Dear sister, or, Goodbye to a writing friend
I began writing because of you. Did you know that? Sure, I also wrote because of Star Trek, but real computer writing began because of you. It started when I told you stories at night. Do you remember that? We’d stay up and I’d tell you an ongoing story. If we had to go to sleep, I come up with a cliff hanger quickly. However, telling you stories at night took too long, and we couldn’t record them, so I began to write them down for you. In the car on the way to Springfield on February 14th.
Jennifer Bullinger stared at out the scene before her.
However, I didn’t show them to you then. I showed them to our brother. He liked them and became my first helper in writing. But then again, he was eleven and I was fifteen. Neither of us knew much about writing.
I gave you these books to you for your thirteenth birthday. You still have them too, upstairs on your bookshelf. By the time I finished my first official novel, Hope, our brother didn’t want to read it and I wasn’t sure I wanted him to read it. He had become too logical.
However, in between those four years, you had matured. I began sharing with you ideas for my stories. You helped me tighten and improve plots; in many ways, you became a bouncing board for my ideas. Even though you don’t always say much, you sometimes said enough and sometimes you realized that all I needed to do was talk aloud.
From when you were thirteen to sixteen, you helped me. I’d tell you ideas and you would tell me what you thought. Often, you were one of the first people to hear about a story idea. You were the first one to know why Sagi hates the Yoni. You know all about Shad and my mermaids. You heard my mental discussions about whether to give my mermaids legs or fins. You know a lot about my stories. More than any other reader.
And, whenever we get to share a room still, and I ask if you want to know a plot or two, you get all excited. You want to know them. You want to know them all.
Do you even realize how much you know about me and my writing? You are one of the only people who know I submitted work for publication. Only you, in our family, know about my blog. Only you know that I am considering submitted short stories for self publication. You gave me some serious help with my synopsis.
Often you are one of the first people to read what I write and you would get mad when you weren’t. You have no idea how much help you gave me when you would read it so I could ask you questions. Those times after you read a story helped me more than you could imagine.
You told me that you want a book dedicated after you, as payment for all the help I’ve given you. I agreed then. Jokingly I’d tell you that it would be to, “Elianna, because she thinks that she deserves a book for listening to all my brilliant thoughts when in reality she did so little.”
You know, it hasn’t been the same since the summer though. I don’t think it’s me. I want to share. I almost need someone to share all my ideas with. (I go insane sometimes with all my ideas.) However, you aren’t doing what I really need you to do. You aren’t reading anything.
Since September, I’ve written three short stories. All three of them are pretty good. (It’s not like summer of 2010 when I wrote a bunch of bad short stories.) But you not only have not read them, you haven’t even suggested that you want to read them. Counting those, it now places the number at five stories that you have not read of mine. Five. And yes, I’d like to know what you think, but I can’t force you to read them. I can’t demand that you do anything.
But I can’t discuss things with you if you don’t read then. I don’t think I’m asking too much. Maybe you do like hearing the plots; I don’t know. But here’s what I do know. You aren’t helping me anymore. Not only that, but you don’t want to.
It finally hit this weekend. I just suggested that it is hard because I want to write to more sections of story, but I don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. Sure, I have a best friend at school, but she isn’t helpful in that area. I just e-mailed you on Thursday suggesting that it’d be helpful if you read it. When I asked if you saw my e-mail, you responded with, “I saw you were complaining.” Not meanly. Just in your normal voice of, “Yeah. I saw it. But I didn’t really think about it.”
Do you know what you told me then? You basically said that you don’t care about what I write. You don’t care about my stories.
I realize that you’ve grown up. You’re almost eighteen now. Maybe you don’t have time for silly little stories your older sister writes. But I’m going to miss you nonetheless. I’m going to miss telling you all the ideas that come into my head. I’m going to miss getting your help with problems. I’m going to miss having characters that only we know about, like secrets sisters share. Or making Shad into a character on the wii.
Because even if you’ve grown up and you’ve moved on, I haven’t. I’m still writing. I’ll always be writing. Even if you aren’t going to read.
So I’m sorry it came to this. I really hope it wasn’t because I am at college now. But either way, I think I understand. Just so you know.
When it just doesn’t work out.
I started my spring semester this week. I’ve also wrote this week. That’s a good start.
As I said earlier, I’m working through all of my Avi chapters because my mermaid book has multiple POVs and this is the best way to keep them all straight. So I get to this scene where (Yes, I’m spoiling the story. But this won’t be published for at least two years so I doubt you’ll remember it.) Avi is sworn in as the monarch, much to her dread, she meets this diver we’ve been following named Matthew and he tells her her boyfriend is a spy and her father offers to help her rule. Yeah. A lot happen in this chapter.
It’s also a pretty big chapter for me. Right now about 5,000 words. So I’ve been working on that chapter all week.
And it’s still flopping.
Now, this is the chapter that gave me writer’s block for about two months and I finally just said forget it and moved on. I actually just finished writing it this week. But still!
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. It might be because i don’t understand Matthew and I don’t understand Avi’s father. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to get inside Avi’s head in this one. No matter how much I try, she is still insist that Matthew has to stay in the prison (she was freeing them in the prelude. Actually, she frees Matthew’s son.) Matthew is coming out as whiner because I can’t get inside the head of a man who is being threatned to being held prisoner under the sea for the rest of his life. And Avi’s father is coming across as a very nobel person, which he might be. I don’t know. I just can’t get in anyone’s head.
On top of it all, my sister is talking. And talking. And talking.
I am on the computer. I am trying to edit this chapter well. And she is wanting me to pay attention to the hat she just knitted for air 1. Sure, I want to be a nice sister, but I also want to write.
I did end up finishing the chapter. I do kinda like how it ended. I’m tempted to go back and see about editing it yet again. (making it time number three) But, part of me is saying that I should wait until Matthew and Ber talk to me more. And Avi too.
Which, this is totally off topic, but talk about character change. Avi started out in my head as an impulsive, reckless, brave girl and she is turning to have a very timid part underneath her thick outer shell. I love it when characters do that, though as I write that, I’m wondering if it reflects what I feel right now. Could characters reflect what is currently going on in our lives?
I bet so.
Anyway, I get to move onto my really bad chapters. I think it might not be all that bad once I fix them up though. (Except for Nessa’s story. She needs a lot of help.) I really need to figure out a more effective way to write but until then, I’m just going to have to go with this. (I keep threatening to share how I write. Maybe I should do that tomorrow.) It just means a LOT of rewriting.