Why do I Write?

In the months, that I have talked about writing, the one topic that I have never touched on is why do I write? The answer for me is that I enjoy writing/telling stories. Seeing where you can take a character physically as well as emotionally. Seeing all the different types of characters that there are to explore. Being able to tell their stories is a true gift, and its an art form. A clear and precise art form that involves crafting something out of nothing.

I write because I enjoy it. That may be a pure answer, but it’s true I do enjoy it. Even when I get the occasional spell of writer’s block or dry spell. But overall I enjoy it. It’s like creating entertainment that I enjoy writing as well as having someone else read it. Sure, not everyone is going to like what I have to write, but for me, if I find that one reader who cares enough or is interested enough in reading what I have to say, then at the end of the day I have done my job, and that is what makes me happy.

Yes, I have aspirations of writing for a living and making money off of it, but who doesn’t at some point in their life. I just chose that time is now, while I’m still young and can learn from my mistakes. But we all have learned from our mistakes and those lessons are not easy but at the end of the day, they are my lessons to learn from.

I enjoy days when I can set at my desk, write for hours and think of nothing that I’m writing at the moment. That is one of the great things that I enjoy about getting lots of snow, for that is the point of when I can’t go anywhere and I can watch the snow fall as I write by a window. This is why I write because I enjoy it. And if there ever comes a time when I don’t enjoy it, then I must be dying or I’m already dead, for I know that my lifetime of writing has been completed.

Updates from Faerie Rose Press

The first month of 2018 is almost over, and it’s time that I give an update for the month. This month has been about writing and discovering the possibilities that come from the world of writing. Every day, I post on here about something things that I have noticed from different aspects of writing, and the biggest reasons why I do it is that I want to share my knowledge with others, which has been the biggest reason why I started on this journey last year. While this website has not been up for quite a year, I have felt accomplished in what I have learned from working on this site and working on the social media aspect as well for my business.

As for the current projects, The Raven Prophecy is still a work in progress, for last month I completed the first 100 pages of the first draft and I have worked on it some more and as I have mentioned in an earlier post, my biggest goal this year is to complete the first draft of The Raven Prophecy. I have yet to work on Ravages of Time but at some time throughout the year, that too will also get its time to be worked on. In recent days I have started working on a series of stories for the Sheriff John Crimson series. The Sheriff John Crimson stories are being published under Elderwood Publications and they are a set of western stories. So far I have published two of the stories, Crimson Bounty and Crimson Shot, which are now both available on Amazon. The third story in the series I started yesterday and hope to have that one published very soon.

So far I’m enjoying writing and working on the Sheriff John Crimson series, for they are allowing me to explore a different world and to explore writing westerns, which I have always had a deep desire to do. Right now the fun part about writing the series is exploring the character that is Sheriff John Crimson and the town of Harbor Gulch. I plan to work on this series throughout the year.

So that is the latest update on what is going on with Faerie Rose Press. I hope that you stick around all year to see what other exciting things that will be taking place.

 

Escapism

As writers, we tend to allow our readers to escape into the world that we have created for a couple of hours. As readers, we also lend ourselves to escape into the worlds that others have created. Why do we need to escape from the world that we know?

The answer is really easy, sometimes the world that we know is too harsh, too political, and above all is in chaos. When I was in college and the class work got to be a little too much, I would indulge into the world of the Soap Opera. Yes, I’m a soap junkie and proud of it. Sometimes it helped to see others have their world thrown into a bit more chaos than my own. Back when the events of 9/11 controlled the airways for days and weeks, my family took small trips to the high country to escape the devastation of what was going on the television.

Right now, you can say that the world that we are in currently is very chaotic, with a President, who uses language that others find offensive, to a leader overseas that is working on missiles to strike, and above all seeing the devastation that the western part of the country with fires and now mudslides. Yes, it’s nice seeing the pictures of the snow in the southern part of the country, for that is not as chaotic unless you live there. But when it is compared to everything else going on snow is nice while everything else is a not so nice.

