Friday, May 30, 2014

Days of Future Past wasn't long enough!

How funny is it that I'm beginning to enjoy the Marvel films, especially the X-men franchise, more so than DC's failed attempts at booting up their cinematic universe?

I don't blame Zack Snyder, Martin Campbell, or even Nolan's close ended Batman franchise for doing this. Nevertheless, I am beginning to wonder if there are intentional acts of sabotage being committed across the multiverse. These movies are very standalone, as if each director wants to keep the other competition out of their world. Man of Steel, granted, is the start of a new universe but Campbell's Green Lantern would never have fit inside that world. Nolan's Batman is too realistic as well. So in the upcoming months as people leak set photos of the new Batman/Superman film, I am intrigued to see what happens.

Maybe Zack will become some cinephile doppelganger of Geoff Johns?

Days of Future Past was a good one. I enjoyed the nuances, the subtle attention to detail in the continuum. It reminds me like Bioshock: Infinite; an immersible, pleasurable universe that is oddly familiar, yet widely divergent. Wolverine's lack of adamantium was an homage to the comicbook origins. Quicksilver's beatdown of a room of guards while listening to "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce was an homage to the mind-altering psychotropic drugs of the late 60s and early 70s, likewise. It was a "romp" (whatever that has come to mean in popular film critique).

This weekend I plan to do a few things, mostly write. It's very exciting to actually begin to have the back and fourth between me and Phil on the comic. I'm still tight lipped about it. The whole concept is a surprise that you'll all have to wait for to be revealed come November. This is a blessing I think. I'm able to really fine tune the script details as the time goes on. Right now I'm working on issue #5, but there are still script problems in issue #1. Luckily, me and Phil love comics just as much as fixing them.

Health problems aside, I've been taking it easy, trying to find a happy medium between work and play. Video games are a good outlet, along with jogging and exercise. There's some progress there, believe it or not. SPOILERS: I don't have cancer, according to my CT scan and ultrasound. One step at a time I guess.



SW


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sixteen Memories

Sixteen memories keep my mind restless.

I was a child when my father died. Sixteen times he told me to be strong for the family, to take care of the farm, the animals.

In the midst of my adolescence I bought a broken car, fixed it, drove it and saw sixteen accidents arise between my fourteenth and eighteenth birthdays

My first love was consummated when I was 22. Shortly after we ended our relationship, after our sixteenth fight.

Four years later I married. Our wedding was small. Only sixteen friends came, for both our families were fighting.

To me, a son was born, on the sixteenth of July.

Sixteen times, his teacher told me, she had to send him to the corner that week.

Our debts mounting, the farm bankrupt, our bank seized our assets. Only sixteen cents were spared.

After a bad night, our son ran away from home and crashed our car into the neighbor's fence. He was sentenced to sixteen months in the county jail for destruction of property under the influence.

My wife and I split up, after sixteen years of marriage.

Sixteen weeks later, each of us encountered Jesus at a local church. We were remarried.

Our son, after being estranged for 2 years returned to us the $1600 that he stole from our family safe the night of his disappearance.

He introduced us to our new granddaughter. She was sixteen months old.

My mother passed away December 4th at 4pm.

The family doctor diagnosed me with cancer. I had a year and fourth months he estimated.

I have been in my bed for three weeks. Sixteen times I refused to go without food.

Four years of remission, my cancer has gone away. My doctor tells me it's a miracle. I was only one of sixteen survivors in medical history from the cancer.

Sixteen memories remind me that I am loved.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day and Mermories

It occurred to me only a few minutes ago that I forgot to write this post.

Today felt like a weekend. That's probably why. So far, all I've done was sit and read at Starbucks. It was the first time I've ever lost myself in a book. (I've been reading Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.) Granted it is a holiday, I'm going to steer away from my usual informative posting involving writing coaching. I feel casual. Why not? Three day weekend, brah!

Reading fantasy has always been a heavily nostalgic, if not painful, activity for me. It's not that I don't enjoy fantasy, or that I'm put off by particular tropes. I love all that crap, as the layman would say. My problem is what fantasy communicates to me, how it speaks to my inner desires to live and to be in a world where things are simpler, less ambiguous. I love the pastoral imagery of Neil's work and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The material stemming from these two individuals are intimate and personal. They are windows into what these writers believe in.

