We Don’t Need Another Hero…

I’m going to talk about my new novel, even though the first one is not yet published.  I’m tabling “Adam and Eve” for a little bit, because the timing doesn’t feel right to me.  I’m going to delve a little bit into plot, character development, tell you a little bit about why I have decided to do a typical “ADD” thing and change mid-course, but first I’ll give you a little bit (OK, a lot of background).

Storm From Movie Pilot.com

I love superheroes.  I have always loved superheroes, particularly the vulnerable ones.  The superheroes, who are imperfect, flawed, make mistakes, have missteps, have good intentions that sometimes go awry.  The problem is that every single one of the superheroes I love are men.  None of the female superheroes I used to watch in television and the movies were ones I particularly enjoy.  They always took a back seat to men.  Most of the women heroes in movies, television, etc are clones of men.  For example, Super Girl.  She is from the same planet as Superman.  She shows up on Earth, and does pretty much the same exact thing as Superman, except she’s a girl.  Same thing with Batgirl.  Wonder Woman is the only one that kind of breaks this model, but she came into being in the post-feminine era.  I’m not a huge fan, because ultimately she is still a “sex symbol” rather than a hero (that’s just my humble opinion).  The more complex super hero female characters are side characters– Storm (manipulates the weather), but she is often overshadowed by Wolverine, Cyclops, or Nightcrawler.  The women of the X-Men, who have the more interesting powers are the villains– Mystic (shape shifting is awesome) and Catwoman– a combination of the same bad ass skills as Batman, but killer costume and character added.

Princess Leia

Besides superheroes, as of late there have been many strong central female characters.  The first of these characters is Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”  I think about it this way, this woman was tortured physically and mentally, and still didn’t give up the location of the rebel base, despite her home planet being destroyed.  Another strong character I really appreciated was Hermoine Granger from “Harry Potter”.  Hermoine was unique in that she was far more talented and intelligent than her male counterparts, but she was a secondary character in the entire series.  Readers (and film goers) watched her (and Emma Watson) grow up in front of our eyes.  But in every novel and movie it was highlighted that she was a incredibly witch, and she was also amazingly smart.  Finally, one of my most favorite modern feminine hero is Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss, unlike Hermoine and Leia is a survivor.  She is kind, but she is also somewhat ruthless.  Everything she did she did for the simple reason that she wanted herself and her family to survive.  She volunteered for the reaping, so that her sister would survive.  When it was convenient she teamed up with Peeta, even though in the beginning she preferred Gale.

So when I set down to write my novel, I wanted a strong female character.  Unlike other superhero novels, comic books, and movies, this character was going to be the only character with super powers.  Like other superhero media, she is also has weaknesses.  Her experiences have tainted her existence.  When the reader is first introduced to her, she is a preteen child in 1910s in New Mexico.  She is vulnerable, because she is a child.  She has powers that she doesn’t understand, and she is just figuring out what she can do and how to do it.  I selected New Mexico as a setting, because it was the first military base I was stationed at.

The next chapter the reader is introduced to the my female lead’s caregiver from the “dimension” or planet they had originally come from.  I won’t go into how they ended up on Earth, but the setting of the chapter takes place in the 1920s near Biloxi, MS.  It is the height of Jim Crow, when the KKK was at its most popular, and there were also a record number of lynchings.  She looks at her male caregiver as a father figure even though he is not her father.  The main character should have aged 18 years between the first chapter and the second chapter, but she has not.  She does not age like others.  This aspect of the character is like one of my favorite heroes, Wolverine/Logan.

  

The following chapters follow the character’s development into adulthood.  She doesn’t age much between 1923 and the 2000s, though we learn her motivations.  The third chapter takes the character to Germany during WWII.  In a surprising turn is at a convent as an initiate.  After witnessing the holocaust in a very first hand account, this changes the character for both the better and the worst.  The fourth chapter and fifth chapter she works in a MASH unit in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.  In the sixth chapter she is in Kuwait as a pilot.  It is getting harder and harder for her to hide that she is almost 100 years old.  She becomes adept at stealing identities, and eventually shows her technical savvy.  But at the end of chapter seven she is discovered.

The seventh chapter reveals why her and her caregiver are here.  What her destiny is, and why her existence is significant.  It is the point where she has to decide whether she is a hero, or not.  I am only on chapter two, so much of the plot beyond this is in development.  I have outlined everything.  I have come up with settings and situations for this character.  I’m more than excited about this novel.  The story of this hero has been in my head since I was a 4-year-old sitting in a theater with my dad watching “Star Wars,” and now she is coming to life.  I can’t wait until you meet her, and discover the biggest secret and plot twist.

I finished my first novel in March 2015.  I decided to table the novel for a few month and work on this one after my dad died.  This novel is the one I was born to write, and it’s the story I have always wanted to write.  It is the one I have dream of being developed into a movie, or a television show.  I couldn’t stomach having this story in my head, and not even starting it.  So I did what every woman (and man) with ADD does, I stopped mid-stride an started something new.

Lent Day Six

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This is not a rock formation, rather it is roots of a cypress tree that long has fallen.  The creek shapes the tree roots when the water is high.  When the water goes down, the tree roots make these twisted root formations.

I ran the longest run today since the marathon.  I ran inside, because it rained off and on all day.  I’m getting nervous for the  surgery.  I did manage to get an appointment on Wednesday for the doctor to look at my mole.  I don’t know what I’m more nervous about– the mole or getting my teeth out.  I also have my first physical in forever.  When you have a child with autism lots of things go by the wayside.  My health care is one of those things that gets put off for him than anything else.  I don’t go into the hospital unless it is life or death.  If I am completely non-functionally sick, I will see the doctor.  If my teeth hurt so badly that I can barely eat, I will see a dentist.  It’s hard to justify seeing a doctor when my children are not 100% taken care of.

March is coming quickly.  And March is always a busy one.  The first week of March, I’ll be getting the mole removed and a few other doctor appointments to get myself back on the bandwagon.  The second week of March, I’ll be getting my Coach’s certification re-upped.  I had a certification when I was in college, and I let it go after I was no longer going to be an education major (in the 1990s).  I decided that with my personal training certification, and running certification, I can maybe restart a coaching business.  I love writing, so I think I’ll write training and nutrition plans and publish them on Amazon.  The third week of March, we will be in Orlando for Spring Break.  When we get back, it will be Easter week.

Lent Day Four: I Made A Huge Decision…

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Water Lilies are about to bloom, despite a few nights with record lows, Turkey Creek is teeming with life.  I cannot wait until they start blooming.

I made a large career decision yesterday.  I decided to self-publish my books.  The first novel will be available on Amazon.com in April.  I’m finishing up the final stages of editing, and my husband (who happens to be brutal when it comes to editing) will be doing a final look at the novel.  Once the editing it complete, I will be building an author’s page on Amazon, and the book will be for sale for $6.99.  I plan on actually self-publishing any books I write from now on.  With so few books getting picked up by big name authors, it makes more economic sense to publish self-publish the books and save the time and money on trying to find an agent, editor, and publisher.

Lent-wise, we had my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby initial race today.  Sad to say that Mater did NOT win.  After we got back from the Pinewood Derby, I went for a nice run.  The weather is getting warmer and it was quite windy.  When I got back, my daughter wanted to go on a run as well.  I went for another 1.5 miles with her.  Now, we are getting ready for the first baseball game of the season.  Tomorrow should be a much easier day.