Hello! Some of you guys may know me from the PD message board as Ximena. If you do, you may have seen me mention my "soap," In/Exhale, which I've been writing for about twenty years. Yes, you read that correctly.
After sharing bits of it with some of the girls from the board, I've decided it was time to share it with more of the dev community, so here I am. I'm currently working on several dev novels for publication, but I thought it might be nice to share this project with you guys since I can't really share those other stories just yet!!
I call this a soap because it follows one character, Kai (Taylor) Fox over the course of his life, along with some of his friends and acquaintances that come and go as the story progresses. Like a soap, it can tend toward melodrama at times and doesn't have a firm "beginning" or "end"; the story just keeps going.
It was difficult for me to decide when to start the story, which I started writing in probably about 1995. Finally, I settled on beginning in August 2000, which seemed like a good place to begin, as that's when the "current" storyline really kicks off and it marks a significant turning point in Kai's life. So I've decided to go back and rewrite starting with this period in Kai's life, fleshing out missing pieces and making it a bit easier read on everyone.
The original concept behind the soap were diary entries, fictional journals from the three major characters' perspectives (Kai, Jon, and Becca at the time), but eventually this evolved into third person as my writing skills developed and more characters were introduced. However, I kept the "date" format of the original story, so each portion is dated: for example, July 4, 2007, with the events in the story taking place on that particular date.
I'm hoping I'll be able to use Blogger's date feature to backdate to the actual date of the entry as much as possible, although as I tend to be verbose, and some entries will be pretty long even if they all occur on one day, I may not be able to do this. I'll always be sure to include the date in the title and the top of the entry, though, to try to keep things straight, even if I can't use the dating feature the way I'd like.
I also may skip ahead a bit, then go back, depending on how things go. I've been spending most of my time lately with the characters in 2007 and 2008, so it's been a bit of an adventure to go all the way back to 2000, where I've been rewriting to fill in plot holes, make sure you guys are caught up on the backstory, and make it a bit more readable since I'm a much better writer today than I was back then!
I do want you all to remember a few things about this soap:
1- Because of its very nature (and the fact that I've been writing this story for decades!), In/Exhale is complicated - and even though I've started off at a turning point in Kai's life, there is still 20+ years of backstory. I'm going to do my best to include as much information as I can to keep you interested and informed without being too boring or confusing, so I hope you'll bear with me and I'll do my best to answer questions in the comments as much as possible.
2- This was something that I've always written instead of journal writing; it's been a personal experience for me, a way to express my emotions and that creative element, not to mention my devness, so sharing this is a HUGE step for me.
3- I call it affectionately a soap because it can be melodramatic at times (plus the story is continuous). I will admit that I like a good dose of melodrama (not in everything, but in certain things). So if you're looking for 100% pure realism 100% of the time, then this isn't the story for you. In other words, be willing to suspend some disbelief from time to time!!
4- The two main diseases (MLS and FS) are fictional, but I have tried my best (especially more recently, as my medical knowledge has grown) to represent everything (including other diseases and disabilities, medications, etc.) as accurately as possible. I obviously will take liberties (see points #1 and #2), but I feel like the stories are more vivid with realistic elements, not to mention that in doing so I open up other possible conflicts and stories.
You can read my faux-Wikipedia entries for the two diseases if you'd like to learn more about them (beyond what you get in the story itself) below, or simply use them for reference at any time! (You don't have to read these to enjoy the story, but they're there if you'd like to edumacate yourself.)
5- As I mentioned in point #1, this was always something I did instead of journal writing, so I've done my best to tie everything to actual dates. Stories will follow a date format (such as July 4, 2007).
(DEEP BREATH). :o
Dive in: August 21, 2000, Part 1