Too Many Feels about Writing

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this exchange:

Encouragement

When people say things like this, I feel great.  For a while.  The monumental effort involved in this endeavor, especially when contemplating the vast desert expanse before reaching publication, is enough to crush even the most positive mindset.  It’s fragile, and the slightest jar can be enough to shatter it.

Writing (or any creative profession, really) carries a lot of feelings with it.  Some people have great difficulty dealing with them.  If you’re inclined toward addiction, you might cope by self-medicating.  I don’t do that, but I’m quite sure the stress will cut years off my life.

In no particular order, here are some of the feelings writing has been poking me with lately.

Impatience

Publishing takes a long time.  I’m not the most patient person on earth, and I’ll never be any more so than I am right now.  I find myself saying, Enough already, Universe.  Let’s get going.  It would probably help if I had something in my personal life, but alas, the Big U has implied that the books will come first.  This vague revelation leads to hurt, because I’ve waited long enough, thank you.

Panic

Did I cross all my I’s and dot all my T’s?  Is that query letter as good as it can be?  Answer:

It can always be better, but the time to realize that is not after you’ve hit Send.

Elation

This strikes at odd moments and may be unrelated to writing, since I’m going on vacation soon.  I booked my train tickets this weekend.  For two days, I walked around with a heightened sense of anticipation that sent energy surging through my body, almost like an adrenaline rush but without the shakiness and rapid heartbeat.  Elation makes me hyper-aware of things—if I listen to music, I hear every note, every chord.  The sky looks bluer, the future brighter, and at those moments, anything seems possible.

Stress

Elation also leaped up after Brian posted that tweet (seriously, a horror Grand Master said he likes my book!), but then I stared, unseeing, at the screen and it all turned to pressure and stress.  What to say next?  How to say it?  Why can’t I put what is in my head down on the page?  I know what’s going to happen.  Why am I so goddamn tired?

Jealousy

Creative people do get jealous of each other.  Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha made me so jealous I could hardly see straight.  It helped that I thoroughly enjoyed the story.  The best way to deal with professional jealousy is to examine the work and observe successful elements you can translate to your own work, to make it better.

I have little to say about personal jealousy, except that if it leads to obsession, you better get rid of it fast because you won’t be able to concentrate long enough to write a coherent sentence.

 It mostly comes at night…mostly. 

It mostly comes at night…mostly.

 Image:  ign.com

Despair

I’ll never be good enough; I’ll never be published, and no agent / publisher / reader will ever give a shit about me.  Here’s where the dearth of personal involvement cuts deepest.  It hurts when no one you’re not related to is there to say “Hey, I love you no matter what, and I think you’re brilliant.”  The evil little voice inside my head says that since no other person wants me, clearly no agent ever will either.

Hope

This is the cruelest one of all.  It makes you delusional.  You feel that possibilities are endless.  Writing by its very nature forces you to imagine them, and this hones your ability to hope.  It becomes a tool that can turn on you in an instant and cut deeper than a surgeon’s scalpel into the most tender and vulnerable part of your psyche.  Reality is hope’s most dangerous predator.

Oh hello….didn’t see you there.  0_0

Oh hello….didn’t see you there.  0_0

 Image:  Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And then there’s this.  Although I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t feel the same, you never can tell.  Dreams up close can be rather frightening.

————

Feelings aren’t always rational, and neither are the thoughts that go with them.  They aren’t good or bad, either; they just are.  What you do with them is what matters.

Writers can use healthy mental exercises to curb thoughts like “I’m not good enough.”  If they are actively practicing their craft, they will get better at it.  I guarantee you Brian would not have said he liked a manuscript of mine two books ago.  The fact that he’s saying it now lets me know that I’ve grown as a writer.  By doing what?  Wishing?  No, by writing.

You know that thing the Universe has apparently sent to someone else (grr)?  Well, wishing might help here, and praying might also, but so will preparing myself to receive the opportunity if the Universe should reconsider.  And that’s what I have to do for writing too.

When it’s your turn to cycle through these emotions, don’t try to push them away.  Let them come.  Clamping a lid down on feelings only ensures their eventual explosive release.  And don’t let them talk you into giving up.  The only book that is never published is the one never written.

London Links!

