Pronunciation Guide

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

OHMYLANTA OHMYLANTA OHMYLANTA!!

At about 4 pm yesterday, I finished book one of my tetralogy.

…OH. MY. GOSH.

ajskldfjalerkfjalkefjawleuralw;eugoiajelkjf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! jalkefjalkerfj!!!!

I don’t really know what else to say, haha!

So, I have officially written TWO books now. Two full-length novels. (And probably way too long, but whatever.)

Now on to editing/tweaking…and writing book two!

I am a little sad, actually, to be preparing to move on. I mean, maybe after editing this one (starting at the beginning and going through, making sure everything flows and fits), I will be ready. But as horrific as this first book is, I always love the beginnings of things. When everything is new.

My hope?

That I will be able to keep the same tone that marked the first book. Not so much the horrible/sad/everything is hopeless tone --- but the intensity of it, the unflinching look at unflinching brutality. What I would hate is for the rest of the story to become light and playful.

And I don’t think that will happen, but still. I want to avoid it.

I want every bit of this story to be grabs-you-by-the-throat-and-doesn’t-let-go.

Well, book one, it’s been crazy. You didn’t go anything like I anticipated, which is so good.

And main girl, here’s to our continued journey.

=D =D =D

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oh my gosh an actual post?!

Hi.

So, NaNoWriMo ended a week ago today.

I ended up with 53,415 words (had to make it end in a 5!)…and I am quite proud of that. (For those who don’t know/weren’t following, NaNo is a challenge to write a novel/50,000 words in a month.) I am always too hard on myself, though; in the days since then, I have written only about 3,000 words total, and I’ve been kind of bummed about that. But regardless.

I wish I had something all profound and whatnot to write on here, but to be quite honest, I don’t really remember how to do that. Ha! I have been so focused on the story, and so not-focused on anything else…I don’t know. As of right now, the story isn’t teaching me a whole lot. Or maybe I am not willing to learn much. I am just trying to wrap it up without being cliché, unrealistic, or indifferent. I don’t want to rush it; have never wanted to rush it or force it or just haphazardly throw and ending together.


What has NaNo taught me?

1. That discipline is key. During NaNo, I made myself get up early, prioritized my time far better than I had been prioritizing it. When I had an hour before I had to leave for work, instead of being like, “Eh, not enough time to get into anything…”, I said, “No. You have to write. You have to get at least _____ words today. And you can’t do it tonight --- you close. Sit and write something.” And I would. And most times when I did that, I hit --- or at least got very near --- my daily word-par.

2. That I can write 50,000 words in a month, without a huge amount of adjustment. I mean, I didn’t take time off work, I didn’t completely check out of the world. My husband and I even moved. (We don’t have much stuff, and we had help, but still.) A few hours a day of diligent writing, and I rather easily hit the daily word-par. Maybe I am being overly confident/cocky…but it didn’t seem THAT difficult. At times, yes, it was; but most of the time, it just kind of…happened.

3. That NaNo is one of THE best things I could have done for my writing. I will most definitely do it next year (provided that I’m not, like, dead or something…and have both hands!), and I am going to do my best to keep up the 50,000 words a month pace. I’m a bit behind for doing that this month, though I kind of wanted to chill through December, do some backstory stuff, and hit it hard again come January.


Admittedly, a LOT of what I wrote for NaNo was ideas I’d had in my head already and just hadn’t written yet. In fact, the first few weeks were especially that --- I needed to write, so everything that had been stewing had to come out. But I also came up with some new stuff, ideas that came as I wrote. Most notably is the past of a new girl character; it wasn’t planned at all, it just happened as I wrote a scene. So that kind of stuff is cool.

I truly have very little left to write in book one. I don’t really know how many pages, but it is no more than twenty, and probably closer to ten. My struggle right now is figuring out how to split up the chapters; things aren’t working too well on that front. So we shall see. I’d very much like to finish book one within the next few days --- which, again, if I discipline myself, this is very possible.

And on that note, I shall end this. Await my “BOOK ONE IS TOTALLY WRITTEN!!!” post with bated breath. ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So, my “hot chocolate” has become more like “cold, chocolately water”. …Bummer.

’Ello. I am still alive; never fear!
Today is, naturally, the thirteenth day of NaNo.
I didn’t write much yesterday, but I WILL make up for it today. I was quite ahead by Sunday, so even without writing much yesterday, I only need an extra hundred-ish words today. On top of the 1,670. I have honestly barely paid attention to that. My goal is to get at least the word-par for that day.

And I have decided something.
I hate to do this, feel like a traitor…but it is time.

I am going to actually start using parenthesis in my writing again, instead of brackets.

It is going to take some getting used to…but, alas…I feel I must.
So sad.
Goodbye, brackets. You will always look cooler to me.

In more serious news, I have decided something else: After NaNo, I am going to try really hard to keep up the pace of 50,000 words a month. If I do that, and each book is about the same size, I will be finished with the ENTIRE STORY within a year.

That…is insane.
But so, so exciting and hopeful.
I mean, I have looked at this story and thought, “Man, it is going to take me like five years to finish this. And that’s without any life interruptions.”

But to see that it is actually possible to have it done in a year…that is just…wow. Just wow.

…Anywho.
Updates:

1. Chapter nineteen is done, as is twenty. That means I am ON chapter twenty-one, and I already have some of it written. Actually, I have some of every chapter from here on out already written; at this point, it comes down to just bridging stuff, and adding a few more pieces to the puzzle. I am so close. So close.  

2. I added something at the end, which is fun. (My version of “fun”.) This allows for something to happen that I really wanted to keep…and it also means the book will very likely be twenty-three chapters. Yes, I keep adding; first it was twenty-one…blah blah. Yeah, and the inn part was only supposed to be five chapters. (It now spans fifteen.) BUT…based on what I have, and what seems to be left…twenty-three is a very good guess.

3. Since my last post, I have added these parts to the story:
            ~Her traveling to the city (different from her getting to/into it); it is several different scenes/parts
            ~The aftermath of her first encounter with the half-breed guy
            ~A really awful dream, and the aftermath of it
            ~A different long conversation between her and a half-breed girl
            ~Another interaction between her and those girls, where she allows them to help her a little
            ~A very new twist-idea thing that I thought of, where she tries to leave the city; several parts to this
            ~A conversation between her and her guy (wait, did I say “her” guy?! Hehe!), which actually takes place in book three

And…that is pretty much it, I think. =)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What to call this, what to call this…

WELL!

