Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Return Of Pure Joy

I will admit that I used to sing along with music in my car. I also may have “moved” to the music. Not full on dancing mind you, but enough movement that someone in an adjacent car would be thoroughly convinced that I was either psycho or having a minor seizure. Those were the times that I was at my happiest. The singing and dancing wasn’t the cause it was the result. When everything was going great in my life I would lose myself to the moment acting a fool and singing along to a song that I probably hated. I bring this up because it had been over 5 years since the last time I had gotten lost like this.

The last time this happened I was on my way back home from college. I wasn’t heading home for the weekend but for my wife and I’s wedding and Honeymoon in good ole Disney World. This was also unfortunately the weekend I lost my mother and sister in a car accident. For those of you who have been following me for awhile this is already something I have blogged about. Things of course changed after that and I did a LOT of growing up shortly after.

I almost stopped listening to music entirely. The main reason initially was when I listened to music I couldn’t control my emotions. I never returned because it was only in moments of pure joy that I got lost and acted like an idiot. It wasn’t that I didn’t have my share of happy moments afterwards but for the first time in my life I had real problems that seemed to prevent me from achieving that pure I-don’t-care-if-I-look-like-an-idiot-or-lack-any-muscial-talent happiness.

Now I said at the beginning it HAD been 5 years since the last time I had done this. This last Monday I was driving home from work and realized that I was not only “moving” to the music but I was also butchering the song I was listening to on the radio. This just happened to be the same day my wife and I found out that the little creature growing in her belly is a BOY!!! When I realized what I was doing & why, I may have shed a tear or two 🙂

I can’t express in words how excited (and at the same time terrified) I am for this little guy to get into the world. I hope that I will be able to provide for him the same way my parents provided for me. I always regretted that I couldn’t pay my mother back for all she did for me, all the sacrifices she made. Yet if I was able to provide her with even one moment like the one I had this past Monday because of my future child, then maybe I already had. Having so much joy that your body can no longer contain it causing it to spew forward in the form of horrible car-dancing and singing is priceless.

So in summation if you drive past a Kia Forte that is emanating an unearthly sound & also happens to contain an individual convulsing uncontrollable, don’t call 911. That is just me being excited for my future son.

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Filed under Loss, Writing

Quotes That Make You Go Hmmmm

Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear

Stephen King

I LOVE this quote and agree with it whole-heartily.  We fear the unknown, the things we don’t (or can’t) understand.  Once we understand how something works or what something is we lose that fear and/or respect.

In entertainment, whether it be books/movies/etc, the things that stick with me are the things that remain mysterious.  The unfortunate thing is that humans tend to be so inquisitive that we want to know more.  Take away that mystery and more often then not things turn mundane.

Take the TV show Lost for example.  I LOVED this show.  It was a very mysterious show & every time it gave you an answer it created another question.  The problem is that in the last season of the show it started to explain a few things, and once explained those things tended to be underwhelming.  When the show ended it didn’t answer all the questions which upset a lot of people.

So the interesting question is do you take away that mystery by giving the reader answers there-by robbing them of their interest and/or fear?  Or do you keep the mystery and possibly leave an unsatisfied reader?


Filed under Quotes

How To Write 540 Novels

My writing habits have always been a little lacking but it is something that I continually strive to work on.  I always like reading about the writing habits of authors I admire to see what works for them.  I recently finished an article from the Writer Mag that talked about Prolific Novelists and their habits that literally left me with my mouth wide open in amazement.

Robert J Randisi has written(and published) over 540 novels.  That is not a typo……….540 novels.  I don’t even think I have 540 story ideas @ this point in time.  This is how he described his writing routine.   Get in the office between noon & 1.  Write until 5 pm, have dinner, write again until 8, take a 2 hour nap, then start writing again from 11 pm until 4 or 5 in the morning!  He then wakes back up @ 11 am & starts all over again.   He states that he writes one book in the morning & a 2nd in the afternoon.

That is production beyond anything I will ever achieve.  Even if my primary job was writing my mind would have burnt out long before I got around to working on book number two.   Luckily the rest of the writers had a writing habit that was a little more realistic, but their days still centered around writing.

This got me thinking about what would be the best writing routine for me.  Ideally I would say that I would wake up around 8 (that is sleeping in for me), have some breakfast, go on an “inspirational” walk, and be in front of my computer by 10.  I would then write until noon, have lunch, then write again until 2 or 3.  Now with a little one on the way I know this won’t be feasible, but again this is in a perfect world.

My question to you all would be, If writing was your primary job, what would your routine be?


Filed under Writing

Are You A Better Writer Or Storyteller?

Yes, yes I know these are basically one and the same, but before you start throwing things let me explain.  I’ve always felt that one of my strengths is coming up with great story arcs or unique story ideas.  The only problem is that some of the ideas I put on the back-burner because I don’t believe my writing is strong enough to do the story justice.  I think it is akin to giving a great artist crayons and watching what he comes up with.  Sure he might be able to rise above the limitations handed to him and create something great, but just imagine what he could have done if he’d had adequate supplies.

I believe that during college my writing was….full of enthusiasm.  In the years since I think I still have some glaring weaknesses but I’m starting to bring it all together.  There are stories now that I believe I could tell that I know I would not have been able to just a few years ago.  With that said there are others that are securely on the back-burner until such a time that I can bring them to life in the fashion they deserve.

