Sunday, June 24, 2012

Writing to the beat of a different drum

It's no secret that Rush is my favorite band.  I've seen them over 30 times.  I usually queue up a few of my favorite songs before I start writing, but lately it hasn't been the usual ones.  The drum solos have been taking the front lines and then random 80s tunes.  Neil Peart is one of the greatest drummers ever to play.  I love the way he blends different drumming styles to create music.  Caribbean, African, Middle Eastern...all blend to make fantastic music.

Usually, it's Rush.  However,'s THIS...
Now this isn't the full version.  The full version CAN be found on Youtube, it's just not allowing to post it here.  Here is the link if you want to relive this awesome video 
Hourglass **if you click these links, you will be redirected from this page to YouTube**

maybe I should just go to sleep...500 words and THEN I'll I've got THIS one stuck in my head...

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) **if you click these links, you will be redirected from this page to YouTube**

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Writing thoughts

I have seen the horizon and it's a wonderful thing. Creativity doesn't stop there; it continues beyond. It is the beyond that drives us. Drives us to hope, drives us to dream, drives us to greatness - Me

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another snippet...

...Was I going crazy?
 “You’re not crazy.” Holly said softly into my ear.
 Startled, I sat up in my bed to see her, standing at the side of my bed. “You’re dead.” I stated plainly. 
She laughed lightly and replied, “Was that a statement of fact or was it a question?” 
I looked down at the floor to see if she had legs too, and she did. She looked as real as anyone I had ever met. I looked around to see if anyone else was in the room that I hadn’t seen. We were alone. 
“Well,” I said quietly, “If I’m not crazy, and you are dead, what does that make me?” 
“Almost dead? Barely alive? Why does that matter? What matters is you can see me and hear me. Isn’t that what you want?” 
I could feel my face twist up with a confused look on my face. She smiled and said “Eventually, you will have to choose. Not today, not even next week, but soon enough.” 
And with that last bombshell, she faded from my sight. It would take me some time before I felt right with the world. She basically told me that I was dying and I wasn’t ready for that.  But frankly, who the hell is ready to die in the first place?...

Some days are better than others

I think when I'm done writing this book, I'm going to write a book about being a server.  That will be...interesting.


I've always loved martial arts movies.  However, the reasons I love them have changed since I was younger.  The classic kung-fu movies always had a similar theme.  One person dishonors another, a dead family member is involved, bodies flying everywhere, revenge, the end.  At least, that is the cliche of martial arts movies.  Today, I watched (for the 5th time) Jet Li's Fearless.  If you haven't seen this movie, you really should.  There are so many subtle messages.  One might say they are obvious plot twists but that comes from the jaded perspective.  The philosophy of this story is powerful.  There is strength in peace.  Competition helps us better ourselves and should be done for the right reasons.  It isn't about the victory, it's about how you achieve it.  Anything to excess is dangerous.  Always remember to stop and just breathe.  There are of course many other simple truths that are laden within this film.  I hope that as a writer I'm able to deliver as powerful a story.  Hopefully, I'll get another 500 words done tonight.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Explanations, Inspirations, and Random shit

Why am I using courier font?  Well, it looks like an old school typewriter.  I'm sure there are people out there that are like, "What's a typewriter?" **groans**

I've toyed with the idea of buying one if I get this published.  I remember taking a typing class in High School.  We worked on electric ones, but I remember typing on one of the older styles with the manual return lever.  Funny, I used one of those after I joined the military for a bit.

Nostalgia helps me create as does any experience really.  My grammar may not be perfect.  My spelling most likely is correct, as I take pride in my ability to spell. I suppose I should talk about Ben.  Elijah Benjamin Taylor.  He is the main character of the book and is nothing like me.  Other stories that I've written from a first person point of view, the main character is almost a mirror of myself in some fashion.  Now maybe he is slightly and I haven't found it yet.  Right now though, he's as foreign to me as anything could ever be.  He's roughly in his early 20s.  The story is set in the rural midwest in the mid to late 1980's.  These are some of the minutia that doesn't quite make it in the story line.  I want my story to flow.  I don't want to spend forever talking about background inside the story.  I want it to come naturally from the story itself.  I figure if the reader really wants that information and I didn't answer it, I'll get comments or questions to the fact.

