Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Life comes from the strangest stuff if you sit and think about it. If you think just about the human act of procreation you have to laugh at us. All that lip biting and looking sexy amidst bodily fluids and the clapping sound of flesh on flesh is just down-right comical. God's practical joke. I have found most men do not see the humor mid-coitus, so bursting into laughter when they do something particularly male and 'sexy' because it is so... pornstar hero... well, it is frowned upon.

Life is similar in nature. Let's just take cats. Family pet and friend, cats are cute. Fluffy. Companions. Their reproduction is hilarious. The male cat sniffs all over the neighborhood for the female based on scent given off by fertile female. If you picture human males doing this, well, funny stuff. Then when it gets down and dirty? You know that yowling noise you hear from cats in the neighborhood and you think... hmm, cats doing the nasty? Do you know why they yowl? Barbs on the male penis scrape the female sex organs during the deed. Cats are truly the sexual masochists of the animal world.

Don't get me started on twisted creations like the praying mantis or the sea horse. People watch all day long while butterflies or cats do the nasty. But every other creation is funny. Or icky.

Creating characters is a similarly strange process. Not as messy. I have never had to clean up after creating a character but then again I am young yet.

One of my favorite recent creations was PePe. He hasn't even gotten his real name yet as he is a new guy and as of now a secondary character. He is coming back later though to star in something. He is just too cool not too. PePe revealed himself to me while I was writing Odd Fate. I was plowing along during NaNoWriMo and vomiting words regardless of drive to write or creativity. For one scene I knew there was a robbery of a chicken drive thru. I knew that there was a shape shifter in the scene and he was really supposed to be a plot device. So I wrote him and described him as a stinky guy, yellow eyes... and had no clue what flavor of shapeshifter he was. As the scene progressed, I kind of needed him to go from half hairy to fully hairy.

And I got stuck. I don't get writers block. I have short periods of writers puzzlement. What was he?

So I was talking to my friend on the phone and I described the scene and what went down and she said... "So he stinks... yellow eyes... and you want it to be funny?"

I concurred.

"How about a skunk?"

I initially scoffed. A skunk shapeshifter. What did they even eat?

Omnivorous, the skunk fears nothing. The skunk rocks. Or doesn't rock. They will walk right up to a mountain lion but are scared of bass music. And the spray? Oh, fun stuff that.

So he became a skunk.

And he was created from confusion, a random idea of a friend and then research. Now the guy is going to eventually get his own book.

An interesting birth. Less painful than say Phin. Phin is my fairy eating, siren blend, fog shifting creature. Phin evolved over the course of three books. He started out a cameo monster and then blew up. Slowly... and painfully. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what and who he was.

My favorite birth has been Chance. Chance was born because Janie had life a little too easy. She had all things simple and I needed to mix things up.

Sitting down, all I had was primordial muck. Those two words. Those were the inspiration.

I sat and met him on paper by himself before he even hit the story. He is such a mystery in the book and he still hasn't told me everything about himself. He is the character most likely to wake me at three am with a scene that he has to be in and how could I possibly write it without him? He is the one always pushing and prodding at Janie... making her better or worse than she would be on her own. And yet all those pages of creation I had to do before I could understand him enough to write him... none of it will ever make it to a book. You get peeks. You get to glimpse his mysterious back story... Things like the silver bough give you an idea where he has been. And his meeting Fate. But you never quite get the full picture of what it is to be living breathing energy. To be power brought to life.

Chance is quantum physics embodied.

I don't think I will be able to top him for coolness. And Janie can't even get how flipping cool he is.

Ah, creation. Funny thing. You spend this time making a world, giving it inhabitants and then watching them play. That is what is magic about writing. It is like playing God for a minute or two. Safer because no one really bleeds. You can always do a rewrite... Life in real creation is smellier and messier and never goes the way you plan.

But to write... to create... what greater fun could there possibly be?

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