Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mr. Crane (fiction)

This is from my unpublished short story, "Mr. Crane".

       Sometimes the severed head that I keep in a bowling ball bag talks to me. It tells me things. Things that no one else can hear. No one else can know. Secrets. It knows many secrets, great and small. It once told me that Jesus was alive. He was working as a construction worker on fifth street, building a new church right in between Zanada's Roller Rink and Happy Town Taco. I've been to Happy Town before. Good taco's but I always end up spending forever on the crapper. I feel bad for Jesus, because I bet he eats lunch there, but the head in the bag tells me he could handle it because Jesus is really a Mexican.
       One day the head in the bag, who likes to be called Mr. Crane, told me about how the government has been pouring a mind control drug into the nations' water supply. It turns everyone into zombies. He told me that no one was to be trusted except Elvis and Jim Morrison. I told Mr. Crane that they were both dead, but he told me about how Elvis and Jim were actually undercover agents working for a secret agency devoted to bringing down "The Man". They had to fake their deaths because "The Man" was onto them. I believed him. Mr. Crane is wise.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Knowing When to Stop

I love to write.  I write to get it all out in the open and clear my brain.  There are times, however, that I find that writing actually becomes a part of the problem.  When straining to find a solution to a fictional dilemma makes me stress out more than real life ever could.  I know there are many ways to defeat this monster.  Some writers like to just power through the problem, others like to sit around for hours brainstorming.  Me, I like to chill out and play solitaire for awhile.  It helps me completely clear my head.
There are times, though, that not even solitaire can cure the writing blues.  That's when I know it's time to walk away.  Just get out of the house, take a walk and stand at the side of the lake.  I'll come home feeling better, then I'll plop in front of the T.V. and watch whatever is on.  I might even do this two or three days running before returning to the work.  Often I'll sit with my kids, turn off the T.V. and have reading time with Daddy.  That one is wonderful because it gets the kids to read and it helps me learn more about the craft of writing better than any how to write manual, not to mention, it's entertainment.
     The point I'm trying to make is this, if your ever feeling out of your element, or over your head, don't feel bad about taking a little time to yourself.  Call it a mini vacation.  Your story will be there when you return.  It's OK to take a break once in awhile.  Don't go all gung ho about your writing so much that you forget to  take stock of  the thing that as a writer you should cherish most...... real life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

From the Future

      On this day 20 years ago..........

     The first American manned mission to Mars was hailed as a success for the United States, that is until the discovery was made that China had covertly beaten the U.S. to the red planet by no less than five years.  China has since claimed ownership of Mars and has taken steps to turn the planet into the rubber dinosaur toy capitol of the solar system.

     The Church of the Velvet Elvis led by Pope Jimmy Holly was able to obtain samples of Elvis Presley's DNA paving the way to creating the first Elvis clone.  He stated that the second coming of Elvis was finally becoming a reality and soon the world would be "All shook up."  Elvis 2 is now 19 years old and has been rumored to be dating famed Disney star Annabeth Morgan.  He has also been to Celebrity Rehab twice to date.

     Harry Potter Day officially became the first international holiday.  Within five years it's popularity has  dwarfed all other major holidays.  Currently, the world holiday committee has stated that they are working on a "Burn a Teen Vampire Romance Novel Day".  We at Solar System Wide News wish them the best of luck.

Disclaimer:  No vampires or vampire novels were burned during the writing of this post.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Systamatic Self Destruction

Self doubt is a plague among beginning writers.  We sit there and stare into the dreaded blank screen of doom contemplating whether or not we have that all powerful magical ingredient that all popular writers must have.  For lack of a better term, we'll call that magical substance talent.  I'm sure it's a great thing this talent.  I bet it makes famous writers sparkle like a Twilight vampire.  If you have ever read a book by one of these talented authors, I bet your thinking to yourself, "I could never write anything that good."
I found myself in that boat recently.  All it took was one author to make me come to the realization that I would never be good enough to write a single thing that anyone would think was worth a dime.  I sat in front of my blank screen, fingers on my keyboard frozen in fear.  I wondered what it was I thought I was doing.  I can't write a book.  I can barely turn out a short story.  My ideas suck.  I could feel the depression sinking me faster than the Titanic strapped to Charlie Sheen's career.  For days I procrastinated.  I knew I had to get myself out of this funk.  I knew I could do it.  Then one day as I sat on my sofa watching an episode of  "Phineas & Ferb " I came to a realization.  I had been setting myself up to fail.
By comparing myself to someone who writes totally different than I do, in their own distinctive (yet brilliant) voice, I had sabotaged my own thought process.  I'm no Hemmingway, Poe, Koontz, or King.  I'm just me.  What I write is my own.  No one can take that away from me.  Who am I to decide I have no talent for writing?  That's not why I write in the first place.  I write for me.  Sure, I hope others will read what I write and enjoy it, but if they don't, that's all right, I can live with that.  What I can't live with is putting myself through a process of systematic self destruction that I  know must plague all writers at some point.  If your just starting out on your writer's journey, let it be known that you are not as alone as you may think when it comes to things like self doubt.  Know that you can do it.  Don't ever again let that blank page play chicken with your soul. Just remember, the only way to do it, is to do it.