The Three Hundred Nineteenth Post: The One Where I Give Credit Where Credit Is Due…

The reason why I call the main category “The Background Chatter In My Head” is because it’s precisely that: it’s what I’m writing in my head, even when I should be concentrating on other things…like cooking, laundry or driving.  Sometimes, there is an idea or a concept that’s in my head that runs around for a while.  This one is going to show up in a couple of my works: the vampire story I’ve been blathering about for a while, and another one which I might discuss later — it’s a take on a very popular Biblical tale.

The concept is the idea of a mentor.  Now, when we thing of a mentor, we tend to think of people who have been instrumental in helping us understand the world and our place in it. Mine are Leslie Dressler and Amanda Hillard-Beam.  These two women have been central in me becoming the writer I am trying to be today.  They have been kind, generous with their wisdom and their time.  They are a sterling example of a good mentor.

What if the mentor wasn’t so good?  What if the mentor seemed to have something against the pupil?  What if your mentor said flat-out that they would not help you, threw a beer bottle at you and said to scram?

What if your mentor was bad?

It doesn’t seem to make sense.  A mentor should at least not want their student to die — even if that’s what it would take to get through their thick skull.  Mentors in TV, stage and cinema were at the very least cranky drunkards who bullied and shoved their student to education and then tell them ‘you had it in you all along’.  They may be crass, but at least they had their student’s best interests at heart.  We have at the other end of the spectrum: the noble and wise teacher, gently pushing their student past their limits with gentle encouragement (or in the case of the Star Wars series, where the notion of mentor was cemented in my young brain) and ultimately stepping aside (or getting a lightsaber jammed in their bellies) to give the student the chance to fly on their own.

The idea of a mentor doing harm isn’t a new one, I know that, but I’m just turning the idea around in my head as what the vampire could be to our protagonist as first, but he’s been a vampire for so long, he might forget (or is he?) that his student is a little bit on the squishy side.  While it’s not actively trying to kill him, but he is certainly making our pseudo-Harker remember the lessons.  While it’s not necessarily a bad mentor, I would certainly hope he grades on a curve.

The other bad mentor I was thinking of is nothing more than the Devil himself.  Him being a harmful mentor is really par for the course.  The notion I am having deals with something that has bugged me for a while: what happened to Abel after he died.  I can see all the theology students raising their hands and stamping their feet for attention (yes, I know that he went to ‘the Bosom of Abraham’ and if you’re a Catholic, he was carried up to Heaven by Jesus during the Harrowing, but that’s not my point).  However, I am not going to let facts get in the way of a good story.  The idea is that Abel discovers a new world after death, and runs into something that is called It-That-Is which enslaves the spirits of the dead.  Abel needs help, and the only one that can help him is Morningstar (try not to call him that, it brings up bad memories).  Obviously, there will be bad blood between the two from that whole Fruit Incident, but there is nowhere else that Abel can go for help.  This is an idea that isn’t going to be worked on for a while because I want to this to an epic series along the lines of “A Song of Fire and Ice” or “The Dark Tower”.  So, there may be notes here and there.

Well, that’s it for now.  I wanted to give some heartfelt thanks to my mentors — who may or may not want to do me harm — and talk about something else in my head.  Thanks for reading and I hope you have a pleasant evening.


Seething Apathy