January 29, 2017

What squeak, mouse?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:57 pm by vrtrakowski

Once upon a time, about twenty-five years ago…

Let’s call it autumn of 1991; that was always my compromise, because it had to be sophomore year.  Nice mild night, and the stars were magnificent.  I was outside the dorm, don’t remember why, and was watching them, and he came by.  

We started talking that night, beginning with the stars–we both had an interest in astronomy, though he knew far more than I.  We talked for at least an hour, standing at the gate in darkness and looking up, and we had so much to say.  

Then one of us went inside, and we didn’t speak to each other again for about a year.  Not until the dorm won the campus Olympics and had a pool party.  He had a nifty–and chilling–trick of exhaling until he could sink to the bottom of the pool.  

He was reclusive, and had a rep for being difficult, but I thought he was interesting.  So a day or two later I went down to his room and knocked and asked him up for tea.  And he came.    

Thus began a friendship.

We’ve been friends through a lot, starting with growing up, even if we were almost legal adults when we met.  We helped each other with depression, and he helped me pass Pre-Calc; I watched my mother take him in, and wept when he discovered he was gay, because I knew it would be so very hard for him.  

He always said our friendship was unequal, but he could see through me like no one else, and he helped me through some dark times just by being there.  Maybe I was the more stable one, but no two people are exactly the same, are they?  

Our relationship ebbed and grew, as time and life and other relationships came and went.  Sometimes things weren’t easy, but few things are easy all the time.  

And now, it’s over.  

He doesn’t want to be friends any longer.  And he has the absolute right to end things.  

Nothing lasts forever, even friendships.  That’s a lesson it took me a long time to learn.  So I’m prying my fingers loose.  Gonna be a grownup this time.  

It’s not the end of the world, but I’ll be sad for a while.  There will be reminders–images of palm trees and hot blue seas, a particular strain of music, and always the stars.  

My life is richer because of him.  It always will be.  

I’ll keep looking up.  



January 8, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:18 pm by vrtrakowski

This is very interesting!  http://unuttered-questions.tumblr.com/post/155605282181/gingersnapwolves-transcthulhu-dabe-strudel

As a (white, straight) writer, I’ve found myself becoming more aware of my characters and how I create them over the years–due in no small part to Tumblr and its like (never let it be said that online activism doesn’t have an effect).  And I’ve found it goes both ways for me.

For instance, I’ve got a original/non-fanfic story going where I started out with two white main characters.  And when it finally dawned on me that there was no reason they had to be white, I took another look at them both.

My heroine, the focus of my story–she was easy to change.  Her characterization was very fixed in my head, but I could alter her race without issue (helped along, certainly, by the fact that it’s a fantasy world and she doesn’t have to be a minority as such).

My hero–not so much.  For whatever reason, my brain simply would not let me alter him.  He was short, white, and blond, and the moment I tried to change that, it killed the story dead.

I have no idea why.

So I changed the heroine and her city and her culture, and probably improved the story thereby.

The same thing happened a few years ago during NaNoWriMo; I changed one character’s appearance–not even his race, just his height and hair–and the story was dead in the water.  It’s weird. My brain is a mysterious place.