Friday, January 14, 2005

of death...

In May of 1998, on my birthday, my father died. He was 76, but had been old all my life. Arthritis and a difficult life had combined to make him that way. About a year and a half earlier, he'd had a stroke, followed by a second one a few months later. The second one was more severe, and it took several months for him to make enough progress in therapy for him to return home to Mom in their apartment. Then that week in May, he had three heart attacks, possibly four. It was a brutal week for my family, one that I can still remember many of the details of quite clearly.

So, when I needed Cae's elderly father to die in *False Perceptions*, I decided to go with what I knew. At the time of outlining this book, remembering seemed easier than research. Maybe so, but that didn't make this scene an easy one to write. At the end of today's 2436 words, Moshe, the former captain of the Sphere, is dead. And I'm a little choked up.

I've got a mug of hot chocolate beside me and I'm going to try and immerse myself in some *Shann*. This week's word count is way low (6736 words), but it's just going to have to stay that way. I can't tackle another scene today; it's just not going to happen.

My friend Rustle is still hanging around. He did set off the mousetrap today, but managed to avoid being caught in it. Gotta give him some credit for brains, or something that passes for them.

I've learned to build power point presentations this week. Our worship team is up this Sunday, and I dropped off the cd with our music to the church this morning. We had a really good practice last night.

Our town was practically the hot spot in BC according to the news at seven this morning. And we were at minus eleven celsius. You gotta love it. Really. When is the first day of spring again?


Chris said...


I've started this comment half a dozen times and it keeps coming out sounding shallow or sanctimonious. If it still sounds that way this time around, please forgive me.

First, my condolences on the loss of your father (six and half years isn't too long a time to offer condolences, is it?).

Your love for him is apparent in your post and in the way you let his death inform your writing. Even without having that kind of direct experience, it hurt a lot when I first let a character go in a story; I can't imagine what it was like for you.

If you need another cocoa some time and are strapped for cash, stop by DECS and I'll set you up. It's been great meeting you over on the f*i*f boards and now here, too.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope all is well with you and Rustle.

--Chris (dFm)

Valerie Comer said...

Thank you, Chris. It's funny, I don't think of my dad's death a lot anymore. I remember HIM, of course, but don't dwell on that particular week. I didn't think it would be this hard. Silly me.

In my several books, Moshe isn't the first character to get bumped off, but it occurs to me he was the first person that I cared about that I let die. Hmm. I'm not sure what that says about my writing.

Thanks for the offer of cocoa at DEC's. I'll take you up on that later.