Today is the fifth day of NaNoWriMo. I am pleased to say that I have been writing a lot; as of yesterday, I had 6,872 words. [I needed at least 6,680.] This makes me happy, because I only wrote about 500 on Sunday --- meaning I had an extra thousand-plus to make up yesterday. Which I did, somehow. …Whew. Writing may not be physically tiring, but it is mentally and emotionally draining. And if you think differently, you probably haven’t written any sort of involved story. ;) ;)

Anyway…some exciting updates:

1. Chapter eighteen is complete.

2. Chapters nineteen and twenty don’t need a huge amount more.

3. Over the past week-ish, or so, I have written the following:
            ~The fifth “rising water” dream [for those who know, it is the recurring one where she is in the glass box]
            ~The aftermath of that dream
            ~Her getting to and into the new city
            ~The first few things that happen in that city [and there are several parts to this]
            ~The aftermath of another creepy dream
            ~A long conversation between her and a half-breed girl

4. Book one itself will be either twenty-one or twenty-two chapters long. I thought twenty-one at first, but I had to move some stuff around, and…yeah. I am thinking twenty-two, just to give myself time to not have to rush things.

5. I have essentially figured out how the half-breed group approaches people…I think. They have some things they try to do --- provide food, extra clothing, and meet basic physical needs --- and then just kind of go on a case-by-case basis. That seems to make the most sense.


What I need to figure out extremely soon:

1. Back-stories for the half-breeds that my girl will encounter first; namely, the ones with the actual group that finds her.

2. Also back-stories for the backup group; but that can be later. Not much later, but later.

3. What exactly happens between the end of eighteen and the middle-ish of nineteen; namely, what happens as she travels from where she is now to the new city.


As everything stands right now, I DEFINITELY think finishing book one by the end of November is possible. More than possible…it is certain. Doing NaNo has been soooo good for me so far. It is somewhat stressful, but it is also great for helping cultivate some discipline in me. I mean, barring something happening, I may even be able to finish book one this week. I have been writing exclusively in it since NaNo began, and I truly do not have much more to do. In fact…

What’s left in book one:
1. The several-day journey from the current city to the new city. It is going to be four days total, I believe. There will be some flashbacks/dreams/hallucinations in this part, which are always fun.

2. The rest of her interaction with the half-breed group, which takes place over a few days as well. I have the initial meeting, another conversation, and then the end.

3. Edit and tweak and make sure everything fits and flows and all of that good stuff.

4. …And…that’s it.


And THAT…is exciting. =D

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The eve of NaNoWriMo. […I still hate typing that out!]

NaNoWriMo starts at midnight tonight, making tomorrow the first official day.

Annnd…I work 11-9 tomorrow.

Haha! This was poorly planned [well, it wasn’t planned at all, actually!], but I am TRULY going to try to do this 50,000 words thing. I am not the most competitive person, but if I am honest, I really want to have one of those little “winner” ribbons on my NaNoWriMo profile [which you get for writing 50,000 words in November]. They just look so…eeep!

…Ahem. Anywho.

I have already written about…well, I’m a little under 1,000 words right now for today [which, admittedly, does not count toward this challenge], but I am just getting started. I have a few more hours before work, and I AM going to use them well! [Though I need a shower sometime in there. …Which is still using my time well!]

In order to reach 50,000 words by the end of November, I need to write 1,670 words a day. The average is really more like 1,667, but…I have to have things end in either zeros or fives, so…I rounded up. …I am so weird. I may even make it 1,675, which is better than 1,670. …Either way, I am hoping I can actually do this. It doesn’t seem like much when you break it down…but it averages out to 120 pages for the month, 4 pages a day. …I was struggling with 2 pages a day. Eek.

…Sorry for the explosion of numbers in this post. Sheesh.

ANYWAY. I am working on book one today…and I really do not have much left in it. I mean, I am not going to rush it, and I am NOT going to skip over parts that should be in it just so I can be done faster. Uh-uh. It will be all it is meant to be. …BUT. I have about fourteen pages in chapter 18 right now; and about…crap. Hang on. Sixteen in chapter 19. And I don’t know how many will be in chapter 20. But basically what I am saying is, “OH MY GOSH I AM ALMOST DONE!”

Regardless of whether or not I complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, whether I get 50,000 words and “win” it…regardless of whether or not I actually finish book one by the end of November…I just want to finish book one.

I have written a book before. My elf story is complete, cute, like 600 pages, it took me a year to write…and I finished it in 2007. …That, uh…was a while ago. And yes, a LOT has happened to me since then [meeting my husband, everything with our relationship, getting married, personal stuff, working more, etc.], and I have written a LOT since then…and this story is way bigger than that one…but sometimes I have wondered if I can actually do it. If I truly have another book in me. I mean, it is one thing to finish one book. Yeah, not a ton of people do it --- but how many people only write one book, and have nothing else in them? …I don’t want to be that. I mean, I have NO idea how I will ever write anything after this story…but…who knows. And yeah, finishing book one isn’t like a massive accomplishment --- it is basically like finishing the first PART of a story, instead of finishing an actual stand-alone story --- but…it will just be nice.

Nice to have it written, totally.

Nice to have accomplished some of the goals I have set for myself [and I am bad at both setting goals and meeting them].

Nice to be able to move into the aftermath of the inn, instead of it being right in the corner of my eye.

Nice to be able to have some NICE characters for once, sheesh. [If you don’t count the H-guy guard as nice, which, I mean, I do because of course I love him, but…few others will.]

Nice to just…I don’t know…be able to really…see that I am a writer? Haha! Is that lame?

Well…here’s to November being super productive --- let’s do this, Angie!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NaNoWriMo and a way-too-long synopsis

SO.

The past month has been insane and awful and good and painful and awesome and discouraging and difficult and encouraging and…simply all over the place. [Ha!] I have done very little writing…and I am probably crazy to say this, but…

…I signed up for NaNoWriMo --- National Novel Writing Month.
For those unaware [as I was about three hours ago]…it is a challenge where you write 50,000 words in the thirty days of November.

…Yep. I am insane. Haven’t written in weeks…and I am going to aim for that.

Besides that…I already made the goal to finish BOOK ONE by the end of November. I really don’t have a huge amount more to write in it; it is just a matter of actually figuring stuff out and doing it.

I do want to share with you the synopsis I wrote for NaNoWriMo [ugh that is annoying to write out, with its weird capitalizations]; it said to write a short synopsis, but…let’s face it…this is me. ;)

It took me a while to actually start writing said synopsis --- in my defense, I am trying to summarize the content of FOUR books, not just one --- but once I did…I don’t know. I just really like what I wrote. It doesn’t really give much away, but it explains things in enough detail [I think?] that is at least somewhat interesting! Ha! But it made me excited about my story again…which…I haven’t felt that in a while.

So, without further ado, here is the story synopsis [this can also be found on the new page link, “About the Story”:


The land is stained with blood.

For centuries, the world has been decimated by war between the creatures and the humans. The reigning human authorities feed on power, perpetuating the conflict in the name of protection. The creatures remain in the forests, their numbers dwindling and their rage growing. Half-breeds live on the streets of every city, the results of rape, reviled by both races.

