Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Endless Night

In my next book after 'So a Psychic and Rocket Scientist Walk into a Bar' called 'Shuttered Vision' one of the large installation paintings that my female lead Fiona paints is called Endless Night and it is a painting of my male lead Colan's personal nightmare hellscape. I wrote this about someone I'll always love after I wrote the first few pages regarding his hell.

I think of you when the lights go down
In the shadows I feel you smile
Dark and burning with lavacious delight
You beckon me close, my endless night

The walls they peel with falling light
Tearing through their normal plight
The world I see is built for flight
You hold me close, my endless night

The scene is bathed in black and red
All that survived the death was the bed
Dizzy I am from the staggering sight
Here we are again, my endless night

Time is lost as the world shifts
The tug, the pull, the burn are gifts
Into this place free from all sight
Never let me go, my endless night

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Learning to Not be Ruled by Genre

It is a long road that I believe never truly ends.  That road is that of a writer when finding their voice.  The best of the best say that the most important part of this journey is the journey.  No matter what never stop writing. For many writers that is almost like saying never stop breathing.  But as an asthmatic I can tell you that breathing is not always a guarantee. And over the years my writing has come and gone like a breath in some instances. Whiffed away without any hesitation or thought. My well seemingly run very dry.

However my mind still swam with scenarios of unfulfilled passions and desires. The human spirit needs passion and desire.  Creation is as much a part of living as the breathing and the beating. Most seem to not notice that life is nothing if not a lesson in sheer natural brutality. The elements that make us up crammed together in clumps and fits.  Our very systems demand the use of words like force, beat, move. As they say the struggle is real. And it is a struggle.  Nothing worth having has ever been born politely. It comes in a haze of blood, sweat, and tears screaming its battle cry ready to be heard, listened to and engaged. Life does not ask for the fight, life demands it. So the only failure is in trying to deny the fight. Because then you are truly denying life.

When I decided I wanted to try my hand as a writer I was sure that I wanted to write romance. I had a game plan like I normally do. I wanted to start as a romance writer then move into more science fiction or fantasy. As offensive as the thought is I was young and foolish enough to believe romance writing was an easier place to start. I was very very foolish years ago. As many know the genre is not well thought of by literature critics. However I dare to say that writing romance may be even harder because of how it is thought of.

It reminds me of professional wrestling in a lot of ways.  The trick to professional wrestling is that there is no trick. Its hard work, dedication to a goal and a performance. It eats up life because the only way to get better like with any craft is to continue to hone it. And yet it is not very well thought of by many people who view it as fake.  In many ways similar to how some authors view genre writers. The analogy forces me to think about the limitations provided just by perception. Because the barriers are not one sided.  All are affected by the perception and the need to justify it. As human beings we love balance and we like to know the answer. We subconsciously lean to a lie of perception as much as we may lean to the truth. Just as there is no way to convince gravity to stop working for a wrestler, there is no way to easily construct a palpable endearing emotion laden first kiss for a romance author. It is a sport of conditioning, practice, and training.  The road is long and the culmination is to tell the perfect story.

I now know that there is no such thing as an easy writing. The quality writing, the change the world stuff is a labor of intense love, commitment and selfless devotion. It is staying up all night to finish the most crucial scene you have ever written.  But they all are aren’t they? And the answer is yes, every single one IS the most crucial scene you have ever written.

I was given the advice that my heart knew was true before it was even given.  Write what you love. I started writing because of love, I write about love.  But I was looking for the trick, I was asking gravity to stop working for a moment. Sometimes in a craft you get completely immersed in your tools instead of the art giving the tool the power. It becomes about fitting in, coloring in the lines and less about expressing your unique voice. The truth is the man behind the curtain is in fact just a man.  A man dedicated and committed enough to an idea that he was able to convince the world he was an all-powerful wizard. He went outside of genre, outside what the limitations of a man should be.  In the process he stopped allowing his tools to limit him, he instead gave them new power.

I was a visual artist in high school and became a vocalist and music composer. I noticed early in my art studies that I was better with colors than with black and white.  What I understood before I left was that this was a myth I had told myself. My mind was so enrapt with technique that art was not being made. When I went into music I noticed the same. I was concerned with vocal replication of other artists and not concerned with my own sound. The girl is hardheaded. Somewhere in my junior year of high school, somewhere in the middle of performing Deep River, somewhere in the middle of composing my 3rd work technique faded and art finally took form. The moment is indescribable. For a split second you hear clearly, you feel deeply.  The world is beautiful, lovely. You absolutely matter and what you have to say bears weight and has the meaning and affluence of a living viable human soul and spirit laced throughout it. It connects you to the now, the past the future and the fountain of infinite bliss and wisdom. Pure as you and I are meant to be.

The point is have influences, mimic them as you need, read the art books, understand the style, refine your craft; use your tools. Before its over though make sure the voice is your own.  A lesson I have to teach myself over and over again. This is my ultimate love letter to remind myself why I should never give the tools power but instead use the art to empower them. I'm writing this so that when I start to forget and I'm worried about book sales, or another press or agent saying no that I stick to my declaration and follow the advice of knowledgeable others.  I embrace these tools and make them an extension of myself and what I need this world to see and understand. That I listen to the beating, pounding pace of my heart and stay with the fight. That I fill what I do with my will, my spirit; my spark. With my love, always with my love.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Online Dating Jazz

Ah the magical wonderful world of online dating.  I've realized that it’s like a seasonal sport.  There are peak times and lulls.  Right now is apparently one of my peak times.  Probably has something to do with my something being trined with my Venus, Ascendant, who knows. I have a couple of profiles that I leave open here and there because it pleases me.  I used to forget about them until someone messaged me and then I would reluctantly pull one down.  Then I decided to start letting them stay unchanged in cyber space as like a letter to myself. Each one catalogues an interesting phase in my life and how I felt about men, dating, and love.  Believing in love is very important for a romance novelist, so I often use these sites to challenge the belief in love others have.