A friend at work and I went to lunch yesterday, and we were talking about my upcoming trip to London and Cardiff and her planned trip to London next year.  I told her I’d send her some links.  Of course, my enormous email turned into a blog post.

Doesn’t everything?

Doesn’t everything?

Image:  yingyo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instead of just sending them to her, I thought I would draw on my previous trip (though it was very long ago) and recent research and post it here in case anyone reading wants to go.  Seriously, off the top of my head, I know five people besides me who are going either this year or next.

So this may be my longest post ever, but here is my compilation of travel tips for first-timers in London.  If I got anything wrong, please correct me in the comments.

General stuff

First off, a few useful facts:

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (aka UK or Britain) consists of England, Scotland (for the moment), Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • London is the capital of England.
  • Edinburgh is pronounced ED-in-burr-uh.
  • Say Gloucester as GLAW-ster.
  • Say Leicester Square as LESS-ter.
  • Say Grosvenor Street as GROVE-ner.
  • Striped pedestrian crossings are called zebra crossings.  Pronounce zebra to rhyme with Debra.
  • ATMs are called cashpoints.  Rick Steves has more info on how to use them here.

Temperatures are in Celsius.  Weights and measures are metric (except for miles, I think).  You may see 24-hour time (00:00–24:00) in train stations, though if you ask someone the time, they’ll tell you it’s four p.m., not 1600 hours.

Some public bathrooms are pay toilets (mostly in tube stations).  You have to pay to get into the stall.  Save your change!  I have no idea how much they cost now.  Keep a pocket pack of tissue in your bag in case you get caught without any.  Self-cleaning toilet booths are pay also.

It’s okay to ask for the toilet in London; alternately, the loo, WC, lavatory, bog, ladies’, or gents’.

Airport

If you’re going through Heathrow, you can take the Underground (commonly referred to as the tube) to central London.  It’s cheaper than the Heathrow Express.  Find travel information here on the airport’s website (Transport & Directions).

Power adapters

Voltage is higher than in the US.  You’ll need UK adapters; ones for Europe in general won’t work.  Amazon has them.  I’d take one with you so you have it right away in case you need to charge your phone, etc.  For more info, check here.

UK power outlets are bigger than ours.  Many of them have switches.  If you plug something into the outlet with your adapter and it doesn’t work, try flipping the switch.

uk outlet

Image: amazon.co.uk

If you forget anything, you can buy it at a drugstore (chemist).  I won’t even bother to pack toiletries, just put travel sizes in my carry-on in case my luggage is delayed.  I’ll buy shampoo, etc. there and then ditch it when I leave.

Language

Accents aren’t that hard, especially if you watch a lot of BBCA, but not everyone in England sounds like they just stepped out of Downton Abbey.  The only person I had trouble with was a cabdriver with the thickest accent I’ve ever heard in my life—he was damn near incomprehensible.  He was nice; he laughed pretty good-naturedly when I admitted I couldn’t understand him.

If someone is talking too fast and you can’t quite keep up, all you have to say is “I’m sorry, I’m not used to your accent.  Could you please repeat that more slowly?”

Brits have different terms than we do for things.  Look at this link for a list of words that might trip you up.

In Wales (Cymru), everyone speaks English, though signs are in both English and Welsh.  Click the link to hear someone say the word Wales in Welsh—it’s nothing like it looks!  I’m planning to practice a bit of pronunciation, so I won’t end up in the sea if I ask where something is.

Good to know.

Good to know.

Image:  bbc.co.uk

Getting around

The London Underground

Last time I was there, the Underground had little yellow paper tickets you put through the barrier (yes I’m old—shut yer gob).  It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it, but now people have Oyster cards.

You use an Oyster card on the London Underground (tube) and the bus.  This link helped me understand the Oyster card / Travelcard thing.  If you’re staying more than a few days, it’s cheaper to get an Oyster card at Heathrow when you get there.  You can top it up at the tube stations.  You can also load the Travelcard onto the Oyster card, apparently, but NOT if it is a Visitor Oyster card.

No, it doesn’t have a picture of seafood on it.

No, it doesn’t have a picture of seafood on it.

 Image:  Frank Murmann / Wikimedia Commons

Here is the Transport for London website for more information.

London is a massive city and people are in a hurry.  The main things to remember on the tube are (1) have your Oyster card or ticket ready at the barrier (so you don’t create a traffic jam), and (2) keep right on escalators, stairs, etc.

