The Man Lay Dying…

I saw a post on Twitter today, asking for the first line to everyone’s WIP (work in progress) and their genre. As I read it, I wondered what had brought me to this point in life and writing. What moments or experiences stood out as pivotal snapshots in my shattered memory?

Movies, books, friends, black eyes, emotions?

In reality, every piece of the puzzle pours into my writing.

The pieces help me question what makes the muse flow. Each question helps build the frameworks for my stories.

Are there answers to the questions? Some of them.

The first question:

Do I really kill people? I don’t think so, but maybe fictional characters count. Why does Death play so prominently in Atom & Go? Maybe I fear my own mortality or perhaps I write about it to thumb my nose at the creep in the black cowl. Honestly, a big part of it is we live in such an age of grey, all I want is the black and white of death.

When Atom fights it isn’t always about good and bad, it’s about survival. It’s forced me to evaluate myself. As a father, what would I do to protect any of my children?

Then again, how much of what I write is simply poured into the vessel of my imagination by the stories that have always existed. Since the Iliad and beyond we have lauded conflict.

I dare you to find any story without conflict. If you do, it’s only half a story. Growth is impossible without conflict. A story that has no growth in characters is not a story, in fact, it’s just a snapshot. We as people thrive on conflict, and ultimately, what it forces us to become.

Atom has some skills. There is no denying that point. He needs those skills, because without there there would be no story. Atom could not survive the constant attacks by the Walkerhan, he could not make a living as a bounty-hunter, and at the root, the Walkers never would have killed his family if he didn’t have the skills that end up preserving his life and Margo’s.

Those skills make it possible for survival. They also form the plausibility for the story to continue after the first page. On the platform of experience, the character of Atom is built, but he grows from there.

Am I Atom? Is he my alter-ego?

Not even close, I’m too short. And the closest thing to a six-shooter I own is a trim nail gun.

But, I was mulling ideas to write about and fell into what experiences of mine play into Atom. I could probably write post after post about how my life has built to this moment, but in reality Atom is a character that fell out of my head. He is the lovechild of Malcolm Reynolds, Ogami Itto, and Blondie.

He is who I would want to be, if I weren’t so short… and had a spaceship… and knew the first thing about being a gunslinger.

Anyway, enough musings. I just broke the 45k word mark on the sequel to Atom & Go: Genesis. I’ll probably post another excerpt next week. In the meantime, everybody be safe. Try to stay cool. Careful on your motorcycles. And most importantly, keep flying the black.

2 thoughts on “The Man Lay Dying…

  1. JD

    That question, “What would I, as a father, do to protect any of my children?” has a lot of theology thrown in, especially if you connect it to a forgiveness dot somewhere.


    1. And then there is the balance of protection and learning. Forgiveness on the part of a father comes after failing to protect or failing to instruct the child in safety. To beg forgiveness is an afterthought. The theological side of forgiveness is something we as humans can never hope to replicate. To forgive as the Father is to wipe something away completely. If a person forgives, but still remembers, the act is never fully forgiven.


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