Over the years I've learned a few things about online dating habits, especially where I'm concerned.  Very rarely does anyone who habitually dates online expect to meet the other person. I think it has a little to do with many people not looking at all like the picture they used for scoring a date.  I think it has more to do with the interesting relationships we as human beings develop with technology such as our personal computers. I think to the writings of Sherry Turkle and how she has managed to admit something that we as human beings seem not to be able to do just yet. This is the thought that a computer is a very personal and intimate device.  Just think in a day how many times you touch one in comparison to touching another person. As I type this, I feel how my fingertips brush over the keys, lightly with just enough pressure to cause it to react. I've conditioned myself to respond to it in a certain way.  And unlike people, if you manage it in just the right way it will always do exactly what you want precisely without that loss of interpretation between you and what someone else sees or hears. It builds this shell of safety and comfort for people that the harsh reality of an actual human being shatters.

I think it becomes more so for those who use computers to create art.  Writers like me can easily spend hours with one and not even notice if anyone else is even in the room.  This thing enables our thoughts and tales, our stories and fantasies.  It gives them breath, and saves our favorite moments for us to relive over and over again.  It allows us to go in, and easily fix our errors in punctuation, sentence structure, and even flawed storytelling logic.  Like our stories we build online worlds and communities, such as this blog site, and it rewards us by offering us this additional mask to hide behind so that no one can get close enough to truly hurt us.  Just close enough to interact so we don't feel lonely, but without any of the potential hazards of interacting.  The graphic novel that was adapted to the movie Surrogates shows us a world where this idea is taken to an extreme.  However in many ways this idea has already been realized.

I've never really thought online dating was a good idea because the computer can't translate that moment of awareness, instinct, and presence that happens when you meet a person who you know has the potential to be a substantial part of your life. There is a pleasing anonymity to online dating that people have a tendency to not want to give up.  Whether out of fear of rejection, safety, or just not wanting to experience the awkwardness that accompanies meeting someone for the first time that you have spoken to many times, people have a tendency to chicken out. Many of the dates I have set up ended in me being stood up, cancelled on and never rein-checked, or flat out ignored when it was time to do more than have a casual chat on a random weekday night.

The pessimist would cite things like the other person cheating on someone else as the cause, or is actively trying not to cheat on someone else as the case maybe.  I think it has a lot more to do with the person being just human; a vulnerable creature that isn't always sure of themselves and is trying to find some measure of life that makes some sense. As human beings we seek fulfillment and it is up to us to determine whose fulfillment it will be. With this being the day after the death of Steve Jobs, and the irony of the topic I think I will dare and quote the late technology mastermind.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

In the end, when we create these online extensions of ourselves they somehow reflect the parts of us that we would like to show first and the most.  The process is showing yourself for interest and intent to the rest of the world. We show the parts that we think will appeal to others by either our own value systems or those of others. Which means that you have carefully outlined the parts of yourself you feel have little value or worth to others.  But really this is your truth of what you value most about who you are.

For me personally I have 3 online names, and they showcase all sides of me.  When I'm not Christina, who I am most of the time, I'm Suenammi, which of course is a play on tsunami.  This name was given to me by my first boyfriend and probably the only man to truly accept me as me with whatever that entails. To this day he forces me to never be anyone else but me. The nickname reminds me to stay true to me. Analise is my Renaissance and Medieval Faire name for that wicked side of me that would prefer life be simpler and we made our own rules and laws.  She's that side that loves to play with swords and drink all night in dives with gypsies and pirates. This side believes in natural order, justice by my own hand, and the will of Fate in all matters.  She believes in magic and the divine, in fairytales and ghost stories. While I write under the core of remembering who I am, Suenammi, it is Analise that spins the tales.

So as I consider these multiple mistresses housed in the form known as Christina, I realize why online dating and I are so incompatible.  So few people make the choice to be exactly who they are no matter who that may be whether people can tell or not. The temptation is to be who you want to be and hope that it becomes true. So many people are letting someone else's truth speak for them and not letting their instincts guide them.  And thanks to the way online personas are developed without the least bit of screening, the ones you should stay clear of have been tagged before being released back into the wild. So I have compiled a small list of self-identifiers in your online moniker that will notify me that we are most likely incompatible despite your confidence otherwise. I advise all women who attempt to date online to do the same.

(Ahem) Any references to: money, assumed sexual prowess, active drug habits, illegal career choices, racial exploitation and or skin color descriptors, confrontational behavioral warnings (i.e. TooManyGames), being a living breathing stereotype, overt religious sayings, people who you are not, all none geeky fictional characters (My first nickname is a natural disaster. It would be too hypocritical to rule out fictional character references completely.  However, steer clear of all Supermans. Just sayin'). 

Please note I will not in fact, 'hit you back."  And always the best way to start a conversation is "Hi" and not with the implication of doing me 'a favor'.

Always w/Love