Reflecting on my purpose in life/living in the moment/what’s the next big thing, and Shel’s poem expertly stitches it together.
Originally posted on Renard Moreau Presents:
Dave McGunn was a surfin’ bum, half–crazed by the blazin’ sun.
From Waikiki to the Bering Sea, he rode ’em one by one.
Now he hung offshore ’bout a mile or more, out where the dolphins played,
And his wild eyes gleamed as he schemed and dreamed
To ride the perfect wave.
Oh, ride the perfect wave, Dave, ride the perfect wave.
If you wait it out and you don’t sell out, you may ride
The perfect wave.
He crouched in the spray and he waited all day till the sun gave way to the moon,
And his legs grew cold and he grew old and wrinkled like a prune.
And the years rolled by and the surf broke high and the 40–foot breakers sprayed.
But he sneered at ’em all, sayin’, ‘Too damn small; I’m waitin’
For the perfect wave.’
He was sleepin’ on his board when he woke…
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“So you got a girlfriend?”
“Why have a girlfriend?”
“So you don’t live alone.”
“I live alone.”
Ambitious. But then again, they all are.
“Ech,” I shrug, ” People will talk. This town? They all up in everyone’s business.”
The corner of his mouth lifts, “I don’t live here.”
We high five.
Moments later, he returns to my cafe table holding a piece of paper, which is ceremoniously placed beside my wine glass before he struts off. I lift it and observe a phone number, written in his own hand, circled, with his actual name under it. I’ve been calling him something else for over a year! I laugh into my glass while thinking, I was 17 when he was born.
Ardent. Overconfident. Of the Generation of the Oversharers.
All these are great tips! And also mix your reading material…fiction and non-fiction, subgenres for the genre you prefer to write in…
Originally posted on Quoth The Wordsmith:
You’ll often hear that in order to write, you need to read. Many prominent authors stick by it and advise aspiring writers to make a practice of always having a piece of literature on the go. It’s good advice, as long as you know that if you are reading to write, you need to look at the writing that you are reading differently. Here’s how I do it:
-Accept and note the areas that you have trouble with, whether they include dialogue, structure, characterization, setting, etc. Know and embrace the fact that you have room to improve.
-Pick a story or a book (or a few!) that really made an impression on you in terms of style, tone, and connection. It should be something that you don’t mind reading again, and that you would give a glowing review.
-Read the story slowly. Take your time. Figure out how that story…
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Not only was Colin Jost’s jab at Batman’s age so hilarious, it was very on point. 75 years with this “superhero” and the only thing that made him “super” was his belt.
My writing partner and I rant frequently about the nonsense that is the Justice League. First, how is it that Batman can quit, come back, quit again, and no one says, “You know what? Go do your own thing Batty!” He’s obnoxiously emo.
Then there’s the utility belt = superpower thesis? I mean, we’ve got Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (why but okay still), Hawkman, I mean, beings of supernatural ability and deity status as founders of the Justice League, and Batman qualifies as an equal on that Pantheon? Beyond me.
So it’s been quite enjoyable to sidebar on the ridiculousness of Batman as we design a skeletal structure of a modern day Wonder Woman saga. While I never really invested much in Bruce Wayne, I will at least acknowledge his longevity and his influence on comic lovers. Yes, Batman. Everyone wants to be you.
En homage to the Dark Knight, here’s an excerpt from my recent writing session involving Batman and Wonder Woman:
Diana exhaled a weighted sigh into her tensed fist. Just then, the quick swish signaling the door to the room opening carried towards her, followed by an outline of the familiar cowl and cloak of the dark knight. Hmph, Diana thought, Bruce Wayne decides to make an appearance in just this moment. So as not to look vulnerable, Diana straightened her shoulders and erected her spine, releasing her lips from her fist and rolling them inwards to regain moisture. As she finished the replenishment, it dawned on her the human might have taken the gesture the wrong way.
“Yes?” she snapped.
Batman continued his silent stroll towards her. “Brooding in the dark is my thing, Wonder Woman.”
“Oh I’m sorry. Am I stealing your thunder again?” She smiled, proud of her comeback, then glanced up at the shadowy form situating into the chair beside her.
“I deserve that.”
Diana arched an eyebrow in surprise.
In what seemed to be a rehearsed motion, both superheroes collapsed their backs against the large chairs, leaned back, and crossed their hands over their laps. They sat in tandem silence for quite some time. Batman and Wonder Woman were most familiar in this place, the special stratosphere of melancholy. Where some faltered in navigating, the two seemed to master this particular space, their physical challenges no match to the crippling strength of their respective inner turmoil. The only difference between the two was one wore his pain like a shiny bright badge of righteousness, while the other tucked hers away, in an inconspicuous chamber of her Amazonian heart.
