The Real Life Struggles of a Fiction Writer
I slap my phone, the buzzer ringing in my ear. It cannot be six forty-five already. I look at the clock hanging over my closet. It is.
I’m exhausted. I worked a lot the day before and rode Bodie for a good forty-five minutes, then walked a mile and a half. Plus, I was up until almost ten working on a new story idea. Yet here the time comes again- and it’s time to get up.
I could sleep for fifteen more minutes, I decide. I blink. Fifteen minutes have passed. Grrr…
Throwing off the covers, I make my way downstairs and get a large glass of water. My throat hurts. I know I’m coming down with that cold my little sister had. Well, more reading time, I guess.
Setting my glass down, I make my way to the computer and flip it open. I skim my emails, then open up my newest book- and stare at the page.
“You’re going to work on me today, da?”
I jump. Whirling around, I stare up into the sweet, round face of Ivan Rodchenko. “Oh, Ivan, you scared me!”
He towers a good foot taller than me. And since I’m sitting, I feel even shorter. Dang… he is tall.
Ivan peers at my computer screen, his hands clasped behind his back. “Why you not work on my story? It is a good story, da? You are going to write in it, nyet?”
“Uhh…” I stare hopelessly at the computer screen. “I’m planning on it.”
“Oh, that is good!” he praises. “Though, I am not pleased with… my back-story.”
He nods, putting one massive hand on my shoulder. I try not to squirm under his firm grasp. “I am too mean in my past. Can’t you make me nicer?”
“Well… it kind of moves the story along, Ivan. I’m sorry. But it gets better, I promise!”
“I don’t like it.”
“Well sorry,” I say, exasperated. “But I’m the creator of this story and I do have a say in what goes into it.”
“If you don’t want to write about him, you can always write about us.”
I squeal and swing the chair around to face this new voice. Aichear Mornelly nods to the computer, his wire-brimmed glasses glinting from the light.
“You are more than welcome to continue our story. I am fascinated with what you have planned.”
“Oh. Really?” I manage. “You’re… you’re not mad with your back story as well, are you?”
“I find it perfectly acceptable.”
“You’re saying that to make me look bad, da?” Ivan’s eyes have a dangerous look in them. “I am content with my story too. I just don’t like my past.”
“I’m merely suggesting that she works on ours. I think she’d prefer to,” Aichear responded.
“I don’t prefer any story to another!” I protest. “Honest! I love all of my characters the same.”
“Then why haven’t you come back to work on me?”
This new voice is female. I look across the counter to see Cynthia Worley standing there. Her arms are crossed, her lips pressed into a frown.
“You’re supposed to be working on my story! You left off with a cliffhanger at the end of Free. Now I don’t know what’s going to happen to me!”
“Cynthia, your story ended perfectly!” I cry. “I ended it the way it was supposed to end. You learned what freedom was!”
“But I still want to know what happens next. It’s my life you’re messing with!”
“She’s writing my story right now,” Ivan announces. “You will have to wait.”
“Unless she decides to forfeit yours for a more favorable plot.”
Aichear is totally expressionless, but I know he’s being mean.
“Or she can get back to mine, which she was supposed to start at least five weeks ago!” Cynthia snarls.
“Guys, guys!” I hold up my hands. “Calm down! I’ll get to all of your stories… eventually.”
I sigh and glance over my shoulder, where Tatyana Melnikova has taken a stand next to Ivan. “Yes, Tatyana, I haven’t forgotten about you, either.”
“I’m supposed to be heading to a ball, filled with dread, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. How could you leave me in such an emotional state?” Her eyes are timid and fearful.
“Look, I’m sorry, but I didn’t have time to work with you until I got farther along with Ivan.”
“Because my story is important.”
“No! Because everyone’s story is important.” I shoot a pointed look at Ivan. “I care about all of you.”
“Oh, they’re justified in their worries, m’dear.”
I groan and do a face-palm. “Dzherri, what are you doing here?”
