I am afraid of myself. When I set my books free, I exposed my soul. I am naked for the world to judge. I am tough, but I am not sure how tough. I have not had any critics yet, but there is always someone eager to dissect, analyze, and berate everything ever written. I must not crumble if my thoughts are ripped apart. I must see any harsh words as suggestions for improvement and not. My writing may be fiction, but it is undeniably me -- my thoughts, my imaginary friends and adversaries brought to life, my demons splattered upon a pristine page. A writer must wear plate armor so her inner demons do not injure her as they rush into the world with claws aloft.
No matter what, I will always be able to call myself a writer. I am not aspiring, I have written. I set forth on an uncertain journey, and although I am far from its conclusion, I have completed the quests I laid on my own head. At some point I had to stop editing and say to myself, "That was the last word I am changing. This task is complete." I am now working toward completion for the fifth time. Then I must move on to the sixth, which is a 2/3 complete first draft with some brutal demons of its own to overcome. Then what next? A fork in the road. I can see it. With Absolution I finally reach the end of the Malora quest line and must choose to go left or right into the next world of my creation.
I revisit my old inspirations as I rewrite The Crystal Lattice. Some creatures were inspired by food that rotted in my refrigerator during a multi-day power outage during the summer of 2003, the summer I started writing my first book. There are characters inspired by people who I loathed so much that just hearing their names made me angry. And in the middle of everything is a narrator inspired by a narcoleptic daydream I had while hiking in the Ozarks alone. These are snapshots of my life as a twenty-one year old. I matured with my character and found he was a different person at the end than he was at the beginning, the way all good characters should be. I am rewriting his words but keeping the heart of who he is -- an innocent and naive creature who must find his own path in his world or always be left aspiring and doing nothing of interest.