A bit about what’s going on and what made Desteria even happen. It’s a bit lengthy of an explanation but I hope it helps understanding some of the mind behind the madness.
Well, it’s been awhile since my last blog post as I have been just completely down as of late. Between allergies, the extremely lethargic weather (we have sun again, yay), the goings on with government, constant posts about said issues and frequent training meetings at work I have had little time or, quite frankly wherewithal, to write. I do what I can in activism and keeping up to date on the goings on of the government at a local, national and global scale so I can stay informed. I do what I can in the tiny town I live in to limit the influence or harm done but lately I have been completely overwhelmed.
I started Desteria in the summer of 2010 when I had been fired from a job I had held for eight years due to mismanagement, I was one of twelve that month that got fired for the same “reason”. Between the Unemployment (I was found at no fault thanks to the manager ignoring company policy) and the off and on of the state and federal government having a tug of war over the policies each side wanted to pass I was angry. Still am really but it was much more muted until recently. I started really paying attention to activism and writing about how I felt by creating this dystopian universe.
I could easily see how. I could happen with the climate at the time and even now. It was my way to address the lack of care a government body and corporations had towards people in general. More so those who don’t fit the mold of subservience that seems to be more and more in demand lately. I just started writing in a form of word-vomit (pretty sure the polite term is world building) and just tried getting my emotions onto paper. The numbness that allows for complacency, the anger that is settled underneath just waiting for the right outlet, the hope that if you work/pray/love hard enough the world will be better and the what if of a world that wasn’t touched by the harshness of the world.
Desteria was born from my frustration, depression and hope for the world and what I remember growing up believing in prior to the economic fall. I had grown up to an extent with the understanding that there are possibilities if one looked. After the economic turn and 9/11 I became despondent and felt, like many, unmoored. I had no idea what this world would come to and started being even more pessimistic and cynical about what the future would become.
I still have hope. It’s small but there. I keep wanting to see the Star Trek style utopia and less of the current dystopia we are in. I can’t help but, even with all my sarcastic cynicism, that one day I may see the beginnings if not the whole. It’s probably the reason my main character is called Cyn. She represents the anger, cynicism and need to make due with what she can. Lairia, her partner, is the hope and spiritual side of myself that helps keep my cynicism in check. Without either I don’t think I could pull this off as well. They are as much me as they are their own characters. Neither could really exist happily without the other. Before you, my dear reader, think there is a romance; there isn’t. I actually have no romantic interests in this story.
Now to the reason that is, it’s because so many stories with strong female characters don’t go without a romantic interest throughout the storyline. Now Cyn did have a fiancé and a tragic back story to explain how she ended up where she is but that I am trying not to use so much as a trope as a underline of the discrimination that this society has. While talking to my best friend who I’ve known forever, we were discussing the societal background and fleshing out things that I had added since the last time I had written. It was then that I came to a realization that the story, while Urban Dystopian Fantasy, was dealing with discrimination against a certain classification of people. It was eye opening to me as I was not purposefully setting out to do it.
One thing I have to say about writing is that you really can find yourself while doing it. She just laughed when it dawned on me. Apparently she had drawn parallels to the discrimination as a disabled person she has had to deal with all her life and I amused her that the thoughts and feelings she had shared about it found their way into the story. I had started putting myself in her shoes as much as possible when it would come to if she can do something as seemingly simple as picking up a box. I would limit myself to her range of motion automatically to see if it was easy, if not I would warn her of the difficulty and offer her help if she found it too much. Works great when having to move things around.
In dealing daily with someone’s perspective it can really open your eyes to the world more. I knew what the struggles for myself were with enacted polices and she provided the additional viewpoint of what it would mean for someone with a disability. This perspective has helped with my story, whether I realized it or not, and has helped me with my activism. Now I just need to not get overwhelmed with the activism and finish this first book. She’l be writing the second and we both will be collaborating on the third. At least that’s the plan.
Keep on keeping on and don’t forget to write when you can. Even if it is on a receipt or napkin just don’t do what I do and throw the sucker away on accident.