Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just When The Story Gets Good

I hate it when a blogger or an author goes on a "hiatus" to pursue their other hobbies, such as rock climbing, starting a professional billiards career, or serial murder.  Especially when they've hooked me with a story and go "oh I'll finish it, come back soon!"

I'm looking at you, Jean Auel. 

I'm not looking at Anne Rice because I don't really care for her. 

Alas, I'm sorry but this is just a short note to explain that I am not going to be producing any more books until further notice.  I've always been more recognized (and funded) for my photography than for my writing, and so with times as they are right now, I must concentrate my efforts on my career as a photographer.  There have been far too many opportunities coming up as of late that will need my full attention, and therefore, I don't think I'll be NaNoWriMoing this year either. 

I do, however, have a fully written manuscript for what is essentially "Bombshell 3" in my clutches, and a half written version of #2.  I do not intend to cap my pen forever, just for now. 

I will be back.  I don't know when.  Hopefully it won't be the bullshit 20+ years I see a lot of other authors do. 

Thank you for all of those who have supported and followed me through all of my scattered endeavors over the years.  You are the reason I am able to do anything. 

I'm mad for you. 

Peace, love, and tater tots,
Jessie Terwilliger

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Myrtlewood Part One: An Informal Inn

It’s beautiful. Oh so swell in such a wonderful neighborhood!

Such a steal at this price!

Fully furbished with the latest appliances, creating the kitchen of her dreams.

And how quickly will laundry become so much less of a chore with a brand new gas powered clothes dryer? No need to line dry ever again!

A thirty six bedroom, fourteen bathroom mansion in the middle of suburbia. This sprawling home was built in the middle of a quiet Calimesa neighborhood by a man called Wheeler back around the turn of the century. Grass grows thick and green on the plush lawns with topiaries and other landscaping works that smatter the well manicured yards. And inside, you can take a nice refreshing dip in one of the five pools that the previous owners had put in, hoping to turn the place into a spectacular resort of some kind.

Pride of ownership.

You’d have to be independently wealthy to own a place like this. Luckily for Joan Wilcox, her husband just happens to be so, and when she fell in love with the idea of this house he fell in love with the impossible square footage. But what was to be done with all of the extra space? Certainly they couldn’t live in all thirty six bedrooms, and once the Myrtlewood Inn became an ill fated venture and a highly publicized town failure it went unsaid that the idea of ever proposing any similar plans would be completely absurd.

“Perhaps,” suggested his lovely bride Joan, “we could keep it as an informal inn. Like a boarding house for people who want to settle into the area permanently but don’t like the idea of being alone.”

Ah, that was Joan. Simple minded, unable to do very much on her own, let alone think. Of course people would want to be alone, isn’t it the American Dream to own your little bit of land and stake your claim? Charles dismissed the idea as foolish and stated his desire to acquire art and have a series of galleries that he would open to the public, or perhaps turn it into some kind of museum.

Truly, it was the idea of strange people in his living quarters that turned him away from Joan’s idea. She had come up with absurdities in the past such as gathering up all of the loose hair from the salons and somehow making wigs out of it, but Charles argued that there wasn’t anyone who needed hair badly enough to want to put someone else’s discarded and disgusting mess on their head. Or the time she thought that maybe cleaning other people’s houses for money would be a “fun thing to do.” She was so silly, Joan.

“It isn’t that I like cleaning,” she said defensively, “it’s that I know other people dread it so much.”

How completely backwards could she possibly think? She had a few wires crossed for sure, and her husband often dismissed her and her ideas.

But Joan wasn’t barmy. She came up with ways to do what she wanted despite what Charles would have to say about it. She mentioned her idea of renting the rooms out at the salon, and who should overhear it but a woman whose sister lost her husband in Korea not more than a few weeks prior. Her sister wanted to move out to California to be with her, but she had no place for her to stay.

To help a woman in a situation such as this, who had two young sons no less, would be nothing less than noble. And she could stay free of charge, Joan assured the woman.

Charles would later be quite angry. Especially when Claire told a friend who told a friend, and Joan kept on taking in her strays.

When the word “homeless” comes to mind, a person might imagine a scruffy man with stained and tattered clothing, maybe resting heavily against a wall, his bag of possessions by his side. Nobody thought about war widows whose husbands were their only family. Or folks just down on their luck. Men who couldn’t find work enough to keep everyone fed.