So what about yourselves?  Do you feel that your writing is limiting your stories or even vice versa?  If not was there ever a time it did & how in the world did you overcome it?


Filed under Writing

How Does You Character See Them-self?

I am getting my butt kicked right now by a person that doesn’t fully exist in my own mind.  Before you call the insane asylum let me explain.  In my current WIP I am attempting to bring to life the 2nd most important character and I just can’t get my head around him yet.  While taking a little break I came up with something that I think is a very important question, How does you character see them-self?

I have created a back-story for the character, hobbies, obsessions, motivations, etc, etc.  But I am struggling to find the character’s voice.  So if I can figure out how the character see’s himself then I should be able to find out WHO he is, instead of simply what he has been through.  All of us has an image of who we are.  Now it doesn’t necessarily mean who we THINK we are accurately reflects reality, but I believe it gives us clues into how we think.

I have shared before that I mild social-anxiety.  When I get into large groups of people I get very nervous, quiet, tongue-tied, the whole nine yards.  In my head everything that comes out of my mouth at these times doesn’t make sense, comes out as a whisper, and generally makes me look like an idiot.  Yet unless I tell people about my condition they generally don’t know.  They will tell me I seem witty, charismatic, and relaxed.   Now I am not just telling you this to let you know how cool I am (but that is honestly the point of this whole post), I am telling you this because people who barely know me see me one way, while those who know me will see me in another.

So what is more important?  How I see myself or how others see me?  I believe to have a fully fledged character you have to know & understand both.  Right now I understand how other people see my character but I have yet to understand how he see’s himself.

I am no longer interested in what my character physically looks like, I want to know how he THINKS he looks.  I don’t want to know what his friends think of him, I want to know what he thinks his friends think of him  :-p   I can tell it is going to be a struggle but the more I “learn” about this character the better and more believable he will be.

What do you all do to help develop a character who refuses to take form?


Filed under Writing

Remembering How To Get Lost

My parents owned a lot of land & as a kid one of my favorite things to do was wake up extra early (around 6 am) and go “exploring” with our dogs.  About a 1-2 minute walk away from their house was a large forest area that spanned around 9-10 acres & the dogs & I would get lost in it for hours at a time.  I felt like an explorer discovering new lands.  We created trails through the brush and found little “secret” places within.  I watched as the dogs hunted rabbits & squirrels and followed along as if I was actually helping (I was not). From the age of 10-13 this was my main form of entertainment.  Then, naturally, as I grew older I moved on to video games, tv, and of course girls.

When I lost my mom and sister, my wife & I moved back to this area to help my dad, and in return he gave us some of his land.  Before he passed we built a house on this land & I can see those same woods outside the window of my current home.  We have been here for over 3 years and for some reason my interaction with those woods have been limited to me staring at them from a distance, until today.

One of the things I do when I need inspiration for my writing or just need to clear my head is walking.  Today I needed some serious inspiration so the dog & I walked around our property and ended up finding ourselves outside of these same woods.  My dog spent a great deal of time running in & out of these woods while I walked on the outside with a huge smile on my face.   At some point she disappeared deep into the woods & I couldn’t see her anymore.  I got as close to the outlying trees as possible, without actually going into the woods, and tried to find her but couldn’t.  Now I wasn’t worried because she can take care of herself but I realized just how ridiculous I was being.  These were the same woods I used to spend hours running through as a kid & I was pretending there was some kind of force-field stopping me from walking past a certain distance.

Sure there were trees and bushes that were, seemingly, blocking my entrance but somehow as a kid I was able to get past them.  If I brushed past the bushes and trees it was possible I may get a scratch or two from a branch or thorn, it was also possible that whatever clothing I had on would get a little dirty, but as a kid it didn’t matter.  So I went in.  After over a decade those trails and “secret” places were still there.  They hadn’t left, I had.  For the next hour or so I returned to “exploring” and helping/hurting my dog as she attempted to chase down a couple of rabbits.


The point of this blog is that today I realized I had created a barrier.  There was something that was still possible to do but over the years my brain had been hot-wired into believing it wasn’t.  For those few hours I remembered how to get lost in the woods all over again.  I wasn’t thinking about bills, or work, or writing.  For those few hours I remembered how it used to be when I still had my mother, father, and sister.  When I could go exploring for hours and when I was tired I came home where my only worry was my mom telling me to clean my home, and  my dad yelling at me for avoiding my mother because I didn’t want to clean my room.  For those few hours it still seemed possible that when I came home my brother would be fighting with my sister, and I would be trying to force them to come outside with me and play basketball or football.  As a child I knew how to live in the present.  Whereas now so much of my time is spend planning for the future, and at times being weighed down by the past.

This is not a sad post, this is actually a happy one.  Those great memories are just like those trails and secret places.  They were still there.  They hadn’t left, I had.  Today I remembered how to get lost, to live in the moment and let the past melt away around me.

My demand to all my blogger friends out there is that you go do something that was once possible, but you now believe isn’t.  Return to a point in time in your life where the only thing that matters is that moment, even if that’s as long as it lasts.


Filed under Life, Loss, Writing