March, 2009. “Falling”.

Most of the time, I think I’m a pretty even keeled person.  (Ignore my husband’s gales of laughter with that.)  I’m a pretty classic geek/gamer/writer introvert, but I’m usually a pretty happy geek/gamer/writer introvert.   March, however, is an entirely different set of circumstances altogether.

First off, I have seasonal depression, and live in Wisconsin.  By March, it seems like our Wisconsin winters are never ending.   The attempts to get as much sunlight and vitamins as possible have failed, and I’m in a funk.   I usually don’t write, and my gaming suffers.

And March brings my birthday.  That in itself is not the issue, I’m not one of those women constantly hung up on how old I’m getting.  March, however, does bring an anniversary (on my birthday) that I still, after all these years, have trouble with.  As I noted earlier, my mother was a very important part of my life.  She was the glue that held my family together.  The force that was always there.  The indulgent one who gave me books and supported my nebulous dreams of becoming an author.

Not long after I’d gotten married and moved out, it became obvious that my mother was ill.  By 1997, it was obvious that we were dealing with a terminal illness, and I made the emergency trip home in January, expecting the worst.   But my mother came out of her coma.  Regained consciousness, and was moved to hospice.   Unable to stay, I returned to Wisconsin.   By February, she had rallied enough to go home and, except for depression, seemed to be doing well.

It was late morning, my birthday, when I received the call.  All my father had to say was my name, and I knew.  My 56 year old mother was gone, died in her sleep, at home just as she’d wanted.

This all makes the perfect storm for me to melt into a furious blue fit by the beginning of March, and 2009 was a bad one.   The winter had been especially long and dismal.   And there was a story suddenly there to fit it.   It ran against the whole ‘Never writing fanfiction again, damnit!’ agreement I had made with myself, but hey, it was just a short one, and I needed to express what was going on in my head.

That created “Falling”, the least fanfic of all my fanfics.   It’s also (ironically given that it is the very least canon driven of them all) my perpetual entry in Blizzard’s annual fanfiction contest.  I know it’s not going to win, but I write Wow fanfics, and I’m going to enter!  (Word limits have kept the others from being my submission.   Falling is the only short story I have that fits.)

It’s dark.  It’s depressing.   And now that it’s a few years old, it’s also very amusing from a strictly mechanical point of view.   “Falling” lacks so much concrete description that readers aren’t actually told what the main character is.    It has led to some interesting discussions, and I’m amazed how readers can take a perfect lack of description (The main is described as she by pronoun use, and is mentioned to have black hair.  That’s it.) and fill in their own blanks.   Although I know exactly what she is, I’m always amazed to hear others put forth a rousing (and wrong) argument for why they think she’s what they think she is.   I realized three quarters of the way through that she had no name, no description, and I kept going with it.   I think it’s an interesting effort, with all the descriptions limited to the main character’s surroundings and feelings.   Another exercise, another experiment.  And I really hadn’t broken my promise to myself about those fanfics, at just 3,600 words, it wasn’t really a fanfic.  Just a little story to help purge my emotions.


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