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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother

I know this is a day behind, but I like to post in my blog on Monday's so you are just going to have to accept it. This is a mothers day post in honor of my own mother.

My mother has been many things in my life, my educator, my inspiration, my encourager. She was often also the disciplinarian, the rule setter, the one who broke up the fights between my brother and me. She was the first one to truly push me to write. I had already shown an interest, but never the passion to seek this is a profession. But, she wouldn't stop pushing. I had written a lot of Star Trek fan fiction and a little poetry, but nothing that I ever intended on publishing. I thought that authors had to be highly educated people with degrees and decades of experience behind them. I was too young, and I do not have a degree in anything.

One day, she just said "All you can do is fail." What I took that to mean is that I will eternally fail if I never try. So, I sat myself down and wrote my first novel. When I was done I was scared to let anyone read it, I thought it stunk. She took it from me and read it, and told me that it was good. Now, I know that as my mother she will never see my work without those rose colored glasses. But, she does have a constructively critical side to her that she will always use on her children. Even though she will not say anything I write is just plain bad, she is willing to point out flaws and offer suggestions.

Next she took on the role as editor, offering to take my work and scrutinize it and help me smooth it out. She will be the first to admit that she is no pro, and I do need the help of a pro to finalize any project. What I rely
on her for is content more than structure. She can point out glaring grammatical mistakes, and does so quickly. But, her best job is in asking the questions that all readers will ask. "Where did he come from there?" "Didn't he loose his weapon a few pages back, why does he have it in his hand now?" "You forgot to mention that she is 300 years old, that is important." And most important of all, "Your readers will want to know..... (fill in the blank) " These questions direct me to see where I had screwed up continuity, or left a question that really needs to be answered. Often times I watch movies or read stories and see these kinds mistakes and wonder where all those high paid editors are. Mom does all this for free.

Secondly, she is my sounding board. I will come up with story ideas, scenes, characters, whatever and talk with her about them before I write them. She offers me advice as to if these ideas are good or not. Often I find myself talking through a writers block with her just listening. I go in expecting to get her to help me break the block, but before I am done talking it out in front of her I have overcome it on my own. Yet, for some reason, if she weren't there listening, I would never had made it work.

Last, and possibly most important: She is my censor. I want to write family friendly, clean, good work. If you want dirty and grim, watch the news. How I know what I write is clean enough? If I would be ashamed for my mother to read it, then it is edited out. Simple as that. Very, very seldomly have I come up with something that she has frowned at me over, and often it was the double entendre that I completely missed and quickly fixed to eliminate the unintended message.

As a result, Mom has made it into most of my stories as a character. If you read my first book, the witch Gorgeous is based on my mother. If you read The Crystal Needle you will find some of mom in Elsabethe, and most obvious is in my Star Trek novels, there is an Admiral who has the same name and most of the personality traits of the real life person.

My mother taught me to stitch 23 years ago. My mother made me a part of Sigma Alpha Iota which has turned into one of my favorite experiences each time I get to be with other SAI. My mother has always encouraged me to follow my dreams no matter how difficult and far away they might seem. For Mothers Day, belated of course, I say thank you Mom.

Note: The pictures I posted here are some of my moms favorites among my drawings, in case you were wondering about the reason they are here.

1 comment:

  1. Your Mother has raised a wonderful and gifted son! I hope you had a wonderful day with your mom yesterday Dan! take care~

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