Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Friendship


The book is coming along nicely.  I have two beta readers, which is a big help.  I'm very thankful to both of them.

I like the diversity of the characters in the book - one of my favorite characters is Emily's high school friend - Pudge.  On the surface, he is a downtrodden character, but in truth - he is anything but…

In chapter five, Emily reflects back on how she treated her good friend.

I inched my way out of the circle of Mark groupies, and started back to class thinking about how ashamed I felt when Mark ridiculed Pudge.  I didn’t know whether he was ridiculing Pudge or me, or both of us.  It didn’t really matter though, because the shame that I felt was clearly my own.  I didn’t stick up for Pudge, didn’t even own up to the fact that I asked Pudge to go with me.  I broke the kinship, and for that - I knew that for all the times I felt like an outcast - I should have known better.  I should have had the guts to be better.  The only shame I felt as I found my way to class - was my own for not sticking up for Pudge.

The relationship is tender, and as the story progresses - Emily learns just how wrong she was about Pudge at first-glance.  He possesses an inner strength and teaches Emily a lot about the deeper meaning of strength and character.  



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stuck


Stuck - have you ever felt stuck? It's indescribable — but in Pages in the Wind, Emily tries to give it a voice.  For her, seemingly positive symbols hold a different meaning.  After a barren conversation with her obsessive-compulsive mother, she wanders outside feeling "stuck."

As I walked outside to look for Reid, I felt like I was lugging a two-ton anchor behind me.  I know anchors are a sign of safety and all that — but that’s not how it feels to me.  You see, I want to sail away from the miserable anchor I’m tied to and find safer waters — somewhere.  Have you ever seen a boat weighed down by an anchor during a windstorm? It’s pitiful.  The boat rocks and struggles in the current, and jerks around rather hopelessly.  It’s trapped.  And when the winds die down — it’s so banged up it can’t sail anymore.  So – no, anchors are not always a sign of safety.  Sometimes they are deadly.

Emily cannot break away from her anchor because she is too young to be on her own.  By the time she reaches adulthood, she's weathered some pretty horrific storms.  How she deals with her past will be intriguing — and very unexpected.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Discovering Robert


Do you remember a day when everything you thought about a person changed? When you saw a person in a completely different way? When what you thought you knew about the person only skimmed the surface? This happened to the character, Emily, in Pages in the Wind.  Her brother was virtually unknown to her — they didn't share the same childhood.  I suppose you could say that he (excuse the cliche) was the prodigal son.  This all changed one day, sitting with him on the porch on a lazy summer day.  

Robert flashed a "goodbye-for-now" smile as he stood up and started walking toward the science fair.  I watched him walk, keeping my eyes fixed on the perfect boy with the shiny black shoes and red bow tie.  He looked different — smaller and more vulnerable — almost lonely.  Something made me see him differently.  It certainly wasn't his perfectly combed hair, or his over starched shirt — that was always Robert.

As I thought about the look in his blue eyes, and the way he handed me the brown paper bag…I realized what was different about him.  He was different because father wasn't with him.  Father wasn't there to bolster him up on a pedestal, and direct his every move like the grand ringmaster.  Without father, Robert was my brother.

And I loved him…I loved the sweet, lonely boy in the shiny shoes and red bow tie.

Robert will become an important character in Emily's life - now that she realizes he is so much more than a nerdy brother living in a different universe.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cast Changes


The first draft of Pages is finished, and now I'm in the editing phase.  Some of it (even the stuff I like) has to go, and the characters have evolved and sometimes morphed into a different character altogether.  A few characters that started out as bit-players are walking to center stage in the final.  Somewhere in the story, they must have touched a chord in me and in doing so — have become more important to the story.

This is certainly true of the psychiatrist - Dr. Lieberman.  He started out as somewhat insignificant but I grew to like him.  Why? Because he was different and complicated.  Here's a glimpse at him:

Not what I expected.  Hearing about all the books he'd written, and his world-renowned status as an expert in regression therapy, I expected a tall dapper professor type in a three piece suit.  That wasn't Dr. Lieberman.  What I saw was a pencil-thin man in his late sixties wearing a wrinkled gray suit holding up his "wait a minute" finger as he fumbled through an avalanche of loose papers.  His wide beat-up wooden desk was filled with unwashed coffee cups, un-filed notebooks, and empty candy wrappers.


I suppose this is true in "real life" too -- someone that you thought was somewhat insignificant in your life grabbed you in some way and changed how you saw that person — and perhaps how you saw yourself.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Walls


I suppose that we all build walls; sometimes to protect us from harm, or to shield us from repeating a pain from the past.  That self-imposed barrier will often keep people away that might enrich our lives.   Also, the barriers that we build for ourselves are imposed on others and hurt them too.  We see this in Pages in the Wind, when Emily realizes that she failed to reach a breakthrough in communication with her mother.


Pulling into the garage, the reality of the depressing morning was starting to get to me.  I needed space from her, and the sad revelation that there wasn't going to be a breakthrough in our relationship.  It was heartbreaking to know that someone that I desperately needed - didn't need me.  The barrier that I hoped would tumble when we talked about Penelope - was still standing tall.  Something told me that I would never be able to reach the top, and if I did - she would only add more bricks to keep me away.


The wall around Emily's mother is exactly that - a wall of despair - and one that she has transferred to her daughter.  The thing with walls is that if they can keep away the bad, they can also keep away the good.  This wall plays an important role in Emily's development, and the events that follow.