Into this world at war with itself, a girl is born. Unwanted, despised…but deceived. Deceived…until the deception can no longer be hidden --- and her true heritage is known: …Half-breed. Escaping death was easy…compared to escaping the brothel. And escaping the brothel was easy compared to learning to trust again. But learning to trust again doesn’t erase memories of the brothel…and the other girls trapped there. And when a rescue attempt crumbles, she’s had enough.

Convinced that everyone around her dies because of her, she heads for the forest, determined to end her life by the creatures’ hands. But instead of killing her, they capture her…and force her into a different kind of slavery. And just when she’s starting to try to revive her life from her self-imposed grave, move on from all the horror…everything crashes down on her again in the form of a man she never wanted to see again, a man who haunts her every nightmare. A man…who comes before her seemingly broken and repentant…but still chillingly dangerous.

Yet unbeknownst to her, unbeknownst to anyone…change is coming. Change that will rock the foundations of the world, change that will release those who have long been held in the darkness. Change that will dismantle everything the living have ever known. Change that will bring healing and hope to those who do not know how desperately they need both. …Change that hinges on her doing the very thing she doesn’t want to do --- …forgive the unforgivable.


This is a story of a girl who, in of herself, is insignificant. She’s not the “chosen one”, she’s not the long-lost princess, she’s not the only one who can bring balance back to the world. She’s nothing. But in her nothingness…she is everything. An explosion of light. A rock, slamming into otherwise still water. A gust of air into lungs that have not truly breathed, an eruption of blood into hearts that have never truly beat.

This is the story of a girl who does not set out to change the world, does not even think about changing the world.

This is the story of a girl who changes…and who changes those around her. Those who are something. Those who can change the world.

This is a story of purpose, of being who and where and what you are for a reason.

This is a story of redemption of the seemingly irredeemable.

…This is a story of hope.


And…goodbye. ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Help me hold on

Well.
…Well.

…What to even say.

I feel like a failure right now. I am discouraged, and disheartened, and my heart just…hurts. Aches. The last three-plus weeks of my life have been…have…been…I…don’t really know how to describe it. Awful, yet really good; devastating, yet encouraging. I keep vacillating between hope and joy…and despair and terror. …Yay.

As is probably the case for most writers…since my personal life is such a…whatever it is…my writing life is pretty much matching it.

I have ideas, don’t get me wrong. I just…have been quite consumed by other stuff…and I feel…

Sad.
Guilty.
Ashamed.
Frustrated.
Angry.
Lost.

…I feel lost. So, so lost.

I am so very stuck. I feel like if I could just sit and write…I might be able to work through this block…but I just…can’t. Or don’t. Or won’t. Or something. I don’t know what I am afraid of…I just…I don’t know.

I know that I will come through this; I have been stuck like this at other times, and I have preserved…and the story continues to flow. I KNOW I am meant to write this story.

But at the same time…I am just…indifferent right now. How I could be indifferent, after everything my girl has gone through, after everything I have poured into her…I don’t know. I am just…tired. Emotionally spent. Drained. I feel spiritually assaulted, constantly. I feel like I have to constantly be on my guard…and I am exhausted. My mind is just…I can’t rest for two seconds, because Satan is right there slamming me with all kinds of stuff.

I am constantly pulled toward discouragement, toward fear, toward frustration…toward believing lies. And in my fear to not believe lies, I am believing lies.

…I realize this is not exactly story-related, but…whatever.

I am so stressed…and there is no end in sight. My head --- which always hurts --- has been killing me lately. My work schedule feels more insane than usual, and even when I have time to write, I just…don’t. I have lost the fire, the drive…the need. I feel…diminished. Detached. I am just stumbling along, trying to get through one day after another…

…I can’t even…none of this even comes close to really capturing my feelings.

I don’t want to think. Thinking hurts my head…and my mind is just…spinning, constantly. Trying to not think about certain things, trying to focus on other things…and it is just…weary.

…I am weary. Weary regarding everything. My personal life…my story.

I don’t want to give up. I don’t know if I even could give up entirely. But I don’t know how to keep holding on. I am so tired. My legs are failing, my arms are failing…my heart is failing.

God, help me hold on.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Big changes!

Been MIA for a while. Sorry about that! I don’t really even know why. I have been really stressed lately, about the whole 2-PAD challenge. I got ahead quite quickly…and because I had extra pages, I slacked off instead of staying disciplined. Grr. So…I am going to really try to buckle down and NOT do that anymore!

ANYWAY, the other day, I finally allowed myself to realize two things.

One, if I keep my original plotline, and keep everything in book one that I’ve planned to have in book one…it will end up being like 700+ pages long.

Two, if I want to keep it shorter than that [which I do], then I must skim over a ton of the next part of the story.

…I don’t want a first book that is that long…and I don’t want to skim over things, or summarize what shouldn’t be summarized.

Therefore…I have decided to move a ton of stuff from book one…to book two.

It is a little scary, and I’m kind of bummed because I really like the original ending of book one. BUT…I think this will work much better. I didn’t have much for book two anyway --- and the ending stuff I’ve come up with will still work as the ending. So…yesh. =)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

…Oh dear, work just called me.

This is just going to be a quick update!

1. I have written just under 41 pages [between story and back-story stuff] since beginning the 2-PAD writing challenge. I am ahead of what I should be [should have 36 by the end of today], BUT…not as far as I was. Because of that cushion, I slacked off for a few days. But no more! I shall recapture the ground I lost, and focus on writing at least two pages EVERY day, regardless of whether I have twenty more than I should or not.

2. I have successfully saved the life of Des, the character described in this post, which I had originally planned to kill [albeit very reluctantly]. …I am a sucker. No one else would save this guy. He is…bad. Just bad. But I, of course, am in love with him. I roll my eyes at myself.

3. I am in the process of changing the interactions between my main girl and her love interest. Um, tiny spoiler alert [though not if you know me; hopeless romantic right here]…there is only one love interest throughout the whole story. Yes indeed, yes indeed. =) …Anywho…what I wrote for their original reunion…is now unrealistic. I think when I wrote it…I either had it that she wasn’t in the inn very long, or that he didn’t feel guilty for anything. But that has changed; she is in the inn for a while, she IS broken there…and he does feel horrible for what he didn’t do. And he will feel even more horrible when he finds out what happened to her after he left her. …So I am working on fixing it, making their interactions fit their personalities at this point in the story…making it make sense with the things I have both of them feeling. …It’s been fun. Shall be more fun!

…I think that is pretty much it. =D

Friday, September 13, 2013

Let me see redemption win

So, yesterday, I realized something about a certain back-story thing. I have written about this idea before, but I’ll recap quickly.

Basically, there is an H-guy. I will call him Des. Short for “descendant”, because of where I got his actual name. And there is a girl; I will call her Eve. [Eve is the girl I talk about in this post.]

In order to get to the next rank as an H-guy, Des, at age eighteen, has to pass a brutal test. But he refuses to do what the test requires. [Which, truly, is the right and noble thing to do.] Because of that refusal, he is kicked out of the H-guys, disowned by his already-disapproving father, abandoned, shamed, and publicly humiliated.

