Archive for September, 2007

Chapter 38: After All, It’s What We’re Made Of

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Memories help explain the past, but sometimes they have a life of their own. David begins to recognize himself and what he’s there to do.Marley was one of those characters that lodge themselves into your brain and won’t let go. If I had never written The Sum of David, I still would have done something that showcased the Memory Dragon. I believe strongly that the past helps shape people, so a creature made of the junk of the past seems appropriate.

Pittsburgh’s second 24 Hour Creative Marathon is taking place on Friday and Saturday, and we’ve been hard at work getting things ready for everyone that might come down.

Basically, you show up at the Creative Treehouse beginning at 8pm on Friday, Sept 28. Sign up, find a spot to settle in, and get to work creating some art according to this marathon’s theme: “Lost and Found”. Everyone’s welcome, whether you’re an amateur or professional, regardless of medium. Artists have until 6 o’clock on Saturday to finish up, when we’ll begin set up for the gallery show starting at 8 pm. The gallery show will feature the freshly squeezed art, four bands, food, drinks (BYOB if you’re so inclined); all for $2 at the door.

It’s going to be a blast. Even if you aren’t interested in the “making art” portion of the event, the gallery is going to be really fun. Who doesn’t like music, art and food? If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, I hope I’ll see you there!

Chapter 37: The Missing Piece

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

David finally has access to his memories, and the real contents of the shack reveal themselves in vivid fashion.
These chapters were my carrots for writing this entire story; I loved every feverish minute of it. You should see my notes for this scene: pages after pages of various objects that would communicate my own memories of childhood… not to mention the memories that might hold relative to my brother’s adolescence,since this whole shebang is for him in the first place. I had to omit a lot to keep it from being just too much, and I’m still not sure I deleted enough.
There some obvious liberties taken, of course. Our dad is thankfully still very much alive and kicking, and although we grew up with dogs, none were technically killed by car accidents. The attitude and feelings of David’s mother are more me than our mom: since Seth’s so much younger than I am, I’ve always felt responsible for him, even if it’s not in the he-came-from-my-womb kind of way.
Some things are lifted directly from our childhood. The goose-shaped cookie jar, for instance, was always full of mom’s NutriGrain bars, which were off-limits to us kids (we stole them anyway). We always had TONS of National Geographics lying around. The inspiration for The Batman tee was a set of PJs Seth had when he was a toddler that he wore until the pants turned into shorts and the shirt showed most of his belly. I’m sure he’d be happy to know I’m sharing that they had a teddy bear police officer on the front. We also really painted a giant fantasy-themed mural on the back of our house - I painted the dragon.
Although I don’t have quite the affection for dragons that Emily does, all of my stories so far have featured the creature, and I did think it an appropriate theme to continue throughout this one. Also, one of the coolest tattoos I’ve ever seen was a huge dragon on a beautiful woman’s back. So there you go.
On a more sober note, Wheel of Time’s Robert Jordan passed away yesterday of a rare blood disease. I read the WoT series in high school and college and enjoyed it immensely. His plots are complicated and epic, and I really loved the main characters (all 37 of them). My thoughts go out to his family and my fellow fans.

Chapter 36: A Familiar Face

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

David and gang reach the center of the Lake and its mysterious shack… and within? Secrets!

A few weeks back, I recollected a conversation that Josh and I had regarding how a person spends their time; the why’s and how’s of what people do, specifically surrounding the subject of writing a novel. I’m a naturally patient person anyhow, so the whittling away of page after page and scene after scene isn’t torture — it isn’t always awesome, but its doable.

When things do get tough, I usually have a carrot. There’s some kind of reward at the end of the tunnel — and this scene was it. The “Memory Shack”, as I refered to it in my mind (and on the outline) was what I worked towards for the first 150 pages of the story. When we did brainstorming sessions, this was the scene that lit up my colleagues’ faces, and the turning point that Josh kept asking about when he read the nth draft.

Things begin to really come together over the next two chapters… Years ago, when I was sitting in awe at a Cirque du Soleil performance and inspiration struck — this was the imagery that sparked David’s tale.

Chapter 35: Beyond the Surface.

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

David and gang head out to the Lake, the key to unlocking David’s mysterious past. Interesting questions arise, and help comes in an unexpected form. We also get our first shot of the Lurk.

The Labor Day weekend was comprised of three beautiful packed-but-relaxin’ days. I went rollerblading twice (and wiped out only once, yay!), gave myself a ballet class, went to Lake Morraine for hanging, went to and hosted a bbq, saw “License to Wed” (ew), and attended a meeting about the 24-hour Creative Marathon in a few weeks. There was more, but it was so much fun I can’t remember it all. Madness!

The weekend was to be my official last hurrah before beginning my next novel. My start date of Sept 1st has been adjusted a little because of some unforseeable circumstances, but I’m still feeling very excited about the whole thing. Or, I would be if I wasn’t presently feeling over-worked and over-caffeinated. It’s all for good reason, though, I promise.