The tube has been in use (though obviously updated) for over 100 years (1863), so there are stations without lifts (elevators), and THERE IS NO AIR CONDITIONING.  Delays are common.  Twice when I was there before, they closed the line for something.  Once was a train problem and once was a suicide on the track, and I had to find another train or a cab.

Try to plan ahead when you take the tube and avoid peak times (rush hour):  6:00—10:00 am and 4:00—7:00 pm.  This is a good post about etiquette on the tube.

London A-Z

Image:  amazon.com

Buy one of these!! You should be able to get it at the airport or at any newsstand (newsagent).  British people don’t say Z—they say Zed (rhymes with bed).  So ask for a London A-Zed.

I hung onto mine for years, and I finally threw it away because it was so outdated (and I didn’t think I’d ever go back, waah).  London is very walkable, but you’ll need good shoes and make sure they are rainproof.  Because it will rain.

 London Cabs

1200px-A_TX4_Taxi_at_Heathrow_Airport_Terminal_5

Image:  Unisouth / Wikipedia.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Drivers of the iconic black taxis have to pass an insanely difficult test called The Knowledge before they can drive the cabs.  They know where stuff is and will not jack you around on the fare.  Find out how to take a London cab here.

DO NOT TAKE UNLICENCED MINICABS.  In my research, I’ve been warned that women especially have been assaulted by drivers.  In any case, they don’t have The Knowledge.  Legit minicabs must be booked in advance.  Some people are upset that they are taking business away from the black cabs; how you feel about that is up to you.

WARNING:  remember that people drive on the LEFT in England.  If you value your life, look right when you cross the street, and ONLY cross at the zebras!

1024px-Wavy_lines_before_pedestrian_crossing

Read the road. Tells you what to do.

Image:  Benjamin D. Esham / Wikipedia.com /

Etiquette

English people are reserved, though they are usually quite nice when you do speak with them.  They LOVE it when people are very polite.  Their sense of humor ranges from extremely sarcastic to gross / borderline offensive to incredibly silly.  You’ll always find a few rude jerks anywhere you go, but overall, they are really lovely people.

Keep your volume low.  The British don’t bellow like we Americans do.  On the tube, please refrain from chatting up everyone you see.  If someone is reading or wearing headphones, leave them alone!

They don’t smile at everybody they see either (this is a knee-jerk reaction where I live).  Just act like you’re in New York and you’ll be fine.  This link is for kids, but it’s awesome and if anyone is confused about anything, it explains it very well.

Food and stuff to do

I’ve skipped the obvious tourist stops, which I’m sure you’ve already googled.  The only thing I did last time that I might do again is Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.  The original is in London and it was totally worth it for the Chamber of Horrors alone.  Don’t be put off by the insane website.

I found a terrific Trip Advisor thread for those of us without a trust fund.  I googled links or names of places I found interesting to see if they were still open.  You can sort it by newest or oldest posts first.

Though it’s a bit old, this is a good post also (scroll down to #8, by caffn8me):    This person gave a lot of good advice, including stuff to avoid.

For tea and fancies, visit Fortnum and Mason.

Harrods has a dress code.  I’ve heard people have been turned away for wearing too-casual clothing, including celebrities.  For Harrods FAQs, visit this link.

I highly recommend you see Hampton Court Palace.  It’s Henry VIII’s house (Tudors!)  Seriously, this place is AMAZING.

My mother said I HAVE to go to this place.  The bakery here has been going since Tudor times (wonder if Henry VIII had any of their little treats?)

Or perhaps he had too many of them.

Or perhaps he had too many of them.

Image:  Wikimedia Commons

I hope that gets you started, or at least dreaming of the ultimate British holiday.  If you spot any mistakes, or if you have any recommendations about fun things to see and / or do, please share in the comments.

See you soon!

See you soon!

Image:  bbc.co.uk

 

Related links:

Transport for London

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/

National Rail website

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Here’s a cool blog about London with lots of info.

http://londontopia.net/

Visit Britain!

http://www.visitbritain.com/en/US/

Find out what to wear around the world, based on the weather!  http://www.clothesforecast.com/index.php

London events you can attend for free!

http://www.freelondonevents.co.uk/index.php

If you decide to nip on over to Cardiff, it’s only 2-1/2 hours by train.

http://www.visitcardiff.com/

Net Neutrality Takes a Hit

Well, shit.

