Archive for July, 2012


The Long & Short Of It

As with many writers, I dream of having more than a few bestselling novels under my belt while I’m still senile enough to recognize myself in the mirror. Writers may sit at their laptops, notebooks and in coffeeshops trying to develop a fantastic and wholly original idea for a novel or series of novels. We come up with a cast of characters, map out chapters and might even develop a series bible if we’re really feeling ambitious. We start foaming at the mouth at the idea of starting this epic and sprawling adventure.

And then it happens…

…you run…

…out…

…of steam.

Three or four chapters in you realize that that fully realized idea was only a premature birth and needs more time in a creative incubator before it’s developed enough to run rampant through the literary world. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. I’ve realized that forcing a novel hardly ever works. I’m starting to realize that some ideas are meant to be novels, and others are short stories and should only exist as such. This isn’t to say that a short story can’t eventually become a novel, but simply that you should first write it as it’s intended to be before going back to see if there’s more underneath that pile of 5,000 words. Think of it as a buffet: rather than getting excited and heaping as much as you can on your plate, sample a few of your top favorites and see if your stomach can handle more.

Short stories are a magnificent exercise, regardless of if you’ve written several novels or have just started dabbling in writing. They allow writers to release the short bursts of creativity that may be keeping them from sleeping or fully focusing on other projects. Short stories force you to cut down on excess word fat, tell a tight, contained story and shape up your writing style.  I really enjoy variety and switching from genre to genre every now and then. In the past I would bind myself to working on my novel and only my novel.

I now realize how foolish that was.

Rather than forcing my creativity to go in a certain direction, I should instead allow my creativity to force me in a certain direction. It’s not as if my novel will evaporate or die if I don’t give it constant attention, but I also shouldn’t spend more time than necessary away from it. Switching writing projects and working on projects of different lengths is like exercising every muscle in your body as opposed to only working your upper body. Ever seen a bodybuilder who obviously spent more time working out their arms and chest than they did their legs? Do yourself and your writing body a favor and give yourself a complete writer’s workout, exercising your short story quads, your poetic pecs and your flash fiction calves. Writing isn’t just a world, but an entire galaxy! Start exploring, even if the journey may be fraught with danger and failure.

Here’s a link to an extremely helpful blog entry about writing short fiction. There you’ll also finds some ways to make some money from your short stories. Now, I’ve got your attention!

You should also check out DuoTrope to find thousands of both paid and unpaid markets for your work. I use it to find places to send my other material when I’ve hit a wall or need to step out of the world of my novel for a while.

And that’s the long and short of it!

Take care out there.

The Spark

I suppose now is a good of a time as any for me to rebirth my blog.

I’ve lived in Denver for three years now, and in that three years I’ve learned a lot about who I am, who I want to be and who I’m not. Today I’ve learned something else.

I’ve learned how to be afraid.

Last night I read that 20 people had been injured in a movie theater in a town not far from where I live. This morning I learned that 12 people had been killed and many more had been injured. It felt like something you would see in a movie or read in a book. I couldn’t help but associate the feeling with one of going to sleep in one reality and waking up in another.

Where does it come from? This need to cause chaos. Was the gunman wanting an escape from his life, his reality? Did he find solace and comfort in thinking  (not pretending, but thinking) that he was a character from the Batman universe? I perfectly understand the desire to want to be in a world of the fantastic, where ordinary humans don a cape, cowl and utility belt and become a guardian, a symbol, an icon. One of the ways I realized I wanted to be a writer was my active imagination and my natural curiosity.

Again, I ask, where does it come from?

My need to write comes from a need to understand the world I live in and the thoughts I have in my head. My need to write fantasy and fiction is an effort to keep a grip on my sanity. If I don’t get it out, I might go insane. Writing is therapeutic for me and creativity if my drug of choice. I do like to explore the mind of the villain, but does that make me a villain myself in a roundabout way?  Do I write in an effort to garner attention, to cement myself and my work in a history that will live on long after my bones have cracked and decayed? Does a villain not do the same? The shooter will live on long after he’s died, much like an author, painter or actor.

When something like this happens, we can’t help but wonder when our day will come, what we’ll be doing and who we’ll be with when we leave this earth. Dwelling on the unknown is like stopping on a treadmill, the world keeps flashing by and eventually you’ll stumble if you don’t get your feet moving.

