Fearless Living and Writing

Had one of those breakthrough ideas last night.  Of all places, at my son’s football game. 

I work hard to avoid crowds here around election time because I inevitably have different views, but it’s nearly impossible with kid stuff.  I usually sit a little apart and stay out of the conversations, but I was feeling social.  It was all pretty decent until politics came up.  Hey, I was good.  A child’s game isn’t the place for passionate debate–so, I kept the snapper shut and tried not to wince too much. 

I was, however, provoked into deep thought by another situation.

One of the 11 or 12 year-old boys made a joke to another about how “sexy” he looked in his knee wrap.  I cracked up.  The parents around me chuckled, but there was a remark or two made that didn’t sit well in my stomach.  

It was probably an ‘in’ joke  with the kids but I started imagining how that boy would be treated if that’s how he really felt.  The disdain he’d face in a lot of adult expressions every single damn day. 

Those sobering thoughts stuck with me even through the noisy cheering part of the night.  But they also pulled me into the realm of how it feels to totally immerse yourself into a character.  To look at the world through their gaze, to feel their internal reaction to every situation.

I thought about my main character.  She’s eighteen and has been fighting for survival most her life.  She’s had a lot of responsibility and like me, she’s lived all over the country and learned there are many ways of life, many kinds of people–all just as important as the next.  As long as no one is getting hurt, she’s cool with people, doesn’t think she’s better than anyone else.  

But, it hit me last night that an eighteen year-old, one who has a passion that burns at a point above liquid nitrogen, might not be able to keep her mouth shut.  Sounds like something I should have realized already and on some level, yeah, I had.  But this understanding came on like I’d jumped an electric fence.  

At eighteen, some kids still fiercely believe the world could become a less judgmental, more accepting place in their lifetime.  (Okay, okay, I haven’t lost hope entirely. But I’m learning to accept the best I can and just raise my kids with open minds and hearts.)

I have a teenager.  My daughter and her friends are beautifully fearless when they stand up for someone or something.   Case in point, my daughter admitting to a liberal point of view on a school bus and having kids hurl hate-filled words into her face.  I won’t repeat them here, but they were horrifying.  She stood her ground, remained firm and held in her disappointment in people until she got to a safe environment. 

Home. 

But in my story, my main character is far from her home.  She has no safe environment. 

So, how would she react in a similar situation?  Since it’s fiction, and urban fantasy fiction at that, I could just have her pull out a weapon and go to town.  But that wouldn’t be her style at all because all that heavy responsibility has made her aware.  She’s fiercely protective and compassionate.  She’s also already learned that prejudice comes from upbringing and sometimes a cool head and an accepting heart will open eyes faster than kicking ass.  So what would she do?  Say? 

For a few minutes, I fully crawled inside the heart of a person I created.  At a football game. 

Damn.  

 This character can probably teach me a thing or two.   I can’t wait to finish her story.  Hope I do her justice. 

Oh, and for the record… she also knows when it IS time to kick some ass. 😉

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About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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One Response to Fearless Living and Writing

  1. Julia Hinkle says:

    I loved the Blog……Your heroine sounds like you in a lot of ways.
    Too many judge quickly another person. If we would stop and think – that could be me they’re ragging on.
    Sorry if ragging is a bummer word – chalk it up to my age. I am forever sticking my foot in my mouth. Even at lunch today, I said that person’s food has a lot of gook in it. The table jumped on me. That’s racist…..Sorry , growing up in the 50’s – we used a lot of words that are now – improper.
    I am one of the least judgemental people I know. I believe in individuality, the pride of each human, and freedom to be who you are, not what everyone things you are to be.
    Writing, I think is just that – to be what you are. Your character becomes you. I read constantly – (ALL types of books), and I find some writers capture their inner soul in the character. I find more – don’t. Those I put down before I finish them.
    Anyway – sorry for the preaching.
    Now, back to your blog. You have always been a deeply, passionate person. You have fought and stood up for what you believed in. You never judged or tried to change anyone. God knows you are so…..intelligent. You use words I have to use a dictionary to understand their meaning, but I love you for all of those things.
    Write what you think, what you feel……Write that humerous – sarcastic book about your KIN- excluding of course any bad stuff about your Mother……..haha…I have a sensitive nature….
    toward hard truth. I was a tough cookie for a Mom……
    Rinda, you are my beautiful daughter,and you are a hell of a writer. I am totally fasinated at your command of writing. Your passion flows as you become the story too. Write – don’t ever give up for I KNOW you will find your dream……
    By the way – her Father is just like her……Two peas in a pod. Gotta luv em……..
    Of course – I surely don’t mean to embarrass my daughter, so if I have – please overlook this very partical mother…….

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