They’re being stubborn… I’m being stubborn?

A conversation about characters and their demands  got me thinking about this issue.

I remember the moment I realized that I wasn’t the only one who had characters that were alive.  Characters that did what they wanted, when they wanted, how they wanted.  Characters that demanded my attention, and ignored me, withheld information or allowed me to wander on the wrong path for entirely too long.

Today’s “Blogging University” assignment was to write that original post we wanted to write… or to write a response to the Daily Assignment.  In the true style of someone who is used to being able to modify their assignments, create their own majors, and design their own projects, I’d planned (and written) a post all about yesterdays blogging assignment.  Which I may post at some other time.  But, then this conversation occurred and I realized, that’s what I wanted to write about.

Characters, characters with a life of their own.   I’ve talked a little about this  but…. here’s something I’ve never shared… I know I have a document somewhere where I started a story like this but, here it is again — in all it’s first-draft goodness.  Taking risks by sharing my own envisioning of the reality behind the story’s (Spoiler Alert:  I didn’t finish the story.. because… uhm… )


“Really, Hazel, do you really have to push him so much?  I’m sure your Uncle just… Wait.”  Ray looked around, blinking his eyes a few times to adjust to the change in light, the sudden change of surroundings.  The smell of the ocean air lingered, interwoven into his jacket and hair, but the sounds were gone.  And Hazel, his best friends sister, was no longer standing in front of him, instead he found himself face to face with a strange assortment of people he did not know. Continue reading They’re being stubborn… I’m being stubborn?

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Adventures in Poetry

I have been granted a challenge,
in honor of Poetry Month,
to try and compose,
something different than rambling prose.

I don’t claim to be a poet,
but occasionally I like to try.
Sometimes the words will flow,
and the ideas will grow,
and I find myself enmeshed,
in the medium that works best,
to convey the scattered thoughts,
passing images.
Music without notes,
with space for dreams to fill.

As a child I thought,
all poems ought,
to do their best,
to reach and wrest,
to speak of dreams,
and flowery things.

I stretched my brain,
feeling half insane,
to find the words,
sometimes absurd,
to make the rhyme,
every time.

As time went on,
(the rhyming not quite gone),
I spread my wings,
and tried new things.
Exploring the ways,
I could alter a phrase,
in ways to convey,
what I was trying to say.

It is still a challenge,
to write this way.
But I have had to learn,
that some story yearn,
to be heard and seen,
in a way reflective,
of their true being.

Some stories must be told,
with lots of prose.
Conversations,
and many scenes.

But just the same,
some long to be portrayed,
with deceptively simple,
poetical phrase.

Picture by me.
Seagulls on the Coast

“Blogging University:” Who am I?

So, I recently signed up for The Daily Posts “Blogger University: 101.”  It seemed like it might help me as I keep working on this blog — and although it might start out basic, I figure that I will likely learn a few things, and be challenged to keep writing.  Nothing wrong with going back to basics!

But, it means that my promised “regular” schedule is going to get thrown off a bit as I do the “Zero-to-Hero” daily challenges.  They’ll get their own category and everything, and I’ll try to stick to my 3-times-weekly updates as well.

The first assignment:  “Who am I, and Why am I here?”

I address some of this in my About Me page, but why not write a bit more? And why not write some things not covered in that page?

Continue reading “Blogging University:” Who am I?

Holy Week Reflections

This is Holy Week.

Honestly, I really didn’t know a thing about Holy Week before I started seminary.  I knew, vaguely, that there was a thing called Palm Sunday, which came before Easter.  And I knew, vaguely, that it was directly connected to the Easter story.  But I did not know the details; I did not realize how intense it was for those in the ministry.  And this isn’t really a post about Holy Week – but the fact of it being Holy Week has heightened my sense that I need to dedicated some serious time to reflection on religion, faith, belief, and theology.

I haven’t talked about religion here much – because it can be such a challenging and divisive topic.  Yes, I spent three years devoting much of my time and energy to an education at a seminary, including taking strong leadership roles in worship services, and I have worked at churches and with religious organizations in leadership roles for many years… but I still feel like I have to give a bunch of disclaimers before I talk about religion. Continue reading Holy Week Reflections

Last night I stopped an evil wizard. What did you do?

