Being Vulnerable Sucks.

Good morning Raga-rootlings! (or evening from wherever you are!)

With Christmas just around the corner, I am sad to say that I will not have a short story in time for the holidays. Not for the lack of trying, however. I did end up coming up with two story ideas.

I have been wracking around the idea of a Christmas short, and I have come to a couple conclusions.

  1. I am not good at writing Christmas themed stories.
  2. I write a lot of LGBTQ content All the shorts I’ve been storyboarding have been turning into more prolonged and continuous ideas lately. The one I thought would turn out to be a decent short has been the most vexing to complete. I have issues with sleeping, and my days have been pretty mixed up because of it. In turn, because I am up all night and sleep during the day, I have managed to develop two interesting stories in particular. I will spend some time talking about the Christmas one today since it is the most vexing, and the other is one that I woke up and just shock-put into action right away. I mean, I have like 6 pages already, not including writing notes on a notepad.

It’s not shocking, to say the least when I can spit out ideas and write non-stop about them, which is why the first story is vexing. I had a significant writing fiesta. It compelled me to write ferociously and frivolously, just to get all the ideas out of me. I was all excited and really looking forward to it when I decided to tell a friend about it. Now, this isn’t to say he was wrong or that what his opinion is because they are his own thoughts. What really sucked is that a simple comment from a friend who is usually supportive had dried my enthusiasm up. I had a dream where the world was dark and bleak, with a steampunk aura. It was a place where trees had died out, and the sun and moon weren’t able to shine as brightly. Avoiding all spoilers since I do intend to eventually finish this story, the main characters meet, fall in love on the eve of Christmas Day, and save the industrial world where it is once again filled with life and wonder

As a side note, in my dreams, I pictured Colby and Yuru as the main characters because that is just how my brain works. I will, of course, make different characters, just don’t be surprised if there are some similarities. I even told my wife as I regaled the plot to her as Colby and Yuru because it was easier to explain.

Moving on, as I said, I was so pumped and excited about writing. I even planned out how I would most likely get the concept art of the characters since I was so enthralled by them. I shared with my friend the idea as well, which turned out to be a mistake on my part. Either I should have waited till I completed the tale or just kept it to myself. Upon telling him it was a steampunk Christmas, he dreadfully told me that those two ideas could never mix. How could something like the steampunk culture ever mix with the idea of Christmas? This sucker punched me in a way that deflated my inspiration. I have spent days thinking about this comment as it plagued my ability to write the story. Other issues then started to arise from this poison as most artists will understand and know: The doubt of creativity. I then began to criticize my own thoughts and creative ability. What if he was right? What if this was just a silly idea and isn’t worth reading or writing?

I also tore apart the story and changed the premise to better fit it, then scrapped it again to prove him wrong. This went through several changes to the storyboard. Eventually, this made it hard to figure out what I originally had dreamed it to turn out. I had even changed the main characters to a straight couple, hoping it would shift the inspiration. It was silly to change it, mostly because it felt right to use girls as the main characters since it was how it came to me in the first place.

Thinking about that comment thrashed my confidence. As a result, I put it on hold, trying to think of something else to write. With some meditation, morning pages, and then sleeping on it, I managed to develop a different story idea that is not at all related to Christmas and spent all morning writing it as I plotted and planned it out. This got me thinking about the first story idea and why I decided to blog this to share with you all. The idea of writing a short story or even a full story is just a way to express creativity. I know that not even one will agree, like, or even read everything you create. That’s just part of life. However, just because you can’t see how it would make sense in your own way doesn’t mean someone else can’t break that barrier. Besides, Steampunk is entirely constructed to break the concept of the victorian era with the industrial revolution. There are endless and boundless ideas to twist and use for this idea. I mean, if we look at Fable, which is basically built on this idea of Steampunk meets heroes with magical powers, how is that so far fetched to the idea of having a Christmas theme? Christmas doesn’t have to be written in the same criteria of snow, romance, and presents.

Tim Burton proved that ideal wrong when he mixed Halloween with Christmas into a beautifully done movie. The story and animation were groundbreaking. Not everyone agrees with it, however, but that is the beauty of it. Finding something you love and just embracing it is perfect regardless of what people think of it. This comment broke my convictions only because I am vulnerable. I put my raw ideas out there, and without really preparing myself for the feedback, I hurt my own progress to grow. I was told as a child that I was never good at writing, and I let that stop me. Being told how an idea was not going to work really hit where it already hurt. I am not mad at my friend since he didn’t do it out of a place of harm. I’m angry at myself for letting it stop me from trying. Every story I have written could all be trash, but if I quit because of one nay-sayer, will I ever improve? This is a lot of personal growth for my writing as I don’t want to stop trying. I have strange and bizarre dreams and realities when it comes to stories, and I just want to keep trying to create and share them. If no one else likes reading them, at least I can proudly say that I love them. I get caught up in my own characters while rereading chapters because I love how they grow.

So to wrap this up for today, I am sorry that I fell through with my delivery. I will not give up on it and post it even if it is a little late for Christmas! To bring some good out of this, I have another fantastic story that I am working on to eventually share with you all as I begin working on it. I also have it all set up and ready to post the first chapter of Beauty and the Nerd. I have broken the original chapter into 3 parts to make for easier reading since it was 28 pages in total. I have already finished chapter 2, so it’s ready to go.

