Hello, again, to anyone reading this blog. I’ve not been very prolific on here, this being only my third post, but there’s a good reason for that: I have been steadily chipping away at my fiction. I still haven’t been producing as much as I feel like I could be, but I know I’ll get there. I’m happy to report that last night I finished the first draft of “Seeing Things” and I already have the beginnings of the next story in the life of David Calchas. More on him, and the story, in just a bit.
First I would like to just float some of my recent ponderings your way.
Confidence is a strange, fickle beast. I often struggle with my own belief in the quality of my writing, and more times than not it’s that same lack of confidence that grounds my progress to a halt. I can get into a funk so deep that I’m convinced everything I write is trash. Somehow the knowledge that many others before me have gone through similar struggles, and gotten past them, does little to make the situation palatable for me. I can even look back at some of my own previous battles with the ten-ton pen, but in the moment those experiences don’t seem to be worth very much. Usually I find that something in me is responsible, and until that issue is resolved I have a tough time making any progress. And again, even though I’m able to think about the problem logically, that’s not much help.
On the other hand, there are times when I feel like I could keep writing until my fingers go numb. I get into the zone, I feel good about my writing and my entire process. I wish I could get into that rhythm whenever I wanted. If that was possible, well I’d probably spend every free second I had writing.
Last night I powered through the final pages of a short story, and I can’t remember the last time I wanted so badly for the story to just keep going. I reached the ending I’d set for myself, and that was great. I’m glad that I can move on from that one, at least until I go back to polish it for the next draft. What kills me is that I could have kept on going, or started another story right then. Alas, the hour was late and I had to get up for work today.
I’m just trying to look for ways to capture that good feeling and keep it going for as long as possible.
And now, as promised, a little introduction to my upcoming story and its protagonist.
Who is David Calchas?
Dave just wants to live his life in peace, go to work in the morning, and come home to eat a nice meal before he falls into bed. He’s cynical and sarcastic most of the time, and it’s gotten him into trouble more than once, though he’s not a bad guy if you get to know him. It’s just that the world seems to have very little regard for him, and the promise of a happy future is now seemingly out of reach. With his thirtieth birthday come and gone, a nasty divorce that’s just been finalized, and no children, Dave is sort of drifting through his days.
But that’s about to change in a big way. Dave looks in the mirror one day and sees two of himself looking back—one is his reflection, familiar and just what you’d expect to see, but the other is something else. The other Dave looks just like him, except he’s not staring back blankly. He’s grinning at Dave, waving at him and laughing hysterically as Dave tries again and again to wake up. There is no waking up, because the man staring back at him isn’t just a dream or the product of an over-active imagination.
That’s just where it begins for Dave, as he starts seeing more and more of these doppelgangers. The mirror isn’t the only place he’s seeing them: they’re watching him when he looks into puddles, sneaking up behind him when he talks to someone wearing sunglasses, or making faces at him from the shiny surface of a freshly washed window. Some of them are horribly disfigured or look like the victim of a serious accident, whether they’re missing limbs or losing their intestines through a big hole in their midsection.
He tries to just ignore it, but eventually he decides to tell someone about his visitors. That’s where “Seeing Things” picks up the narrative, with Dave sitting in a psychiatrist’s office and trying to explain this new, disturbing wrinkle in his day to day. He doesn’t really think he’s going crazy, but he’s too afraid to tell any of his friends or family about what he’s seeing. The way he looks at it, he’s paying for someone to listen to him for an hour and, you never know, maybe he is just going insane.
This story is an entryway into Dave’s world, a good place for the reader to get to know Dave and follow along as he tries to make some sense of all the absurd events that propel him into his new life. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot here, but like I said before this is an origin story. Dave will never be the same after the events of “Seeing Things” and his life becomes anything but dull. He’s put on a path from which there is no return, but as it turns out…he doesn’t care if he ever comes back.
And, yeah, I still need to put up some kind of bio for this blog. I’ll get to it, someday.