Small talk is sometimes hard for me.  Chalk it up to that deadly combination of shyness, introversion, uncertainty and social awkwardness — I can be challenged by starting conversations and keeping them going.  I’ve learned to overcome it somewhat, acting the part of someone more confident, less shy, and more outgoing.  And if I hit on a subject that I know and love, I have no problems, but it can take time to get to that point.  I’m a good listener, and I enjoy listening to and hearing about what other people are doing, what they’re thinking about, and so forth.  So, a lot of the time conversations aren’t all that hard, but there are some questions that just make me stop in my tracks.  I’m okay if I don’t think too much about them, but sometimes my over-thinking trips me up in the face of a simple question.

“So, have any exciting weekend plans?”  Or, “What did you do last night?”

Sometimes I can have an exciting answer, “Friends that I haven’t seen in ages visited,” or, “I have tickets to go to this performance.”  But, more often it’s, “The same old,” or, “Working on some writing projects,” or, “My weekly Game Night.”

And I wonder what their response might be if I answered with what I’m really doing?  Not the external appearance of what I’m doing, but the reality that I’m living within when I’m doing these things.
Continue reading Last night I stopped an evil wizard. What did you do?

50 Words….

The challenge: Write a piece that is only 50 words.


Hours spent finding the perfect card, and hours agonizing over the words.   It has a dog on it, he likes dogs.  And there’s a joke, everyone likes to laugh, right?  And the words: “Happy Birthday.  I love you.  Wish I was there. ”  Now  I just have to mail it.


Can I just say how hard that was to do?  Recently, in a “Word Sprint” for Camp NaNo, I pumped out 639 words in 10 minutes.  And they are relatively decent words for the story I’m working on.  But, those 50 words, the story above, probably took me at least an hour or so… a few false starts, and lots of word-smithing.  Being one prone to rambling when I begin to work on the page, this was a particularly challenging challenge.  I like description (to read and to write).  I have a hard time writing endings because I don’t like the concept of endings — I want the story to keep going, and I don’t know how to make it stop.  50 words… definitely makes me evaluate the importance of each word, and the way that the sentences are structures.  A good challenge, a good exercise, but I think I’ll stick with my novels.  🙂

 

That One Story: A Reflection of an Unfinished Tale

This is a post I’ve been wanting to write, something I’ve been wanting to write, but it is perhaps one of my more rambling ponderings.  In some ways it is deeply connected to my “Writer Origin Story.”  Maybe there are things in here that others will relate to — and I know that I’ve gotten some ideas for future posts from writing this.  But really, this is just another one of those moments of me opening myself up on this blog.  It’s something of an ode to a story that has been struggling to find it’s place.  At the same time, it’s a call to action, and attempt to give myself some accountability — by putting this out here, perhaps I will find myself even more driven to find my way to writing this story.  Push myself to make it real.  To harness and wrangle the pieces and make my favorite story, my favorite characters, into something that others could enjoy as well.

There are a lot of plots and characters that have drifted in and out of my mind over the years.  There are some cultures and worlds that I have created that I keep trying to weave through my writing.  Characters that I know — or at least, hope — will someday find their proper story.  And so I am constantly placing them here and there, trying to find the right fit.  And then there are a few stories themselves, which I have yet to figure out how to write.  One, in particular, has plagued me since I started writing.

I have a technically complete draft of the story.  One of the earliest stories I wrote, one of the first that found its way to an ending, I’ve held onto it for many reasons.  Not only is it the first iteration of what I intend to someday be my novel — that story that I imagine defining my legacy as a writer (which, I have to say, is probably far too much pressure to put on the poor little story… which may be part of the problem).  I love this story, or at least, what I imagine this story could be.  And, to be honest, I love this original draft.  In all it’s horribleness, plot holes, character leaps, impossible coincidences, and all that mess, I still have a deep love for this story as I originally wrote it.

Continue reading That One Story: A Reflection of an Unfinished Tale

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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