Writer’s Appreciation Week
I first learned of Writer’s Appreciation Week through Annetta Ribken and Alan Baxter, so I thought I’d get my own two cents in.
Although I’ve been writing my entire life, I’ve only been ‘professional’ (if you can even call it that) for a little less than a year. Writing has not only proved to be spiritually healing and incredibly cathartic, it’s opened me up to a world I didn’t even know existed. I’ll be doing this forever, and I would first like to take a quick moment to thank those who’ve been there for me.
Thanks has to go to Molly Greider, who makes my work better, always giving her opinion, whether I want it or not. The fact is, I usually need it.
I would also like to thank Jacob Nicholson, who functions as a very intelligent sounding board and a good friend. I miss the days where we would spend countless hours on the phone ricocheting ideas off of each other like superballs thrown in hallways. He’s one of the most creative people I know. If I have an idea, he has two of his own, and it’s a friendship I greatly enjoy.
I’d like to thank Chris Tejeda, who first read my work, emailed me, and invited me to the Web Fiction Guide. He was the first total stranger to come along and say hey, you’re good at this, and while he remains humble about it, I sincerely believe that I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for him.
I’d really be remiss if I didn’t thank Dianne “Keikomushi” Owens, who provided the most effective (free!) marketing for Universal Warrior than anyone else. The woman is a freaking creative dynamo, boundlessly creative and giving of herself. Thanks to her, I discovered podcasting and a host of resources I didn’t even know existed. She’s also been kind enough to provide one of the voices for the upcoming animated film.
Special thanks also go to Alan Baxter (who invited me to guest post on his blog, and is also a stellar martial artist), Angie Haggstrom (the hardest working freelancer I know, I’m still not sure she’s human) and Annetta Ribken (aka the Terminator).
As for influences, I have to thank Brad Meltzer for penning the incomparable “Identity Crisis”, Dean Koontz for “Soul Survivor” and Tim Lahaye/Jeff Jenkins for the “Left Behind” series, the first book series I chased down in over ten years.
But most importantly, I have to thank my mother.
Hold up, before you dismiss this as cliché. Maybe it is, but my mom rocks, and she deserves a little press.
My mom was a published author before I was born. We had a computer in the back bedroom with Corel’s ‘WordPerfect’ on it, and I would irk my mother to know end by mastering DirecTree (ten points if you remember that) and then moving WordPerfect around the tree at my whim. She was also never found of the way I decked out the easy access menu at the top, or kept screwing with the themes. I say it’s her own fault for making me aware that the program existed. Truthfully, all kidding aside, aside from putting up with a lot, she taught me a lot, too.
So I’m about eight years old and deeply engrossed in Marvel and DC. My mother hands me one of her unpublished works, an unassuming collection of paper stapled together in its upper left hand corner and bearing the title “Tomar” in Times New Roman font on the front/center of the page.
I confess that I don’t remember the entirety of the story (sorry, mom). I remember that it was science fiction, set in a future in which free will and emotion had been removed (told you my mom rocked). The story’s protagonist, Tomar, was an angry young android who was hell-bent on destroying the system and restoring things to how they used to be.
My mom sets up a climax brilliantly…and at the end, Tomar is unable to stop the establishment. Not only that, he was killed in the process.
This story stopped me cold, and still hit me harder than almost anything else I’ve read. Just like that, the good guy was dead, but beyond that, he had died for nothing. This didn’t make sense. This was not the way the world worked, was it? Good guys always win!
“Not always.” I remember my mom saying when I demanded an answer.
That was more than twenty years ago, and I think that story has more of an effect on my writing than my past does.
So, beyond my mother’s wisdom, unfailing smile and the fact that she puts the fear of God in me, my mother influenced me very much as a writer, and I’m always going to be grateful for that.
I love who we are as writers, I love what we do, I love that we not only describe the world as we see it, we also aid in its definition.
So thanks to everyone, and let’s keep things moving along, shall we?
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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