Saturday, February 2, 2013

Self-Forgiveness and Mindy

Everyone makes mistakes, right?  I know I have.  Hell, the last five years of my life have seemed like nothing but one long mistake at times.  I know what it's like to feel as though your very touch brings rot  to everyone you care about.  That aspect of Mindy's personality comes to me very easily.  In December of 2012, my GRE scores expired.  See, back when I was in college, I had my whole life planned out.  I was going to go to graduate school, get my Ph.D., and sail smoothly into a career as a tenured professor.  (Tenure-track positions hadn't declined quite so much that the idea was completely laughable at that point, but...well, let's say I wasn't completely living in reality on that one.)

And then I had a complete meltdown that involved me sobbing on a bathroom floor for three nights and scaring the living crap out of everyone who cares about me, the start of a six-month period where it seemed as though I broke just about everything I touched.  How does this relate to Mindy, you ask?  I know what it's like to screw up so badly that you feel like you can't ever do anything right again, and I put that into Mindy.  (What, you thought it was relentless optimism and natural goodness that came naturally to me?  Oh, you are just adorable.)  I also, after my friends forcibly dragged me out by my ankles, threw me into the shower, and then made me start sending out job applications, learned how important it is to forgive yourself for your mistakes.  More importantly, I learned how to let other people forgive you for your mistakes.  That's Mindy's main struggle in Leech and, frankly, throughout the series.  It's been an interesting experience writing that in a character who's not by nature a classic brooder, especially since Mindy sits alongside Ophelia as one of the series' major moral voices.

Like I said, Mindy's not really a brooder.  She's good for the sake of being good, but in a chirpier way than Ophelia's Hepburn-esque poise.  She's optimistic, she sees the good in people and gets them to see it, too, and she knows the value of a plate of hot wings and a good football game.  I'm not going to lie, I had to stalk one of my more wholesome friends a little bit in the writing of Leech.  She eventually learned to handle my popping up over her shoulder and stage-whispering "Say something wholesome!" with a fair amount of grace.

Leech can be found for sale on Amazon and Smashwords.

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