Love and Death and Love Again

I think about death a lot. Not mine, so much, because there’s little point in that. I try to eat well, exercise, look both ways before crossing the street, that sort of thing. Beyond that, we’re all basically at the mercy of fate, and stressing over when my time will be up won’t change the ticking of the clock. I still think about it a lot, though.

I think a lot about love, too. The love between a parent and a child, between siblings, between lovers lucky enough to find each other in a great big world full of so many different individuals. How love can divide but also unite. How its grace can fill our lives with happiness, from the most mundane interactions to the most life-changing.

I also think about love and death together. How one can make the other sweet or terrifying, and how that can go either way, for both. Because I think so much and so often about death and love, they come up again and again in my writing. Sometimes, their place is blatant in a story, sometimes not. I think the former applies to my latest “Finding Mister Wright” short:

“Thirty-Nine”
Another “Finding Mister Wright” story
(PDF will open in a new window; ~2800 words/9 pages DS)

I can’t always explain why I write the stories I do, but this one – looking at aging, love, and death – came to me as I spied a “Frozen”-themed birthday cake in a bakery window and thought about the kids who won’t have another birthday, this year.

I don’t apologize for where this story goes, for the love or the death, because I like to think both make us stronger, in their own ways and eventually. Whether you read the story or not, and whether you agree with me or not, keep in mind the significance of love and death in your own lives, both the fantastic ones you put to the page and the true one you build around you.

How has love or death affected your stories?

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19 thoughts on “Love and Death and Love Again

    • Thanks, JSM!
      I see from your own blog that you post a lot of stories, too. I’ll have to check them out. 🙂

      Thanks again for stopping by, and happy reading – and writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ‘you’re already doing that’ heh! A good husband never stops teasing, ever, not for a second.

    This was kind of a weird thing to read this morning because I had a dream last night where my brother had died awhile back. It’s not like I dream about that kind of thing a lot. Must be psychic wavelengths I picked up from you

    Really nice story, though! The domestic stuff is so sweet. And I don’t know why, but locked door husbands blow-job is way hotter than it should be?? I just love married couples so much @w@ And I love Rob and his domestic happy life. I have a character who’s quite a bit like him, actually, so reading about Rob always makes me want to write or draw Sam.

    Thanks for the great read!

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    • Thanks, jb!
      Sorry you are dealing with those dreams. But, you may be right about those psychic waves, because this last week has been hard. I needed to take refuge with these characters. Even though their stories aren’t without their pain, sometimes, being able to write their smiles and loves brightens my own world a little bit.

      Thanks for reading!

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  2. Another great story. I like it when stories are able to put themed like love and death into perspective. As cliche as it is, they make you value what’s important.

    Writing love scenes and death scenes are difficult for me. I think I’m afraid to be direct and blatant about what happens. It’s like I want to romanticize the ideals. But sometimes, it doesn’t work and it just needs to be shared.

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    • Thanks, George. I remember hearing once that cliches are cliches because they’re true. I think that applies very well to the idea of death and love putting each other into perspective.

      Sometimes, direct and blatant doesn’t work for the voice or tone of the story, and that’s absolutely valid. I’ve tried to come at both of them both ways, and sometimes they fit while other times they don’t. Subtlety and indirect implication can be just as effective as vivid and visceral. Work with whichever you’re most comfortable, because everybody’s voice will find an audience eventually.

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  3. Sounds like it’s been a rough week across the world. Or at least a week for introspective.

    Ah, love and death, two of my favorite subjects. They are two things everyone understands, has (or will) experience at least once in life, and are probably the two most talked-about experiences in art or media. Of course, judging by what I have written on the subjects, I could also be quite jaded, who’s to say. And if it’s true, that love always brings death in the end, then we have to make sure it’s worth the ride.

    Your new little story is warm and very comforting, but it is also grounded and I like the shift in Rob’s view of love and his life after he gets the news about Richie. Something like that really shows where a person’s priories are. Or at least, where they should be.

    Great work!

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    • I hope your week has gotten better, shade.

      Another commenter mentioned how the topics of love and death are cliche, but I think that’s because they’re so universal to everyone. I enjoy looking at both topics, probably for many of the same reasons other people do: their near-endless permutations add so much vibrancy and immediacy to our lives. You are exactly right about what I wanted to show with this story. Even when love or death doesn’t affect us directly, it can change the way we view our own lives.

      Thanks for reading!

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  4. This is a good subject to dwell on, Mayumi. I like to write about the extremes of human emotion. It’s not enough for me to write about relationships that are safe, stable. I like testing my characters. Or perhaps they’re the ones testing me?

    Love and death are rarely straightforward, in life and in fiction. Both can go in many directions and carry different meanings. Death doesn’t have to be about the end of a life. It can be the end of a relationship, for instance. The same with love. Love and death are powerful because they make us question ourselves, or life in general. Fiction (or any art form) is a great place to explore the territories of love and death. Oftentimes, what we find is totally unexpected.

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    • Thanks, Kate. I often wonder if my writing is influenced too much by what I read, which tends to be noir-ish murder/mystery stories, these days…except that I’ve noticed, the more I put characters through, the closer I feel to them, and the more rewarding the resolutions they find. You’re right that the endings are not always happy or what we want them to be, either for reality or for fiction, but the journey of following the paths that develop certainly make for an interesting existence, on the page or off of it.

      Thanks for stopping in!

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      • I totally do that! When I was reading Hunger Games, I wanted to write my own dystopian novel, lol. I learned to read different genres from what I’m writing, so that I know what I’m writing comes from me, not from a book I happen to be enjoying. It’s hard though, especially if there are only a couple of genres you like!

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  5. This is one area where my cosmic twin (Kate 😉 ) and I differ. I find writing about relationships to be so difficult, and I avoid them where possible—especially difficult ones like death or betrayal. But even a scene showing love (and I don’t mean sex scenes) can be hard for me.

    But even though I’m not very good at writing them, I agree with Kate that fiction is a great place to explore them—and to offer both the writer and reader new perspectives on them.

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    • With so much respect, JM, I disagree: even if you don’t think you’re writing about relationships in a traditional sense, the camaraderie and love – and admiration, suspicion, fear, and so many other emotions – come through between your characters, in their dialogue and actions. I’ve always felt Meghan’s bonds with her friends and family come off the page, without you spelling them out; I felt the same with Kat and her team. Maybe it’s just your style that you downplay those more intimate relationships between friends (or enemies) because they’re almost unconscious for the characters involved, and the cast simply accepts the friendships and rivalries, and focus instead on the mystery or danger at hand. I see your protags as a Nick/Nora type: we can tell she loves whom she loves and dislikes who’s on her hit list because she just exudes those feelings in her actions and words. We don’t need to be told “She loved him,” or “She despised him.” I see that as a great sense of storytelling. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I feel like what I experience filters into my fiction. Sometimes the things I cannot fix in my own life I somehow fix on the page. What I cannot process, sometimes my characters can. 🙂

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  7. Oh Mayumi, your story is wonderful. The depth of emotion, the descriptive element to your writing continuously leaves me in awe. I’ve got your book and will be opening it soon! Only a few ahead on my tbr list. Hehehe.

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    • Thanks, Neeks. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. I do love writing these stories, but I appreciate even more when I get to share them, and other people get to join in the love. 🙂

      That’s the thing I really like about physical books – they can’t accidentally get erased, I don’t have to stop reading when the battery wears down, and I can fall asleep with it in my hands without worrying about rolling onto it in the middle of the night! (Though, I do hope my stories don’t put anyone to sleep!)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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