My name is Dan Leicht, Daniel for short, and each and every day I ask myself “Am I doing enough?”
No matter what your dream, your hobbies, work, you might be asking yourself the same thing. There is a whole world full of social media opportunities that some have used successfully, while others use that mindset to sell you the chance to be successful too.
What about the writers? I want a lit room and a mug filled with black coffee. Maybe it’s a means to escape. One of my characters I tend to write the most stories about is Charles Splints. He can do anything. He’s immortal, at least in the sense that a fictitious character can live on forever. The things he is able to do in his world go beyond what is offered to the average person. He can drink more than any man without getting drunk. He can fight off ten men and shake off a bullet wound. I can’t do any of those things. Drinking as much as he does would have me in the hospital, same with facing off against a group of ten men, and shaking off bullet wounds I’m sure isn’t something anyone does. Where did Charles Splints come from?
He first showed up in Blissfire in a story titled Losing Focus on Reality. The story collection was one I self-published in 2012. In his story Charles Splints was a man that’s spent so much time away from the world he’d forgotten who he used to be.
Since this story I’ve taken to Smashwords to bring Splints back. I write him now as someone taking each day without a care in the world to his own life. He’s taking cases from every day people and putting everything on the line to make them feel safe.
Splints is an escape I’ve found from the daily grind. He’s getting assignments that pertain to what he loves doing, ones he looks forward to, much like I see myself seeking writing assignments. I’m sitting in a recliner with a laptop on my lap and a red mug of black coffee next to me as Splints is out there putting himself in danger. I’m sipping French Roast while he’s walking away unscathed from a bar fight.
Through writing each of the stories included in Blissfire I kept learning more about what I really wanted. The title story White Abyss is about a young writer who moves to New York City to chase his writing career. This is something maybe all aspiring writers think about, the move to the big city where anything can happen. The last story in the collection continues on the notion of a writer risking everything for their craft. The last story is titled Dark Red Abyss. In this story the writer is living in a very cheap apartment with nothing more than a desk, a chair, and a laptop he’d bought before the move to the city. The rest of the world just falls away as he sits there all day writing. The only time he would go outside would be to sell poems for a dollar to tourists in order to pay his rent. I also know how crazy it sounds to be able to afford an apartment in NYC only selling dollar poems, but that’s not the point of the story, and it’s also a really crappy apartment, like the one I’ll probably end up living in when my roommate moves to his new job in another state.
Regardless of what form of art you use to express yourself you’re creating another a character. You’re creating someone who is able to escape the world the second they pick up the paintbrush, touch the keys of the piano, or start typing up a new story. You get lost in your art and the worries of the world fall away. It’s a beautiful gift to be interested in creating; to have an escape from the everyday and be able to create something out of nothing. Keep creating, because I’d love to see what you can dream up next.