“That Old Familiar Feeling”
C. Derick Miller – Head Writer
Your Stories on Video
There are some of you who only know me through what you’ve read here on Your Stories on Video from my weekly blogs. Yes, I spend my time conducting interviews and composing scripts for the narrator, but that’s nothing compared to how my writing career began. It’s not even in the same ballpark. Heck, it’s not even the same sport or taking place on the same planet! As with everything in our world, there is a flip side.
Let’s go back to the beginning…
It was pointed out to me in middle school that I had a gift for writing. When asked if I would lend my talents to the school newspaper, I politely declined. It was the mid 80’s, you see, and the only people who did things like that were nerds. I had a cool mullet and a closet full of rock and roll t shirts. Let’s not forget the faded denim jacket. Writing for a newspaper would’ve stripped me of my cool points and I still had a few years to go before graduation. I needed all the help I could get.
There are some who say my creative writing continued into high school, but I don’t remember any of it. Old friends who’ve contacted me since I decided to pour everything I had into my life as a wordsmith have reminded me I helped them pass English on more than one occasion. I’ll just have to take their word for it because those memories have obviously been overwritten by 80’s hair band lyrics or something else I deemed useful. I honestly don’t recall putting pen to paper creatively during those years unless it was to make up a dirty limerick about one of my classroom buddies. Remember, writers are nerds, and I wasn’t.
It was the year 2002 when I was handed a copy of a book titled “The Language of Fear” by Del James. I’d been searching for this novel for quite a while, but the internet was in its infancy stage, and I don’t believe Amazon was a thing. If it was, I wasn’t worthy of a credit card back then, so it didn’t matter. I read that book in one sitting, woke up the following morning, and wrote my first short story. It had begun, and it was time to come to grips with the fact I was probably a nerd.
The writing continued…
To skip ahead a bit, I was first published in a Dallas goth culture magazine in 2007. Many years and novels later, I’ve been featured in the Splatterpunk Anthology of the Year and my name is known in certain circles all over the world. Luckily, over the last decade or so, the term ‘nerd’ has been associated with ultimate acceptance. I don’t know whether to blame the mainstream success of Star Wars or Marvel, but nerds are the new cool kids. I don’t believe anyone knows how to work on cars anymore, grows mullets, or smokes cigarettes in high school bathrooms. Society considers this to be a good thing, I guess. Too bad the music is horrible!
Long story short (pun may or may not be intended), I write just as much fiction as I do fact, and I prefer the darker parts of that genre. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, when I’m not pecking away on the scripts to the movies of your lives, I’m coming up with all kinds of monster stories about ghosts, demons, skin walkers, and werewolves. Some people think I’m quite good at it, too!
So today, I sit in my writing chair for the first time in exactly a year to pen a story I won’t go into too much detail about. I promised my loyal followers I’d reveal the synopsis and prologue on my fiction writing website this coming weekend and a know a few of them follow this blog as well. Let’s just say it’s not, well…normal. It’s dark and creepy and it’ll take me places that I absolutely love to go. To tell the truth, it feels a bit strange to be visiting some of my old characters again.
When I am in this chair, I am the ultimate authority. I am all powerful. Not to put too much of a sacrilegious spin on it, but I am god to the characters I’ve created. I decide whether they live or die. I own every aspect of their world and can do as I please. I make the rules and I can break them midway through the story if I like. It all belongs to me. This is not so much of a luxury when I’m writing about a client’s life for their on camera interviews. It’s night and day. The Batman syndrome of all chosen careers. The life of a fiction writer.
Even though it’s been a year since I’ve pressed the keys in a more fictional sense, I can feel that old familiar mindset sneaking up on me again, as though it never left. I tried with all my might for months to ignore it, but there it sat in waiting, just inside the mirror or around the corner. No matter how much we try to tip toe around it or avoid it altogether, we can’t deny who we truly are. I have always been a writer since the seventh grade and possibly longer. No matter how long I grew my hair or how loud I listened to my music, I was still a writer in waiting. Today, no matter how long it’s been since I typed the words “The End” on my previous work, I am still a writer. It’s taken decades, but I’ve finally come to grips with who I am. It actually feels kind of good.
Who are you? No, I don’t mean your name or where you come from. Who are you really? Besides being someone’s son or daughter, or someone’s parent or grandparent, who are you deep down inside? Here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! Did you ever have the opportunity to follow that dream you kept inside or is it still in there, locked away, waiting for the exact moment to break free and show the whole world your full potential? Did it ever make you famous or was it something you did for your own personal satisfaction? The movie of your life cannot be made without revealing the deepest parts of who you are. We’re waiting for you to open that door, invite us in, and let us peruse the wares of your true personality.
Can’t you hear us knocking?
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