That is the reason why we need to escape. Movies help us escape, television shows help us to escape, but if you really want to escape and use the creative force that is imagination then books are a better way to go. You can slip in there and create the characters the way that you imagine them and how you imagine them speaking to you if you go as far as taking on the presence of a character.

When I use to read textbooks, especially business textbooks, I would pretend that Anthony Mason, from CBS, was reading them too me. Somewhat like an audiobook. It made it so much easier to read the textbooks thinking that a business journalist was reading them to me than using my own voice. That was in a way for me to use escapism while focusing on the material of the class.

We all need to escape for a while, and that includes escaping into our work as writers. Escaping into our worlds, visiting our characters and the situations that we put them. That is what is the joy for me in writing is that I can escape into the world that I created and think about it clearly until that’s all I want to think about. So we all should take a little time to escape from what we know and indulge in what we are creating, which is art.

Seeking the Truth

As writers, we tend to seek out the truth that is in our stories but we also want the truth to many different things as well. This includes relationships, love, friendship, identity, the government, history, and the list goes on. We seek the truth or rather the heart of what is in our stories. Have you started writing, and thought of it as a puzzle. Trying to get the pieces together so that your story that you are working on is perfect.

Last night, I was watching an episode of The X-Files, and at the heart of the show is getting to the truth. Granted, there are the episodes where they explore some case that has to deal with the paranormal, and then there are the episodes that deal with the mythology of The X-Files, such as the truth behind the disappearance of Agent Mulder’s sister. Those are the episodes that are worth watching, for you watch as they try to uncover the truth behind government conspiracies and secrets. That is why for my the original finale was such a great capstone of the show for it showed some of the revelations that took place over the original nine seasons of the show. Furthermore, it showed us to writers how we can write a story where the truth is not known until the end of the story.

That is another reason why I liked such works of fiction such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Not to give away anything from the book, but yes you have the different puzzles for solving the code at what was in essence of seeking the truth that was supposedly covered by the Catholic Church. But you don’t know if the code is really solved until the end of the book.

In part that this is what makes writing fun, trying to uncover the truth or making the truth that we believe to be possible in our work. Taking our characters on a journey of self-discovery and having them find the inner laying parts of the fabric that is what we made of their lives. A great example of this comes from The Giver by Lois Lowery. If you have not read The Giver, I highly recommend this book even though it is considered a children’s book, it is worth the read. Anway, at the heart of The Giver, is a boy named Jonas who is tasked with taking on the role as the Giver, who is the all-knowing guide of the society in which Jonas lives. But as he solely works to know the truth from the Giver, he decides that he wants to run away from the society and save the baby Gabriel, who is on the verge of being destroyed. Was the truth too much for Jonas? Or was it that he didn’t want to live in a society where you can be destroyed for doing or behaving not as the society has stated that you should act.

Granted, there are some works of fiction, where there is no seeking of the truth, but in any mystery novel, romance novel to a point, fantasy, science fiction, and some literary fiction there is a point of trying to find out the truth. The truth is as I mentioned is there, we as readers just need to find it.

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Should we be comparing Authors to each other?

We as humans tend to compare things to one another but should that mean our authors too. In a recent post, some said how as authors we don’t  talk about Shakespeare or Jane Austin or Stephen King and how they compare to one another. I mean there are so many reasons why these three should not be compared to one another in my view.

Let’s look at Shakespeare, first Shakespeare is a play write not an author. While he wrote some of the best plays, he also had a tendency to reuse the same formula in his comedies. So in one aspect, Shakespeare was a formula writer, much like Nicholas Sparks is. We can compare these two on formula writing if we need to compare Shakespeare to a novelist; however, Shakespeare should be compared against other play writes not authors.

As for Jane Austin, who as it was found out if she was putting forth her work in front of a publisher, she would be rejected for so many reasons. But just like Shakespeare had his time, so did Jane Austin. While she has been credited some good work like Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, there is also to a certain extent her work, much like Shakespeare’s has been made into numerous adaptations. But if you want to talk adaptation, Shakespeare and Austin could be compared and so can King for that matter.

