Pieces of myself and my family end up in everything I write. That’s my dad when I was a moody teenager, asking over and over again “What’s wrong?” until I finally gave in and told him. There’s my brother growing up with sisters, getting used to bras hanging from the shower rod and frank discussions about monthly visits from Aunt Flo. My mom’s in the way these boys so easily ask and receive forgiveness from one another. But the biggest piece of this particular story belongs to my sister, who simultaneously loved me and loathed me, because she had no idea that I purposefully made her mad just because it meant she’d pay attention to me. I thought she was the coolest human being on the planet, and it only took me seventeen years to wear her down into a malleable wreck of a human being that could admit that she was my best friend too.
So here is the culmination of way too many months of work, and at least 20,000 too many words. I couldn’t write a legitimately short story to save my life.
I’ll get into where this story came from in another blog post, but I wanted to tackle a few character notes on Teddy*. Though it absolutely irritates me when a show or book about superheroes (or at least specially-abled people) makes their protagonist spend 90% of his or her time whining about oh woe is me, I’m not normal (as though people wouldn’t just be like oh who freaking cares, I can FLY), naturally I ended up writing a short story novella about someone whining about oh woe is me, I’m not normal. In my defense, Teddy normally loves, enjoys, and shows off his powers like any fourteen-year-old almost certainly would. I just picked one of the lowest points in his life to craft a story around, one in which he is facing what it means to be – not super-powered – but simply not human. It hasn’t been a good week for him.
On a more egregious note, I realized that Teddy had pulled out his powers for his friends half an hour after his doctor’s appointment and again a couple of days later while showing off at the football game, which makes his insistence that nobody see him act super-human (or, more accurately, robotic) in chapter 6 pretty inconsistent. I was about three-quarters of the way through writing it, and about had an aneurism trying to figure out how to fix it. And then I remembered that he’s fourteen years old, he gets to be inconsistent. Also, the longer he had to stew, the deeper he felt it.
In related news, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Finally, I suspect that Sunnyside shouldn’t have still been standing after all that but LOOK OVER THERE.
*Please note that this is totally unprofessional. Anything I have to say about these characters ought to be said in the story itself. But in the words of the delicately sensitive Miss Brittany Lewis: Well whatever.