Monday, May 7, 2012

To Create or Not to Create? Dumb Question

Until this weekend I had been fairly diligent about writing my thousand words a day. Often you didn’t see them because I chose not to post, but the were written. I did write a song this weekend, another one, but certainly not a thousand words. I am quite happy about the lyrics though. And the melody and chord progression, which I stole directly from Ron Pope’s “A Drop in the Ocean”. I’m learning to play a new chord because of it: Bb.

I am not torn up about this lack of writing, however. I enjoyed my weekend, as it turns out, and spent plenty of time being creative. From Thursday night’s open mic night to running a D&D campaign at a BBQ on Friday to sitting down with a friend and doing the same again on Saturday while drinking a whole bottle of wine, I shaped and created songs, characters and stories.

I feel like I need to make some kind of reason or excuse for playing D&D, arguably the most nerdy of nerdy activities. I don’t really like that feeling. I enjoy it, and that should be enough. At the same time, I regularly have people ask what the attraction is. For me, it is a way of exploring character and story with a group of friends. When I join a game as a player, I get to be part of the story that’s presented and help shape the story through my actions. When I run a campaign, I am the one creating the story and reacting to the actions of the player.

Right now I am using the campaign I am running to flesh out the details of a novel I am inactively writing. If you can imagine a world that drops Peter Pan, Narnia, Redwall, steampunk, the French Revolution and post-American Civil War race conflict into a pot and stir them all together, you’re starting to get the right idea. The world is about the size of the United States or Australia, whichever gives you a better image, and consists of 5 tiers, like half a wedding cake. Each tier after the first relates directly to one of the four seasons  due to the sun and moon being attached to clockwork hands at the back of the cake. The tiers are physical representations of social class.

The game takes place in an alternate dimension of the same world. It has the same problems, but the rules of the game allow for more prevalent existence of magic and monsters. Neither of these is particularly prevalent in my novel. Not non-existent, just not running rampant the way it does in D&D. What running the campaign is allowing me to do as an author is gain a better grasp on the world I’m writing, fleshing it out with characters, places and in some cases, events, long before I actually work on my novel. It has been interesting to see how some of the ideas I have have worked out when presented in actual situations where the players encounter and deal with them. To say that talking animals in this world are treated much like African Americans were, à la the company store, etc, is one thing. To have a player decide his character feels the same way toward humankind due to his mistreatment at their hands is another altogether.

It is clear that while I ‘failed’ to write, I did not fail to be creative. I certainly succeeded in broadening my understanding of the world I am creating. For my D&D campaign, at least, there exists a medieval “utopian” society of talking animals on the other side of a shadowy tundra where the sun never shines. The idea of it came unbidden as the party traveled through a subterranean cavern on Friday. And now, even that idea merges with another that hadn’t made sense quite yet. War, though of a more tribal sort, affects even that small part of the world. A small conclave of clockwork beings fight for survival against the aforementioned society. Not so utopian after all. Bwahahaha.

What I find my brief absence from writing truly did for me is whet my motivation to keep it up. While I am content with the turn of events, I find that I miss those words I wrote. For now I am going to continue with the plan I began with. I will to write a thousand words a day in any form or combination thereof. Perhaps as it starts to truly become a habit I will start to focus my efforts toward my creative projects. In the meantime, it is the practice writing that I want. The creation of an addiction that will lead to future glory. Someday, somehow, someone will buy a book I wrote. In the meantime, I admire those of you with the gumption to have already done so.

Two hundred words short. New subject.

I am going to take a new friend out to play around at my parent’s house and have dinner with my dad and me tonight. I should probably warn her that he is going to be there, on second thought. Oh well, I will do that when we are already on the way. For anyone following my adventures in the wide world of dating, no, this isn’t planned as a date. Tia’s new to town and started coming to my dance class a couple weeks ago. I invited her out to karaoke last Tuesday after class, just so she’d have something to do and people to meet. She came to open mic night as well. So far she’s pretty much up for anything, as well as seeming kind and pretty bright. I could use someone to get out and do the things I enjoy with more than a date anyway, so as long as we continue to get along, I think I will leave it at that. She is also taller than me. I may have a slight issue with the quote about women all being the same height where it counts. Turning my head up to kiss someone is weird. So. . . here is to just wanting good company and letting the river of life take its course.

And a thousand words, goodnight.


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