I nearly leap out of my chair as a sword crashes down next to me, slicing into the counter. “Why, I’m here to torment you, my dear Emilia.” Dzherri Kalasky’s grin is like that of a sadistic tiger. He laughs. “You think I so easily have forgotten you, like you have forgotten me? Don’t fool yourself. I know what happens to me. I’m not going to let you do it.”
“You read my story notes, didn’t you?” I say crossly. “I told you not to read them. They just make you upset, because then you know what my plans are for your story."
“Your presence is not required in this meeting,” Aichear informs him. “You are not on the current list of projects.”
“I’d love to see you make me leave,” Dzherri sneers.
Ivan glances at Dzherri, then nods his head towards him. “Shall I take care of him for you?”
“No, no!” I wave my hands frantically. “New idea- why don’t you all leave and let me get to work?”
“This probably isn’t the best time, mate, but I have to wonder if I ever come back.”
“Jake!” I hit my head against the keyboard, the twenty-seven-year-old Australian having taken his place next to Cynthia. “I can’t take much more of this. Sorry, Jake, no. I don’t have any plans for you at the moment.”
“You are leaving us all behind!” Cynthia snaps. “Don’t you care about any of us anymore?”
Ivan opens his mouth to say something, but I put up my hand to stop him. “Yes, I care about all of you! You’re my friends! Of course I want to work with you all! But I have to set priorities.” I swivel around to face Dzherri. “You are not a priority,” I say sternly. “Now leave.”
“Tut, tut, little Emilia, I will do no such thing.”
Aichear steps forward. He reaches for his glasses to take them off. “I suggest you obey.”
“Why all the ruckus?”
I sigh and shake my head. “Kurt Warren. Why am I not surprised that you’re here as well?”
Warren comes to stand between Dzherri and Ivan, his height almost rivaling Ivan's. “I heard the rallying and thought I’d see what childishness has possessed this character of yours.” He nods to Dzherri.
“Oh, you want to place wise, do you? Well why don’t we get you a sword and we’ll see if your words can keep up with your hand!”
“Why are you even here, Warren?” Cynthia snorts. “You’re not even totally her character.”
“Aren’t you a Nazi?” Tatyana asks timidly.
“Enough!” I explode. “Seriously! If you want me to write in your stories, then you have to leave me alone so I can write!” I stand on my chair so I can see them all. “Cynthia, I will get to your story soon. So stop being so snarky. Tatyana, I’m sorry I left you. You need to work through your fear. I’ll help you out soon. Jake, I miss you a lot. I wish I could spend more time with you and Emily, but I can’t. Same goes for you, Warren. You’ll get your big day soon. Besides, Joy is working on developing your story and you get to cameo in several other works. Dzherri, stop being so mean and go back to where you belong! I’ll attend to you and Nicolai soon. That’s a promise. Now go, all of you!”
With grumbles, hisses and moans, Cynthia, Tatyana, Jake, Warren and Dzherri disappeared into thin air, leaving the room quiet once more.
I sigh and rub my forehead. Glancing at the clock, I read the time. Seven twenty-five. Great. I wasted twenty-five minutes arguing with everyone.
I turn back to the computer and stare at the screen again, reading over the last words I wrote in Ivan.
“So you’re working on my story, da?”
Rats. I forgot I left him there. I look back to see Aichear and Ivan staring expectantly at me. “Uhh…”
“Or, if you prefer, might I suggest our story?” Aichear adjusts his glasses.
“Mine is more important.”
“On the contrary, she may get ours published faster.”
“Cheeseballs and apricots, you two!” I explode. Sinking back in my chair, I moan and lay my head on the keyboard. “And people wonder why I take so long to finish anything…”
“Hey! It’s the Excellent Gerhard! Are you going to write anything with me in it?”
The real life struggles of a writer with an ADHD-like mind. This is my life.
And you wonder why I haven’t done any blog posts lately. Yeah…