Tag Archives: Hero

Not Too Revealing?


by Lillian Csernica on March 23, 2015

 

 

Once again I shall be participating in the great April A to Z Blog Challenge!  This is my third year in a row.  Many thanks to Arlee Bird, Alex J. Cavanaugh, and the mighty team of A to Z ninjas who help make this event so special.  When I began my blog three years ago this month, participating in the A to Z Challenge helped me discover the joys of blogging within a community.

Time now to announce what I’ll be blogging about during this year’s challenge!

fans.flames.nhl.com

 

Sword & Sorcery Movies

So Bad

They’re Great!

One of my guilty pleasures in watching really bad movies.  You can’t do much better than a really bad sword & sorcery movie.  Join me during the month of April for twenty-six awful adventures, hamfisted heroes, hysterical heroines, Vaudeville villains, and some of the tackiest treasures ever invented!

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Filed under Blog challenges, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Horror, Humor, love, romance, Writing

One Good Heart Can Change the World


by Lillian Csernica on May 15th, 2014

 

Today I would like to salute the men and women who serve in the police force and as fire fighters.  People go into these lines of work for various reasons.  One key reason is their desire to help people.  The two stories below demonstrate the warm, caring hearts that beat behind the badges these two officers wear.

 

 

 

One Police Officer Has Changed A Special Needs Family’s Life

 

 

One Police Officer Has Become an Ambassador for Kindness

 

Here’s the story of a man who was already busy fighting a fire when suddenly he was called upon to deliver a baby.  Now that’s what I call multi-tasking!

 

 

British Firefighters Use Midwife Skills

 

It helps to be in the right place at the right time.  It helps to have special emergency training.  What really helps is having a compassionate heart and the willingness to take action, not just when circumstances demand desperate measures but in the little moments that can make a huge difference.

To all of you “ordinary people” out there all over the world who will never be recognized publicly for what you do, thank you so much.  Thank you for lighting that candle rather than just cursing the darkness.

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Filed under autism, birthday, charity, Depression, Family, Food, love, Self-image, Special needs, Writing

Embracing the Pain


by Lillian Csernica on November 27, 2013

For A Lady Who Must Write Verse

Unto seventy years and seven,
Hide your double birthright well-
You, that are the brat of Heaven
And the pampered heir to Hell.

Let your rhymes be tinsel treasures,
Strung and seen and thrown aside.
Drill your apt and docile measures
Sternly as you drill your pride.

Show your quick, alarming skill in
Tidy mockeries of art;
Never, never dip your quill in
Ink that rushes from your heart.

When your pain must come to paper,
See it dust, before the day;
Let your night-light curl and caper,
Let it lick the words away.

Never print, poor child, a lay on
Love and tears and anguishing,
Lest a cooled, benignant Phaon
Murmur, “Silly little thing!”

I’ve been having running conversations with my two best friends, also writers, on the subject of improving the depth and meaning in my writing.  Both have advised me to work with and through the considerable amount of trauma I’ve experienced.  Car accidents, surgeries, family upheaval, my sons’ disabilities.  Yes, it could always be worse, but I do have some rather weighty material to draw on.

Right now I’m up against a good example of what could be an opportunity to prove my friends right.  In the short story I’m working on right now, I’ve come to the scene where the hero is forced to watch his father get eaten by the monster.  If the hero’s father had taken the hero’s warnings seriously, this probably wouldn’t be happening.  Part of the conflict between the father and the hero is the hero’s refusal to play along with his father’s corrupt business practices and participation in a major cover-up.  To the father, that translates as the son being a real disappointment to him.  As the hero watches his father suffer a really horrible doom, the hero isn’t thinking his father is getting what he deserves.  The hero sees this as the culmination of being such a disappointment to his father, even though the hero knows he’s made the better moral choices.

I’m having a really hard time writing this scene, even though I understand it and I’ve got the action blocked out on paper.  Why?  Because November 18th would have been my father’s birthday.  Daddy died seventeen years ago, one month before Michael had to be delivered by emergency C-section.  This is a very hard time for me.  Thanksgiving is all about family gathering together and being grateful for who’s there to share the feast.  My father never got to see his grandsons.  I know how much he was looking forward to me having children.  Daddy would have make a terrific grandfather, taking the boys fishing, playing games with them, and best of all, going bowling.  Every time we take Michael and John to the bowling alley, I feel like Daddy’s spirit is there with us.

So you can see the trouble I have with making my hero watch as his father gets eaten by a monster.  It’s easy to kill characters you hate, characters that might be based on people in real life who have given you reason to dislike them.  It’s much harder to kill characters you love, especially when they’re based on people in real life whom you love.  I don’t know how Joss Whedon or George R.R. Martin stand it, I really don’t.

Now let me say that my hero’s father isn’t much like my own father.  My fictional world is probably better off with one less corrupt business executive.  That’s not the point.  My main concern is my hero and his emotional turmoil.  How can I sit here at the keyboard and take the empathy that even now has tears running down my face and translate that into the words that will express my hero’s suffering and the decisions he makes based on it?  I don’t know, honest to God I don’t, but I have to find a way.  I have to draw on my pain and reshape it into the pain as it is experienced by my hero, in a way that will resonate with my readers.

Dorothy Parker wrote, “Never never dip your quill/In ink that rushes from your heart.”   To get to the level of writing I want to achieve, that’s exactly what I have to do.  I have to take that quill and stab myself in the heart, over and over again, keep that ink rushing out, and write my stories from the very essence of my heart.  I’m going to cry a lot, and I’m going to get headaches, and I’m going to get sick to my stomach.  Nobody ever said it was easy being a writer, and anybody who thinks so is a fool.

I will complete this story.  I will do right by my hero and my father.  And then I will move on to the next story, sharpen the next quill, and spill my metaphorical blood across the page.  Because I am a writer, a storyteller, and this is what I do.

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Filed under Depression, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, Horror, Humor, romance, science fiction, Self-image, Writing

F is for Flashback


by Lillian Csernica on April 6, 2013

F is for Flashback

Dictionary.com says:

Noun

  1. A scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story.
  2. A sudden and disturbing vivid memory of an event in the past, typically as the result of psychological trauma or taking LSD.

The purpose of the flashback is to provide the reader with information about that character’s past. In the novel I’m working on right now, the heroine has good reason to keep who and what she is a secret from the hero. He’s no fool, so he figures out a few things about her on his own. My challenge lies in showing the reader the traumatic events that led up to the opening scene of the novel where the heroine runs away from her guards, get lost, and ends up where the hero finds her.

I can’t just plunge my heroine and the reader into a flashback. Or can I? My heroine is suffering from what amounts to PTSD. Instead of just mooning over her tragic memories, she might very well have a flashback as per the #2 definition above, the kind brought on by psychological trauma. The right trigger in the physical or emotional environment could set her off. Dialogue is a great place to plant triggers. The hero asks what he thinks is a reasonable question and suddenly the heroine bursts into tears, curls up into a ball, and won’t say another word.

Flashbacks are tricky. If you’re not careful, they can turn into the worst combinations of the Back Story and the Expository Lump. Use the flashback to advance the story by providing what the reader needs to know in a vivid, dramatic scene. Make sure your transition into the flashback is clear. The use of the # symbol is a common method. Use it again to signal the end of the flashback, then keep on moving forward!

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Filed under Blog challenges, Fiction, Writing