Past and Present. Loss and Gain.

I feel like I needed to escape a lot of drama in my life at one point and I needed to find peace even if that meant cutting a lot of people I cared about out.  
But the past starts to feel too far away.
And where they were in me, there is this hollow.

 I can’t completely move on and I can’t go back either.

I have become so good at existing, and focusing on the moment. As though my life were some Zen book. So many work to achieve the empty state, clear your mind.
I have found that freedom, and why do I want my chains back?

I look in the distance and see an empty.

 

 

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Life isn’t that is it?  It’s the connections we have that matter, we are connected and you can’t just sever that I don’t think, not anymore.

Otherwise one drifts in an endless sea of what?
Maybe I have a low grade depression, like a low grade cold, one of those colds that lasts for months that people with weak immune systems get, but it isn’t obtrusive, the tickle the cough, the snot, all small enough to barely register.

Or maybe this is what life is supposed to feel like.

I grew knowing about depression when puberty hit.  Heh who didn’t?

But I didn’t experience normal often, it was all swings like some wide rocking pendulum that just couldn’t cool, couldn’t relax. Now maybe I have finally found it, and I want to reject it outright because it is too unfamiliar as though I were stepping on alien territory.
Whatever it is, the one nice thing is that unlike before, I know I can live this way.

And when I feel a little odd I focus on goals, my kids, husband or just getting out of the house for a bit for a walk or something.  And as I chug along, pretty soon I am feeling fine again.

I realize that my worth amounts to more then what others think of me. And if others words hurt me, and I decide that they are wrong, then I can choose to believe my own words instead. This is one of the beautiful things about growing up. There is a power that can be taken back, or maybe it is gained.

Forgetting what it felt like to be around someone you care about though is a really hard and troubling thing. And often you realize that no matter how someone has hurt you or made you mad, that in these times where they are gone and you forget the feeling of their hand on your shoulder or what how you felt when they entered the room and started talking to you- that these are things are moments that defined you and as they slip away, the pieces of yourself do to.   

So I guess in closing, no matter which way you go.  There is both sorrow and joy.  And even when one can find a way out, there is something lost, but there is also something gained.  And probably it can never be truly measured.  

 

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War- Man’s Coming of Age rite

War is terrible and that is all it is. A hideous way to
kill off young men and torture them. A coming of age I guess.
Hello boys, welcome to what it is to be a man. Now pick up a rifle
and shoot another young man like yourself. Feel what it is like to
be the cause of life draining from another, make some friends there
and watch them die and lose limbs in agonizing ways.
Also don’t forget, that the bullets, the fear, just may follow you
everyday for the rest of your life. And everyone will wonder why
you aren’t normal. Just what is the matter, why can’t you snap out
of it and live life the way everyone else is? One cheeseburger and
movie at a time?

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WE HAVE THREE CONTEST WINNERS!

Bloodstone Sci Fi

TKS strip 1 (1000 x 1000)

Our contest to win one of four autographed editions of the exciting science fiction novel, The Khekarian Threat, written by A.D. Everard, has three winners!

Congratulations go to:

Sandra from East Wenatchee, Washington State, USA.

Blog is https://writeitonmywall.wordpress.com/

April Epley from Okanogan, Washington State, USA.

Blog is http://sexybookreviewsbyshellyandapril.com/

Also a third winner from Australia who wished to remain anonymous.

For those who entered, the answer was: Dimension Walker (or Walker of Dimensions. Both are correct).

This leaves one more copy up for grabs! Stay tuned for a new question, based on one of the four free chapters available at http://bloodstonescifi.com/

[Continue reading…]

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How to Keep the Writing Magic Alive in Your WIP?

      Have you ever started writing and found you lost motivation a few weeks in?  When you started out you were so pumped, you’d close your eyes and could see that book completed?   And that thought motivated you to start, and in the beginning words poured out of you onto the paper, typewriter, keyboard?  But a few weeks down, you started to find other things to do rather then write?  And you’d say to yourself if only I had more time each day I’d finish. Meanwhile you spend more time reading twitter then novels and more time watching tv then writing?  Or have you doubted whether you were good enough to write in the first place?  I know this has been one of my long standing issues.

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      I’ve been there.  When I was younger I thought writing wouldn’t be too hard, and so I’d write for a bit and my story sounded intriguing enough, but I wouldn’t stick with it and I’d want to start writing something else before long.  Wait a minute I guess it isn’t that easy.  And then I figured I wasn’t meant to write and I stopped.  Why does a story seem to have a lot of potential and feel so easy, only to get harder as time goes on?  During my school years when I read a book or watched a movie, I thought plots seemed simple and that anyone could write without difficulty if they had the time.  Nearly everyone can crank a few story ideas out if they tried.  Not only that, but they could also write a beginning middle and end without much sweat.  Yet few people would call writing easy or have decided to make a goal to write something that they will complete.

