Monday, April 12, 2004

The pen is lazier than the sword 

Hmmm, that title could use help. Oh, well, if another occurs to me, I'll change it. Anyway, I wanted to write about not writing.

I had dreams of being a wirter, back in the day, but I never really had the discipline to make anything out of what talent I had. Eventually I realized that I wasn't destined for literary fame and fortune, so I went on to other things. But I still have a few ideas parked on the shelf. And I try dabbling here and there with some group stories. There's a couple on the Unearthed Ruminations board, which I haven't touched since November. I've got new entries planned for both, but have yet to flesh them out and get them online. Then there's a story/role playing thread over at the Trek, Sci-Fi and Beyond board. I only made one entry to that but then held back. The other three folks writing it are on a roll and I don't know if they are just very used to writing with each other or if they have a definite plot in mind. Either way, I'm content to wait and see if there's a good point to jump in again.

And the there's Poodlepums. (sigh) A couple of years ago we tried to write a story together. I think she found out about one I had did at a previous incarnation of Unearthed and wanted to do one herself. So I wrote down the opening I had did on that tale and she immediately took off on her own direction. It was fun for a while, but as so often happens, we ran out of steam and the story just sort of fizzled. Then this year, she wanted to try another joint venture, so I indulged her. It's kind of amazing how she's changed over a couple of years. She still has the annoying habit of introducing characters as in-jokes that just clutter up the story, but she's definitely improved her craft. She also has more definite ideas about what she wants in the tale so I have to choose between following her lead or throwing in jokes to try and tease her. Alas, I too often opt for the latter. Not that it matters, however, as she has proven quite capable of holding her own. For example, she's been nagging me to write, so last night I finally picked up the notebook and laid down a big section with the sole intent of screwing up her plotline. She was going to marry the main character, Emma, off to the king of Hungary. I pulled the time traveller card and dragged Emma off to the future where she met her older self happily married to a poor electrician named Bill. Very devious, I thought. But then the little brat simply grabs the pen and has Emma wake up from her dream. Quite a blow to my ego. ;-)

Anyway, I've been wondering if I should take the Emma story a bit more seriously, and throw in a bit of constructive criticism. I don't want to become a stage-dad or anything, but I think a little nudge here and there is a legitimate part of raising a kid. Of course, Poodlepums is only 11, and there's something to be said for saving the career counseling for the later teen years. (Or is that the mid-40s?) Oh, well. Plenty of time to decide that tomorrow. And in the meantime I can ponder what to do with my new character, Aleshanee, and her amazing, time-travelling chronoplotz.