…And it’s awful.

Several years after that devastating event, Des finds Eve [then thirteen] and her sister on the streets. He takes them in…but his intentions are not pure. For two and a half years, he imprisons Eve as his sex slave.

After that time, I was going to have it that H-guys find out that Des is holding Eve…and they come, kill him, and banish her from the city. Eve is found by the half-breed group, and eventually becomes good friends with my main girl. And her experience as Des’s slave enables her to really relate to my main girl and what she’s been through.

So that is the idea.

And I loved the idea…except for one part --- Des being killed.

…I am not sure if anyone [except God] fully grasps just how deeply I did NOT want to kill this guy. Like…I…I mean, I don’t like killing characters anyway. But after I wrote out his back-story…just…the way I wrote it, the way his character came out through the little snippet…he broke my heart.

…He completely broke my heart.

When I wrote his back-story, I already knew that I was going to have him die. I already knew about Eve, and him imprisoning her. …But even still…I did not want him to die. The thought of killing him made me sick…even though what he does to Eve is sickening [and deserving of death].

…Yet the part, honestly, the part that was making me the sickest…was that I was having him die…unredeemed.

…I KNOW that I can’t save everyone, if I want to be realistic.
I KNOW that people have to die in a book about war.
…And I KNOW that not all of them are going to be redeemed when they do.

My biggest struggle with killing him…was that he was NOT irredeemable. By the time he captures Eve…he has just about killed every ounce of compassion in himself. He is cold, ruthless, and unremorseful. But deeper than the anger, the pain, the hatred…in a tiny part of himself, the real him remains. The him who refused to hurt someone very innocent, and lost everything for it. The real him who hides in the corner of his heart, believing horrible things about himself…and dying. …But still there.

It wasn’t just that I was having him die unredeemed. It was that I was having him die unredeemed…when there was hope that he could be redeemed, if he had just some more time.

He is terrible, no doubt about that. I wrote a part between him and Eve yesterday, and it almost made me sicker than the inn parts. [If you can believe that, those of you who have read/heard the inn parts.]

But he is terrible…because, ultimately, he is broken. [Not an excuse…but a reason.] And in some part of himself, he knows he is broken. He hates every part of his life, hates what he is doing. He gave up everything to NOT hurt a little girl…and now there he is, hurting a little girl. He hates what he has become…but instead of admitting this, he forces the compassion down deeper. Because in his mind, compassion is what ruined his life.

…Compassion is also what will save his life and heal his heart. …If he lets it.

…As I said, I realized something yesterday.
Something that makes me happier than you may be able to understand:
…I don’t know why the H-guys would kill him.

In their eyes, the only thing he has done wrong…is not turn Eve [a half-breed] over to them.
But he wasn’t helping her. He wasn’t providing for her. He wasn’t taking care of her.
…He was exploiting her, using her…abusing her.

And as twisted as it is…the H-guys…actually wouldn’t kill him for that.

…And not really having a totally solid reason for them to kill him…frees me to not actually HAVE to kill him.

And…ohmygoshgoshajsldkfjaerlkgJ!!!

I may even have it be that he is the one who lets them know he has her…and that he lies about when he found her. Makes it seem like he just found her, trapped her, and went immediately to them. Then they really wouldn’t have any reason to do…anything to him.

And they, of course, wouldn’t believe anything she said to the contrary.
And she could still be banished instead of murdered.

I don’t have to have it that he is redeemed in the timeline of the story, and I won’t. IF he comes into the story, in any part, he can still be totally unremorseful and unredeemed. I am okay with that. As long as he is alive, there is hope for him.

…I am so happy right now.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tear down the walls

Oops, been almost a week. Sorry about that.

Update on the 2-PAD challenge: I now have about 19 pages in the actual story; 9 in back-story stuff. In just under two weeks, I have added 28 pages to my…arsenal. Muhaha. Arsenal. Makes me think of weapons, and I like weapons. I’d like my story to be a weapon…that’d be…neat.

…Ahem. Anyway.

Today, I’d like to talk about a very rarely-mentioned aspect of my story --- the k-guys. [OH. Just realized I need to update this page with their information! …Nope, already did it. Outsmarted myself again.]

ANYWAY.

The k-guys are my other creature-race.

I haven’t written much with them --- and really, the only part I have with “them” is really just with a “him”. I have created several characters of this race, but they aren’t in the story yet.

And, really…I’m not sure what to say about it/them/him.

It’s complicated…and I also don’t want to give away plot stuff.

…Um, basically, the d-guys and k-guys used to be allies and friends, many centuries ago. Then something happened. The k-guys did something that the d-guys thought was wrong, cowardly; and the k-guys felt betrayed because the d-guys didn’t come to their defense.

Thus…a rift opened between them…a rift that, truly, could have been easily mended.

…But no one talked about it. No one was willing to go to the other and explain, or try to understand.

Instead, pride kept both sides staunchly quiet.

And in the silence…the rift grew.
And grew.
And grew…

…Until the k-guys, in their anger, in their feelings of betrayal, in their desperation to make everything just go away…did something awful.

And the rift…became a severing.
And then, horrified…the k-guys ran away and hid.

Misunderstanding and pride…swelled into thoughts and feelings of betrayal.
Those thoughts and feelings of betrayal, left to fester…grew into anger and bitterness.
And anger and bitterness…exploded into violence and true betrayal.
…And true betrayal…finalized itself as total abandonment.

And for the past several thousand years, the k-guys have deteriorated in their hiding place.

And the d-guys have carried the betrayal, abandonment, and hatred…passing it down with each generation.

No one who was actually there, who personally experienced the severing, is still alive by the time the story takes place.

Yet both races --- more so with the d-guys --- live as if it happened to them, personally; or at least to their parents. They don’t merely remember the past…they exist within it. They can’t let it go. They can’t move on. They dwell on it, they immerse themselves in it.

The k-guys can’t forgive themselves for being the monsters they think they are.

The d-guys blame the k-guys for everything wrong in the world.

Each person of each race bears some part of the burden of a fractured relationship that they had no part in. And they perpetuate the hatred, each parent instilling it in their children.

…And nothing is fixed. Nothing is healed. There is no reconciliation.

And so the infection…just keeps poisoning its prisoner…until both races are literally crumbling from the inside out.

I did a Beth Moore Bible study earlier this year. One of the things she talked about was generational sin/bondage --- sins/mindsets/behaviors passed down from parent to child, parent to child. It manifests itself in many ways --- racism, a victim mentality, anger issues, unforgiveness…and so on. A typical one is a divided family. The original rift might be over something silly [like Aunt Edna not asking Aunt Eunice to help plan a baby shower]…but left unchecked, bitterness grows…and becomes criticism…and anger…then hatred. And finally, five generations down the line, no one remembers anything about the original issue. The Timson side of the family just knows they don’t speak to the Wilson side, and the Wilson side knows all of the Timsons are snobs and idiots and so they have nothing to do with them. [I just pulled random last names from my head. …This is why I don’t make up last names for my characters; I stink at it.]

