Winter Doldrums

Dec 09

Winter Doldrums

Eight inches of snow blanketed us last night. It was amazing just how beautiful the snow makes everything, but then I think about the 50 (yes 50) car accidents in my town because of it, I think of the irony and how it compares to my writing post Nano. My brain is still in a haze after completing 50k words in 17 days. I still have to do rewrites, not to mention completely rework the ending of my story, but even that car wreck of an idea is surrounded by the serenity that I actually finished a novel. Ok, mostly finished, but don’t ruin my parade! Me, the guy who chose journalism as a major later in life–because writing is what I always felt I should be doing–but found that the politics of those short fact based stories were too predicated on who was telling the facts rather than the truth of them, just randomly chose to do fiction instead. Why? Because if I was going to lie, than at least I could have some fun with it. And that guy, finished a novel. It’s utter crap at this moment, but it’s workable and will be hammered into a masterpiece. Ok, maybe just a hammered version of a masterpiece. Ok, a bludgeoned collection of words that are semi-legible. I’ve got a few projects in the pipe that I’m working on with my writing group (yup, that happened) as well as some leads from the editor of the group that’s publishing my short story in their anthology. So while my brain might be trying to restart after being put through the motions of something done way too fast, the overall outlook on life is surprisingly serene. While it might feel like a depression or lull in my creativity, it’s really just the downtime necessary for those spring-time blooms to look so much more blossomy....

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Reflections

Nov 22

Reflections

In response to @Raishimi’s blog, I had to think and reflect on things that I normally try to avoid. I don’t think I avoid them because they are particularly painful or that they force me to reflect on times that weren’t always the happiest. I think I try to avoid them because they stir up emotions like a feather stirs up dust. The emotions aren’t recalled in a controllable manner. They’re seen in flashbacks, where sometimes I see the good, sometimes the bad and almost always regret. Not regret that they happened, but regret that I didn’t or couldn’t handle them differently. We grow as we get older. Not only in size and scale, but emotionally and in how we handle situations. Rumors about me in the past made me paranoid. They made me look over my shoulder, feel ashamed, and feel self conscious. I was an idiot now that I think back on it. I was insecure in myself, not because of what others said or thought of me, but because of what I thought of myself. I thought I was ugly, unwanted or undesirable. Not because I was any of those things, but because I felt alone. Of course I felt alone because I preferred it that way, but it still didn’t help my psyche that I projected those feeling onto myself. Now when I hear about rumors or my stalker spreading stories, I feel a twinge of anger sprout up, concerned about the lies, but then I just sit back and laugh. I’m glad someone cares enough to spread them. And that people care enough to discuss them. I gave up believing that what others think about me matters. I have a family that cares, and between my writing and few friends that I do have, I have no cares in the world, even if I’m squeezing pennies to live day by day. Happiness doesn’t come with what I have, but how I use and enjoy that which I do. Dreams are always tricky thing. My mind can be demented and so when I’ve spent the day contemplating devious things, I tend to dream about them. Waking up in a cold sweat but not feeling fear,...

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I Am Me

Nov 18

I Am Me

One of the greatest dilemmas of my life has always been–What am I? Who Am I? I know my name obviously, but figuring out my grand purpose in life has always eluded me. I had the “I want to be an astronaught,” or the “I want to be a vet” phases of my childhood, much like everyone else. The difference is that while others that I grew up with were able to just latch onto a career goal, I have spent my life trying everything and always coming back to the creative side of my life, even though I was constantly told that I’d never make a living out of it. I had the curse of being able to pick things up quickly. If I set my mind to research and setting aside the time to actually learning something, I could become pretty damn good at it. My uncle gave us our first computer when I was 10. Because he was in California, any problems that needed to be solved were over the phone and I picked up quickly how to do them myself. I learned basic programming with a few books and it gave me the confidence to become proficient in all things computers at a very young age. I call it a curse–because as children often do–anytime I had a whim of wanting to try something new, I was able to learn it and do it well. Photoshop? Self taught and proficient. That led to creating websites, designing ads, photo editing, etc.. All of which required dealing with people–which is where my weakness lied. I could talk to people, but hated small talk. I never got networking. The entire “Who you know” BS didn’t satisfy the wanting to earn what I got. I wanted to be appreciated for what I did, and I didn’t like the phony or empty achievements that were gained only by knowing someone. I started working at 14, so from McDonalds, to various tech jobs, to landscaping, to the military, to retail–I fit in where necessary, but was never happy. Sure the money was usually always good, but I was just going through the motions. How I looked at what happiness was, was...

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The New Breed : The Prologue Chapter of my Nano Project..

Nov 04

The New Breed : The Prologue Chapter of my Nano Project..

He was panting as he ran through the dark pine tree filled forest. Each heavy stride he took slammed into the ground but the sound was quieted by the moist pine needles covering the ground. Each deep breath was erratic as he looked back in fear of what was hiding in the dark. He occasionally tripped over small rocks that littered the woods, or fallen limbs of dead trees. He caught sight of the white shirt tied to a tree. He knew now he was only a mile out from town. He had setup the shirt system himself. Perimeter markers were laid out to guide scavengers through the pine lands. White was the mile perimeter, green was for two miles out, blue for three and red for five. He knew he was almost home and that gave him an inner drive to run a little harder. Much harder and faster than a man of his size would be assumed to be capable of. He couldn’t see more than 10 feet in the darkness, but he knew they were out there. Occasional glimpses of bright red eyes appeared before vanishing again. The snap of a twig or rustle of leaves the only noises that rose above his panicked breath. The red eyes appeared on all sides of him except directly in front when they were visible. Each time the eyes appeared he adjusted to avoid running directly into them. Whatever they were, he had to keep them at a distance. And it was working. They weren’t  able to catch up to him yet and he judged himself to only be a few hundred yards out. He should have been able to see the lights. But they weren’t there. Instead he saw the tree with the shirt tied to it, except it was facing the other direction. “That’s impossible,” he said. They had completely turned him around with their maneuvering. It was so slight that he hadn’t noticed until he saw the marker. Now they were between him and the town. And worse, he was now tired. “What are you?” he shouted. In return for his question, he got a chorus of a deep and gurgling laughter. Five pair of the...

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The “Write What You Know” Myth

Oct 28

The “Write What You Know” Myth

 MYTH – noun \ˈmith\ : an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true : a story that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence : such stories as a group   The motto of “Write what you know” is probably the most misunderstood and misused sayings in all of writing. It is true that you will write a stronger piece with knowledge and confidence in a subject if you personally have experience in it. The myth though is that you have to have that knowledge prior to you writing about it. I’m not sure if the myth came about by it being misinterpreted by so many and passed on, or just an ignorance of those listening to it using it as an excuse to stay “safe.” If there’s anything I learned while getting my journalism degree, it was that ALL writing is only as good as the research put into the writing. It didn’t matter how strong the sources were or how eloquent the quotes were, the writer had to know the background behind the story in order to put it all together perfectly. When I wrote a piece on the school union vs. administration, I had never worked in either. I had to look up the history, as well as the personnel involved to get a deeper perspective of what the current issues were. I had to learn in order to inform my readers. It translates no differently with fiction. You do need to know about what you write. But you can very easily with time and effort, learn enough to be in the know. At that point, you will know what you write. With today’s technology, there isn’t any excuse in the world for people to shy away from story ideas that they think they don’t know enough about. You can learn the lifestyles of a pirate or ninja, even though it would be almost impossible for you to become one. Ok, not impossible, but I’m trying to keep my readers out of jail. Don’t ever fear the topic. Attack it with confidence, because research is the road to knowledge. Writing takes time, but...

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