     It’s a lot harder to sit down and write a story then simply to think about a story that someone could write about.  Many say that finishing a book is like running a marathon.  You know that when it’s done you have achieved something important, something not everyone could do.

      Starting to write in the whirlwind of inspiration is not too bad.  But the next stage of keeping it up get’s a bit more challenging.  That’s when a lot of would be writers probably leave the race.  I like to think of it as the 2-3 year mark in a marriage.  A friend of mine told me that 2-3 years into a marriage is the hardest, and if you could get through that then you can get through just about anything else.  Though there is also mid life crisis time that to comes to mind.   But I agree this is like the test of the marriage.  It is when the glamour has faded and the couple are not going to be able to sweet talk all the annoying ticks under the rug anymore.  This is the live or die phase.  And if these problems don’t get worked out, marriages often do that, die. I hate to say it, but there is still a high divorce rate.  This is exactly what someone who has huge ambitions towards finishing their dearly beloved story doesn’t want.  After the honey moon magic has played, that the problems in the book become huge and ultimately kill the book.

       What makes this problem so difficult is that problems in a book are often not easily solved and more easily ignored.  The parts of the book that are problems are the exact parts that people would most like to ignore.  Even if a book with a problem does get finished, people will notice that there is something wrong and the reviews will reflect the truth.  Readers have a sharp instinct when it comes to books that are good and ones that aren’t.  Unfortunately just a few issues can knock a good book to merely so-so.  Not only that but editors can be very expensive these days and people can often overlook their own problems.  

       So how do you solve these problems and finish the book when your inspiration starts to run dry? There is sadly no one hit wonder answer to solving this.  But there are a few things that can be done that can make writing go a little bit smoother through the rough patches.  One of the things I do is that I constantly remind myself what I love about my story and about my characters.  And I work on those areas to make them even better, sweeter.   It is easy to forget why you love your story when you are in the midst of a serious problem.  When all you want to do is stop writing.  That is why so many people say that when writing make sure you care about your story.  It will make your story much better and it will also help you stay through the tough spots.  

       A way to love your character is to get to know that character.  It takes a lot of time and writing to get to that point though.  Often the answer is that the more you write and specifically the more deeply you write in their perspective the more you will know them and also your readers will too.  And once you love your character you will do a lot more for them.  You’ll enjoy writing their scenes, and you’ll be sad when their hearts break.  Yesterday I had to free write to rediscover my character because I found out that he might be a little melancholy.  He might not though.   Which goes to show you can’t just write the character completely for yourself, because you may end up with a character that isn’t as appealing to an audience. 

      Last is the problem of pot holes in a story and how to get over them.  I know there are a lot of people who like to not organize a story ahead of time and just go, but I have found that I have often run into problems if I did not make some kind of outline early on.  And even after I have made my outline and thought out many of the scenes, that I still run into story line issues.  I notice them while working on the outline usually.  But it is probably the best place to notice them.  Because then I can make sweeping changes to the story without wasting time.  When I write the story the first time, I write short chapters of only about a page to three pages long.  Afterwards I can see if there are any problems, and fix it without having to change a lot of writing.  Then I go back and add a lot more detail to each chapter.  

        I can’t emphasize enough how helpful an outline can be.  And there can still be a lot of free writing to keep the story loose.  But even though some can write completely without an outline it takes a different kind of focus, and personally I think it is easier to start with an outline if you are unsure if you have that focus.  It is too tempting for the pantster to write too many starts of stories and never and complete something.  

      So finally as a playback, break out of routine now and then and do something in your writing that is purely enjoyment that reminds you how much you love your characters and need to tell their story, and work on the fun scenes you love to tell. If you don’t love your character or story or both the story is going to suffer.  And then after that It comes down to basics.  In a relationship, the beginning is great whether people do anything or not.  But if there are issues that have not been worked out, it will come through in the relationship eventually. There will be struggles, and so the answer is to solve the problems as soon as possible and not hide to hide from them.  Same with a story, if there are problems they will need to be worked on at some point.  Ignoring them is only a temporary solution. The little practical things will ultimately make you achieve your goals.  

      Rushing to finish a book but not taking care in how it is made will often lead to the disaster of a poorly made book.  But with a little care, a few rules set for oneself like writing daily, and figuring out who has the gun in such and such scene before starting the fight scene may save a lot of pain later.

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       I hope everyone the best in their writing pursuits.  We all have different goals, but we can work together and learn from each other.  What is one of the things you do to keep the writing magic alive for you on the day to day when writing your story?

 

How do you get past Writing bumps?

Last night I’d read Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, and started the chapter on characters. I was excited to learn how to make more gripping characters that people will root for.

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Maass says to not make a protagonist have too many negative traits, too depressing etc.  And just like people won’t usually stay with a person that’s depressing in real life, they will lose patience for the character.  Since my character is someone who through much of the book is close to a mental breakdown, I became worried he may fall in this too negative category.  

