JF Ridgley

“Times change People don’t.”

JF Ridgley
JF Ridgley

Isn’t amazing how smart mothers are?  We overlook this growing up, rebel against them even. But time changes that. Well, it did with me. I remember my mother saying, “Times change. People don’t.”  And mom was right.

I believe that  since the cave, we humans still want to laugh, love, eat, party, dream, and enjoy life.  That hasn’t changed one bit. But life challenges those desires. Thus, we have ancient history or stories of yesterday that show us how the ancients struggled through the same issues we still confront. War. Kidnapping. Love lost. Love regained. Love forbidden. Love arranged. Love denied. Customs. Politics. Family problems as marriage and divorce, problem kids, troublesome husbands, defiant wives, untimely death. How long can this list go on…?

I got into writing because of, King Arthur. I have a draft of his story in the archives of my computer…somewhere. Shadows in the Mist I named it. It has a great story with all but Gawain and the Green Knight. I have all the other popular stories I could find of Arthur melded into Shadows. All but that headless knight. How can you work that one in? I still don’t know. The draft is long. Very long. And, like Ann LaMont calls it, a ‘shitty first draft’. Oh, I thought my creation was wonderful. Beautiful. Now with learning this craft of writing, OMG it’s terrible. It needs rewriting, character development, setting details, sensories. I plan to get back to it one day. I promise.

I also realized I love researching history finding real people as Arthur who was a Celtic chief and a fictional King. That led me to discover ancient Rome.  You don’t meet a Celt that you don’t bump into a Roman. And so, I was captured in the quicksand of Ancient Rome. Ancient history. Ancient Celts.  I love delving into these worlds of historical fiction and finding real life characters as Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Calgacus, Boudica, Suetonius, Pliny the Elder, Tacitus…. Both the Celtic and Roman cultures are fascinating because they were real people who just wanted to live, love, laugh, and be happy like us. And I do like finding that history sometimes get it wrong or misses something, so I get to play with the facts.

Of course, I live in today’s world and see that we, too, want to live, love, laugh and be happy. It is a struggle today as it was in history or yesterday. Life deals us the same challenges and we struggle through them as did the ancients.  So, I ended up writing about our contemporary world and what I see happening today. I like what I see, and I don’t like what I see. So, I let my characters deal with that. Carrie and John deal with life after death and dreaming again. (18-Wheeler) Allyson and Steve confront the modern marriage ideals. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I don’t know. (Love Backwards) And I have another book I need to get done. Beauty and the Beast. Who’s the beauty and who’s the beast?  You will decide.

There are so many stories I need to finish or write. Seriously! So, I need to get back to my computer and write, edit, publish. I’ve had a life crisis of my own recently. I lost my life mate and best friend, Joe, who kept me fat, dumb and happy. I miss him but, thank God, I’m baaaack. It feels good to live, laugh, love, and be happy again. So, let’s do this together. Shall we?

Thanks Mom.  You were right. Okaaaay, I’ll say it again. You were right.