[Story] Virtue of Silence

One of the ways that I like to flesh out my characters is to write little short stories about portions of their lives. There isn’t much plot to this as I’m using it as a way to get a feel for Solus and how I want to treat him for one of my novels: “The Iron Queen”.

The screams of excitement and joy ricocheted through the cobblestone streets which ran between picturesque stucco homes. Each yard was unique in decoration and opulence while maintaining a formality almost subdued in nature. 

Solus Haestus’ head jerked up from The Tennants of Temperance as four boys shot passed the low, iron rote gate. One of them slowed and stuck his head over the entrance. 

“Solus. You’re reading at a time like this?” 

The twelve year old boy felt a bit ashamed for a moment about the heavy volume on his lap but he gave a resigned shrug towards his schoolyard friend. 

“Father wants me to finish this.”

The gate creaked open and there was a moment of panic that made him swallow rapidly. His father was in the other part of the house preparing his sermon for the town center the next day. 

“Tenants of Temperance? You planning on becoming a Priest to the Virtue of Temperance?”

There was a bit of wry sarcasm in his voice but it did not matter. Solus nodded his head.

“Since Apet chose to become a soldier against Father’s wishes, I’m the last chance that one of his children to follow in his footsteps. I mean, the book is interesting.”

The last part of his words rang hollow in his mouth but he was resigned to the fact he was destined to be a priest. The Enclave of Temperance wasn’t a bad place and his father seemed to enjoy the work, spreading the tenets of caution and moderation to the working class of the capital. 

“So you don’t want to come play red horse with the others? Faith will be there. Her dad let her come play with us.”

There was a slight bit of hopefulness in his friend’s voice and an attempt at bribery with dangling his school crush in front of him. 

“I’ve got to finish this. Father wants me to finish a small piece on moderation in the conduct of business for tomorrow.”

The freckled kid gave an exaggerated sigh and threw up his hands. “Fine. I’ll see you at school.”

Skipping out of the yard and leading the gaggle of kids that had returned to find him, Solus felt even more lonely in the now silent yard. Even the bird who was keeping him company had flown away at the intrusion. 

“I’m proud of you son.”

The voice to his right caused him to start and almost drop the treasure book to the dusty walkway. 

Solus’ father, a tall, willowy man with graying black hair smiled down on him. He had been standing in the doorway masked by the slats that allowed the breeze through. 

He sat down by his son and put his arm around his shoulder. “I’m proud of you for remembering your responsibilities. Most children would have took off at the moment their friends came.”

“But I wanted to. I don’t feel very proud about it.”

“Giving into temptation to abandon your responsibilities goes against the core of moderation.”

“Yes, sir.”

Silence reigned for a moment and Karus Haestus took the book from his son. He patted him on the back. 

“You’ve earned a reward. Go play. You can finish the piece after dinner.”

Throwing his arms around his father in a big hug, Solus released him and took off after his friends.

-end-

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My Writing Shipwreck

The shipwreck

2020 is a miserable year and I had planned to get back in to writing, 2020 decided to sneak up on all of us and give us a good swift kick in the nuts. But…I’m alive, I’m healthy, and that is not something that I take lightly or for granted.

I thought as my first introductory post back to the Internet since February, I should just talk about what I have been going through and see if putting this on paper can help me make sense of what I have done and what I plan to do. Even as I am writing this blog entry, my brain does not want to cooperate and it wants me to just leave it alone for now.

I have been Off the Rails for a Long Time

Suffice to say, I disappeared from the writing world, lost the ability to write anything but fanfiction once in awhile and found myself drifting from one hobby to another like an aimless balloon tethered to nothing.

Looking back, I think it happened near the end of 2018 when the Freelance market dried up thanks to a bunch of changes by companies that I used for sources and a shift in the content to areas that required extensive knowledge I did not have. I had launched a freelance business in March of 2018 and it has been on the rocks since. Looking at it with a critical eye, I think I was pushing myself very hard and then when what I had built ground upon the rocks, I fell apart. Instead of trying to save it, I just hopped off and walked away.

The farther that I seemed to walk away, the harder it was to turn around and come back. I have been walking for two years and now that I have turned around, that ship called my writing is so far away.

I Promised myself not to Give up but then I did.

Looking back with the support of my lovely princess, I realized that I left my muse and my dream on that boat abandoned and alone. I had promised to myself that I would not give up but then I went and did exactly that.

The path is littered with unfinished stories. The Star Traveler Series since empty with no fourth book like it was promised two and a half years ago. The Jassik Creed Series has all the finished artwork for Books #3 and #4 and they sit unwritten.

The only creative thing that I have been doing is a Scifi Epic comic “Beloved Chains” (If you follow the link, please note that its a comic with adult themes and has some nudity) that I wrote the storyline for and working with an artist to do the art. To be honest though, I wrote the first eight of 16 chapters two years ago and we’re only half way through Chapter 2. So, I can’t claim that I have been doing anything really creative on that project either.

There was a lot of wreckage to pick up and honestly, in April of this year, I felt like it was too much and just wanted to stop and give up completely.

It was the Ghosts of the Greats that got me back

The only reason that I have returned is that I stumbled on to James Bell Scott’s How to Write Pulp Fiction that made me start carrying about writing again. The excerpts from the greats like Ray Bradbury and Raymond Chandler made me realize that I needed to push forward and write and that’s what I plan to do.

Reading what they had to say, realizing what type of story I truly loved writing, and which ones I grew up loving really focused me and got me to write this post.

So, I’m back. I’ve trudged my way back to my crashed ship of writing, taken quite a bit of chewing out from my muse, and ready to shove off and make 2020 the year that I return to writing!

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