However, Stephen King is a more modern storyteller, who has written screenplays, novels, and short stories. His work has been adapted into television shows and movies for both the small and big screens. But his work is so much different than Shakespeare and Austin, for in some ways he has a darker tone than the other two based on the work that he has put forth before. But should the three be compared to one another I would say no.

I mean the two that come to mine that you could make the case for that they could be compared to each other is Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Granted, they were part of the same writing group, and they both wrote works of fantasy, and both have had works that have been adapted into movies. But both took created fantasy worlds and both of those worlds had their own folklore and backstory. I would give these two more of a comparison than Shakespeare to Austin or King. But should we really be comparing our authors to one another?

 

You want to play a game?

There’s a game to everything that we do. We play it every time that we talk, every time we meet someone new. It’s a game sort of like cat and mouse. It’s a game that we either win or we lose, for there is no in between. We play this game every day of our lives to survive to make it through the day. We learned it as children in school, as we try to get the attention of our teachers from the rest of the students in our classes. We learned it again when we entered the workforce to see if we could get the attention of our managers. Granted, we wanted it more for something good that we have performed at rather than something negative. Every day, we do the dance to see how far we have come and deal with the stress that is part of the game. Then when we retire from work, the game is over for we don’t have to pay for the attention of anyone except for our loved ones so that we feel that we are not forgotten. But before retirement, ask yourself was it worth it?

Was it really worth it? Was it really worth playing the game and dealing with the stress? Back a few months ago, I asked myself the very same question and at the end of the day I said ‘no.’ Life is short and why should I spend 40 years in a workforce that was so downgrading that it wasn’t worth the pay? I think that in recent times more and more people are asking themselves the very same question for more and more people are going to work for themselves. But I hear the same stories again and again from my sisters who work in jobs where they told that there is a game to play and you either accept the rules of the game or you get written up for it.

I said no to the rules, and I decided to branch out and make my own rules. One were I can spend my day working on my craft and try to make a name for myself. Build something that I am proud of. Granted, there are rules to this too but they are better rules. I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself. I’m not saying that this is ideal for everyone but what if you found yourself in the same situation, could you play the new game? A game where you decide how the day goes. A game where you can look back and say that it was worth it?

I did and I’ve never been happier for it. Could you do the same?

The Importance of Human Life in Story

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of Twilight from the perspective of how it has been criticized for some bad things that are featured in the book. However, what I forgot to mention was how there was a theme that resonated throughout the book series, which was the importance of human life. When you really think about it that is the most important aspect that we as writers can bring to our writing is how important life can be. Let’s go back to looking at my favorite example that I have mentioned on here several times, The Hunger Games. Yes, as much as the book mentions death, there is still deep down the underlying theme that life is important. This comes up in the second book when Katniss is touring the other districts and she brings up Rue, who reminded her of her sister, Primrose. The thing that we find is how tragic her death was how Katniss is reminded of it again and again how Rue’s life was cut short and what could have been for Rue.

Granted, that is not a happy example of how important life is, but when you think about some of the other books that we read, like Charlotte’s Web. Fern really brings up in the first few pages that life is precious and that if she was a runt her family would not have disregarded like her father was going to do with the pig, who would become Wilbur.

But as much as these examples, show the importance of human life, we as authors can show the same through our characters. Yes, we have death in our stories, but at the same time, we need to show the balance of how life is important too and all the great things that come from living. Think back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, yes, Charlie Bucket’s life was doom and gloom but once he entered the chocolate factory he got to experience the wonder that was the factory. The same can be said of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy enters Oz and sees Muchkin City for the first time or even the Emerald City for that matter. These are wonders that they got to experience in their lives. I’m not taking away from Alice, but we did not find the same wonder that was explained to the reader as we did with Charlie or Dorothy for that matter.

That’s one thing that we need to do as readers, which is to show the wonder that can found in fiction let alone fantasy. As much as I like and love Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games, there is still something that can be said when a world can take a hold of you and show you the wonder that can make your imagination soar and show that life can be wonderful once you find that bit of magic.