Sunday, November 8, 2015


Now Playing: Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars

Quick post. Just remember T.S. Eliot before we start: "Good writers borrow, great writers steal."

Also, to make writing this out easier, I'm just going to refer to that mystery Skulduggery post boy as E here. You don't get his full name which is kinda sad--it's a nice name, even if we all pronounce it wrong.

I was having a conversation with him the other day about fairy tales. We were in the Downtown library, browsing through the kid's section, and I remember wondering if they'd have those Andrew Lang fairy books up for check-out. FSU had The Blue Fairy Book so I didn't think it unlikely an even bigger library for an even bigger public would have volumes from such an old, beloved collection.

Alas, we didn't find any, but we did get to talking about fairy tales in general. Somewhere in that conversation he guessed that maybe I liked them for the simple, obvious reason that they're perfect for escapism.

And I thought about it and told him no. Fairy tales are kind of the opposite of escapism. They weren't constructed to fill up kid's heads with irrelevant, pretty things. They were done to talk to them about particular issues, to make them understand the world. They were entertaining and imaginative, but they had to be more than that. That's why fairy tales--real fairy tales--are often brutal and frightening. They're trying to mirror the uglier aspects of the world just as much as they're trying to borrow the prettier ones.

It's like that with all of fiction. I tend to borrow a ton of things from real life.

A lot of writers get dodgy whenever they get asked what exactly "inspired" their book, and when they get particularly defensive, you know the real life story is weighing heavily on them. So overall, I don't get this idea that artists live with their head up in the clouds, completely removing themselves from society. Oh no, kids. We're always watching. Always listening >.> (And if not consciously, then involuntarily).

Anyways. because of this, I've thinking of all the ways I borrow from real-life events. Sometimes it's in large ways, like big emotions, events, or locations. But other times it's just stealing a word here or there, like something someone tells me or a conversation we have. Initially I have no idea how I'll fit them into something, but they tend to linger. And I run them through my head over and over again until I hear someone like Lilith or Caesar or whoever say them in a scene.

E finds it amusing because I apparently remember our talks in wayyy more detail than he does. I think he finds it a little frightening at times too, since he'll do a double take and be like, "when did I say that?" But I remember, yo. Mostly because keeping a journal means refreshing my memory.

And currently, I'm recalling a ton of silly, random conversations I've had with people.

With E, one of the earliest things I remember is us talking about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and how it's one of my favorite books yet I've never seen the movie. And yet he's only seen the movie and didn't know how awesome (and violent!) the book is.

I can't recall the lead-up, but I remember saying, "Then can I be Dorothy? I'll be Dorothy."

And him replying with, "I'll pick the Lion."

"Why would you want to be Cowardly Lion?"

"Okay, okay. Who's the one who falls in love with Dorothy at the end?"

"Uh. No one falls in love with Dorothy at the end. She's like eleven."

". . .Oh shit."

(That's what you get for not reading the book, kids).

Or, whilst we were walking around Downtown, after he inexplicably found out I had a lighter, he asked, "Are you giving it to me?" (He's a smoker and likes pretty lighters so I showed him mine).

"What. Nuh. It's my lighter."

"But. . . .Why do you even have a lighter?"

"Arson, mostly."

I don't know if he thought I was serious or not.

But it just reminded me I gotta write an arsonist character soon.

With Silvia, it's anything from face-to-face conversations to texts. On Friday, in an escalating conversation that started with the possible reasons behind 5 AM phone sex and then a probable orgy going down next week in her hotel room (long story), she came up with the phrase "Jesus Christmas" thanks to auto-correct. (When "Jesus Christ" just doesn't convey enough shock).

So part of that long convo had this: "Two beds and a sofa for four people? That's. . .that's practically encouragement. Check the drawers as soon as you walk in, see if they stocked it up with lube and condoms."

"Dang. Right next to the complimentary bible?"

"Well you gotta spank 'em with something. . . ."

"Jesus Christmas indeed."

How do I implement that? I don't know.

All I know is I'm stealing it for something >_>

I don't even remember how this other conversation started--I think she was telling me about a webcomic or fanfiction or something. The narrative had a friendship that was dormant for years and then suddenly BAM romance.

And I said, "That's. . .slow burn to the extreme, yo."

And she said, "It was more like spontaneous combustion. Of non-flammable materials."

My family's pretty good at giving me occasional snippets I'd want to steal some day. My brother's voice is the hardest to capture and our conversations build on each other really quickly, but I want to write a character based off that kid some day, so I try and remember the most.

Don't have anything of his to share right now, but I do have something my dad said to me the other day.

After we had Chinese food, I was sitting on my bed writing and he came in with an unopened fortune cookie in his hand. He laid down at the end of the bed for no reason other than to open up the cookie. (We get stupidly excited over the Fortune Cookie sayings, despite the fact that I find it mildly annoying they never have any fortunes >:( Just like, quotable life advice or something).

The fortune said: A Man is What He Believes.

So my dad and I stared at it for a second before he said, "This is too deep for me."

"Well, what do you believe?"

". . .I'm a nihilist."


Ahh. I don't know. I just adore these people.


  1. Anonymous10:33 AM

    @_@ I wish I could remember the context for these things I said....

    Isn't it like, life plagiarism if you put it in your books? @_@ You are trapping my soul in your writing.

    1. Hey now. That's a form of immortality @_@


"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.