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Hello everyone, this is your host, Jaime Buckley, and this is Life of Fiction, Episode #5…..
I saw a special opportunity this week, and seized the moment…
It’s not that special…
While forming the outline for the first book in the Chronicles of a Hero series, I talked a bit about the protagonist, Wendell P. Dipmier, in a recent article. It was important to me to share a little of why he was chosen to be the hero of these books.
I’d like to know that myself, to be completely honest.
So before Wendell starts his adventure on LifeOfFiction.com, I asked him to join me today for a cup of coffee and a simple interview. Perhaps answer a few questions that would interest readers.
You’re setting them up for disappointment…
IF I can get him to cooperate.
Oh, I’ll cooperate. I just don’t know what you expect of me, Jaime? I haven’t done anything yet. And if YOU are perfectly honest, you don’t know how well I’m going to do, either!
I have a pretty good idea…trust me, alright? All this is supposed to be is a simple interview, so the listeners get to know you a bit. Hopefully they’ll get a better idea, if this is a story they’ll want to follow.
So this is a marketing tactic?
No. Well, maybe? I was thinking of this as just a bit of fun, actually.
Marketing is fun?
Well, no. I’m referring to spending a little time with you. Having a chat, exchanging a few ideas and getting to know one another better. Is…that alright with you?
Sure. Sounds good. So,…are you the voice in MY head,…or am I the voice in YOURS?
Well one of us isn’t real. Who’s the fake?
Neither of us is fake…and we’re sitting in a coffee shop, surrounded by perfectly happy people.
Perfectly happy to ignore us.
Why would that even matter? You’re real to me.
Then I’m the fictional character and you’re mentally unstable. So much so, your hallucinations are loud enough for people to hear on a podcast?
How did this get off track?
Mentally unstable people aren’t usually ON track, Jaime.
Wait. Hold on. I’m not having this conversation with you.
So we’re not doing this podcast?
I mean I’m not going to argue with you. Okay, fine. Let’s do this as two fictional people, in a fictional coffee shop, where everything is completely ‘normal’.
Says the unstable one…
I just want listeners and readers to get to know you a bit better. To get a feel for your personality, and maybe get a glimpse of what kind of adventures you’re likely to have.
Something you already know about, huh?
Maybe. Trust me, you’ll be fine.
No spoilers. If you stay true to who you are and you’re open to learning from your experiences, no matter what they may be, you’ll always be fine in the end. You’ll learn and grow. That’s not a spoiler — that’s life.
Huh. Okay, I’ll buy that.
Thought you might.
I have some questions I’d like to ask. All you have to do is answer honestly, okay?
How would you describe yourself?
*Sigh* Well, if I were to rate myself on a scale, I’d probably give myself a 4.5 on looks. Maybe a 5 on a good day?
Just a 5?
Well I always hear girls rating themselves as a 9 or 10. Everyone seems to think they’re hot. People full of themselves, but I just…feel average. I don’t wear designer clothes, my hair is wavy but not styled, and my nose has been broken more times that I care to remember.
I’m wiry, but pretty strong. Not athletic but fit enough to be of use. I like helping people. Doing things for folks they can’t do for themselves. Always enjoyed working in the handicapped class in middle school, and volunteered at the retirement center on holidays.
What’s wrong with average, anyway?
Not a thing.
Brown hair, brown eyes, and less than six months away from my 18th birthday. That’s about it.
Can you share some insight into your early life and upbringing? How have your experiences shaped your personality and worldview?
Wow. Formal question. Uhh… grew up youngest of seven kids. Four sisters, two brothers, all married and moved away. Always wished we’d been closer, but life, right?
Mom and dad were amazing. Great people.
Then mom decided to go see my Nana in Oakland, California, and on the way home, fell asleep at the wheel.
It…broke my dad when she died.
And I get that.
She was the center of our universe.
After she died, none of us were the same, and I kinda faded from everyone’s world, I guess.
What? I…don’t understand what you mean, Wendell.
We all deal with pain in our own ways, right? My siblings had their own families to fall back on. Dad used work and drowned himself in that. I thought that he would turn to me, but…ya-know.
Needs to cope how he can, I guess.
…anyway. Sorry, probably not the answer you were looking for. Dad and I don’t talk much. I’m kind of an afterthought.
I just hurt for him.
Get up each day, keep moving, breathe in and out. It’s what we do. Waiting for the hole that mom left to hurt a little less.
