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The Pull of Magic Inc.

It's hard to focus on this last chapter of Magic Inc., mostly because of all the stuff that comes after it. Editing and sharing and formatting, and I still can't figure out what I'm going to do about a cover. I'm partially excited to share this story with people because I've put so much work into it the last five years, but I'm really not sure if I can trust the world to understand my innermost thoughts. And that's what a lot of Magic Inc. (the series) is.

It would be so much easier to put Dreaming in Shadow out there first, because for as much as Jodi and I are similar, she is not me. Her story is not about me. Dreaming in Shadow was always a book, meant to be shared with readers. And I have been sharing that story, in its many versions, for over ten years.

Magic Inc. was never meant to be a book. It was the world that keep me going when there was nothing hopeful in my reality. It is so deeply personal that I keep asking myself, "Why did I decide to make this into a book? They'll never understand it." But it became so key to the rest of my universe that it wouldn't make any sense to take it out now.

I'm very behind living your truth, being yourself completely, and not faking anything. I don't mind sharing my deepest thoughts in blogs or tweets, because I'm not ashamed of my own truth. But it's different with this because people - readers - seem to think they own a story just because it's been shared with them. They don't understand that, at least for some writers, writing is pulling words right out of your soul. Saying a story belongs to the readers, to me, is like trying to claim an experience as your own just because someone confided in you about it. I want to share my world with readers, and I feel like I'm meant to do that. But this story is mine, and it always will be mine. People can like it or dislike it; it's not about that. My fear are the people who'll try to say "it shouldn't be this way" because they think they know better than I do about my own creation. People who will think Jane's feelings aren't realistic, even though they were my own.

It was one thing for someone to not like Jodi and basically say she was a bad person. Jane is me. This story is my story. And anything more than a "this is not for me" is going to hurt a lot worse than criticism for any other story. So, why does it have to be my first book done? Why was there such a pull in me to make this story into something I could share? I seriously feel like there's a chance this series will appeal to NO ONE. Yet I had to write it. More than nearly anything else I've worked on. What does that mean?


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2015 12:18 am (UTC)
I hope I am not over commenting, but I was curious to read more about what you are working on.

"I'm very behind living your truth, being yourself completely, and not faking anything. "

THIS x a million.
Along with this, I am trying to care less what other people think or if they are happy about something I've done/said. (good luck, right?)

If people do not know you, they can't really judge. Though it is exposing, writing and publishing something. I see quite a bit of, I hate to call it "fluff", but shallow writing. Perhaps people distance themselves from in depth characters for fear of someone sneaking a peak into their head. But writing characters who could breathe is the only kind worth writing!

I find the idea that a story belongs to readers controversial. I agree that an astute person can pick up on things that the writer is projecting that he or she (the writer) may not be consciously aware of. But that just means they understand them on some level through their writing and share their experiences perhaps. I don't think it's the same as proclaiming that it belongs to readers though maybe some readers feel that way?? I find it arrogant to state it outright. Like, certain books mean a lot to me and have strongly affected my outlook. I can occupy that world, but it's still borrowing.

I fee like people tend to think noone will like what they write. You should keep going though as long as it matters to you.! The world needs more voices and more peoples' content to get through.

Yet I had to write it.

I feel this is something that non-writers do not understand.
Apr. 11th, 2015 03:26 am (UTC)
You're not over commenting at all! It's nice to read your thoughts.

Yeah, the trying not to care about what people think is the harder part of living your truth, to me. I'll still be me; nothing will stop that. But I obsess over people judging my every word and move. Especially in public.

All of my writing is exposing in some way, but that's how I like it. Putting your soul into your work is how great art is made. I enjoy reading light stuff from time to time, but deep stories are what keep me going. And I so agree! Characters who breathe are exactly why I write. They honestly feel real to me, and I more realize what is going on with them than decide. They decide for themselves, and I just figure it out later.

I've just been having a conversation with another person about writing, and she feels that anything that an author does not put in the book isn't canon and doesn't like when people ask authors what happens after the book ends. She says it's just "speculation", and fans should be able to decide on their own. She doesn't like how so much of the story is already out of her control. But to me, the story belongs to the author, so anything they say is canon. It's their story and their characters, after all. You can ignore interviews and such if you don't like hearing those extra details, bit I personally find it really fascinating to hear more about stories I love.

