Life Imitating Art for WIPpet Wednesday

“I Breathe But I Can’t Catch My Breath.” ~ John Unger, owner of Schoep

Last Wednesday night Life did that thing we writers like to do to our characters: It strolled up and sucker punched me right between the eyes, and it hurt like hell. Still does. But then Life did that other thing it’s inordinately good at: It went on. Funny, that. The world may have seemed to stop turning for me. I may have felt as though my soul had been ripped from my body, stomped into the mud under a pair of spiked shoes, shredded into pieces and thrown to the four winds, but Life didn’t so much as look back.

I don’t automatically broadcast these things. Nothing wrong with that. Some people need it to heal. But I’m a very private person. So, when I could manage it, I told a handful of close friends. Then I quietly disappeared. Not physically. After all, Life has no time for that. Grief is a very personal thing for me. I don’t want to share it. I take it in, I hold it close, and I attempt to smother the living shit out of it. And I know that in the list of tragedies that can befall a person, mine would be considered inconsequential to some. A one on a scale to five. That’s okay. I only share now because my on-line absence had been noted by a few, and I felt an explanation of sorts was due.

I’m still here. I’m feeling less than whole. Life doesn’t give a flying fuck about that, though, and so I step back into the flow and let it carry me. So if I’ve been less interactive over the past week, and seem to be for a bit yet — well, that’s why.

And now that I’ve thoroughly destroyed the lighthearted gaiety of WIPpet Wednesday, and in honor of Greylands being available for sale , I’m going to give you a bit more of Fletch, a small glimpse into his past. Six sentences for November 6.

He slipped the journal into the pocket of his knapsack and checked the rest of his equipment — all souvenirs of a previous life when honor and duty had meant something. Back before everything had gone to shit.

Fletch had come damn close to going to shit right along with the rest of it, but Pete, that crazy son-of-a-bitch, had managed to talk him off the ledge and give him something to believe in. Then the bastard went and got himself shot before they could prove a damn thing, and Fletch had to disappear in a hurry.

No better place to get lost than the Shadows. Nothing but lost souls down there.

Next week I intend to have something entirely new because I . . . um . . . *sigh* I started a new project. Remember? Nutball, here. Yeah. In my defense, it’s not entirely new. It’s one of those “notebook” pieces. Something that insisted I write it and then had nowhere to go. Well, I have someplace for it to go now but only if it falls into place by the middle of December. Oh yeah, Kathi LOVES those tight deadlines. I do promise I will get back to Crossing Paths. Chapter One got some great love and helpful critting from my crit group and they’re clamoring for more. Do not despair all ye fans of Ethan and Rainie, they shall return!

Now, WIPpet, WIPpet good.

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  1. I am so sorry for your pain, Kathi. On a scale of one to five, your tragedy is a ten; don’t let anyone else try to minimize it.

    Unfortunately, creative souls feel pain much more intensely than most; many of us find the only way to deal with it is to channel it into our art. I encourage you to write about it. Don’t write about it for your audience, but for yourself.

    I continue to hold you and yours in my prayers.

  2. I agree with Devin. It doesn’t matter where your pain falls on someone else’s scale. Only on yours. I’m sorry for whatever has caused this for you. I’m kind of like you, I talk about a lot of stuff that happens to me day-to-day. But,when it comes to pain, to grief, I tend to hold it in. I withdraw when I’m worried.

    I like this view into Fletch.

    • I think a lot of that internalization comes from being an introvert. It’s probably not the best for my blood pressure. 😉 But, it’s how I deal.

  3. I’m sorry for whatever befell you, you’ll be in my prayers for sure. And deal with it however you need to deal with it, don’t anyone tell you that it should be one way or another (seems you have that figured out that).

    As for Fletch…seems you and he went through something similar. Bags of memories are all that’s left. He seems very hardened on the outside, which is sometimes a good thing, other times not so much.

    • Fletch is very hardened. Even on the inside. It will take a lot, I think, to chisel through that. Hopefully, some of who he was still exists in there.

      Thank you for the support and kind thoughts.

  4. Kathi, I’m sorry for the pain you’re going through. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. No explanations needed. Take care of yourself.

  5. So sorry to hear you’ve been going through a sad, tough time. I thought your excerpt reflected that a little. It was good, I sensed Fletch’s anger, sadness and frustration that Pete who’d encouraged him is gone. Life can often feel like that when the people we love and rely on leave us. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Yes, life is a particularly snotty little SOB sometimes, isn’t it? It can be so unfeeling and then other times delight to no end. Such a roller coaster ride. But I suppose it would be pretty boring if it wasn’t. And then what would we have to write about?? 😉

  6. I’m with everyone else. Your pain is your pain, and isn’t something that’s rated on anyone else’s scale. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    Brilliant WIPpet snippet, though. <3

  7. I’m glad you took the time for yourself to regroup. Thinking of you and sending a lot of positive thoughts your way.

    Considering everything, Fletch was a good WIPpet choice today. If anyone could understand the layers of pain and grief, it’s him.

    • You know, sometimes I feel a bit bad for Fletch. I think Greylands needs a sequel so we can send a little happiness his way. Although, I’m not sure if he’d know what to do with it.

      Thanks much for your thoughts. <3

  8. Grief is personal; even when one needs to speak aloud to others, the pain is personal. And no one can set a level of another’s pain.

    Take the time you need. And if it helps (and it might) use this grief to write; use the writing to heal. Both might take more time than “the world” would like, but take the time you need. We’ll be here if you need time away; I’m a willing ear if you need one. You’ve got friends, and our thoughts.

  9. *hugs*

    That said, I love this little snippet — excellent example of really putting your character through shit to make the stakes high. Kudos!

  10. *hugs* I am so sorry for whatever happened. We’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  11. I recently watched a Ted talk, and in the presentation the woman talked about hard conversations. She said “Hard is not relevant. Hard is just hard.” It isn’t about making your hard worse than another’s hard, but to validate that hard is hard, and it’s very personal.

    I thank you for creating this WIPpet group, and I should like to say that the comments in here from everyone else demonstrate that we as people CAN band together, and life doesn’t always have to be happy. Hell, we love to give our characters grief. If we can write that, it means we can relate. If we can read it, it means we can relate.

    However you are needing to process and deal with Life and circumstance, know that you are thought of, know that you are loved, and know that you have support (I’m glad you have chosen a few to lean on). We’ll be here when you’re ready. We will be here for Fletch, too, when he comes out of the Shadows.

    • Thanks, Sarah. 🙂

      I agree that our on-line community is full of absolutely awesome people, there to support both the highs and the lows. I so greatly appreciate each and every one. And, yes, one person’s hard is likely another person’s easy, and I try not to compare.

  12. I hope that things get better, Kathi. I can understand how Life likes to sneak up and whale on us. My thoughts are with you.

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