Monday, March 19, 2012

Scribblings on Blue

I labored through five pages tonight, written with my favorite mechanical pencil on loose blue paper. To be honest, I wasn't in the mood for writing when I sat down at my desk.

Sometimes it takes pushing beyond that inertia to get things moving. Once I was started, it moved along quite well. There were a few times when I couldn't write fast enough to keep up with the outpouring storyline.

Started trying out a technique I read about a few months ago. Write until it gets really hot and you know exactly where you're headed with things, and then stop before you go cold. The next night (or whenever) it should prove easy to pick up where you left off. Much easier than starting back up from where things ran cold.

Five pages might not sound like much, but think about 3 months of it collecting. That's over 400 pages written as bare bones of the story. With the second draft, entering all of that into my laptop, it will quickly grow as minimally detailed scenes are fleshed out and dressed in their Sunday best.

You don't have to write 1,000 words everyday. But if you think of yourself as a writer, or you want to think of yourself as a writer, you just need to commit to writing everyday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Theresa Andersson -- "Birds Fly Away"

This woman is nothing short of amazing. I've been blaring her CDs today while writing (or pretending to write, depending on the moment). She brings tears to my eyes, as well as igniting so many memories from my past in New Orleans. Listening to her today reconfirms my ambition to move back home, sooner than later.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pushing Through The Shadows

Life is full choices. Thing is, most days it feels as though the decisions are already made for us. We can either do A, B or C, with the possible choices scripted for us. So, how is that truly free will? It gives the semblance of retaining our own volition while narrowing our possible actions. It's closer in many ways to voluntary control.

I try to live a creative life, keeping myself guessing, trying to step out of my comfort zone on at least a semi-regular basis. Funny thing is that after a while I find myself stepping out of my usual routine in a rather routine manner. Feels safe. Life, however, isn't about keeping things safe and in their own little box. Yes I admit I prefer my books stacked neatly, items on my desk arranged at 90 degree angles, pencils in the pencil cup, pens in the pen cup, and miscellaneous items in their own bin as well. Maybe calculated safety is a good thing, allowing a construct for the more dangerous moments to be allowed.

Writing is about letting go, allowing the unknown to rear its head and poke around on the paper. Maybe it's erased, lined through, or the victim of "select all" and then "delete." It happens. Perhaps the trick is to just let it happen.

Something that frustrates me is that unpublished writers are "aspiring authors." What about painters? Painters are painters simply because they paint, even before they land a solo showing of their work. So why are writers validated only upon publication? Might be on the shoulders of the writers themselves at times. Sure, I want to be published someday on old-fashioned paper with a gorgeous font and a beautiful glossy cover. Until then, I'm still a writer, capturing words, recording thoughts, exploring details of life I see in order to deepen my own experience so that resulting sentences delve deeper into mysteries that far too many people pass by and never notice.

Discipline. That's something I've been working hard to develop. Our creative work as artists of all mediums hinges upon random moments of madness. I find that to be the easy part of the process. The difficulty lies in then returning from that state of divine inspiration and attempting to capture it in the present medium at hand. The more you do it, the more you realize that it actually is work. It should be joyful work, at least most of the time, but it isn't always. Sometimes it's laborious, painful, and full of shadows.

The ability to push through the shadows is an important skill that must be developed. So many walls pop up, for some of us at least. Walls that must either be jumped over, or blown up. Maybe some walls should be walked around.

Keep pushing through the shadows. Keep taking risks. Keep dreaming. Very few societies value their artists. Yet I believe that the artists are necessary. Appreciated or not, the spirit thereof continues to illuminate the darkness and capture truths otherwise overlooked.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


My thoughts are running in circles tonight, just out of reach. I've been sitting at my desk for a few hours now. Have not managed to write a single word that's to be kept. Seems that as soon as I do get into the writing, and words actually find themselves on paper, that it's late into the night and my bed demands I warm it with my sleeping body.

Days slip by so quickly. Too quickly. So many of us say that, often. What happens then? Do we change anything about our lives? Most of us don't. Most of us think, oh well, life is speeding by, cannot do anything about it, so let's just spend our lives punching time cards and shopping sales at Macy's.

Felt like spring today in Colorado. Spring. New life. Time, yet again, to commit ourselves to openness and honesty with ourselves and others.

And now it's time I throw down the gauntlet and demand that my creative mind pours out a thousand words on my current project. Because we all know, the creative mind responds wonderful to demands. Sarcasm, oh sarcasm, my friend.