Katherine L. E. White

Creator of Worlds

Author: katherinelwhite

Katherine’s Log–June 21, 2017

Authors, such as myself, who like to delve into the recesses of their own mind and contemplate their dark places tend to write about how those dark places may erupt into the world around them. (The artist must be tortured in some way, no?)  Fiction, especially fantasy or science fiction, is a safe way to explore those notions, things that are uncomfortable or unacceptable in polite (and maybe even not so polite) company.

I like to explore why people do what they do.  Why do they make the decisions they make.  Nothing happens in a vacuum.  Even the most evil of people walk down a path to get where they end up.  That path is fascinating to me.  What causes a person to make the decisions that they make?  What false (or true) beliefs lead to that decision?  Does it matter, in the end, if they are true or false in the actual historicity of events?  If an individual believes them, does that not make them true?

It’s really fun to do this exercise with the bad guys.  I’ve had people tell me that some people are just inherently evil.  I don’t believe that.  I think that people are born with certain personality traits that might incline them to make certain decisions, but they aren’t evil.  A series of events makes them continually make evil decisions.  Not necessarily external events either–I think more often than not they are entirely internal events, decisions that the individual makes about the world around them that causes them to react to the world in a certain way.

Akecheta and Laura Darkwood are two characters that I’m delving into at the moment, who are definitely bad guys.  They take human beings and alter them to become what a customer wants, and then sell them for millions of dollars to the elite of society.  That’s pretty nasty.

But why would someone do that?

For the money?

Well, yes, that’s pretty obvious, but they had to start somewhere, somewhere where there was no money.  Originally it was just an idea that one or both of them had.  Maybe Laura was in medical school and she and Akecheta were lying in each other arms, discussing the science of genetics and how wonderful it would be to able to truly get the best of everything into glorious chimera.  That discussion could have led them down a road to create Darkwood Industries.  I’m not entirely sure if that’s how it happened, neither has told me that part of their story yet, but it is possible.  A simply thought, with no emotion or malice attached to it, can lead to awful and gory places.

One simple decision–and a person is good or evil.

Katherine’s Log–June 14, 2017

When one writes fiction, the readership tends to think one of two things.  Either, “This is all true, s/he just put different names/places/times for all the people/places/things in involved,” or “This is all completely made up, there is nothing of the author’s personal experience in this piece.”  The latter opinion is more heavily adopted the farther from normal reality the writing is.

Both are wrong.  It’s called fiction because it’s made up, but a person can’t make up something from nothing.  There is always a path that has lead the author to the made up something.  So even in the most outlandish or silliest of stories, there is a deep psychological piece of the writer present.

That piece might be an escape.  “Oh, I wish the world were like this!”  It might be an exploration of why awful things happen, “Why did that serial killer kill all those people?”  Or, it might be an exploration of why beautiful things happen, “How did that man become so happy?”  I’ve written and enjoyed the writing, of all three of these scenarios.

As a reader, though, you’ll find a theme in an author’s work.  The reason for that is the deep psychological piece of the writer that is present in the work.  Consequently, the author’s fears, desires, wishes, dreams, frustrations, and just boring reality creeps into his or her work.  It is unavoidable.  However, to mistake the writing for the writer is to give both a deep disservice.

Katherine’s Log–June 7, 2017

I have been in love with the idea of urban farming since I discovered it was a thing about ten years ago.  I never did it.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had all kinds of plans for where the chicken coop would go, what plants would go where, maybe even get a goat to clear out the brush behind the property.  It never happened.  After all, doing something like that is a big step.  It ties you down to your land, it might make your neighbors unhappy, and you might fail.

I don’t like to fail.

The idea crept into almost all of my stories.  I wouldn’t intentionally put an urban farm-like setting in the story, but somehow, something urban farmesque would show up as I was writing.  That I tend to write about marginalized populations might be part of it.  After all, people who are not part of the mainstream have to find alternative ways to live.  Having an alternative way to live makes people more marginalized by the mainstream.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Last summer, we moved from the property we’d been living on for 15 years to our ‘dream home’.  Whether it is our dream home or not, it is our dream home, because I’m not moving again.  This place is twice the size of our previous residence, both the house and the property.  We are now on half an acre, walking distance to downtown.

Downright perfect.

So, with an address that probably won’t change until I die, and enough room to do something, I will start my urban farm today.  I can get a real feel for how my characters actually do this, rather than just imagining from research and the few herbs I’ve been able to grow successfully.  The property is filled with gardening beds, all of which are emtpy except for trees and shrubs.  I’ve got a clean slate to work with, and I’m super excited!

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