So, I am not going to be trying to say that I'm the biggest fan of Bowie, or King, or whoever, so before y'all get on your high horse and your soap box, just don't, children.
But yesterday, that was a big loss for everyone, and it got me thinking about my influences. There are so many things that influence us when we're children (the rest of you will realize that when you grow up) that you don't really comprehend until later in life. My mother was one of my biggest supporters all the time, and let me tell you, I was not an easy child to raise. I never fit in, I was the alien in my hometown. Small town, redneck, podunk, inbred. That's the image you should have. One traffic light and the high school football games were the highlight of the year.
I didn't like that. I was a sci-fi nerd, all forms, horror nut, and a beach bum some 200 miles inland. Yeah, life for me was that of the outcast. I didn't care. I could escape. I was able to be who I wanted.
Back on track, though. It was from my mother who (probably insane of her) let me read Stephen King: "Salem's Lot" and "The Gunslinger" and "It" and "Christine" starting at the age of 12. Most people were reading Harry Potter, I was... not. It didn't slow down. Still hasn't. Star Wars is always second to the universe of King. Though, NJO with the Vong and their darkness was perfect.
That influences a lot of how I WANT to write. Dark, macabre, the world is ending around the characters. Nothing is forever, and there is very little happiness. And when it does arrive, its only temporary. Where I want to go, and who I am, dark, an nerf herder, and distant, are the only things that drive me, but who I was, what I learned, King, Bowie, Lucas, that shapes how I'll get there.
But then it brings me to the matter of hand. So, yesterday we lost one of, if not the greatest performer of the 20th century, and more specifically, towards Sci-Fi. Growing up on that music, Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack (was a real cool cat), Aladdin Sane. The music of Bowie is fantastical, its out there (Space Oddity), its dark (Blackstar), but above all? Its the result of a chameleon who saw himself as the Starman, the outsider, the Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud. The music let me understand, later on, it was okay, and perfect to be myself. You don't need to fit into someone else's mold, someone else's definition. Always be you, always be changing.
And that's something I bring into life, into writing, and into everything. I'm Corey, I'm who I am, I'm who I'm going to be, and I'm who I was. My characters don't typically sit in one mold for long, I never do. Hell, I make it a point to move area codes every 2 years or so. Life gets stagnant if you sit in some... category.
So, remember, you can only be true to yourself. Know who you are, what you want, and who you've been, and frakking own it.