The FCC voted 3-2 today to let Big Bidness make deals with websites for faster internet.  That’s basically going to kill net neutrality (see more about that at the link).

Read this article at the Washington Post for shenanigans.  I don’t believe Wheeler for one second that this won’t become the slipperiest slope of all slopes ever.  We’re already paying way too much for internet in the U.S.  This only reinforces my opinion that we’ve become an oligarchy already and the corporate assholes are running the country.

I kinda want to leave. But where to go?

I kinda want to leave. But where to go?

Image: Ktrinko / Wikimedia Commons

Write your Congress critter and contact the FCC here to protest.

Update:  Here is a comment email you can use to send a comment.   openinternet@fcc.gov 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

BLARGH!

I just turned in my research slide assignment.  I only have to comment on other people’s slides (apparently, that’s our final) and take a test and then I AM DONE with the World’s Worst Semester.

Haaaaaaaallelujah!

Haaaaaaaallelujah!

Image:  samarttiw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There will be time off.  I must begin The Great Purge, in which I divest my dwelling place, nicknamed The Crumbling Albatross, of an excess of crap that has piled up over time.  I have also decided, when I’m ready to begin the next book, to do a mini-NaNoWriMo.  There is a little bit of organization to do first, because I haven’t looked at it in ages.

Someone in a forum, in response to a mini-rant about crap, said my world is about to get bigger in a bit.  Let’s hope so—I placed a pretty tall order to the Universe.  It can wait just a little, like my Eddie Bauer raincoat I won’t get until July, but not much longer.  For a change, I’d rather not see this:

 “Universe here.  Your order has been canceled.  We shipped it to someone else.” 

W-what?  Noooooo!

W-what?  Noooooo!

Image:  David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 When it could just do this:

“Universe here.  Your requested item is no longer on backorder and has been shipped to you.  Enjoy!  :D” 

Much better.

In the interim, I’ll occupy myself with taking numerous Buzzfeed quizzes (I got Captain Kirk, people!) and planning what to do on my vacation.  I’ve already bookmarked so many things that I’ll need another month to do them all.

Fine by me. Not gonna want to leave.

Image:  David Dixon / Wikipedia.com

 

Character: T is for Talking

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

T is for Talking.

A character’s dialogue says a lot about him.  It’s a great way to use exposition without wasting a lot of time talking about the character’s past, doing flashbacks, etc.  In just a few sentences, he can tell you where he’s from and what is most important to him.

I don’t need to hear you talk.  Even completely pissed, I can guess your entire past simply by smelling your coat sleeve.  

I don’t need to hear you talk.  Even completely pissed, I can guess your entire past simply by smelling your coat sleeve.

Image:  BBC/beatrixblog.wordpress.com

In Tunerville, there’s a marked difference between the way Chris (the protagonist) and Callahan (spirit of the Realm) talk.  When Chris tries to tell people not to use the tuners, he uses very plain language—he just tells them to stop.  When Callahan appears, he says, “Cease use of this instrument or there will be dire consequences.”  When the two of them are talking without any tags, you can tell it’s two different people.

When I write a character’s dialogue, I think about who he is and where he’s from, and that influences my word choices.  An educated character who lives in an affluent suburb won’t talk the same as someone from the sticks.

Accents are a bit different.  You can’t really hear an accent when you read (not literally), so you’ll have to imply it so readers can hear it in their heads.  If I make him say he’s put his wellies in the boot of the car and dammit, where did he leave his biro, because he’s got to make a list for the grocer’s whilst Emma is having a bath, then you might surmise he’s from England.  You would be right.  Can you hear it?

I’m not even going to try and reproduce any other UK accent here; there are quite a few.  If you want to hear 14 accents in 84 seconds, watch this video.  It’s the coolest thing ever.

All this applies to dialect as well, which can be written phonetically to a degree, but you can’t go overboard with it.  Avoid what Margaret Mitchell does in Gone with the Wind:

             “…Now, did you hear us say anything that might have made Miss Scarlett mad– or hurt her feelings?”

Thus appealed to, Jeems gave up further pretense of not having overheard the conversation and furrowed his black brow.

