Rocks, Rivers, Hauberks and Keys

It’s Monday and y’all know what that means.  It’s time for a new episode of Luciferous Logolepsy’s Words of the Week.

Luciferous Logolepsy’s mission is to drag obscure words into the light of day.  I believe that the words our forefathers and foremothers used have so much more character than the words we typically use today so my mission is to help Luciferous Logolepsy nudge those lovely words back into the light of day by giving them a little blog love.

This week, we’re highlighting the letter H.  I’ve closed my eyes and thrown the proverbial dart at the wall and this is what we get to work with:

hauberk
n. – tunic-like coat of mail.

holm
n. – river island; river plain.

hyperborean
adj.,n. – (dweller) in extreme north or cold.

Riveted Aluminum Chainmail Shirt (aka haubert)

All three of these words bring to mind one era of time:  medieval northern Europe.  Knights wearing hauberks and going off to battle, or whatever it was they actually did.

On horseback they rode over hill and dale, through forests and marshy holms that were full of mud and muck.  But that wasn’t the worst.  The worst was the weather.  It was during this time that Europe was deep in the grip of The Little Ice Age.  Growing seasons were short, and in some years non-existent.  Famine was everywhere because there was little or no food.  Without even knowing it, the men and women had become hyperboreans.

I first thought I would write about King Arthur or maybe the show Game of Thrones or even the beginning of the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back when the rebels were on the ice planet Hoth.  But none of those just seemed to sparkle so I had to find something else.

So I turned inward.

This week has been a difficult one in terms of my novel.  I am so so close to finishing Book 1 but for some reason something’s been holding me back and I didn’t know what it was.  After opening myself up and really thinking about it long and hard, I think it’s been a combination of two things:

There was a serious problem with the story line of my character Benito Saldana.

This character is a Tejano who is between a rock and a hard place simply because of who he is.  He is a Texas born Mexican, or a Tejano. He is used to being away from the centralized government, spending years living his own life and doing his own thing without anyone looking over his shoulder or breathing down his neck to make sure he was a good little boy.  He’s his own man, subject to no one.  Everything around him could erupt in chaos and he would be the one who is calm and collected, letting the turbulent waters of current events flow around him.  He’s solid, dependable, loyal to his country, Mexico, and if needed is willing to lay down his life for her.

But, Benito is fighting on the side of the anglo rebels because of a previous oath he gave to the leader of his town Victoria.

Before the outbreak of hostilities between the Mexican government and the Anglo North American settlers, this leader gathered the men of Victoria into a group who called themselves Victorianos to fight against the local Indians who were bent on causing mischief.  Now this leader has chosen to fight with the anglos and is bringing his Victorianos with him.

My problem with Benito was that I was trying to write his story all wrong.  I was trying to write him as being sympathetic to the rebels and wanting to fight with them.  I was not listening to Benito’s voice, his desires and his motivations.  I was ignoring him and what he wanted to do and instead wanted him to do what I wanted him to do.  I was silencing his voice and making him speak with mine.  If I’m really serious about this writing thing, this I can not do.

The second problem I have is even bigger.  I am afraid.

Of what you ask?  It’s the fear of “what if I suck?”  What if my storytelling sucks and no one wants to read it?  There’s oodles of books out there who have no audience.  What if my books end up just like that?

I know I can’t think that way but the voice is insidious.  It’s quiet and sneaks in when I’m not paying attention.  Usually I’m able to throw it off but this week I just could not.  But then Pulitzer prize winning author Matt Richtel, writer and journalist from the New York Times, was hosted on the site The Kill Zone.

Matt Richtel

Matt Richtel

His entire post “How A Great Story Can Change The World” gave me strength but it was the last sentence that clinched it:

“Fellow story tellers, take seriously your duty. The world seeks deliverance. You hold its key.”

This sentence was like a rock sunk deep in the holm yet poked above the turbulent waters that swirled around it.  I grabbed it, hung on then hauled myself atop it.  With new found strength, I grabbed own haubert and put it on.  I straightened my shoulders and lifted my head to stand tall and strong and withstand the barbs of that terrible voice as I make my way through the cold harsh lands of insecurity.

What about you?  What do you do when you are afraid?  Has anyone helped you through it?  I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, I’ll be highlighting the letter I.  I hope to see you then.

Source: Luciferous Logolepsy

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3 Responses to Rocks, Rivers, Hauberks and Keys

  1. lynettemburrows says:

    The voice that sneaks up on you, belittling what you do, is dangerous. The advice you’ve gotten here is good, but I’d like to make another suggestion. Give that voice a character and a name. Mine is Mrs. Darkside. She is the dark side of the force. She looks like a nice little old lady, but she’s evil. Having named her, I see her more often, but if I don’t recognizer her, my hubby and writing friends do and call her out. Then, unmasked, I see her and can invoke the appropriate spells or sic my virtual guard dogs on her. 🙂

    Like

  2. I use the word hauberk quite a bit in my writing.

    When I get afraid with my writing or I start to lose out on the thought that I can do it at all, I normally find someone who has succeeded and see what they say. Normally these people, especially if you know them, are huge in pushing me in the write direction.

    Like

    • Hauberk is a great word! And as far a seeking out others in my time of dark wilderness, I do that same thing. Sometimes it takes me an hour or two to move on and sometimes it takes a little longer. It’s amazing how others prop us up these times and I’m glad that we’re not alone.

      Like

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