I believe in God, the christian oriented Kingdom, and an eventual restoration of this world and I would consider Tolkein's work to be analogous to this particular pretense. But I also feel conflicted. I really do desire for Middle Earth to be real, but will the new heavens and new earth be representative of this fiction? Have I fallen in love with a world that will never be?

C.S. Lewis has a moment in one of his books, The Great Divorce, where he describes an angel talking to a shade. The shade is an artist, or was, and is completely enamored with heaven. He wonders if he will be able to paint in paradise, to which the angel assures him that he will never paint again. That sounds like a bummer when you ponder that. C.S. Lewis is not, by any means, a tried and true theologian in the traditional sense, but really a philosopher, so we could say that this is one of those moments where one ought to take his word with a grain of salt. I, on the other hand, think he's on to something.

Living in a fantasy world, wanting it to be real, is the central desire that feeds artists, and their fantasy is ultimately shaped by their worldview. So, when I write, or an artist draws, or an architect plans a building, the creative spirit of these artists draw on some deeper well of inspiration that goes back to their outlooks, their expectations. Once you're in heaven, you won't write fiction, because the world will be perfect; it will make "sense." And I look forward to that because then what I deeply desire will no longer be something that I intangibly fantasize about. It will be real, and it will be wonderful. "Superman" will be real. "Middle Earth" will be real. The world will make sense.

So when I real Neil, maybe what I feel is frustration, instead of disappointment. I want the real deal, right now. No, Neil, don't write about that, it makes me want more! That's always a good position to be in when you're a writer.

So get back to reality and enjoy your beers for me (I still can't drink yet) tonight. It's been fun! See you all Wednesday.



SW


Friday, May 23, 2014

Altruism and Editing

The week has come and gone! My artist, Phil Kiner, proposed to his girlfriend and is now engaged to be married and I became the assistant editor/webmaster of Sequart.org. A lot has happened. This is a nice way to end the month given my slew of health issues that I had to endure. 

I've been studying African folk tales this month as an ongoing part of my research into my upcoming Sandman book that I am writing for Sequart Organization. These are bizarre tales; morally dubious and very pragmatic. Given the cognitive environment that the tales were written in, I can't say I'm not surprised. Africa is all about scarcity and resources shorting out. Nomadic people comb the Sahara for food and sustenance, fight one another for food and dominance. This has been going on for thousands of years for all anthropologists know, so the idea that these struggles boil over into indigenous tales is fascinating. 

There was this tale, actually, that I recall where a man in need is saved by a heron. This heron saves the man from certain death, only to be captured and nearly eaten. When the wife saves the bird, saying that it was wrong for her husband to capture the bird, the heron is released, but not before gouging out one of the woman's eyes. The moral of that story is so dubious. It seems to chastise the woman for doing good. It punishes altruism, which is difficult to conceive of against the backdrop of Western folklore that generally thwarts might, elevates the righteous, and punishes the wicked. The cultural transference that is undergone when I read these tales is powerful, to say the least. 

And, or course, I've been preoccupied with the Sequart intra-web slingin' all this week. Averaging about 3 articles per day to post, I can say that I've finally made good on my goal to "read" more of Sequart. Also, my appreciation for editors has increased. The amount of work that get put into managing this content is incredible. Troubled articles that need to be overhauled, are hour long commitments. They look a lot better when I'm done, but still, it's very under-appreciated work. Mike and I, the Editor in Chief are like Batman and Robin in this business, sans the whole "gay" thing. I'm looking forward to it, especially the epic loot I'll be making! (It's not a lot, but the first cash I've been able to make doing what I love.)

It's Friday, and I have the whole weekend to write, relax, and decompress. I've pretty jazzed. You ought to be to... for me. For being so jazzed, that is!



SW

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: The Writing Room

Marv leaned back in his chair, swiveling side to side with his pen stuck in his teeth.

"He walks into the store... what if he had a top hat? You know the ones that they wore back in the 30s?"

A few of the writers chuckled. Steve, the lead nodded, taking it in.

"That's a Rosenberg joke... I don't know. Ever since he left I feel like we keep riffing off old material."