I know this novel isn't going to end in one book. It gnaws at me when I am not writing it.  Even writing about it doesn't do anything to slow my desire to keep tapping at the keys.  Unfortunately, I also have the feeling to not rush it.  My mind is waging war with itself to keep some flow of information, like a pressure release valve.  I'm sitting and writing about 500-600 words at a time, which for me is acceptable.  If I could make a living doing this, it would be awesome, but I don't hold out for that kind of hope.  To simply have my story read and loved by people, that would be great.  I won't be upset if they want to throw money at me though...that would be cool too :)

Holly...the antagonist?  I'm not sure what I would call her character in this book.  She is a "prime mover" in the sense that things happen when she appears but I'm not quite sure what to make of her yet.  There are so many people that she represents to me.  Holly the name is from a very close friend of mine.  Her description matches a combination of several women I have known in my life.  Some I've had a relationship with, others I've crushed on, some I've never even spoken to.  I think the eyes are probably the most stunning feature because everyone that knows me, knows I'm a sucker for redheads anyway.

Holy shit, I'm rambling.  Ok, enough for now, it's friggin 2am.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Things I've read and digested

Good writers write, great writers read...or so I've heard. I remember being on deployment in 1994 and I read 32 books in 6 months I think?  Minimum 500 pages each if I remember correctly. All that aside, I think I should list some of my favorites here in case anyone is interested.

J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin

Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files (ALL OF THEM), The Codex Alera series which btw was FANTASTIC

Simon R. Greene - Tales from the Nightside (ALL OF THEM)

Charlie Huston - Already Dead, Half the Blood of Brooklyn, etc. Any of the Joe Pitt novels.  Gritty new take on Vampirism and definitely nothing sparkling around here.

R.A. Salvatore - Dark Elf Series

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - Dragonlance Series

Christopher Paolini - Eragon (but only slightly) *to be fair, it was easy to see his major influence.  Many have said that Paolini is a borderline plagiarizer.  The similarity to Tolkien is undeniable, not in writing style, but with names, places, and story.  I found the story entertaining and easy to read.

J. K. Rowling - Duh... Harry Potter series.  At first, I didn't WANT to read them.  Why?  Because EVERYONE was telling me I had to read them...HAD TO. Which of course rubs me the wrong way.  Crazy enough, everyone was right.

George R. R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire series.  The only thing I can say about this series is HOLY. SHIT. I. WANT. 50 MORE BOOKS!  The man is a phenomenal writer.  I read A Game of Thrones and after 3 days, I was reading A Clash of Kings, then 1 day later, it was the 3rd book, then the 4th, and in a matter of 2 weeks I had read books 1 through 5.  6 is out there, but I haven't bought it yet...I don't know why.  Actually, I do...if I start reading it, I'll get thrown off track.  That man's work is like crack...

I could list a great deal more authors and stories I've loved through time, but I'll save those for another time.  I think I'm going to break the 4,000 mark tonight.

3K and motoring along..*yawn* oh damn..

Nearing the 3000 word mark and it is surprising how easily the flow is happening.  Maybe because it's god awful hot right now and I'm sitting in the AC at the Pub?  I'm about to pack it in though. I'm starting to get sleepy and maybe it's because I just wrote about how my main character just got sedated...Now THAT, is creepy.

Times like these

It's Monday.  More to write and this part is easy for me because of the hospital setting.  The hospital section is based on my own hospital stay when I almost died.  Back in 1995, New Years to be precise, I ended up in a hospital with a fever of 105 and doctors that didn't know what was wrong with me for 3 days.  I can remember pretty much the entire event, save for a few hallucinations.  Although writing Ben into the experience gives me a much different perspective.  To be quite honest, it feels a little creepy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sometimes I wonder why I decided to make my main character a country music fan.  I don't like country music.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate it, and there are some songs I can actually tolerate. Perhaps I felt the need to venture farther outside of my comfort zone.

