…Where I haven’t somehow reaped the lasting benefits of writing Nikkei. Today marks six years since Cinnamin, my very first cat of a friend, passed away suddenly and painfully.
I’m not sad. I didn’t quite believe that it was the 26th already today. Abass asked me last week why I still know the date. And I think that the answer doesn’t have to do with some continuing grieving process, but in how important a point of my life that was. Cinnamin, after all, single-handedly inspired my first-ever manga, Nikkei. His silly-looking character is so distinctive.
I mean, I wouldn’t dream of making a character like this now…but it still doesn’t change what used to be.
I realized one thing about Nikkei today. If not for Nikkei, I wouldn’t have written Redefining Evil. After all, RE was originally Nikkei‘s sequel. I realized this when I was thinking about asking Margaret if the motives for everyone in RE seemed sketchy, or believable. Because if they were sketchy, well, I could just blame Nikkei. RE still has its original premise, but when I revised it in 10th grade, I worked up to the point where I could completely detach it from Nikkei. That meant devising a new reason for why Danny was a nemesis in the eyes of the Satos, and it sure couldn’t be because he tortured Nikkei.
Because of how far I have come with RE, I have another new reason entirely to be grateful for my experiences with Cinnamin, and my experiences with Nikkei. Today I’m not really in the mood to berate the current state of my creative endeavors by saying that they’ll never live up to Nikkei, but in a way I can still thank Nikkei for everything to do with my present writing. Nikkei pushed Micah, Lacy, Julian, Ingrid and Danyil (formerly Myoku, Shani, T’Kai, Mikara and Eripmav) into development to the point where I wanted to maintain their presence in my later works. I realized their potential through that story. And that’s pretty cool.
As far as Cinnamin specifically goes, well, I’ve been fortunate enough to have two cats who are quirky like he was. Hoshi is a very loyal cat, just like he was, and my poor mom has sort of lost her affections.
But where Cinnamin was sort of respectable and poised,
Hoshi’s sort of…well, she has less inhibitions. And more…um…autistic habits.
So I’ll always remember him, but I can’t say I miss him. I guess I’ve just moved on. That’s why, when I was contemplating doing a hefty, polished image of Nikkei to recognize the day…I just ended up with a pen sketch of him. I don’t feel too bad about this. I still know what a blessing he was in so many areas of my life.
Lastly, thank you, Margaret, for reading the first half of Redefining Evil. And here’s Sotoka-Khepri in all of his guiltily adorable glory.