And so Joan would take these people in, always with their promises of not staying long and finding a means to pay her back for her kindness, but it never panned out. Joan cooked most of the meals for a long time, until a few other women joined her. One man even began to write the book he’d always wanted to, and wouldn’t you know that Charles actually made friends with a few of them? He even converted one of the larger dining rooms into a bowling alley at one point. The mansion on Myrtlewood was its own little self contained unit, and eventually there were less and less reasons to be going outdoors. With the chain of gasoline stations that Charles owned and the increasing amount of cars on the road, money was never of any issue to anyone who had moved in. Christmases were spent in the home, and during the 4th of July the children would trot through the yard with sparklers.

Decades passed and life was just like this. In the mansion on Myrtlewood, anyway. For even with the conveniences of grocery stores who deliver, things outside were changing fast. It seemed that the paper brought news every day of a society that had banged its self apart like an engine that had run out of oil. Everything was doom and gloom and nobody who lived in the mansion wanted any part of it.

And so they had no part in it.

For nearly 70 years.

And though Joan and Charles have passed, and many of the original inhabitants are buried in the garden by one of the widow’s boys who grew up to be the undertaker of the mansion on Myrtlewood, life still thrives there as pleasantly as it did in 1953.

Until Gary knocked on the door one afternoon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coming Soon: Myrtlewood--A Series by Jessie Terwilliger

Myrtlewood is a story about a house.

On Myrtlewood.

And the people who live there.

And how everything they believed in and held fast to was corrupted.

By a man.

Named...well, his name isn't important right now, he doesn't come in until later in the story.

But you'll know when he's there, because he's not like the others.

So stay tuned.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Dagger Quote

Working hard on Powdery Tattoo. I've added 5,000 words to it in the last two nights, so maybe I'll have it done in time for NaNoWriMo.

I just wanted to leave this quote from Dagger here, I thought it was special.

You have to remember, teenagers tend to divide the world into two categories: cool and not cool. I don't care how old you get, nobody ever, ever wants to land in that second category.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life Imitating Not Yet Made Art

I drove over to my hometown of Yucaipa today to see the damage done by the third fire in the area this month, which burned behind Yucaipa High School where I graduated from. Magic Mountain is all charred, and where the Y used to be is just a somewhat messy triangle of dust in the middle of the black.

Why is this relevant? Well, they caught the kid. Kid, as in 16 year old boy, who was seen riding off from the flames on his bike. He's suspected of lighting the other two fires this month as well.

As I've sort of mentioned, Rest In Peace Walter Montague: Completely Defeated By Life is about an arson siege that rips through a small town in Southern California not unlike Yucaipa--in fact, most likely Yucaipa. I was thinking originally more like Beaumont because the story originally popped in my head some time during the trial of Raymond Lee Oyler, who started the Esperanza Fire and several others, killing five firemen.

Walter Montague, who goes by Willy (because "Wally" is a stupid name, almost as stupid as Walter,) is your average punk ass kid on a long board. He's also the son of the Chief Arson Investigator, Noelle Springer.

Noelle, single mom extraordinaire is currently working on apprehending the arsonist who has been causing billions of dollars in damage and resources. Imagine her surprise when she finds that Willy may be the one behind the rash of fires.

Imagine Willy, completely innocent, but guilty as charged.

Imagine Noelle's shock when she discovers who really has been setting the fires--just a little bit too late.

It's more complicated than that. And I think that this will be my NaNoWriMo novel, provided I get my research done in time.

Hopefully they got the right guy over there in Yucaipa Town. Poor place is surrounded by scorched hills. It's a sorry state to see the place in.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A New Title

The fire story has a title, finally. I've been switching between "Pyro" and "Fires in the Valley" but I always thought that Pyro was too common sounding and Fires In The Valley sounded a bit like a romance novel.

The title?

Rest In Peace Walter Montague: Completely Defeated By Life

You will be surprised to find out who Walter is and why life got to be so tough.

Story developing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Getting Back On Track

We've just finished moving and we're now almost done getting our new place all set up, including a nice distraction free place for me to write. This is especially handy since I intend to finish Powdery Tattoo by November so that I can participate in NaNoWriMo with whatever story I end up deciding to go with for that. I haven't thought much ahead on it.

Over the summer I wrote about four pages of Tattoo which I know is lame, but the next time I report I will have accomplished some writing. I've even penciled it into my planner, along with time for those blasted journals.

Fall is my creative time, possibly because of the colors and the smells, but certainly it creates a little place for me to be and explore the world inside my head. And knit a few scarves. I'm sorry that I'm knitting a scarf right now and not writing a book, but I need to let my mind chill for a little bit before I have to come up with anything on my own. Following a pattern is easy. The hard part is stitching it all together yourself.

The best thing for me to do right now is just plan to sit down in the quiet this week with some delicious fall smelly candles and just continue working again when I'm not feeling forced. Plus I want to get my nest back in order first.

It's a whole creative process thing.

Starting with a blank screen.