“Nawsuh, Ah din’ notice y’all say anything ter mek her mad. Look ter me lak she sho glad ter see you an’ sho had missed you, an’ she cheep along happy as a bird, tell ’bout de time y’all got ter talkin’ ’bout Mist’ Ashley an’ Miss Melly Hamilton gittin’ mah’ied. Den she quiet down lak a bird w’en de hawk fly ober.”

You can’t argue that it’s Southern speak, either, because only the black characters talk like that.  Not only do many people think that’s pretty racist, it’s nearly impossible to read.  Dialect works best when you suggest it.

Be careful not to use what many writers call Hollywood dialogue, where the character tells another person stuff they both already know.  It’s clumsy.  Poor writers often use it for exposition.

“As you’re aware, Robin,” said Batman, “the Joker has been a nemesis of mine for many years now.”  

“Batman facepalm”  is apparently a thing.  A thing you can google.

“Batman facepalm”  is apparently a thing.  A thing you can google.

Image: comicvine.com

Probably the best thing you can do for good dialogue and characterization is go sit somewhere and listen to people talk.  See if you can guess two things about them just by listening to their conversation.  Try it; you might even hear something that will inspire you.

Character: L is for Looks

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Today is April 14, the 102nd anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.  (I know; technically, it sank on April 15, but hitting the iceberg started the whole thing.)  I don’t have a commemorative post this year, but you can refer to this post if you want to do something in memoriam.  I will most likely watch the film tonight.

Titanic at the docks of Southampton

Image:  Wikimedia Commons

L is for Looks.

You might not think looks are important.  We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we’re told.  But in truth, the first thing people notice about other people is how they look.

After all, we are mostly visual creatures.  Our brains process a huge amount of information from our eyes, which are our primary sensory organs.

If you’re writing a character who is handsome, he will be treated differently by other people than if he were ugly.  I had to think about this for Rose’s Hostage.  I made bank robber Joshua Rose handsome because 1) it disarms Libby, his hostage, and 2) it bothers the serial killer (once they find out who he is).  If I wrote him as ugly, it would have been a completely different book.

In addition to that, it complicates things.  Joshua even says it himself:

“You are hot.”  She blushed as she said it, and warmth spread through him.

“Thanks, beauty.  I’m glad you think so.”  He was teasing and she got it, grinning at him.  “But people look at me the same way they would if I were deformed.”  He saw her mouth open in protest and continued, talking over her objection.  “See, they’re responding to something unusual about the way I look.  I’m not above using it to get my way.  In my line of work, it’s dangerous because people remember my face, especially women.  Makes it hard to hide.”

Think about all the ways we judge by looks.  Good-looking people are often treated as if they are better than they are and may become spoiled as a result.  Some of them hate it; they feel their skills and ability aren’t taken seriously because of their looks.  Average-looking people may resent the beautiful ones, especially if they think the person is coasting on his or her physical attributes.  And they may be jealous.

Could that be why certain members of Scotland Yard don’t like him? 

Could that be why certain members of Scotland Yard don’t like him?

Image:  benedictcumberbatch.co.uk

This is definitely true for women.  We seem to take the brunt of this stereotype—if a woman is beautiful, she doesn’t need or can’t possibly have any brains.  Of course, that isn’t true, but your character could fall prey to the same notion.  A female character might have to work harder to prove herself than a male one in certain professional situations.  Your male character’s kryptonite could be his outdated attitude toward the gorgeous colleague who saves his bacon (or the sexy villain he thinks he can outsmart).

There’s also the danger of making a character good-looking for the sake of it, as with a Mary Sue or Gary Stu.  Let’s face it; the vast majority of people don’t measure up to Hollywood standards.  Most of us are average.  A protagonist who is too good to be true loses something important for readers—they won’t relate to him/her.

Mary sue

Image:  webpages.shepherd.edu

Let’s talk now about unattractive characters.  Unattractive girls are called dogs, or worse.  It’s a tired old trope that the guy will always go for the hot girl, and if you have an ugly duckling character, she better transform herself before he takes her to the prom, because if not, that would be social suicide.

Guys suffer just as much, especially during adolescence.  In our society, it’s on them to initiate most romantic encounters.  How hard is that, even for a good-looking guy?  Imagine your character trying to do it when he looks in the mirror and hates what he sees.