I apologize for the dour post, but I just wanted to get this out. This is my healthy way of coping, a way that I wish the gunman had learned. The world we live in can be unforgiving and bleak, but there is goodness to be found, bountiful goodness. I use this tragedy as a catalyst to live my life to the fullest and stop being afraid of rejection, of setbacks, of bad news. It’s gonna come, and it’s gonna come heavier if I allow my creative muscles to atrophy.

Keep writing, keep living, keep going. 

Now I feel the need to listen to some uplifting music. What are some of your go-to songs when you’re feeling low?

New Beginnings

As you may have noticed, The Soliloquy Suites has been gutted, eviscerated, revamped and any other colorful catchphrase that you can conjure up. The reason for this is that I’ve recently been informed that having my fiction and WIP (work-in-progess) on my blog can actually jeopardize my chances of getting a book deal. There’s a risk that by having chapters of my novel or anything else that could become published up on my blog may actually inadvertently breach a future contract. I am more than eager to share my material with you, dear audience, but I’d much prefer to do it through terms that benefit the both of us.

So for that reason, I’ve decided to re-dedicate The Soliloquy Suites to writing and my journey through writing. I’ll be sharing my observations in writing, useful information, links, blog posts and hopefully connect with both budding and professional writers and word weavers. I will continue to publish my poetry since I’m more focused on publishing stories than poems…not that there’s anything wrong with poets. My sister’s one! I apologize to anyone who was ravenously devouring “Fury Us,” but fear not, for Adam, Bisset, Leo, Giorgio, Noir and Detective West shall return soon and the mystery of the Johnsons and much more shall be solved. This isn’t the last you’ve read about Dominion City!

For all of my subscribers, I hope that I can still entertain you, and for the occasional passersby, I hope that I can offer you a few nuggets of wisdom and make you feel at home. I appreciate everyone who’s made this journey with me so far, and hope that we’ll continue on together.

Alright, take two. Annnnd…

ACTION!

 

 

 

Real-sun-rize Realeyes

This sunrise can no longer slumber on the line of the horizon
It must crack the sky, blind every eye in sight of sight
Muddle the blight that has blanketed this world
His world
Bright shafts that slice, skewer, stab and shank
Stealthily
There is no such thing as a timid crack of dawn
When Ra rises you can feel it, know it on a cellular, instinctive level
The clouds swell, revel and are compelled to show the light, spill the light, work with the light
To magnify its brilliance
The sun doesn’t try to be spectacular, warming, hot, bright, obvious or searing
It merely is
It was created this way
As was I
Eye stare up at the sun, gaze un-shaded, pupils invaded with this heavenly heat
I do not blink, scrunch, wince or cringe
For that original orb of opulence has a light that mirrors mine own
That globe of burning gas is the center that holds our universe together, roots everything into place
Not because it wants to, but simply because it does
The sun does not wonder who, what, where, why when or how it is
It simply is
Flaring, glaring, sharing and declaring itself the only way that it knows how
The only way that it can
Because that is how it was engineered, that is the method of this universal madness
Does the sun doubt itself? Does the sun burn with fear? Does the sun attempt to veil itself behind Venus or Jupiter? Making itself smaller so that it cannot be seen
No
The sun is simply the sun
And in its name is where it finds itself
Just as in my game is where I play myself
Time out
I need to reset the board
Just figured out the rules

Self

Gyrating in a gyroscope

Baptized by the blood boiling from my

mouth

Voluntary vampirism as I suck the blood of others,

others whose blood type I don’t share

Personality poisoned, fragmented, frayed

Self-betrayed by the man in the mirror

Accept what I reflect as I deflect the

truth on my Wonder Woman bracelets

Lasso of Lies stitching the disguise I wear

as I smile, nod, laugh and walk into their nest

Do my best to fit in, make it feel natural

but the actual fact of the matter is

I pop pills to skew and slew my sense of the reality

of the poser I’ve chosen to emulate

Until I gestate back into my natural form

and conform to the standards I’ve set for myself for the betterment of my health

It really is like being born again, blessed water drank from a tin cup

as a Mac truck runs me over and presses me back into shape

Flat to the earth

Back to the soil and the natural oil that I bathe in

Gave in to myself, to stop struggling

against my natural urges, natural surges

of self and personal wealth

That cannot be spent  no matter how much of me I buy

I cry

Because I’m so happy to be in my own spiritual house

No

My spiritual kingdom where I am servant to my thoughts and ruled by my intellect,

sail across the seas of regret in a ship wrought by ambition, prayer, love and forgiveness

And in this is where I lose myself

And in this is where I find myself

Myself

My

Self