Naturally, it might be something serious too…but the same principle applies. Everyone is affected by previous generations. And everyone carries brokenness with them, on them, in them…unless they choose to lay it down, and be different.

Forgiveness and redemption are the huge themes of the story, shown largely because of the story arc with a certain guy and my main girl.

But this whole aspect of the k-guys and d-guys hating each other, and all of the hurt and anger between them…is like…even huger than that somehow. Because it has gone on for so long, it just makes the stakes higher or something. At least in my head.

I don’t really know yet where it is going.
But I am excited.

…Sorry if any of that was confusing! ;) Well, not really…I’m only sorry if it was too confusing to follow!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Daw, I’s so proud of meself. …I have no idea what dialect that is supposed to be.

Sooo…I wrote a few days ago about how I am doing this Two-Page-a-Day [henceforth, 2-PAD] Writing Challenge via a facebook group. I almost didn’t do it, didn’t think I could. Made excuses. …Then I realized that it would be super good for me…so I joined the group and committed in my heart to do it.  

As much as I love writing, and truly want to write all the time…I am embarrassingly undisciplined with it. Like, seriously. It’s awful how much I don’t actually write. I go with my feelings more than anything else, and oftentimes, I don’t “feel” like writing. My head hurts, I have no ideas, no inspiration, I’m overthinking a certain part [me, overthink something!?] and don’t know what needs to happen next…and instead of making myself sit down and work through it, I’m like, “…Eh, I’ll watch some Goosebumps!”

…Blah.

I’ve read many things about becoming more disciplined; I’ve rarely done them. One that kept coming up was the concept of setting a timer and writing until it went off. I always thought that that was dumb, that it wasn’t for me. But, a few weeks ago [or something like that], I started doing it.

And, lo and behold, it actually does help.
I usually go into it not feeling like doing anything story-wise, totally idea-less, and lacking needed inspiration. …Wondering what I will do with myself for 45 minutes, and how I will remain off of facebook for that dreadfully long period of time.

…Yet, nearly every time I’ve done this, I ended up resetting the timer at least once…and usually more like three times.

…So much for not having anything to write, right? Ha!
And, shockingly, facebook isn’t all that hard to forget about.

The 2-PAD challenge started this past Sunday, the 1st. I didn’t write that day, and had to make up the two pages the next day. [That was slightly intimidating; I wasn’t sure I could do two pages, and now I had to do four!? Ack.]

Going by their schedule, I should, by the end of today, have twelve pages.

As of right now…I have just over eight in the actual story, and just over five in the back-story part. [And that doesn’t count little parts that I have added as I’ve edited.]

Grand total = about 13½! And I haven’t even written my two pages for today yet!

So, I am proud of myself. I’m still being super undisciplined; this week, I have barely had to work, and I’ve had entire days to spend writing. I haven’t taken full advantage of that time. Instead, knowing I have the whole day, I fiddle-fart around…and finally get around to actually sitting down with the timer at about 8. …PM.

Ugh. Really? Sigh.

BUT…I am doing better. =) And I am happy with my progress.
Here’s to hoping I keep it up next week, when I work more!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Well, I thought of a challege!

Hello, people!
This is your chance to read something from me that NO ONE ELSE has read! =D

I wrote something cute the other day. It is back-story, but goes with the story, and is from the point of view of a BRAND NEW character. I will explain the setting and circumstances, so even if you haven’t heard ANYTHING from my story at all, you won’t be confused.

The FIRST PERSON to correctly answer these questions wins! Private message me your answers via facebook! [For privacy reasons, I cannot share story parts with people I do not personally know; sorry! Someday I will be able to!] 

You will find most of the answers somewhere on this blog! =)
GO!


1. What is one of the main themes of the story? [Hint: There are several possible answers to this one!]

2. What race is my main girl?

3. What is one thing I cannot stand? [Hint: Look at the April posts!]

4. Who is “Fave”?

5. What is the sixteenth random fact about me?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Challenges and updates and poor bruised elbows

Well, like I wrote about on my marriage blog today, I haven’t really felt like writing blogs lately. I’m sorry for just vanishing. But I am back now! Unfortunately, I don’t have much news. [Other than the fact that, once again, I hit my elbow on the door frame. Ugh.] But…

I am doing a writing challenge! [You can read more about it here.]

The goal is to write two pages a day through the end of the year; if I do that, I will have somewhere between 200 and 250 pages!

Now, for me, it likely won’t result in a completed manuscript [and especially not one ready to publish in 2014, just because of how I am writing this story] --- I have a feeling I won’t be writing all of those pages in book one. BUT…in other news…

I am now on chapter 18! And I wrote a couple of pages last night [about two in chapter 18; about one in 17…had to tweak some stuff there].

I don’t know for sure what will happen in 18…but I believe that the new characters will probably come in in chapter 19.  I’m trying to guesstimate when exactly this part I am on will meet up with the part I have written [with the new people]. I think that it will be sometime in 19. Either that, or at the very beginning of chapter 20. …Probably 19, unless something new comes up in 18. …There are getting to be WAY too many numbers in this post.

Now, granted, I have no idea how many chapters book one will be, so it kind of doesn’t mean anything.
I am excited though.
And a little…what’s the word…tentative? Tentative.
Because I don’t know what happens.
And there are lots of things to consider --- namely, her physical state. …And emotional/mental state.
I don’t want it to be cliché.
…I just don’t know what would be cliché in this. Is it more realistic for her to dwell on the trauma she’s endured? Or is it more realistic for her to try to push it aside and focus on surviving?

It seems like she’d do the latter…but I’m torn. Because she has been broken. Broken in ways that she wasn’t before. Her personality is resilience…but how much of that resilience still remains?

But I think it is more realistic for her to try not to dwell, to try her best to push it all away. …But it won’t stay there. And that needs to be clear. What I refuse to have happen is for her to go on like nothing happened, like no one hurt her. I want her to focus on surviving, but I also want the inn to be right at the back of her mind.

And I think, even with things I’ve written so far…I show that pretty well. She is paranoid nearly to the point of insanity, she is intensely distrustful, and the mere sight of men freaks her out. A man touching her, even just her shoulder, sends her into flashback mode. She is terrified, but it comes out as defiance and anger and threats of violence.

…So, truly, everything about her personality from this point on, until she starts to trust people…is more or less a front. A pretense she creates so she won’t have to think about the abuse she’s endured…won’t have to deal with any of it.  

For her character…it is very realistic that she would create a wall between herself and the pain. She’s done it before, with other traumatic stuff that happened before the story started. [Hehe, not telling! ;) ] And naturally, she would do it again. That’s how she deals with stuff --- blocks it from her mind, buries it somewhere in her subconscious where she thinks it won’t be able to hurt her.

