I'm sure many of you recognize one of the funniest scenes of all time--the Black Knight vs. King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Black Knight engages King Arthur in a fight over a footpath, and Arthur swiftly divests the fellow of his arms and legs. But through it all, the Black Knight refuses to give up.
"I'm invincible!" declares the Black Knight while hopping on one leg.
"You're a loony," replies King Arthur.
I watched this just yesterday and suddenly, it came to me. I must have laughed with this scene a thousand times, as Monty Python is a major influence on me as a writer. Hell, as a person. But this time I finally got it: I am the Black Knight.
I'm the girl who never says die. In the last two weeks, I had a cold, a major personal setback followed not one hour later by a horrible sciatica attack that put me in bed for a week, my car broke down to the tune of $1200, I received multiple rejections for multiple projects, and my cat barfed in my workout sneakers. Not that I'm allowed use them at the moment, says my BFF the chiropractor.
I cried. I railed at the unfeeling universe. I popped muscle relaxers like it was my job. But, in the end, you know what I did? I hopped on my one remaining leg, picked up my laptop with my phantom arms, and started editing a book. My superheroine book, to be precise.
The heroine of that book, who I beat over the head repeatedly with the plot twist bat, keeps going. Maybe she shouldn't. It's nuts that she keeps trying and working and smiling in the face of those who would laugh at her. But she does. And so do I.
Sometimes I think...Lucy, some of your ideas are too weird. They're funny, but too weird! JUST BE NORMAL. But I'm the Black Knight, and none shall pass. I am who I am. And I will flail on the ground until I can flail no more, dammit.
I've really thought about this since I realized that I'm the Black Knight. A loon is not the best patronus. The Black Knight ultimately fails! But that's only because King Arthur refuses to battle anymore, so I say ol' Knightey won the fight.
I've been told from a reader that my character Samantha Lytton inspires her. She inspires me, too. All my heroines do, because they're all loonys. They keep going, they keep working and, ultimately, they get their happy endings. Who knows? Maybe the Black Knight met a lovely nurse and they lived happily ever after until the age of thirty, when most people in the middle ages croaked.
After all--he was invincible.