Today was rough.  I wanted to write but I was stuck at work and then of course, it's Father's Day.  I miss my father.  His birthday is in another week.  This year will mark his 77th trip around the sun, unfortunately, he won't remember me.  This makes things difficult to write because I can't focus.  Hopefully, I can focus soon. I've got a lot of words rambling around in my brain pan.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So I'm 1/5th of the way

Wow, productive day for me.  I'm up to 2000 words.  I want to keep writing but I have to go to work soon.  I might even break the 3k mark tonight.  I've never been this excited before about my writing. If I didn't need the money, I'd totally ditch work, but alas, there ARE bills to pay and my mouth to feed.  With any luck, I'll be able to reach my minimum goal well before the end of the summer.  I promised myself 10k words at LEAST.  And, I've reached my first "what the?" moment in the book.

To clarify..

I'm not suicidal.  I'm merely exploring the hypothetical "what ifs"  

Death, Taxes, and Mysticism

Today was an interesting day.  I had a few ideas how to drive my new story around the block so to speak.  However, now I sit looking at my last paragraph waiting for what feels like the 2nd coming.  My mind is obviously elsewhere.  In a way, I feel like I'm in a morbid and dark time in my life that I want to write about death...or being dead.  But of course many people would say, "Wouldn't you have to be dead to know what it was like?"  That is the question that drives me.  It sparks a cascade of what ifs and possibilities that my brain tries to comprehend.  Being a man of science and a spiritual belief, my ideas try to conflict with one another.  I hope that I can feed off that internalized debate to come through with a powerful story for the reader.  I can almost feel it welling up inside of my brain, but then the pressure subsides and I realize that this entire time, I just needed some Motrin...

Back to the writing table...

Friday, June 15, 2012

An Introduction

Forget everything you know about being dead. There isn’t a white light at the end of a tunnel. There isn’t any eternal fire and brimstone waiting to burn your non-existent flesh from your non-existent bones. No Heaven. No Hell. No death. Well, not as you know it. Crazy you say? Well, you must be as crazy as I am. Because this book is written by a dead man, and you are reading it. I suppose I should start at the beginning. You know, where all stories are supposed to start? It must have been, oh 50 years ago? After being dead for a while, you tend to lose track of time. It doesn’t really matter if you remember birthdays or anniversaries. So, why bother with the passage of time? Well, it helps the living remember things and in turn will help you follow the story I’m about to tell. Don’t worry, I’ll skip all the boring stuff about the womb. It will just confuse you. While you are living, you’ll never comprehend the complexities of the first sensations and just how much you experienced in those short 9 months. I suppose I should tell you my name. My parents named me Elijah. Elijah Benjamin Taylor. My parents would call me Eli for a time. That is until I decided that a biblical name wasn’t suited for me. You have to understand that my parents believed in the almighty God. So resolute was their faith that I ended up with a biblical name. Benjamin was my Great Grandfather’s name on my mother’s side. I decided at the age of 15 that I wanted to be called Ben. Not Benjamin, not Benny, not Benny-boy and certainly not Benji. Plain, simple, Ben. It took a while before my parents would get used to the idea and of course when they were angry, I’d get the full name treatment. “Elijah Benjamin Taylor! Get over here this instant!” Ah, such was the life of a teenager in the rural Midwest. I had a normal childhood I suppose. I played sports, I went to classes at school. I even went to college. Normal ended shortly thereafter when I met Holly. Long red hair to the middle of her back, perfect fitting jeans, soft porcelain like skin, and striking blue eyes that seemed to lance right through you. She would change everything. Everything I ever learned about love. Everything I ever learned about life. Everything I ever learned about death. 

These are the chronicles of the life of Elijah Benjamin Taylor and a normal life was never his fate, neither was a "normal" death.

So there is what had been rattling around in my head...and there is more. I hope you will join me on this journey of exploration. I will be blogging mainly about my own personal journey with little tidbits of story here and there and character development so I'll try not to be completely boring. I have my close friend Mel to thank for this. She is my sister. She is an inspiration. She and her family are part of my family of choice. I love them all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

There is nothing quite like an epiphany. Moments of clarity are unfortunately rare in my life, or rather I should say I'm fortunate because of that. Had I not paid attention to that gut feeling, I would not have written 500 words of a story at a 5am. This introduction to a story was so powerful I couldn't do anything but stare at the screen and read it over and over again. I never felt this way after reading something I had written. I know it sounds pompous and over confident but I think this was the feeling I needed to motivate me to tell this story. I did want to be sure so I gathered some opinions of friends who have read some of my work over the years. With their confirmation, I was resolved and so you have this blog.