…But some things refuse to stay buried.
…Some things refuse to be pushed aside for long.

…This is going to be fun.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

…Ah, poo, gotta think of a title again. Um…inn-vasion plot?

…I have a slight dilemma.

So, my half-breed group is going to go back to the inn to get the rest of the girls out. [Yay!] The plan is rather complicated, especially if you don’t know the story, so I am not even going to try to summarize it. Basically, there are lots of people, each with a role to play. Of these people, one girl is a decoy; one guy is a fake customer.

I was working on this part, where my main girl is telling that guy what exactly he will have to do. What he does to get in is solid. But as I was writing what he does to get the decoy girl out, I was like, “…Um, wouldn’t it be much easier if he just killed the innkeeper?”

Well, duh.

Yet I am torn, because one of the big focal points for the group is stealth. They want to get in and out without anyone seeing, knowing, or even suspecting. Lives depend on it. The group is killing people downstairs, yes --- but to kill the innkeeper, who is upstairs…that sort of undermines the whole sneaking-in-and-out thing.

…BUT…at the same time, if they leave the innkeeper alive, she will just capture new girls; the current girls will be free, but new girls will soon take their places. …As long as the innkeeper is alive, the brothel will stay open.

And that…cannot happen.

So something has to give.
And it has to be stealth. 
So I guess it is not much of a dilemma, ha!

The group’s immediate goal is to rescue the current girls.
But the second aspect of their goal is shutting down the inn, for good.

…So…the fake customer guy will go go downstairs, let the group inn, help everyone get out, then go back upstairs and finish the job. Then he and the decoy girl will go outside and meet the group at the meeting place.

…At least, that is the plan.

It doesn’t exactly happen like that.

=) …and =’(

Why do cats sleep so much? I mean, seriously.

Yesterday, I…

1. Worked on a part with…dun, dun, dunn…the LOVE INTEREST! Yayayayay!! It’s after he comes back into the story [spoiler alert? Eh, not really; this is me, after all], and they are talking about what happened to her in the inn. I’ve had this part for a while, but while it was super sweet [love him!], it always felt…lacking. He was sorry, but he didn’t…seem sorry enough? Like, he breezed over it too quickly, and moved on to his main point. And while it isn’t his fault, exactly…you better believe he’s going to feel like it’s his fault, and think it’s his fault. So he cannot breeze over it; it all but destroys him, especially when she first tells him about it. I mean, before, it was kind of like:

Her: “I was at this inn, and while I was there, really bad stuff happened…”
Him: “That’s awful, I hate it…buuuut I still think about you, and I still think I’d like to marry you.”

…Adorable, and healing for her…but, um…wait a second, he needs to be a little more fazed!?

…SO…I changed it. Wrote a new part of the conversation…and…it is precious. He is much more remorseful [again, not his fault], and she…has the chance to either crush him, or offer healing. One guess as to what she does. ;) ;) [I am so predictable.]

OH…and by the way…the actions that he is so devastated by…are redeemed. Hugely. Like…hugely.


2. Worked on a dream she has way before the aforementioned part [that takes place in probably book three; this is book one]. It’s a dream she has right before she is found by…ooh, dun, dun, dunnn…the half-breed group! Ahh! So much excitement! But this dream…it is super awesome and freaky. Like, without giving too much away, she is half-asleep…and half-hallucinating. And so in the dream, when she is running…she is literally running.


3. This led to me panicking and thinking that that dream won’t work the way I want it to --- because I remembered that she is hurt. How I forgot that, I don’t know; sometimes I am just dumb, okay? She twisted her ankle, badly. BUT…adrenaline will kick in, and she will run…because she thinks her life is in danger.


4. …I think that might be it. =)


Anywho…so…going to really try to work on chapter 18 today!
I’ll keep ya posted.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dreams and story arcs and…stuff!

…Hi.

So, I haven’t done a ton of story stuff lately --- lots of personal stuff going on --- but I DID manage to complete…chapter 17! Yay yay yay!

It might just be the weirdest chapter so far in this story. …Um, and by “weirdest” I mean…weird in my mind. For others, it will probably feel like the most normal-book chapter. That is because, try as I might, some part of me is stuck in the inn.

…I guess that is good --- because many aspects of my main girl need to remain stuck in the inn as well. It must be something she can’t get over, can’t just spring back from as if it didn’t happen. Because it did happen, and it was horrible. Which has made chapter 17 difficult --- because I want to show her pure relief at being free, and her survival instinct kicking in; but at the same time, it would be insensitive and unrealistic to have her just go on as if nothing happened, as if her time there was just a small detour, and now she is back to where she started.

…But, in many ways…that is sort of how it is.  

Before the story started…some stuff happened. [Not telling! And I have no idea when you will actually find out in the story.] This stuff led to her being where she is when the book opens. It also made it so she had nowhere to go, and no one to go to. Very hopeless situation.

Then she ended up in the inn. And her hopeless situation…plummeted to a whole new level of hopelessness. Like twenty times, it did that. 

My story does not look like this:

My story looks like this:

 …Okay, yes, that is an exaggeration. [And a dreadful drawing.] …But not much. Haha!

ANYWAY…so the inn was awful. But now that she is out…she once again has nowhere to go…and no one to go to.

…So yeah, 17 has been interesting.

I did figure something out though, I think. I was going to have it that in between her escape and her being found by certain people…she was going to have lots of dreams. Really terrifying dreams. And while some of that can happen, there simply isn’t enough time for her to have all of the dreams I wanted to her have --- PLUS…it would mean that like three entire chapters would be nothing but dreams…and very, very similar dreams. Can’t have that.

SO…she could have a dream or two before she is found. That works, and I have one in particular that is just…awesome. Just awesome. Then, after she is found…she could continue to have them periodically.

Basically, what I am trying to do with the inn from this part on…is make it so it never fully leaves her mind. It’s always right there to whisper defeat into her heart…always there to strike down every sliver of happiness she starts to feel. And the dreams fit right into that. I might not be able to keep every single one…but they could be spread out over a period of time even after she is no longer with the half-breed group.

…Oh, what? “No longer with the half-breed group” --- you don’t know what that means? …You will. Muhaha.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

When you think of “Father God”, what images come to mind? --- a review

When you think of “Father God”, what images come to mind?

a review of “God Distorted”, by John Bishop
written by Angie Grigaliunas

…Where do I even begin with this book?

Well, I’ve had it since June…and though I glanced through it a few times, I mostly avoided it. Why I was avoiding it…I’m not exactly sure. I guess because I was afraid of it --- because I know my view of God is distorted. I’ve known for years, and I have always felt so helpless to fix it. I know my relationship with my father has hugely impacted my relationship with God. That’s why, the instant I saw the title of this book and what it was about, I knew I had to read it. I knew it was for me. So I eagerly requested it…and then let it sit in my desk for over two months.

