Category Archives: Atyriia

My main “heroine”… She’s a bit spoiled, a bit overzealous, and more than a bit over-protective of those she cares for. Which is everyone… And this gets her into trouble.

A Bit of Back-Tracking

Wednesday does this “thing” to me… it shows up every week, same time, same way… when I am least prepared for it.

I realized (actually, I was reminded) that I kind of dumped you all into this story a bit out of the blue last week. For anyone who wants the main opening chapters, of this Unnamed Story (my personal title is actually Phuque U, but only because I give most of my stories doofy names), there are eight rather long installments here. This section jumps several days into the future when ‘Listii and Atyr have finally admitted how they feel about each other. And the realization that it changes nothing in their chaotic lives with their responsibilities to others weighing over them…

This WIPpet happens maybe an hour at most before last week’s Not the Other Way. Just a glimpse into Atyr’s space as this is happening too. Five paragraphs for June 1st: 6-1

Her wandering footsteps found her at the door to the room she’d been given. She did hesitate to enter for a moment, then seeing nothing better to do she went in boldly. There was a ray of sun highlighting the waterfall now, and she stood at the archway, staring out at the crystalline rain for long enough to wish she didn’t ever have to leave it. But a cloud drifted across the sky, shading things, and she turned around to see if she might find herself some rest.

The room itself now glowed with the diffuse light of some battery-powered lamps. Fresh linens and a feather-bed had been brought up but had not yet been fitted to the straw slab.

Temporary…. not decided.

Her bags had been emptied into the drawer and the wardrobe–an invasion, even if it did seem to be the only suggestion of permanence in the room. Her brush and combs, all her personal effects, had been neatly arranged next to a basin and ewer of rose-scented water. She picked up the brush and passed the boar bristles through her hair a few times, watching her reflection in the silvered glass of the dressing table.

But she didn’t see herself.

If you enjoyed this, why not head over to the WIPpet linky and visit other WIPpetteers. A “Hi“, a cheer and lots of appreciation to Emily Witt for hosting the WIPpet bloghop these days. It takes a lot to corral our silliness.  If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, the rules are simple: post a sample of your most recent Work In Progress (WIPpet) that somehow (can very loosely) relates to the date and then add your post to our Linky List so we can come visit you too.

Insert creepy monotone voice here

Insert creepy monotone voice here

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The Morning After

Here I am a day late for my ROW80 check-in, and I feel completely unapologetic about it.  The last few days have been, to quote the prolific Chuck Wendig, amazeballs (actually Chuck has a lot of really awesome, though mostly NSFW* terms for writers to… um, ponder).

Anyway, absolutely friggen amazeballs!

Not only have I again caught up with all of my goals, I’ve been exceeding them (well, not totally, I still haven’t started that creative art thingie I was going to do, except a bit of coloring on one of those so-called “adult coloring pages” I printed off a while ago and had lain around.  I’m working on it slowly, bit by bit.

Here is something I drew myself for that very purpose you can download and color yourselves if you’d like.  It’s not Great Art, it’s just a sketch I made once.  If you click on the image before you download, you should get a full page image.

Just an old pump to color

Just an old pump to color

And besides…  I have had too much fun with my wonderful characters to want to do much more than spend my free time with them.   Especially Atyr…  she’s hard to ‘relate’ to, a lot harder than most of the others.  I find myself not connecting to her, a lot.  She’s got religious and political views that are alien to most anything I’ve been raised around.  And while I’ve made some study of martyrs, there is a deep difference between knowing the acts of someone so devoted to a belief and the inner feelings of such a person.

And a long time ago, I realized that for all that she lives through her choices, Atyr is a martyr to her faith.  To her, life is her punishment for not serving in her religious duties better, even despite the fact that those in charge of the temples she had been raised in were not acting in the interest of the people they served or the good of the world at large.

But Atyr believes in ideals, not individuals.  And I’m more the opposite.  I believe in individuals, then groups with more caution.  Ideals…. no so much. It always seems to me that everyone has their own interpretation of an idea—there doesn’t seem to be a universality to many things, and those tend to not involve higher level thought: basic needs, etc.

Yeah…  she’s a zealot.  And I think a lot of my problem with working with her is because people with that dogmatic a personality make me very uneasy even to be around.