Come the new year, there will be much more content to come, and don’t forget that I have the Subscribe Contest going on. By subscribing to the Turnip Patch website, you can enter a draw to win and get your own personalized Turnip! This will be posted on the main page as well with your name! The subscription is free and just lets you all in on new posts so that you can keep up to date with what’s new and exciting. Thank you all again for your support, and we will see ya soon!

Turan Turnip

Deliberation and Celebration

Hello fellow Raga-rootlings!
I hope you all have had the chance to enjoy the Christmas special released last week! I for sure know I had a lot of fun writing it and it does bring me joy to see my characters outside of the original story just to show some of the quirks and personalities they each have. Admittedly, I had a brief moment while writing Claire about what kinds of gifts to get her. She would be the type of friend that even if I had to shop for, I wouldn’t really know what would suit her. Since she is the kind of girl that generally gets what she wants any time of the year, she is one of those classifications of hard to shop for women.
But Alas, today is not about me writing about the short, although some aspects of it are part of my thoughts. With this Christmas challenge for myself, I have been digging into idea prompts and even suggestion lists to rake my brain. Personally speaking, Christmas is not an easy time of the year for me and finding the Spirit of Christmas has always been a struggle. I want to write something that has meaning and gives that sense of readers gratification. This got me thinking about most of the stories I love reading and authors who have inspired me. It’s easy to throw together a plotline, character details and flaws, then a general flow of events and sequences for some short form of telling. I remember that just having word prompts while in high school was enough for me to come up with a ridiculously spun tale of a half-human cat running around with a shotgun killing apocalyptic bunnies. To me at that time, just being to create was the only premise of writing that enticed me. A world of my own to twist and enchant on a whim, no boundaries to outlandish to cross.
To also shed some light on my influences, a childhood passion was reading works done by Piers Anthony. His world Xanth was enthralling. If you have never read any of the books, to sum it up it was a fantasy world built on puns. All the puns you could possibly think of, wordplay and literal meanings in a creative way to inflict havoc on the adventurers as they set out to complete their mission. Not only did this birth the moment where puns enlightened me to a whole world of humour, this also too sprouted a seed where comprehension was not limited to simplicity. Nowadays, being a dungeon master and creating campaigns and maps, helps me inflict pain upon my friends and family where I can masterfully watch them suffer for enjoyment. It’s not about actually watching them fail, but to see them solve the mystery with the outcome of the hero’s worthy of the world’s adoration.
This can also be accomplished with writing, however, there is nothing more satisfying than watching the story unravel before you, even without your full acknowledgement. This is the wonder that captivates me in writing and reading a story. This may have strayed from the original point a little, I promise this all ties in with my thoughts. Being that I want to create a realistic story that will hold the reader’s captivated (Including myself), I have been thinking so much about the books and manga I’ve loved and adored for so many years to help in the methods of my own personal writings. To be able to keep these aspects of my moulded creativity accountable while I craft a story is what makes me strive to push forward. I don’t just want to write passionless blogs where people read them with no backings. If you as the readers aren’t invested then I feel a sense of failure for myself. Granted, not every person is going to share the same investment I have or will with each short, one-shot or ongoing story. That is unrealistic even for someone who believes in unicorns and rainbows. Just to be able to give one true feeling of wonder is all I hope for.
To bring this back full circle, I think of all the Christmas prompts and suggestions out there for stories and even though it is the same thing time and time again, I am always curious about what it was in the first place that draws us to love reading the same ageless tale? What is it about these Christmas stories that we love and read each year? Why do we watch the same movies each season as it approaches? How is it that we can create and recreate so many different Grinch movies and still find the same wonder as the last? These have been so prevalent in my thoughts as I have been trying to find the same passion and seasonal spirit in my life. This year is the hardest to achieve as well because of Covid since now we are physically limited to seek out these inspiring moments.
From talking with a friend about his genre of Manga versus mine, he made a very impactful point. Sometimes we just like a good fashioned love story. A believable story of romance and wonder. I have really been mulling his words over and it holds some truth to them. Why Christmas stories are so repetitive and similar is the same reason why I still pick up a story about two people falling in love, no matter how challenging the odds are for success. Because that is my fuel, my belief in happiness. Christmas is the spirit of hope and peace to the world, and that miracles can happen. We have so much faith that even with all the crap going on in our daily lives that there is a shred of goodness coming around the corner when we spread cheer and love. I may have a weird love and obsession for writing macabre and eerie stories, yet in the same sense, it holds no difference. I love the strange and creepy because it just tickles you in a way that is different.
I may have already mentioned some of these things before, yet it wasn’t really until now that I had a good understanding of what it is I want to accomplish. The major reason to write is to grow and challenge my skills since I want to improve. Everything I create out of it is just icing on a cake, you get the reward with just a little something sweet to enjoy along with it. Thank you everyone for sticking around and reading. With each post I do, I get more pumped to share something that everyone can enjoy and share.
I know this time of year is challenging for everyone, and if there is one thing I can offer, it is a pen-palship. Reach out if you are looking for a friend in these crazy times, and with that, I wish you all a happy and cheerful holiday. I will be trying to post the next story before Christmas Day.

See you soon Raga-rootlings!
Turan Turnip