Saturday, January 16, 2010
"Analyzing Old Writings"

Part of this week has been given over to suffering a sinus headache. Oddly, the infection came about the same time as the earthquake in Haiti. So tragic, "more than 100,000 people." (according to Wall Street Journal online) may have met their end due to this disaster.

Fortunately, a great deal of aid is being sent to the survivors. I hope no corruption prevents it being received by those who most need it.

This morning, I wake all recovered from the sinus headache. I was mostly functional through out it, however, and went to work as usual. I even did some work on the website renovations. The Vampire Tale I wrote back in 2002. Much of the background was drawn from my own experiences. It is easy to see who is playing the 'Joan'-like character and who is playing the 'Julia'-like character. The rest isn't so obvious. Michael's large brood of vampires relates emotionally to the large family group we had in Casa Grande. Laura had managed to get her mother and two of her sons living near us, in addition to one or two unsavory individuals.


The portrait of Michael in the ruffly shirt is one I did in 1972, from a perfume ad in a magazine. The old paper got rather wrinkly and the wrinkly-ness shows in the scan. (I'll re-scan it, when I find it.)

What surprises me is how many of the vampires had difficulties with their fathers. Michael, Sebastian and Golden all did not fare well with the men their mothers had married. Of course, these weren't their actual sires. Why did I do this? Ordinarily, an author would mix it up. But all of these three vampires' mothers were consistently loving and devoted, and their fathers painfully critical. Emotionally, was I relating to Laura's rather conflicted nature? Perhaps I was perceiving Laura's occasional ill-temper as coming from her masculine side. Also, Laura had conflicts with her own stern father. I hadn't processed my reaction to this consciously, but here it was, showing up in the novel.

It is only with the distance of over seven years from Laura's death and the creation of the novel that I can perceive these things. "Michael", of course, bears much of my own personality, while flamboyant Sebastian is rather opposite. Perhaps some of Laura's 'wild' and playful behavior is reflected in Sebastian. And yet Michael and Sebastian come to an understanding, and see what similarities they have at the core. I'm surprised how well the tale still holds together. I laughed out loud in some parts. I don't have the ability to capture environment as a professional writer might, yet the sense of these characters as distinct personalities comes through clear.

Will I do any more fiction? I don't know. But I certainly had a great deal of fun writing these stories.

It is natural that one morning this week I woke up from a vampire dream. I was a young male, somewhat slender, dark haired (looking a lot like "Michael", only taller), having been raised by an English tutor (think Richard Attenborough and Michael Caine combined), in a rather basic environment. The tutor was a kind and gentle father figure to me, as well as a teacher. I didn't really know who that strange pale man was who visited every year at Christmas bearing a few nice gifts. He was 'Lord of the Manor' or some such. I thanked him for his gifts and he'd return to the mysterious realms from which he came. After graduating from the tutor's lessons, I went on to the best university and graduated, with studies in Art History and Archeology. This graduation soon became more than just graduation from school, for I was then taken into council and was astonished to learn the family's secrets. For I'd come from an ancient, very powerful family. And, yes, its most 'ancient' members were still living. Other rich young graduates got fancy new cars for graduation. I was deemed worthy to carry on the family traditions, 'turned' and shown my future vocation.

So there I am, at a family gathering. This family has a public face, most of them mortals unaware of the vampiric patriarchs guiding its great fortunes. I'm at a banquet with these people. It is a most elegant affair. I remember the pink walls and huge chandeliers and beautiful bone china plates with delicate flowers on them. How different this was from the sturdy wooden tables and serviceable plain plates to which I was accustomed. I was also acutely aware of the small amount of food on it and how I was trying to push it around to give a show of eating. I was extremely dazed, yet trying to fit into this new environment. Somehow, I would learn to manage my confusion, but at the moment I...

...woke up to a nice warm bed and a sinus headache and a work day ahead of me.

How glad I am to be gone of that sinus headache, with a lovely pain-free weekend ahead of me!

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