Soulful Saturday – My Dark Inspiration

Hihi! Welcome back everyone. Has anyone noticed a lot of my posts aren’t really related to writing? I certainly have over the weeks. I know this is a personal blog, but I originally intended to use it as a writing blog. That said, today’s going to change things up a bit by combining writing and me myself. This Soulful Saturday, I’m going to talk about the projects I’m working on for CampNaNo, and more importantly, the things in my life that led to their creation and the things that shaped them as they are so far.

Before I get into things, I should probably share the basics of each one. Treasure of Eternity is my magical girl tragedy, following a group of four girls brought into a deadly treasure hunt along with other teams of magic users. Ur URL is a horroresque fantasy about a man cursed to be able to see curses, and works with the police to solve curse related crimes.

Both stories were actually inspired by nightmares I had within a few weeks of each other. As both were black and white, I used a lot of other things to inspire the full appearances of the characters. I couldn’t really hear much in them, either. They were like a pair of silent movies.

Now, I know I’m not the first to be inspired by their nightmares. My father always tells me to write about my nightmares because he knows greats such as Stephen King often did/do that. What he didn’t tell me was how to make a story out of those that have no real understandable timeline. That was something I had to work on myself.

So, how did I go about making the characters when I had no way of knowing their ways of speaking, their names, or anything else?

In Treasure of Eternity, I made two sets of the same characters. I mostly did this because of the main heroine, a young girl named Elsie. Elsie was the primary girl in that nightmare, and I didn’t feel like she was inherently bad, even though she showed many evil moments in my nightmares. I decided to make each character have a secondary personality when in their magical girl form because of that.

Elsie’s personality when a magical girl reminds me a lot of the character Satou from the manga Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. Satou looks cute and fluffy much of the time, but she has a dark side that just somehow screams “Elsie” now to me. So, I opted to give her the same hair color as Satou. However, why is Elsie so crazy in the first place?

Matsuzaka Satou, Happy Sugar Life.
She looks so sane in this image…

I think Elsie represents my dark side. You see, I’m often told I’m too nice. The fact is, that’s not true at all. I’m often plagued by dangerous and unkind thoughts. I just know better than to voice them, because I honestly fear them more than anything when it comes to me myself. Like Satou, I have a very broken concept of trust, and also can be extremely possessive. I relate to her, so I am inspired by her… I just hope Elsie doesn’t mimic her completely. I don’t feel like kidnapping and murder are quite her thing… torture though, she’d be all in.

Now, although this is getting long, let’s look a bit at Ur URL. This one had a bit more context to it in the dream. I could tell in the dream, somehow, that it was focused on the curse. The curse I saw in the dream was actually what created the title. But that’s the only spoiler you get with that. Now… Let’s continue to the more deep side of it.

I’ve since named the man in the mask ‘Nuru’. Nuru never shows his face to anyone, even his sister. He wears it to bed, he wears it to eat (though I have no idea how he manages that)… That mask is everything to him, and I think I know why.

This is the closest I could find to Nuru’s mask. It’s a blank drama mask.

You see, I think Nuru represents a few of my fears. My fear of change, the fact I can’t trust if people are wearing a mask and lying to me… I think he encompasses that greatly. And, in the story, he also has my agoraphobia, and for a similar reason.

Nuru sees curses without trying. He gets no choice in the matter. For me, it’s like my hearing or my hallucinations. I didn’t choose to hear louder than normal people, making noises frighten me. And, I didn’t ask for psychosis either: I can never trust a person I’m talking to is really there without asking my father, and I can’t tell what noises are just loud in the distance or in my head. Nuru, to me, encompasses those fears completely. But it doesn’t end there.

By wearing a mask, Nuru hides from the world. I think I often do that too. I hide physically when there’s people around sometimes, but more than that, I work hard to hide my fear of people and not knowing if they’re real. Sometimes I use sarcasm, sometimes I just sit shuddering in my shoes hoping no one will see. I may thrive on blunt honesty, but even I want to be accepted and not judged. I don’t want to be seen as ‘some crazy girl who can’t tell fact from fiction’. It may be true sometimes, but I don’t want people to focus on that aspect of me, you know?

And so, that’s that. That’s how the main characters of my two stories were inspired and brought to life for the stories that lie ahead of my fingertips. If you’re also a writer reading this, I highly recommend thinking hard about how deep below the surface the characters relay from. I’d also love to hear what you think inspired you the most to make your characters as they are.

If you’re not a writer, still don’t forget to look into the depths of your heart. You never know what will be lurking there, and it can be scary, but it’s better to know than to hide from yourself.

Throwback Thursday: Fear and Fireworks

Good morning and happy 4th of July to all my brothers and sisters trapped in the United States. Yes, I could have said that better, but… 4th of July has never been easy for me. It’s always made me feel trapped and afraid. And today, I decided to discuss this a bit- because I’ve been struggling with this holiday for most of my life. So, let’s get to it.

To start off, I want you to understand, what I hate about the holiday isn’t the meaning itself: I actually just can’t stand fireworks. I’m pyrophobic, so anything with the word ‘fire’ in it generally disturbs me- but also, these aren’t just fire. They’re often extremely LOUD. If I need to wear ear defenders when my dad’s on the phone, there’s no way I’m surviving the sound of fireworks easily.

When I was young, my family didn’t fully understand my aversion to fireworks and would have me go with them regularly. I tried different things the times I joined in, from ear plugs that weren’t strong enough to keep the sound out to ear defenders that weren’t quite as strong as I need them either. My dad has told me to try both at once, but it’s hard for me to fit ear plugs in comfortably as it is, and I’d rather just stay home where my anxiety is lessened. So nowadays, we watch them (when we can) on the television muted.

That said, it’s not just the fear of fire and the fear of loud noise that make me struggle with fireworks. I also have the most ridiculous phobia from youth: that one of the embers from the sky will fall and land on me or start a fire elsewhere. Do I think that’ll really happen? No, not anymore. But sometimes, my dad feels like he has to remind me that won’t happen when I’m crying from hearing fireworks from another town. It’s oddly helpful, so maybe I’m not as accepting of the facts as I think.

If you’re thinking, “Wait she can hear the fireworks from other towns and it scares her? Are they really that loud?”, then you’re a very good guesser. To me, they’re beyond loud- and nowadays, certain fireworks are legal for residents of New Jersey, so they’re not always in the next town- sometimes they’re the neighbors.

I’ve mentioned before I’m sure, but to be safe, I remind you I have a hearing disability not like your norm: I hear everything too loudly. It’s called hyperacusia, or as I was taught as a kid, “Hyper Acuity Syndrome”. At the time I was diagnosed, I was told I heard ten times better than the average person. The best part is I live in a family that either has purposely ruined their eardrums due to having a similar issue as children, to people that are half deaf because of other issues. It’s hard for people to hear me because I speak so softly to not hurt my own head.

So, with all those fears, how could I really ‘enjoy’ the 4th of July? In fact, I hate the week before and after it as well, because people do them for most of the two weeks surrounding it. I’m never fully safe without my ear defenders- but that’s why I always keep them handy. That said, I’ll probably be in fetal position most of the evening- so wish me luck getting through today, and enjoy it extra for me, okay?