If the person has a deformity, or perceives himself to have one (like Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon), then that will change how he reacts to other people.  We telegraph our inner thoughts about ourselves in subtle ways, and they treat us accordingly.

Think about how that happens.  How can you show that a character has these thoughts, especially if you don’t get inside his head?

  •  Dialogue:  You could have the character use straightforward, self-deprecating language, such as “Oh, nobody will go out with a lard-ass like me.”
  •  Mannerisms (next post!):  Confident people move with authority, carry their heads high and shoulders back, and look people straight in the eye.  Your self-hating character may shuffle, avoid eye contact, and have poor posture, as though he is trying to hide.
  •  Reactions of other characters:  Think about someone you know who has a poor opinion of himself.  How do you feel when you’re around that person?  Do you get irritated with him when he makes remarks like the one above?  Do you feel pity for him and overcompensate to help him out?
Nobody feel sorry for Hulk.  Hulk smash!

Nobody feel sorry for Hulk.  Hulk smash!

Image:  comicbook.com

If you’re tempted to make your character resemble your dream man or woman, take time to consider why.  Try to brainstorm—would it make your story more interesting if the character were average, or even unattractive?

Not A-Z because K is for Krazy

Things are a bit crazy today, so I will have to put off my K post until tomorrow.  But no worries; I’ll get it done.  Today I had to clean the house because I won’t have time to do it tomorrow.  And this happened:

treefall

TIIIIMMBERRR!!!

Yeah, I actually yelled that.  Had to.  Not apologizing.

The sweet gum tree was dropping those evil alien gumballs on my neighbor’s driveway (and heaving it up with the roots) so it had to go.   That’s a screenshot I snipped from a video I took.

Now I have a thing with some people at a place.  But I will be back tomorrow with my K post.  Happy Saturday!

Character: H is for Happiness

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

H is for Happiness.

Most people think of happiness as an end result.  However, it can actually be something that happens along the journey.  Think of all the advice people give regarding happiness.

 You must be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else.

 Enjoy the small things.

 Take time every day to be grateful.

 Remember those who helped you and give back twice what you got.

Lots of good advice, but how often do people heed it?  Complications wrought by the pursuit of happiness make good fodder for stories and for character development.

Is your character relatively happy with her life?  If not, why not?  What motivates her to be happy?  Think about what a person needs to reach this state of being.  It will vary between each one.  If a character is not happy, and you offer her the means to be that way, to what ends will she go to achieve it?  Is that the goal for this character, or will she find it on the way to something else?

A character may seek happiness by pursuing a specific thing.  But maybe you could have her go after something she thinks will make her happy (like monetary success), only to find out that it is a complete lie, and she finds it by being honest with herself.

 Or not.  

Or not.

 Image:  Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some people enjoy being miserable all the time.   How many of us have been suckered into helping a whiny friend or relative repeatedly, because nothing seems to get any better? They may use it to control others—making them miserable too, eliciting sympathy or even tangible goods and services from them.

Maybe they like the drama misery brings.  Their lives are pretty good, but adversity brings attention.  If they don’t have any, they manufacture some.

They may hide in misery.  Fear of change, or of taking a risk at being happy and crashing to the ground in flames, they prefer to stay where they are.  The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, right?

The first major conflict in the story will affect your character’s happiness level.  He may be pretty content at the start, but when he runs headlong into a huge change, he’ll have to choose a path.  Will it be the safe one, or the dangerous one?  Which will bring him closer to his goal, or help him achieve it?  Will he be able to return to his previous content state, or will things change so much that he’ll have to accept a new normal?

 @DrJohnWatson tweeted:  Really just want a nice, quiet cuppa with my sweetheart and my best mate and—oh bloody hell.  Bring on the danger.  #addictedtoacertainlifestyle 

@DrJohnWatson tweeted:  Really just want a nice, quiet cuppa with my sweetheart and my best mate and—oh bloody hell.  Bring on the danger.  #addictedtoacertainlifestyle

 Image:  primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk

(WARNING: Don’t click the image link if you haven’t seen Sherlock: Series 3 yet.)

If he’s miserable, try shoving something terrific at him and watch him squirm.  Decide where you want your character to begin.  Then you can mess with his life in all sorts of ways.  Muwahaha, writing is fun!