Saturday, January 16, 2010

I can finish the first draft in a few more days

It will be nothing pretty. Simply the raw story. Only parts are worth reading in public at this point. But I can see the start, middle and ending.

Not the time to uncork champagne, but I think I can unwind a little.

Afterward I will get down to rewriting and editing. Good times.

The sooner I finish this the better. One of the characters is really getting on my nerves. :-P

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inflammatory language (AKA Don't take the First Amendment for granted)

These days some folks use inflammatory language to attract attention to themselves.

I do not think keeping quiet about it does us any good.

Me, I am not big on raising my voice unless I have a damn good reason. You might mistake that for a lack of an opinion.

In truth, I have deep opinions on most everything however I do not believe it is my job to impose my thoughts on others.

Everyone needs to do their own thinking. The people I admire most do their own homework, get their own facts and form their own opinions.

Don't leave it to figureheads and people on TV to tell you what to do with yourselves. This is why I rarely vote along one single party line. I weigh each candidate individually. But this isn't about politics.

When someone like Pat Robertson spouts outrageous crap like he did yesterday regarding Haiti... you have to speak up.

The thing is, folks like Robertson actually get stronger when you don't denounce them. When you let such comments go unanswered, it sends a message to their followers and would-be converts that maybe this guy is right.

The sad truth is, some people are waiting for their heads to be filled with any kind of explanation that feeds into their own insecurities.

The world is a scary place that doesn't always follow a logical order. Some of our calamities come from forces of nature. Some of our troubles come from human foolishness. Sometimes unintended things happen that we can't find a cause for.

But we like delineating things in terms of good and bad. It makes it easier to process the events of the world.

It's no excuse to spout off wild notions that foster paranoia and fear. That's worse than shouting "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater. It's like shouting "FIRE" after the roof has collapsed and rescue teams are trying to save people from the rubble.

Find solutions rather than pour gasoline on the problem with your words.

Nightmare...or a lesson in truth

Or rather an extremely lucid dream with some deep connotations.

The short version: I got used as a decoy-groom at someone else's wedding to distract some assassins from harming the real wedding party. I got shot like a dog but survived.

Rather than interpret this as a fear of commitment, I think it's my conscience pointing out something else.

I don't want to be a decoy. Though I've never been married, I think it should be about building something together. You help each other evolve as partners and equals. Make something important happen by being together. Love is not some commodity you toss around carelessly.

But I am worth more than a decoy! I'm not just some placeholder for the "better man" to come along.

I do have concerns that I've grown...indifferent. Maybe disillusioned is a more accurate term. There was a devil Icarried on my back. I mostly want the same things that were always important to me. I've pushed myself to pursue publishing and there's my family to look out for. You have moments when you wonder what the heck is the point though. What am I really fighting for anymore? Guess I miss the bright-eyed optimism of former days. Or perhaps my expectations were never realistic.

Got some good advice recently from a buddy about just moving forward and such. I mean if I keep talking about this being a new year with a new start I gotta stop beating myself up over the past.

You want to find some kind of meaning behind the stuff you go through but a lot of times it comes down to self-made foolishness.

I wanted to marry Abby. Maybe seeing her last month triggered the dream. We talked about our families and such. She once offered to copy edit Heritage Fields but she's a busy lady. I like being able to listen, being there for people even in a small way. That's the kind of person my folks wanted me to be.

Our split turned me upside down though. I was the nightmare in 2006. I know my responsibility and the abject cowardice that ended things. I compounded my problems with even worse decisions.

Nice job, Mr. Ruth. You've left a wonderful impression. For me it's not enough to claim I cleaned up my act, I need to prove it.

And there I go again . . .

When you're a kid you might keep crying over the same thing, but grown folks suck it up and forge ahead. That's proof of maturity. Work to be a better man every day and let the world decide if it is ready for you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to the news biz, still looking to wrap the book soon

Today I get back on the job after a week off (going to CES was my idea). Man do I already miss waking up whenever I feel like it!

The return to a daily routine may actually help me finish these last four chapters of Heritage Fields. I am tempted yet again to expand the book as the story evolves. I'm at a spot where I'm asking myself how the heck to do I wrap up all these threads in the remaining pages.

Before anyone jumps up and shouts "sequel", understand this: You must present a complete, coherent story in each book. There must be a resolution to the conflict, happy or not. Forget about run-on sentences, a run-on story cannot be sold.

Got some great feedback the other day at the latest gathering of Liberty States Fiction Writers. People seem to really enjoy one of my minor characters. Before I get all excited and give him too much space on the page, I remind myself of how minor characters in other stories got overly played and lost their appeal.

Anyway, now it's back to the trenches for me. I will get this first draft finished this month. And then I can put the story through the meat grinder for rewrites.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away