I'll keep going, don't worry. And yeah, most writers deal with a lot of self-doubt. I've even heard people say it's the mark of a good writer. (Though I don't know that I agree. Why should we feel bad for having confidence in our work?) I think my other two big projects are just more... marketable? They're still very me, but they just happen to hit some more familiar genre themes. Magic Inc. is just so weird. Too mature to be a kids book, but the character is too young to appeal to teens. She's nine and inexperienced and innocent in some ways, but she's also got an old soul and feels things that I know people are going to say she's too young to feel and thinks about things that adults want to pretend that kids don't think about. I don't really think that no one could ever like it, but it will be hard to find the right audience for it.
Apr. 12th, 2015 07:04 am (UTC)
I was pondering this a bit earlier. I want to connect more this year and also continue to "live my truth". I don't care as much as I used to about what people think though earlier in the grocery store, I left thinking that I must seem dorky to the people around me. I will still get lingering thoughts that I am not at all even remotely "cool". I put myself out there and friended some folks on a comm though...I am starting to think that perhaps they won't quite get it. I ramble(!) and post mind dumps on occasion and I realized that there is quite a bit I babble about. It feels all over the place. I don't even expect responses to some of it. I must seem bonkers!

It's nice to get your comments! You write as well and think over things in depth and have interesting ideas. Not everybody is so used to putting an array of thoughts out there with alacrity.

Putting your soul into your work is how great art is made.

I agree with this sentiment completely. I was listening to a piano concerto by Prokofiev the other day, it was dedicated to a friend of the composer who died. It's intense and varied and wild at times. Some people play it really politely, too politely in order to show off their skill I suppose with little emotion behind it. Seems kind of criminal. But I found a recording of someone who plays it with intensity like he actually thought about the piece and it is like a completely different piece of music when he plays it. The range of emotions is crazy. It's phenomenal!

Hmm. Fandom. On the one hand, I think it's great, but denouncing a detail jotted down by the author is a bit pompous. They created (or discovered/channeled depending on what you believe about the universe) the character! I jot down things like what colors they prefer to wear. I write in notes whatever details I think will help make them appear more solid in my mind. Even if it never winds up in print for others to see, those things mean something. I know that folks flipped out in the Harry Potter fandom when JKR began dishing on who married whom etc. :) I loved how she said that she was not sure Ron and Hermione were such a good match after all when she thought about how the characters had evolved. I know that people flipped at the very idea, but I liked that she mentioned it. It's interesting to know those things. It's not like it stops anybody from imagining things differently if they like.

I read that on a NaNoWriMo pep talk once, that if you think that your writing is crap or if it's always hard and unyielding then that means that you are good at what you do. :P I think that feeling good about something is a nice balance.

See, more people used to write books where they gave children the benefit of the doubt rather than marketing something stilted and watered down. All of the children in classic books with child protagonists do things and think in ways far beyond their years. They are precocious to say the least. I think that children think all manner of complex things but are not always able to communicate it effectively to adults who presume that they are ignorant or stupid.

...things that adults want to pretend that kids don't think about.

Why is that, do you think? is it because it disturbs them to think that they are not carefree? They were children once. I remember worrying about being in trouble a lot and having restrictions. I think that children feel and think what bigger people do but without the "training" to react in an expected, mature way?? I am not sure how to describe it.
Apr. 12th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
People who are meant to "get it" will, and those who aren't... well, won't. That's how I feel about it. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard to not have those kind of connections. Especially when you aren't really sure where to find them. That's been my eternal struggle.

I don't know much about music, but that's really interesting. It sounds kind of like if someone does a reading/audition without putting any emotion into their performance. You might be able to say the words clearly without stuttering, but if you've drained what makes the words mean something, what's the point? I'm not good at reading aloud, even if it's just to my Mom. I stumble a lot over my words. But when I'm alone, I often read my stories with full emotion in my voice. It helps to catch mistakes, but it also pulls you in more deeply, I think.

