magic there, no question.
Thanks, Shade. That’s great to hear!
That’s interesting, that you make that comparison between Marshall and Ross. Marshall definitely was influenced by Ross, though I can see what you mean about that joyfulness. Ross’s story is about redemption, so his journey should feel weightier. Marshall’s story, on the other hand, deals more with honesty and acceptance. Both of their growth journeys have similar parallel lines, but Marshall doesn’t have quite so far to go as Ross does.
This one is definitely one of my more favored shorts, too. Maybe because, as you mention, it’s really about family.