But enough of my writing problems (what few there are…  one character out of several, and lots of words to write about all of them)…

Here’s some nori before I start the assessment of my goals.  I think I want to make something like stained glass out of this stuff.  Isn’t it just awesome?nori panes

And now my weekly assessment:

  • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: still detoured progress here, though I not done much Syd Field’s Screenplay either; some other library book reading… and an overdue fine to pay tomorrow
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: group is on hold for the month of April; however, finished all the critiques I owe; now need to submit something
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: one page ahead of count
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  getting ALL the words…  am so loving this time with my characters
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: managed to sort out and discover several files for bits of story and notes I’d thought I’d long lost and place them in Scrivener projects with the stories they belonged to *happy dance*

Again, since this post was late, and I was having serious doubts about getting anything done on Wednesday, I’m holding off one more week before I consider adding in extra projects.  We’ll see how things are by mid-week (fair warning my mid-week check-in will be on Thursday because this one is a day late).

Hope you had fun reading and plotting your own creative endeavors.  Before you go, why not visit a few other awesome ROWers here!

  • or most daily life…  you can do serious damage choking on that latte if you read these while drinking

Late Post Observations

Sunday Is Gloomy

Sunday Is Gloomy (Photo credit: Hamed Saber)[photo added because this excellent work suited my mood too well]

 For the last two weeks I’ve forgotten to…  well, not forgotten, but rather chosen to not write a Some Thing 4 Sunday post.  The chaos and crazy at our house is settling however, and it’s time to make a post, even if I must post it late.  Time to make a post before the habit kicks in and starting myself up again gets harder.

So, while I am nowhere near to processing the wealth of information and emotional reactions I’ve accumulated on child abuse and cults these past few weeks, let me share a some of what drew me to the project in the first place.

∴ ∴ ∴

Her name is Atyr.  She’s a character in my story universe, and back in high school when we first “met”, her hurt and fire resonated deeply.  Before long her story became a catharsis, where I hid my own feelings and denied my experience  as worthy of notice or comment.    Until the triggers made it impossible to even write her story because I’d buried so much…

bright red hair_mirror

bright red hair_mirror (Photo credit: M Aze)

I didn’t worry at the time.  I had a lot of characters and a lot of stories to write after all.  And conventional wisdom in the publishing world said I shouldn’t trap myself to a single genre (or worse a single story or character).  I knew I needed to “grow” as a writer, and figured I must have grown beyond writing Atyr.

Knowing I wouldn’t have to face the feelings of shame, loss and soul-deep hurt that came when I touched Atyr’s character deeply made me almost sigh with relief.  And I quickly looked away to other possibilities.

But Atyr wouldn’t let me go.  And my other characters wouldn’t let me let her go either.  They kept revealing connections to her, stories, memories, affections and anger, confusion…  but I couldn’t connect those pieces without touching my psyche more directly.

Happy Family

Happy Family (Photo credit: iLikePhotos!)

So I tried a different tactic.  I tried flash fiction pieces, I tried not-quite-personal posts that dealt with an instance of my life, but didn’t deal with me too closely …  I wrote poetry, took pictures…  escaped into the world of performing the character I’d cast for myself.  I wasn’t a girl who’d never grown up, I wasn’t lost in the world scared to look in the mirror or draw attention to myself…  not me.  I was traveled, experienced, creative, friendly,  helpful, out-going…  I was h….a…p..P.Y.

Thing is, masks come off, and I was taking mine off with the few people I was comfortable with (my husband, my best friend…) which added stress to those relationships.  Stressed, unhappy and… afraid, I was no state to be a fair partner or friend (I still wonder how I deserve such wonderful people in my life, especially for putting up with me for so long).

Things came to a head when I let myself go for a NaNoWriMo.  I let myself go, and Atyr took over.  I plowed through 60,000 words in two weeks sitting in Panera, gesticulating, writing, spilling out feelings of abandonment, of emotional and physical pain, of confusion with outside expectations, image issues, of tears and blank stares, of self-mutilation… of invisibility and the being object of scorn and disgust.  Of never being good enough….

Ever have one of those cries that leaves you feeling so drained you doubt you could shed another tear?   A cry so exhausting that you can’t move afterward?  Tears that surround you in flood-waters washing away the world beneath your feet?

60,000 words of a character’s story opened a floodgate within myself, and I’m still trying to find some stable, dry land.

It took me almost three years to look back at that notebook, because I put so much of myself in it.  Not in words related to my experience….  and sometimes not in Atyr’s as my truth escaped onto the page.

The happy family ... "food4horse"!

The happy family … “food4horse”! (Photo credit: occhiovivo)

Since opening those pages, I’ve slowly explored the story within.  I’ve read stories by others who’ve suffered abuse, emotional and physical, to learn how they face each day after accepting what they’d lived through.  I’ve tried to understand how these things can happen in loving families with caring parents or in schools or communities or…

…how we can become the monsters we fear so easily.

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