I have school, and my best friend Evan Matthews to help me cope. Known him since we were two and he moved in next door. He has amazing parents. Always been there for me, but more so when my mom passed.
I appreciate that.
As for my world view…the world sucks.
People are selfish and just about everyone and everything around us encourages that selfishness.
I don’t believe life is really this hard. We make it that way. And I say that because we had really hard times as a family, but my mom always chose to be happy.
She always refused to be happy later. She wanted and chose to be happy all the time, and loved people along the way.
She always smiled.
She was always kind to others, no matter how they treated her.
How did that affect the way you look at life?
I’ve thought a lot about some of the things she taught me when I was younger. And I think the world can be a better place than it is — but too many people are scared to stand up and do things on purpose, with purpose.
She made me want to be more.
To be the kind of person who can stand up, even if it’s only long enough to give someone else the courage to stand up too.
I’m finding out that’s harder than I thought.
You have to be okay with yourself. Being flawed. Cause people are going to fixate on those flaws and use them as weapons against you. But if you accept those flaws, not as absolutes, but as you right now, with the option to change over time…those weapons lose most of their sting.
Huh. That’s insightful for a 17 year old.
Mom and dad didn’t raise stupid kids.
I can see that.
What are your current dreams and aspirations? Is there something specific you're striving to achieve or a goal you're working towards?
A car would be great. A girlfriend would be even better, but I won’t hold my breath. Honestly, I’m not sure. My life isn’t what I thought it would be…and most days, I wish I could just get out of here.
Run away and start over.
Another question: Are there individuals or stories that inspire you?
I’m a huge fantasy buff. I know it’s not real life, but I love things like Dragonlance, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, movies like Big Trouble in Little China (one of dads favorites) and I used to enjoy comic books. That is, until Disney destroyed it all with Marvel.
In real life, I’d say my dad has always been my hero until mom died.
Then there’s my buddy, Evan.
Guy’s the real deal. Tough, but kind, smart, the girls love him…he’s built like a tank and is willing to come to anyone’s rescue. Zero fear.
Literally a hero.
Yeah, I’d like to be him when I grow up, heh.
What obstacles have you encountered in your life so far?
Yeah. I think people want to know.
This is messed up, Jaime. I mean, look at me. I’ve been a perpetual punching bag since I could walk. And no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get on the other side of that fist coming towards my face.
No — don’t. I get that look, because it’s the look people who just can’t believe things like this happen, give me all the time.
But I’ve been in the room with my own siblings when we used to play family games during their visits. Things, situations that come up in conversations, where our parents had no idea of what was going on. No clue that their kids were picked on, or snuck out at night, or were abused…because it didn’t happen on their watch.
But kids aren’t always ON your watch.
We have to figure out how to survive.
How to play the game…whatever version is being played when we show up. That forces us to adapt, to adjust, to compromise, and many times to just take the hits — because if we do anything else, it gets worse.
How would you like to affect change in that aspect of your life?
I’d like the ability and power to stand my ground for once. To stand up to a bully — any bully — and not have to get pounded into the ground just for thinking about resisting. To plant my feet and be able to say "NO," not just for myself, but for people like me.
For people NOT like me, who have it even worse than I do.
Because this is wrong.
No matter how you look at it, this crap part of life is just plain wrong.
One of my closest friends once said ‘You can get through life much easier with a kind word and a bat, than a kind word alone.’
Heh, I believe him.
Nothing. Last question. Is there a part of you that yearns for something greater or more exciting in your life?
Duh. Don’t my answers scream that?
If I could wave some magic wand, I’d wish for the chance to fix some of the mistakes I’ve made in my life so far. And honestly, except for hanging out with Evan, I just don’t want to be here anymore.
Living here, being a high school speed bump, isn’t living.
It’s just existing.
There has to be more out there,…somewhere.
But I’m convinced at this point that the universe hates me.
…or I’m it’s comic relief.
Trying to keep my head down, but Jeffrey keeps finding me.
My nemesis. Has been since grade school, and the older we get, the worse the encounters. I’d like to serve him something he deserves, and then skip town and never come back.
That would be a perfect day.
Well, I’ll talk to the universe and see what I can do for you.
Seriously. I get the bully garbage. I really do.
Thank you! I’d appreciate that.
You kept your end of the bargain, and I appreciate this conversation, Wendell.
For those listening, thank you for joining our conversation, and I’d like to encourage you to sign up for our weekly newsletter over at Life of Fiction dot com.
We’ll see you next time, and remember…You are more than you think you are!