Why I picked it up today, I don’t really know; it just felt like it was time.

The basic premise of this book, repeated several times throughout, is a quote from A. W. Tozer: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” I believe that to be true; I have seen it reflected in the lives of people around me…and mostly, in myself. My default view of God is one of an angry, irritated God who sees me as an inconvenience --- if he bothers to feel anything toward me at all. And even as I write this, I see my father in it. …So, again…exactly the book for me.

The book is divided into four parts: Our Perception, God’s Perfection, Our Reflection, and My Progression. I like this layout, and I think it really works well for the subject matter.

With raw authenticity, John first the story of his childhood and his different fathers [so sad], and how each impacted his view of himself and his view of God. Then he goes through eight different common father-types, identifying the primary wounds inflicted, and the behavioral patterns that often take root in the broken heart of the child. While I really liked that, and found it very interesting, it was also slightly frustrating. Not because of anything in the book itself --- but because I have never been able to pinpoint myself or understand why I believe the way I do when there seems to be no cause. For instance, there is no abuse in my past; yet, like someone who has experienced abuse, I find myself convinced that God is harsh and mean and will hurt me for no reason. I was never really blamed for anything either, yet I see God as pointing his finger at me, waiting to dole out punishment. …But ultimately, all of that finds its root in fear…which is definitely the biggest struggle for me when it comes to God.

The second part walks through different aspects of God --- each of which speaks to the eight father-types. I probably cried the most through that part! The third section calls us to return home to God, forgive and accept forgiveness, how to fight for restoration, and choosing to allow God to turn the bad into good. The fourth part walks you through some rather intensive questions, relating to each of the father-type chapters. To be honest, I didn’t read through all of the questions, because some of the father-types don’t really apply to me at all. The questions I did go through were insightful; it is funny/sad to me how difficult I often make things. Truth is right in front of me, and it is so clear…yet I continually return to the lies.

John’s honesty throughout --- about his own struggles, and the struggles he’s encountered with his son --- was both refreshing and touching. He never once tries to make excuses for himself or anyone else, but instead recognizes how his wounds have led to brokenness in many close relationships. But he doesn’t dwell on it [anymore]; he chooses to believe that God is still working everything for good. I don’t know him at all, but even in that is evidence of transformation.

I think the parts that touched me the most were when John writes about the Samaritan woman at the well, and the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. Those stories are both so familiar to me, but he provided further insight --- and things I hadn’t thought about before at all. It opened my eyes to see Jesus in a new light in those passages…which truly touched my heart. The tenderness and depth of love is so evident…if you just allow yourself to see.

A part of me was hoping that by the end of the book, I’d be all fixed…but I know that that isn’t how it works. As John writes at the end of chapter 21, “We never want the process --- we only want the destination --- but it is in the process that we find God.” The trials I am facing in my life and marriage right now…they are part of the process. And in that process, and through this book, I am finding God.

This book was a deep encouragement --- one of those encouragements that you don’t fully grasp in the moment, but realize when you look back. For me, this book is not a fix-all. For someone else, it might be. But with where I am in my own walk with God…this book is another step in my journey toward seeing him as a loving Father. I’m not there yet…but I am getting closer. =)

Note: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. This is my opinion only.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ideas and brutality and tests and ohmygoodness!!

I’ve gotten some really good ideas over the past few days. Brutal ideas, some of them…but so, so good. It is making things fit together in ways I didn’t expect or hope for.

…I just don’t know how to explain them…without feeling like I have to explain everything. And if I try to explain everything, I will just confuse you, because I can’t use actual names/descriptions/etc.

…Let’s see.
Basically…

1. H-guys start out as a certain rank/title. In order to advance to the next rank, they must pass a test. [The test is the new idea; I’ve already had the ranks and stuff.] [Side note: If you are unfamiliar with the term, an “H-guy” is simply a human who is member of the ruling group.]

2. The test is to do something very awful, to prove that they have no compassion for the enemy…in any of its forms. If you pass the test, you advance. If you fail or refuse to do it, you are done as an H-guy, forever.

3. This means that any H-guys in the story --- even the nice ones --- …have passed the test. That really intensifies the situation. …And underscores the brainwashing even more.

4. This also means that a certain character who is forced to be an H-guy eventually faces this test. And, in order to keep the rest of his family safe…in order to keep up the guise that he is loyal to the H-guys when he is not…he has to pass it. …And that…intensifies that situation. Oh goodness, that poor guy…

5. In an entirely different vein, a certain H-guy refuses to do what it takes to pass the test.

6. He is kicked out, disowned, abandoned. This leads to his emotional downfall…which leads to him doing something terrible that directly affects a main character, and my main girl.

7. The idea for the test is quite new…and I’ve decided that a certain H-guy --- namely, “Fave” [if you remember me talking about him from THIS post] --- is the one who came up with the idea.

8. And as bad as that makes him…it is great. Because I want him to be bad. Really bad. He can’t just be a nice guy who makes a mistake; he needs to be a horrible guy who finally does the thing that leads to his undoing [and then transformation and redemption].

9. This also fits immensely with two Biblical characters I kind of have had in mind for Fave --- Paul [Acts – New Testament], and King Manasseh [read about him here!]. Paul has long been an inspiration; I’ve based several things in Fave’s past off of Paul’s given past. Manasseh is one of the most beautiful and unlikely tales of redemption ever…and this test idea mirrors some stuff that Manasseh did which made him so evil.

10. Because the test is new, it allows for there to be lots of people of a certain race…when otherwise, I was struggling to figure out how so many of them had survived. So, now, these certain people have only really been hunted for the past fifteen years [or less; haven’t worked that out yet]…

11. …Meaning that anyone older than fifteen [or, actually, nineteen] would have just been able to grow up. On the streets, yes, but people do that everywhere and survive. Without this certain race actively being hunted and killed…there can then be more of them that live…and subsequently band together. Then, when the hunting of their race starts…they would be old enough to start going around and rescuing the targeted ones of their race.

…And that, my friends…is more than I have time for. Must go now! Sorry for typos!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

…And…this is why I need to know Krav Maga. ;) ;)

The following is my dream from this morning. I promised I would write what I could remember of it. So, enjoy! ;)


I don’t remember who exactly was with me. I think Lydia [longtime friend]…and possibly Kelly [sister]. I feel like there was someone else too…but I am confused, because I really only remember the three of us. And I’m not even positive if it was actually those girls…but we’ll go with it.

I was driving us, in my bright red car, down the Dixie Strip --- which I have never been to, only heard of. I know that there are lots of strip clubs in that area…and it’s a bad [seedy?] place. Lots of suspected trafficking going on.

So that’s where we were, though its appearance was solely from my mind. It looked rather industrial…warehouses and stuff. Rundown, but not totally trashed; dark, though it was daytime. The buildings and just the whole place lacked color; everything had a tinge of gray-brown. There were hotels…and just…I don’t know. …Places.

