It happened again....the coffee cup hit the table as I asked the computer, "Are you outta your pea-pickin mind? You can't do that...you've gone nuts!" Followed by muttering and then, "Oh don't you start with me...I said no." Shadieux, one of my dog herd, looked at me with eyebrow Olympic warm-ups in gear- you know, first one goes up until her head is mired in wrinkles, and then the other one. My husband wandered out and looked all around trying to decide who I was speaking to and looking as confused as the dog. The son strolled through, sized up the situation and removed the cup, it reappeared- freshly filled as he commented,
"You brought them in, you can erase them too?" Now the hubs looked really confused, he's figured out the kid is in the loop when he followed with "which one is it?" And knew which story it was by the name of the character given. He had to explain it to his dad.
I always say I'm not going to argue with my characters, I mean, it's just arguing with myself...right?? Yeah, I don't care if no one else can see or hear them, I can. Which is why I write their stories. I know them...I like them. Sometimes I like them more than real people. There are people who look at me funny when they ask where the stories come from and I answer, from the characters. They tell me who they are and where they've been and then its up to me to guide them on a journey someone else would want to read about.
Over a lunch with my friend Holly, we were having a discussion over the current series when she lamented that she couldn't even manage a decent email some days and then repeated a section from Rebel Child and followed it with, "I could close me eyes and see it, smell it, it was like I was there too." She shook her head and said she couldn't do that. So it became an exercise.
"Close your eyes, do not snore, and see a tray of cookies coming out of the oven...what do you smell?"
We went on like this for maybe five minutes until she got to the nuances of flavors in said cookies, the tell-tale smell of gas from the oven, the warm on the oven mitt releasing a bit of the odor from a scorched spot. I stopped to scribble a couple words on an envelope and she asked if it was characters
leaving me love notes. (Yeah, she's catching on.) Then she asked a question that stumped me.
"This is like being a kid and having an imaginary friend...talking to them, having tea parties and then...poof, they're gone. How do you keep that part alive?"
In truth, she's pretty close. In reality...I have no clue- maybe writers are just part Peter Pan? We're observant...it shows when we create a character or a place in a new work, we're nosy- we want to know, what happens next...so why not?
I asked the current crop of characters what they thought...they're arguing over it still...I need to go ground them- it worked with the kids when they argued.
I'm Carissa Marks, mom, grandma, wife,sister,friend, pain in the neck, author of The Realm of Night Trilogy, Confessions of a Rebel Child, Beastly Beauty, and under my alter ego-Cici Adams, I wrote Samaria Blair and The Secret in the Abbey.