"What about the B plot?" Jerry spoke up from the corner. "We are on page six and there hasn't been a sqeak out of the captain yet."

Steve looked at his watch. It was 3:40am. He rubbed his eyes wearily and heaved a heavy sigh.

"Jesus Christ," he moaned. "Let's take a breather guys. Get some coffee, something. I'm beat. Let's recap in ten."

The writers sauntered out of the conference room into the cold dark hall ways of Chuck Studious. Outside, a frost scorched the edges of the windows. Far down the empty halls a cleaning crew bobbed in and out of each executive office with mechanical precision. Marv rubbed the back of his neck, and drowsily walked to the break room.

"Do you think they are really going to cancel us?" Jerry said, catching up to Marv. Steve's ears perked up and hovered closer, his hands in his pockets speculatively.

"I don't know," Marv admitted. "I really don't know. Fifteen seasons... didn't we win something too? An Emmy? Shit..."

"Do you have anything lined up?" Steve interjected. Marv looked back. A pair of white disks stared back at him through the darkness, the lenses reflecting the low florescent light.

"I got a call back from Laugh Out Loud. I hear those guys are pretty alright. Great bennys' and it's easy to get transferred over to their union. I don't want to leave if I don't have to."

Steve nodded. He caught up to the two and walked up beside Marv.

"I've worked in this business for 20 years," Steve said. it was addressed to no one, an errant observation. "Rosenberg left because he wanted to take a break. He wanted his life to be more than just a handful of sitcom scripts."

"I read his books," Jerry interjected eagerly. "They are phenomenal; super funny. Have you read them Marv?"

A thin smile cracked along Marv's face. Indeed he had. They were hilarious.

The break room was full of the writers already. Ambling beside one another. A pile of sweetener packets were strewn across the particle board tables, grains of sucrose scattered along the grey plastic veneers. One of the writers approached Steve, handing him a cup of coffee. Marv shook his head at the rookie. What a putz he thought. Suck-up. Steve kindly took the coffee and raised it to the man in appreciation.

"Cheers."

"Fellas," he spoke up over the simmering crowd, "We go back in five, but I'd like to take the time to show my undying gratitude for your time here. God knows we don't get any credit."

"The show-runner think they can get away with it, but hell, as long as I get paid..." someone called out from the back.

"I wanted to say though," Steve continued, quieting the room, "that we all miss Don Rosenberg." A collective moan droned a moment, then subsided.

"But we all need to move past and get our material set straight. We can't rely off the old jokes. Someone has to call it, so I will. We all know that the network isn't happy with the ratings. But that's not our fault. Times change. The same goes for the shows. What was funny and unique, 20 years ago isn't today, and that's okay. The guys at Laugh Out Loud have the edge and technology. We can't make an episode in a week, that just doesn't happen. But we are still the household name of animation. That's how people see us. There's a lot of uncertainty out there, but I want to assure you all, as head writer, I want to give you my word that no matter what happens, what we have been able to accomplish here merits a round of applause."

Steve smiled and raised his styrofoam cup.

"To Don everyone. May he rest in peace, wherever the hell he is."

"I think I saw him in Cabo!" someone shouted from the back.

Marv laughed along with the rest, his spirits raised.

And that's when it hit him.

"I figured it out," he cried out. "Jesus, I'm so stupid. A vacation episode. It can be a vacation down to mexico." The other writers looked back at Marv wide eyed.

"And the B-plot could be Jim going out to look for gold," Marv continued boldly.

Steve patted Marv on the back.

"Good work Marv," he said simply. "You heard the man, let's get back in there."

Quickly the writers set down their things and quickly walked out of the break room, Marv with them, hopeful and renewed. It was going to be a long night, but a productive one. And he didn't want it any other way.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Writing the Non-Fiction Novel: Writing Without "Bias"

Writing without a bias is one of those things that many writers have difficulty doing. I think that this fundamentally stems from the misunderstanding of what writing without a bias means, and what qualifies as "biased writing."

A bias is representative skew in your opinions and your convictions. Putting these into your writing normally is acceptable as far as op-ed writing standards go. Writing with a bias becomes problematic in non-fiction however, because the point of non-fiction is to offer information on a particular subject in survey style, that is with an objective position. So in my case, my book is about the use of religion in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, but because I am christian I risk writing a longer chapter on Christianity, or have the theme of Christianity become my interpretive lens for the entirety of the book.