We were there from some sort of organization…and I don’t know exactly what our goal was. I don’t think we were there to actually rescue girls; I think we were supposed to examine the situation and take notes --- because that’s what happened later.  

On either side of the road, and sometimes sauntering across it in front of [and behind] my car…were girls. Girls of different ages and skin colors, quite scantily-clad, most wearing lots of makeup to make them look older. Standing in various somewhat-provocative positions, trying to get the attention of the men.

And there were men. Not as many men as girls, but still a lot. Some appeared to be the traffickers, silently and confidently watching the scene, arms crossed over their chests and their backs against the walls. Some were clearly buyers --- again, of all different ages and skin colors --- unashamedly walking up to the girls.

The girls were in somewhat of a line; like, they sort of lined the street, standing in slightly separate groups --- a few here, then a couple feet away, another several girls…and so on. But, at the same time, as I said, people were walking across the street too; it was all sort of chaotic, and not at all safe to be driving through.

I’m pretty sure we went down the street once…then parked somewhere above the street [like, in a parking lot overlooking it], and went back down.

I remember us walking through the crowd…searching the faces of the girls we passed. Searching for desperate eyes, pleading eyes…for girls that were definitely too young to be there.  

At one point, we singled one out, and somehow got her alone in one of the buildings. The building was odd, its shapes distorted. We seemed to be near the corner of it, in a small area that I guess was a hallway; from that area, different [very dark and narrow] hallways went off in different directions, at odd angles. One kind of curved away to my right; the one in front of us was actually a staircase that also turned as it went up, narrowing as it went. Beside the stairs and to the left…I think that was a real hallway; possibly leading to a basement; I think I remember there being a wall with a door just a few feet in. So basically, that one didn’t go anywhere --- or at least anywhere good. Further to the left were a few steps leading to a bathroom [which was also strangely-shaped and bore steps inside it; I looked in it when we first came in the building]. None of the openings to these things were even with each other; the steps to the bathroom were a few feet further back from the other openings. It was just weird. Don’t try too hard to picture it; none of this description does it justice. Here is a rather terrible map…



Lydia --- if that’s who it was --- inspected the girl [who was sweet and smiling] and took notes. She was trying to figure out how old the girl looked, exactly, so she could write it down for, I guess, our report. I was kind of like, “Who cares; she’s clearly super young.” She asked me how old I thought the girl was; I figured nine or ten, or somewhere in there.

Suddenly, Kelly --- if it was her --- noticed someone coming. [The doors leading outside were glass, and we could kind of see out them from where we stood.] Kelly ducked into the area that led to the basement and stopped, trapped; Lydia and the girl dashed a few steps into the staircase and stopped, also quite trapped. I headed toward the person and met them before they could go down the hallway and see anyone hiding there. The man --- who looked kind of like President Snow from The Hunger Games --- was clearly a main trafficker, and very suspicious of me and why I was in his building. I very innocently asked him if he could tell me where a bathroom was. As he answered me and led me toward it, his attention focused on me, I sensed/saw Kelly, Lydia, and the girl understanding my plan of diversion. [My dreams are quite movie-like; meaning, I am in my head, but the “camera” often pans to other people in the dream to show what they are doing.]

I slowly went up the stairs to the bathroom, the President Snow guy watching me. I tried to keep myself unemotional and seemingly innocent. I shut the door almost all the way --- and through the crack, I saw Kelly, Lydia, and the girl sneak out behind him. I flushed the toilet to make it seem like I’d peed, then rinsed my hands to make it sound more realistic…and came out, smiling and thanking him, planning to hurry after them.

He didn’t seem entirely fooled. He still looked suspicious. I struggled to conceal all nervousness, tried to pretend I didn’t know anything about anything; that I had simply been there, alone, to use the bathroom.

I casually walked outside past him, and calmly-but-quickly headed toward where we’d parked the car. I no longer saw my friends or the little girl…but every time I glanced back through the crowd, I saw that creepy old man, watching me.

Fear rose in me, and the sense of danger intensified. But I tried to keep up the façade, in case any part of him had been tricked. Though I was quite sure, even in that moment…that he knew I was his enemy. That he knew that I knew. That I was trying to dismantle what he was trying to build.

The street seemed to have changed direction; the building we’d gone in had been on the previous left-hand side of the road; now it looked like the building was at the head of the road, like the road led to that building. Either that, or the road had become a huge concrete lot, with buildings on every side of it.

I kept walking, peering back and getting chills each time our eyes met across the distance.

I turned a corner at some point, past different buildings…obscuring me from his line of sight. I think then I started running. I am not sure if I couldn’t get to my car, or if I was looking for the girls first, or what…but I ended up heading in a different direction from where the car had been. I think. I’m not sure. I’m almost thinking I saw it at one point, and saw no way to get there.

But I ran for a little bit on that street, and then slowed back to a walk. I’m pretty sure that when I looked behind me again…he was there…standing, watching.

I hurried on, visibly a little more nervous now.

He kept following me, always just standing there whenever I peered over my shoulder. I never saw him coming toward me; he was just behind me each time I looked, and often the distance between us seemed the same. The only time I appeared to actually be getting away from him was before I went around the corner.

…Anyway, somehow, I ended up on some type of balcony. There was a small building before me, the roof of which was only a few feet away. [The edge of it was below me, but the peak was higher than where I stood.] When I looked down, he was on the street right below me, looking up at me. I don’t think he could have reached me had he tried, but he was still very close. Still just staring.

But his intent…was beyond clear. He definitely knew who I was, what I was doing there…and he saw me as a threat.

I hesitated for a split second, then climbed over the railing and jumped to the roof, flew up and over it, and dropped to the ground below. [This somehow separated us, as if by a wall; had I stayed on the balcony, I would have been on his side of the street. On the other side of the building/roof, I ended up on a different street, and he couldn’t just cross behind the building. He had to go around a different way, and so I had a head start.]

…I hit the ground and ran.

The new street had fewer buildings, was wider, and felt more open. I’m not sure if I saw them up ahead, but somehow, on that street, I met up with the girls again. For a moment, the man was nowhere in sight.

And then…he just appeared. I think he might have said something then; or maybe he still didn’t have to say anything. But the threat of him was more than words could convey.

I don’t know what happened then, exactly. I don’t know if he tried to attack us…or if he grabbed the little girl and tried to take her back…or what. But I think something happened to show that he meant to hurt us, that we were in acute danger.

I’m not sure if I took his gun from him when he brandished it…or if I had had a gun all along.

But I somehow got him face down on the ground, sort of stunned/immobilized, though trying to regain his strength. And I stood over him, pointing the gun at him, with the girls on the other side of him, facing me.

I shot him twice in his right shoulder…then, knowing that that would only slow [and anger] him and not stop him, I shot him several times in the head.

He did not move again.

I think I looked up at the girls on the other side of him.

…And then I woke up.

…Annnd…such are my dreams.

Ze aiinnd!