Diana maintained composure despite her worry, as it was the mortal’s nature to misconstrue this state as fragility; Batman, Bruce, using the tired technique of throwing his passion to her feet like a symbolic gauntlet of deliverance, expecting her to fall to collect him, lean on him, maybe even collapse in his arms, letting him rescue her from her agonizing dismay. Then he’d undress her, slowly, methodically, owning every centimeter of her body, converging his phallus with her god-made genitalia, trying desperately to inherit through coitus what was never and will never be intended for humans: the gift of immortality. Sex, then, was Bruce Wayne’s only way to feel most like Zeus, and in his arrogance and superiority, command Wonder Woman to be his Hera, with every thrust, inserting his will in the hope she’d accept him as his equal, or even better, by the sounding of her ecstasy, accept him as her master.
No, Diana decided, as she crossed one resolute thigh over the other. We’ve done that dance too many times.
My first book signing. We ran out of books. I actually had to run out to my car for the two books I had in the backseat; luckily, leftovers from an earlier attempt at guerrilla marketing. The last fourteen months of my life living dollar to dollar so I can get published, and now I’m holding 10s of dollars, 20s of dollars, in one hand. I didn’t think I was gonna sell any books tonight, so I didn’t think about maybe having a bank bag or lock box or something to put this money in. I’m so fuckin’ irresponsible. I sold out my first event. Jesus Mahoney Christ, this shit’s really happening! Wow. Just. WOW. 4/9/14 @ 11:38pm
A casual traipse through my LinkedIn feed brought me to this article: How To Leave Your Ego At the Door Although this is framed for the corporate/private sector types, the points are applicable to the artists/wannabes as well! Here, my reactions to the points…
1. Keep introductions short
You know who are the WORST at this? Poets! They spend thirteen minutes to introduce a three-second poem! Their meanderings about their mother’s nicknames for vaginas and the need to always wear a hat because of medications (as recently-experienced examples) take away from the poetry listening experience. Standardize an intro; read it if you have to, commit it to memory, OR, since you’re a featured poet, just read the damn poem!
2. Don’t let recognition or achievement get to your head
Wow. Completely inapplicable to artists. The whole point of artistry IS recognition and achievement! The fun part is listening to these lists of awards they provide, feeling they’re completely fabricated or worse, distributed amongst a handful of club members. I notice in the blogosphere a bevy of circle-jerking awards (not gonna point any violators out; I’m limiting myself to general snark today). Recently I sat in on a book reading and was impressed by the award this woman had achieved for her memoir, but the excerpt she shared was so…what’s the best way to put it…? Entitled White American Woman Problem I couldn’t conceive how she earned it!
3. Surround yourself with humility
The artist who’s the WORST at humility? One Man Show Performers. Oy vey! I like the author’s statement here: “If you hang out with egomaniacs, you’ll likely become one.” Damn straight.
4. Present yourself through logic
The moment this happens in the arty world, time will stop, space will implode, and all we know to be true will be GONE.
Coming from a technical background, thinking scientifically by nature, and having dealt with people of all mental disorders, it is very painful for me to try to plan even the SIMPLEST events using who, what, when, where, and why with my fellows. Let me correct myself; it’s always ONLY “why”! The decision makers are the main violators of #3.
5. Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk
I’ve sat in writing groups where they take it much further: don’t call yourself a writer if you’re not published, don’t call yourself published if you’re not under a major press, don’t even fuckin’ THINK about sitting at this table unless you have an MFA from a liberal arts college! So of course, I attend because I love watching people go ballistic once finding out I fulfill only one of all their demands. Hehe.
This is so well written, I needn’t add more other than, I feel I did a good job of making my lead character a strong human first, then celebrated her femininity.
Originally posted on Corsets, Cutlasses, & Candlesticks:
I have a lot of thoughts about how to write strong female characters, but first I wanted to address the idea of “strong.” For female characters, strength tends to be equated with physical prowess. Think of “strong female characters”, and most people will immediately list the Buffys and the Xenas, because they are warrior women with superior fighting skills. But in creating strong female characters, it’s also important to look beyond the physical. The Sansa Starks of fiction are not any less strong than the Arya Starks just because they can’t pick up a sword and slay their enemies. There are the Felicity Smoaks of the world who find strength in their intelligence, and the Cersei Lannisters who use manipulation and cunning to drive their enemies to their knees.
