“Doomed” couldn’t be righter, so it’s lucky I’m a fighter. That’s my rhyme for the day. Now on to business because I’m sitting on a time bomb set to go off today—Blog Sparkfest.
Christine Tyler, the upside down writer who originated Blog Sparkfest, says “I’m either writing what I can imagine or imagining I can write.” She’s definitely not imagining her great marketing tool in this Sparkfest, so I imagine her writing is just as well, uh, imaginative. Count all the repeated forms of “imagine” in this paragraph and I’ll imagine throwing Sparkfest’s bomb your way and lighting the fuse. I already imagined lighting mine and it could go off any minute.
Imagine this: Boom! Ideas splattering all over. Careful—some might hit you.
There’s no one book that made me realize I was doomed to be a writer. I’ve been a fantasy and SF addict since the age of nine, when I read I Robot. Or was it Lord of the Rings? Whichever came first, the SF or fantasy, it’s sort of a cluck point—I hatched as a chicken. I hid under my bed when the ring wraiths rode by the Hobbits, who hid under a ditch bank. In sixth grade I got brave enough to beg the bookmobile driver to let me check out adult SF books. I was a reader, not a writer. So I spurned the teacher in high school who asked if I’d like to take a journalism class. Big mistake. Now I have to work fast as each idea bomb explodes.
At least I have a good background in reading, though I must admit some of my favorites are not the “important” classics. Those are boring compared to SF and fantasy, which are so much more imaginative (there’s that word again) and include mysteries, romances, thrillers, and yes, even comedies. I discovered the last as an adult in Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guides, Keith Laumer’s Retief series, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Oh what fun to read, but to write? I never even considered it until . . .
One day I realized my back hurt too much to keep gardening and I had a lot of material to pull from in the form of four “active” and accident prone sons, moving around with the military, lots of experience in Boy Scouts, plus a scientific degree to help in world building. With my youngest son finishing middle school, I thought I would have plenty of time then. Boys (4 of them), was I wrong. Can you say hurricanes? Year after year? Bringing mountains of dirt in to raise the yard is very expensive and time consuming, not to mention the work projects.
That’s me after Katrina, helping clean up in Louisiana. Add the time spent because of frequent spousal deployments, plus thefts, accidents, aging parents, volunteering at church and schools, etc. Volunteering is by definition voluntary, although I consider it necessary to my spiritual and mental well-being in the midst of all the other obstacles thrown at me like bombs. I get up each time and keep going, even if it looks like I’m limping.
How could I not include some of those same obstacles in my books, turning my weaknesses into someone else’s strengths? How could I not write about Boy Scouts recruited as Erth SCOUTs, Super Conductors Of Unified Terraforming, by the first earth, a sentient planet? And yes, it has puns like the Xanth series. Hear that sound in Piers Anthony’s name? It’s what gave me the idea of using a pun name too, Sher A. Hart to share my heart. The Heartland on Erth One is similar to the North American continent on Earth.
I’m writing book two of my Erth One series, a middle grade, plus another YA paranormal/urban fantasy—between disasters—sometimes before the dust (or flood) settles. Whatever it takes, I keep going.
Now it’s your turn. Make a face like this, and you’ll be ready for anything.
I’m throwing the bomb—Blog Sparkfest. Get ready. And—BOOM!