All those behind the scenes things that we learn/come up with are part of what makes the characters feel real. What you put in the book is sometimes just the tip of the iceberg. But if that other stuff wasn't there, the character would feel flat. I absolutely think we should respect anything a writer says about his/her work. We don't necessarily have to agree with everything, but we should respect it.

I thought Jo Rowling saying that was really interesting, too. Maybe because I've always preferred Harry/Hermione to Ron/Hermione. But I was fine with how the last book went. I'd accepted as far back as GoF that it was going to be Ron/Hermione. But when she said that, it split the fandom about as badly as the interview after HBP. Just in the opposite way. People who'd worshiped her every word were suddenly started to say she should just keep her mouth shut. :/

I remember thinking some of her reasoning for why she was changing her mind was off. (Just like how I thought Neville being too "scared" of Luna to date her seemed off when we take DH!Neville into consideration.) But whatever her reasoning, they're her characters and she knows them best. And people don't understand that sometimes we still learn new things about our characters along the way. I've had times when I really tried to make a pairing work and it just didn't. And later, I realized why. So, yeah.

I've always kind of disliked NaNo, honestly. If it's something people use to motivate themselves, that's great! But their philosophy seems to be write as much crap as you can in a month. I just can't get behind that. I spend years on my first drafts, and they are not - in spite of all the writers that love to say all first drafts are - garbage. They are imperfect and unpolished, but they are not crap. I fully believe you should respect every step of your process, including that first draft. And if you take your time with it and respect it, you'll have less revision and editing to do later. But sorry for the little rant. I don't hate people who do NaNo. I just hate NaNo. If that makes sense. ^_^;

I think when people become parents they want to protect their child from anything that "steals their innocence". They block out pieces of their own childhood or just think "that was just me". I agree with you. I think a child can feel just about anything that an adult feels; they just don't know how to deal with it. (Not that all adults have it down either...) I'd want to treat my child like a person because I remember what it was like to be told I was too young to feel things in the intensity that I did. But I did. And no one saying stuff like that ever turned the intensity down.

But I'll admit that I'm not a parent, and I've never really felt that pull to be one. So maybe I just don't understand? Still, I read an article last week about a woman who said she tried to treat her children like small adults. And I think that's more the way to go. I've always hated the whole "respect you elders" thing. You should respect people because they're people, not because they just happened to be born before you. But you shouldn't dim your own light for anyone.
Apr. 14th, 2015 05:58 am (UTC)
Yeah. I rant on about certain things and I used to fear that I was probably boring people who didn't quite understand or who weren't interested.

I was briefly a drama major, but mostly I enjoyed lighting and costuming and whatnot. I actually loved the acting part of it, but putting yourself out there all of the time is so draining. I think that I was good at reading things, but again, being under lights in front of people? Wow.
It's just amazing how different a piece of music can sound depending on who is playing it.

I agree, of course, since I would totally want respect for anything that I created as well. It just seems so invasive, telling someone that their work isn't theirs or that their thoughts and additional notes are somehow separate. I respected JKR a lot for being up front. And people did veritably pester her for more info so how could they scream over her divulging it? Fandom can be rather silly at times.

And people don't understand that sometimes we still learn new things about our characters along the way.

Well said!

I take NaNo for what I can get out of it, if it's an excuse to make writing a ritual when I am not blocked but simply not being very good about setting aside time. But they do get a bit high and mighty. And I have never ascribed to their "just write it" credo. Sorry, but I have to seld-edit as I go along. There is no way in heck that I am churning out some horrifically spelled, grammatically spurious beast with no direction all because I've gotta crank out 50,000+ words in the span of 30 days! haha. I have seen those "pep talks" where they tell you that your first draft will be crap. I am slightly arrogant though I like to think of it as having some pride so I thought to myself in response, "Uh, no, *your* first draft might be crap".

I see some people say that they have about a billion first drafts from NaNo but no finished projects. I suppose it is what you make of it. I like to think that other people out there are writing along side me. But yeah, it's a bit oversimplified and hyped.

I had serious issues with certain family members as a child who thought that I was "too emotional". :S or else they thought that I was ADHD. I hope that I never tell anyone how they feel.

No. Experience as a parent or no, there's no excuse for that. Nobody is perfect and kids can survive a lot, but more than anything, I wish that mine had just listened a bit more at times, to what I was trying to express.