To quote Neil Gaiman on this subject:
The glory of Buffy is…
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Nothing like spring cleaning while streaming Netflix in the background. I had the P!nk Truth About Love Tour going first and then Madonna’s MDNA Tour. Two great shows, two performers I’d love to see in concert. Then I thought, QUICK! Top five concerts…GO!
#5 – Janet Jackson Velvet Rope Tour
“Can you pull together eighty bucks?” My girl is breathing hard into the phone as she asks me this. Of course, hood tendencies make me think she’s in a pinch. So before I ask who’s holding the gun to her head, she explains, “I just got two tickets to Janet Jackson!!”
So she’s not dying and I’m about to see one of my idols. I respond with “Whew!” and “Yes!”
Now. Lemme SPLAIN something here. Janet Jackson and I are best friends. Ever since Control, I’ve been on her dance crew. As soon as I graduated from high school, I was going to join Janet’s European tour, be Tina Landon’s choreography assistant, and never look back.
Flash forward to 2001, and, well…I’m a software engineer instead of a dancer. :(
Not only are we seeing Janet, but our tickets are for THE FLOOR. Yes! Room to demonstrate the years of training to my master. Oh Janet, look this way! Please do “Rhythm Nation”, please do “Rhythm Nation”, that’s my tightest routine. And the demigod delivers. I break that shit down LIKE A NINJA.
#4 Limp Bizkit at the San Antonio Rodeo Grounds
My siblings and I have an interesting habit of not being into the same kind of music, ever, so it was history in the making when the three of us made this concert our first together. We’re already adults, mind you, my siblings each parents and me a full-time tia. The best part of the whole venture was watching my sister tease her hair out to stratosphere level. You know we’re going to a ’90s rock concert, not a ’80s rock concert, right? Didn’t stop her.
The concert was meh as is figured for rap-rock-white trash fusion. You know who opened for them? Godsmack. Yeah! That Godsmack. They were ridiculously good and much more memorable than Monkey Mask, Britney’s Ex, and the Bizkettes. But the three of us, hanging out, as kin, now that was fantastic.
#3 Marc Anthony at Dallas Bowl
That skinny dude can SANG. And what luck to experience that voice in such an intimate venue. I was with two of the most annoying Puerto Ricans on Earth, but blessed be, the moment their brethren hit the stage, they both shut the fuck up for the duration of the show. Now that’s power! This was pre-J. Lo Marc Anthony, top of his game. That night, we drove home in what seemed to be a Category 18 hurricane. At some point on 635 I was certain we were gonna crash and die, and I still remember thinking, ‘but at least I caught a helluva concert’.
#2 – New Kids on The Block in Mannheim
My first boy band concert. With adult supervision. It was polite, enjoyable from the distance we were at.
#1 – New Kids on The Block at Frankfurt Festhalle
NO ADULT SUPERVISION. This was the year Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch were opening for NKOTB and my crew was not gonna miss out on that! We’re standing about 14 rows back from the stage, and the decent member of the crew laments we’re too far away. So I look at my girl, she looks at me, we both heard our friend complain about the distance, so we commence to crowd control. While I snatch girls by the collar and hair and toss them to one side, my girl is throwin’ ‘bows to clear the other side, and we get from row 14 to row 4. The final distance not so much physical work than bellowing, “MOVE DA FUCK OUTTA DA WAY!!” to visibly terrified German girls. Yeah, hooligans at a New Kids on The Block concert, I know, I know.
But timing was perfect. Marky Mark just hit the stage, just stood mere feet from us, and just dropped his pants. HOOAH! Mission: Accomplished!
QUICK! What are YOUR Top Five Memorable Concerts? GO!
Today I’m busy setting up my promo campaign, “Operation: Five Star Review” ;) And as I book venues, call up vendors, muddle over flyer designs, I laugh a bit, reminded at how nervous I was just to show another human being my work. It’s gone from manuscript to market and I’m still a basket of nerves!! Enjoy this revisit, the day I turned in I Blew Up Juarez to the publisher….
Originally posted on Von Simeon:
Original Post Date February 28, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Handing over a manuscript to an editor is easy in theory, a metaphysical meltdown in practice.
It wasn’t when I updated the file in Schrivener. It wasn’t when I selected File > Compile and created a PDF document of the manuscript. And not even when I uploaded the PDF to the Print Online page at fedex.com. It was when the long ponytailed FedEx Kinko’s assistant slapped the 391 page spiral bound document on the counter at the 3rd Street location that it happened.
A minor panic attack.
I felt the vessels in my neck pulsate. My heart began to race.
First draft. Book One.
Trace and I will meet on Friday to hand over my soul. This is what it feels like, anyways. The most intimate interaction I’ve had in the past three years, now revealed. The comfort of living esconsced…
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