And so last night while I was writing I felt stuck.  What if I had made a mistake with my main character?  Does that mean I have to start over?  So I sat at my desk staring at the notepad, and finally did a free write approach, fleshing my character from a new perspective.  

I am wondering whether other people have run into similar problems while writing?  And what they did to get past them?

 

Robin Williams and Well…

When I was young I remember curling up to my mother in her bed while she turned on the tv.  Every night at the same time Mork and Mindy would come on at Nick at Night. I was always excited when it came on and made a special note to myself to stay awake for it.  And I’d watched rapt in the story, the action and of course the incredible energy output by Mork himself, AKA Robin Williams.  

Later my grandfather who started to take me to the movies once a month took me to see a movie that soon became my own cult classic ultimate favorite movie, Mrs. Doubtfire. When it came out on video I asked my parents to please buy the video for me, and luckily for me they agreed. I am not sure what about that movie inspired my crazy obsession, but I soon watched it daily for I don’t know how many days after.  And then after some time I revealed to my mom one night that I think I had my very first crush and that it was on Robin Williams.  My mother found that very entertaining at the time, and asked me in amusement what about him that I liked.  But at 8 I didn’t know, just that I loved his movies.  

Later on that obsession did cool, though I have always enjoyed watching his movies.  
In the last year I had not seen anything by him or thought about him in quite a while.  And though I hadn’t ever really had a dream of him or even thought about his movies in a very long time, even years, a few months ago I had a dream about him that I would like to share.  

I will skip to the relevant parts, but I ended up in his house.  His mother or some older lady was there as sort of like a keeper of the house who kept an eye on him as well.  In the dream he did not let anyone else near him though.  He didn’t really want me there either, but the older lady let me sit down and talk to her and she made me a cup of tea as she told me how he’d cut himself off from everyone at this point.  Eventually she invited me to tour deeper into the house.  I could hear him grumble about her invitation from the other room but she insisted so we did.

He’d preoccupied himself with something else while I was there though.  But we went into his bedroom and there was an exercise machine, that seemed like one of those step machines.  Which seemed like climbing and ambition, maybe his ambitions.  There was a humble looking bed.  Just a mattress on the floor with a ruffled white sheet on it.  The overall look of his bed felt grounded and simple.  The house itself seemed simple and without the frills expected from a famous person.  But there was a large book shelf filled with a great selection of excellent fiction. he’d come out of hiding to explain the special meaning of some of the books.  

He also pointed out and showed me a work desk with papers where he had been working on an autobiography, which his eyes seemed full of excitement for.  But the excitement faded and turned to a sad look when it became clear to both of us that he had run into a dry spell and lost his zeal to finish it.  I knew he’d never complete it.  To me given the knowledge of his death, I am wondering if a part of mind grasped his dying.  The symbol of not completing an autobiography and linking to death seems all too clear.  
Next to the bed was a stain on the carpet which said so much in so little, as dream symbols do.  It indicated times he’d been in his bed woken up throwing up, probably from alcohol poisoning and the tremendous struggle that he was still fighting with and was just under the surface of everything else.  Overall the house had a feeling of desolation.  That he was in trouble.  But that he wouldn’t get help, or maybe couldn’t.  He led me out of the house, as he said he cared very much about his privacy and he wanted me to go.  

So I did.  I wanted to somehow reach out to him and help him.  But knew since he was a famous person and I was not, there was no way to do such a thing.  So I left the house.  

And when I woke I just had this strong sense he was in trouble and sad.  So I decided to look him up.  I followed him on Twitter and also watched an interview of him.  On twitter, seems like his involvement had hugely declined.  And so I got little from that.  And I watched a recent interview and of course he was always on, always in performance mode.  I wondered if that is how all his interviews go, but didn’t have the time to shuffle through them.  Perhaps if he wasn’t the clarity of his sadness would ring too loud.  Or maybe it was a defense.  
I followed him on twitter in case there ever was a chance to say something, to help him and to root for him.

Today all morning I had a complete lack of energy for writing and did not write.  And I think I spent much of the morning in a lazy haze where I am not sure what I did.  Then followed by the afternoon where I had had a spark of inspiration and a rash of words spread upon my notepad that seemed just right.  When I stopped to take a break I signed onto Twitter and saw a message about Robin Williams and didn’t at first realize it was because he died.  Then another message and then another.  And I noticed someone saying how he ‘was’ so great.  Then it started to click and I looked it up on Bing and there it was as a headline, Robin Williams has died.  

I felt very sad.  And shocked.  Seemed out of the blue, unexpected.  And just like the world sincerely did get emptier.  To know that I will never see another new movie coming out with one of his smiling antics.  It is hard for me to grasp.  
Anyway, anyone who reads this, thanks for taking the time to read my experience.  The one thing that gives me a lot of joy is to see just how many people out there who truly appreciated his work and that he has truly brought joy to so many people.  

I never realized I could be sad and mourn someone who I never even knew.  

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