But you shouldn't dim your own light for anyone.

I heard something similar the other day!
Apr. 14th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
Haha. I use NaNo for my own purposes occasionally, too. Like, one year I challenged myself to write at least a few paragraphs every day in November. I succeeded, but it drained me so much that I think I didn't get back to normal until February. Haha. So, that was sort of a failure. But I think if you can find a way do it with your own spin, it could be pretty helpful. I'm just not so structured when it comes to creative things most of the time. I like having a frame of structure around my day. (Like get up, check email, take a shower. Then at the end of the day, finish going through my leftover emails and watch Netflix with my Mom for a couple of hours before bed.) But the rest of the day, I like to leave up to my mood and intuition.

I used to not edit much as I went along because I would write my first drafts in notebooks, but that process doesn't work for me anymore. I started writing that way partially because I used to write during any free second at school and kept with it after that because I hated typing. But the last two years, I've been working mostly on second drafts, and it has changed the way I like to write. It's much easier to fix things as you go along. I outline more than I used to, too. Just because it helps me not to freak out as much. (I often worry that the first drafts I've completed were flukes, and I'll never finish another story, even though I literally have a list of over a hundred ideas.)

I hear the first drafts always suck from other authors, too. Most of them, actually. I just don't get it. Are they just trying to let themselves off the hook or something? I mean, it's fine if you end up with a first draft that needs a lot of work, but why would you basically plan for it to happen that way?

I was actually diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid and had to take medication for it. But the therapist I have now and I think that was a misdiagnosis and my "hyper activity" was more from being a hyper-sensitive kid who didn't know what to do with that energy than not being able to concentrate. Because I was always able to concentrate well at school and all. I don't know. I don't blame anyone either way, because it's got to be hard to diagnose a kid. It's probably hard enough with adults who are better at articulating what's going on with them. And all the medication really did was make me not hungry.

I'm lucky because my Mom is amazingly understanding and supportive. And so was my Grandma. And even though my Dad was/is not around so much, he's supported me most of the time, too. I do have relatives that are not so supportive, but that's got to happen with every family, right? But mostly, my family is supportive of me.

(I love your icon!)
Apr. 16th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I remember being a little broken during the month of December. I tried to do NaNo at the end of a semester of classes that included General Chemistry. I crashed pretty hard. :)

Perhaps those authors are into the suffering, wow-I-just-suck mentality. And some people are really talented and can't see their own work clearly. Perhaps after a little distance, they'll think better of it. I like outlines, even when I don't follow them. Writing blind seems a tad scary, trusting that you won't have a huge, convoluted mess on your hands.
It drives me nuts if even a word is misspelled and I can fix it immediately.

I've heard that quite a bit, that hypersensitive children are diagnosed with ADHD. It's far easier to find a category and attempt to "fix" people then to take a closer look at what is going on. *sigh* After talking to a friend who is a psychologist, I am not sure if it is harder to diagnose children, but one thing is certain-they have more fragile biochemistry. :/ Not hungry? that sounds scary.

Your family sounds lovely. :)

Yes. Here, have another HP icon.
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:36 am (UTC)
I used to put my writing down a lot when I was younger. And looking back, it really wasn't very good. Haha. But my ideas were, and I always knew that. I always appreciated my characters and storylines even when my writing hadn't matured enough to support them fully. I think I'm a good writer now. I may not be technically the best, but my emotional scenes pack a punch. That's where I shine.

Yeah, I was almost scary skinny when I was a child. But now... I'm more the other way. :/ I have hormone problems, weight-gain side effects, and admittedly, a general aversion to physical activities.
Apr. 21st, 2015 06:46 am (UTC)
I found a box of stuff a few months back, handwritten on lined filler paper of things that I wrote years ago. Some of it was Digimon fanfic. Wow. I think that I've lost any original stuff that I wrote as a kid. I had something, sort of morbid that I wrote in three different color pens when I was 10/11. Disturbingly, I wrote a lot of horror at that age.

Emotions are important. I read some light books for fun and the characters don't seem to have a lot going on or else they have too much out of the blue with little explanation.

I need to go look at your story! I got sucked away from the computer this weekend with familial stuff.

