by Wilfred Bereswill
I’ve been in a sour mood lately. Beside the cold that suddenly crashed down on me last night, there’s the drama of my day job that has been going on for over six months now. Some or all of you know I work as an Environmental Engineer for Anheuser-Busch. Opps, I mean A-B Inbev. The deal is done. I now work for the biggest brewer and the 3rd largest consumer products group in the world. Problem is, I don’t know how long I’ll be working for them. The axe is poised and ready to lop off a large number of employees. The have to eliminate 1 ½ Billion dollars in operating cost over the next three years to pay back some of their debt. YES, that’s BILLION with a “B.” So it may not be a very happy holiday season. Not only that, but every day we hear another rumor and a different date for D-Day. In fact, as I write this, my wife returned from her bible study and informed me that she heard that 800 people will be laid off tomorrow.
I’ll survive. I’m not writing this in a plea for sympathy. The bigger problem is that this six month drama has pretty much sucked the creativity right out of me. I sit in front of the keyboard trying to finish a story I started over a year ago and my mind wanders to how I’m going to make a living and keep my family going. As much as I’d like to dream about it, making a living off my writing is not realistic right now. It won’t pay the mortgage, the car payments, college tuition, the utilities... Well, you get the picture.
So, two nights ago I decided to kill a bunch of people.
Relax. I finally finished a scene I’ve been trying to write for a while. I told myself to just do it. In two nights I wrote 5,000 words. I would have continued tonight, but I had a talk to give to the St. Louis Writers Guild.
The body count isn’t in just yet, but a number of FBI agents and a bunch of bad guys are now statistics. The scene starts with my antagonist trying to sell a deadly virus to a terrorist cell. Bad guys doing business with bad guys. I figured not a lot of trusting goes on there. Would you trust a bunch of terrorists to hand over 5 million dollars for a package that could easily be faked with no real way of verifying the authenticity? I wouldn’t. So it took a lot of thought to figure out how to make this work.
Throwing in the FBI complicates matters even more. You’ll all have to wait to read the finished product, but I’m pretty darned happy with the way this is working out. The next scene will find my Protagonist, FBI Agent Laura Daniels captured by my antagonist and her savior turns out to be a person she’d never expect. Plus a main character may be taking his last breath.
So, I found that killing people can bring me out of a funk. What do you do when you find yourself mired in depressing thoughts?