Walking can be nice or dance. :) LIke I know a lot of people are gung ho about running but I think it's vile. It is bad on your back, your joints, your feet.
Apr. 21st, 2015 03:27 pm (UTC)
I still have almost all of my old stuff. I used to write really dark stuff around that age, too. I would write a lot about physically/emotionally abusive relationships. I guess because the guys I had feelings for had always treated me like they'd rather die than touch me. It seemed like that was the only relationship I could aspire to have, I suppose.

Please do read when you get a chance. I've been feeling a little less than inspired lately, so having some feedback would probably be helpful. I'm just getting so close to the end that I'm getting scared now that one is going to care. That all the work was for nothing. Ugh. I'll get through it, but it isn't fun.

Walking is nice, but I have to have someone to walk with because I'm too scared to go out on my own. I sometimes use a mini bike thing while I watch Netflix, but sometimes I just don't feel up to it, physically or emotionally. Anything else makes me nervous just thinking about. Movement just makes me think about people watching me. Even if no one's there, I'll just criticize myself as if there were.
Apr. 24th, 2015 12:42 am (UTC)
:( I wonder if that is how it goes....have childhood traumas, wind up in abusive relationships. Sounds like a silly thing to utter. Of course that's how it is. :S I am not too keen on relationships. My family situation was oddish, my grandparents were a bit controlling and I felt like I was getting tossed around. Consequently, I latched onto a rather abusive person in my first real relationship because it felt so intense and so real. I projected quite a bit onto to it later.

I have it perpetually open in Google Docs since yesterday and am going to settle down with it later as in, take a shower, shut my door, hide out, and read. It's hard some days to get a quiet moment around here.

Mini bikes are so boring. I tried that and a treadmill and yeah, I find gyms kinda creepy. If you had a buddy, perhaps you could go early in the morning when there aren't as many people around.

Are you a morning-ish person? ;) Probably not, right?
I am not, but I love how peaceful it is so I am making the effort to get up before seven a.m., at least during the week. I don't have to be up til eight so ...laziness occurs.

Found this icon in a folder!
Apr. 24th, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
I've actually never been in a relationship. At least not one that wasn't completely online and extremely short-lived. Really, they don't even count. Basically, mild flirting and a lot of drama and panic, usually on my part. But I've always felt a deep connection to someone out there. I just haven't met them yet.

Oh, don't stress about fitting it in. Only if you have time and really want to read.

Not at all a morning person. Haha. I'm amazed if I can drag myself out of bed before 9 most of the time. And yeah, I don't have anyone to walk with. I rarely see my old friends, and I haven't made new ones in a long time.

Yay, Naoto! ^_^ Hey, have you ever played Eternal Sonata?
Apr. 25th, 2015 03:32 am (UTC)
But I've always felt a deep connection to someone out there. I just haven't met them yet.

I often feel that way as well! Like everyone is connected on some level so you're bound to be connected to people you haven't met yet because they share some quality of yours...like quantum entanglement.

I am curious. What made you think of Florida as being magical? :)

I'd stay in bed as long as I could, but I feel like it is the only peaceful time and I cannot stay up until three in the morning anymore. ^^;;

Is that an SMT game or something different?
Apr. 25th, 2015 01:52 pm (UTC)
I don't know, exactly. I've never actually been there. Closest I've come to that was the beach in North Carolina when I was eight. In terms of why Jenny says that, you'll find that out later, but basically something special happened to her there.

Eternal Sonata is a JRPG and it centers around Chopin's dreamworld. In between chapters of fantasy stuff, there are beautiful text and music stories about his real life. I absolutely loved it, and I've been thinking of playing it again.
Apr. 27th, 2015 05:49 am (UTC)
I look forward to finding out. :D

WAIT. There's a JRPG centered around Frederic Chopin!? I have heard of Eternal Sonata but I never knew that that's what it was! What consoles is it on?
Apr. 27th, 2015 02:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes!! Oh, my goodness, you need to check it out. It's a little strange at times, but so interesting. It's on the 360 and PS3. I played the 360 version before there was a PS3 version, but now, I kind of want to play the PS3 version to see the extra stuff they added.
May. 2nd, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
And I have a PS3! Ooh....
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