Writing without a bias is good for your non-fiction material because no one wants to read a "preachy" book. these kind of books are bad because no longer is your writing about your subject but your opinions on the subject, which cloud the transference of knowledge from the book to the reader. To avoid this effect, I challenge you all to take particular interest in where you are getting your sources from. I am making sure that all my authors that I pull material from are practicing believers in their prospective religions. You don't want to get a book about Hinduism written by an evangelical christian, or likewise. The resulting research won't be authentic.

Another way of getting unbaised sources is finding authors who have extensive field expertise in their subjects, that work for universities and academic institutions. I'm not an elitist (most of the time), but these kinds of researchers have a well rounded range of exposure to their subject. Amateur, self-employed individuals that dabble in psuedo-scholasticism are not good sources for your books. Because, then, your are writing a book about a personality, not about your subject.

That is all for today! See you all next week.



SW 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wildfires

Between getting a good prognosis on my health shenanigans and the fires in San Diego, I can't figure if I am supposed to be relieved or concerned about where things are going in my life. Not dying is one thing. Then again, I wonder if I should be taking a backup of my computer with me and my guitar, should the "shit"
 really hit the fan, as the saying goes.

Wildfires come and go in San Diego. I liken them to Christmas and Easter. Every year they are paid attention to en mass for 24-48 hours, then summarily forgotten in the passing weeks. I read once that they are naturally occurring even, springing up in forests to clean house every so often. I wonder why then people are so surprised when their palatial ranch house estates are threatened by something that happens every year, consistently. I don't get mad at traffic jams, but some people do apparently.

I recently started doing some back end support for Sequart. I've learned a lot so far. Thing #1 that I've learned: apparently I'm the only one that proofs their work before sending it off. I'm actually not too surprised by this. I'm often very proud of the work that I put out, that is, until my wife gets a hold of it and rocks my naive conceptions. Little things like picture placement in the articles has become a new art form for me. It's one of the most amazing things to find an awesome picture and place it smack dab into the poignant area of the article. Some people are already keen to this meta-commentary, but I hope to become a veritable grandmaster. My Brian's Comic Book Grab Bag, series is in dire need of some sprucing. 

As far as work goes, it's going.

I've just gotten into African folk tales, which, consequently, have become my new favorite style of narrative. These are stories told that are isolated inside a worldview that I have yet to understand, but what does float to the surface is fascinating, especially when I glean stuff from them that I find in common stories that I've learned about here, in western culture. Understanding animism has helped me figure out how the stories work. But I'm still a "white guy"; these things are like an abyss. I want to report back next week and give you the nitty-gritty on what I've read thus far. I'm very much looking forward to it!



SW

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: Examinations

Dr. Lou held the gray waxy chart in front of his eyes and squinted.

Reaching to his breast pocket, he grabbed his glasses and put them on.

"Inflammation of lower GI," he rattled off routinely to the nurse beside him. "Let's take another look at his results for the blood work when they come in."

"Oh, and Mark is here for you Doctor Lou." The nurse added before leaving.

Lou nodded and set down the chart. "Here we go," he muttered.

Mark was a new patient. Relatively fit. Limited history. He enjoyed his enthusiasm. Mark wasn't the one to complain, but had his share of keen observations. Lou knew what he was getting into with Mark. Paranoia kills, and Mark had plenty of it.

Lou walked into the exam room and saw Mark bent over in his chair looking tired. He eyeballed him, and shook his head, pointing to a diagram on the wall.

"Does anyone ever read that shit?" he said chuckling tiredly. Lou felt his eyebrows raise instinctively.

"You'd be surprised. This company comes in and pays for them to be up. You know how it is. Money talks."

Mark nodded soberly, holding his side.

"So what's going on Mark? How's the kids?"

Mark sat up in the chair, straightening his back against the lumbar rest.

"Trouble at the pool, if you know what I mean..." he grumbled. "You know, for all the stuff I do at the gym, you'd think I could take a dump more often than once a day. What's wrong with me, doc?"

Lou looked at Mark's information, scanning the blood panel, checking the ultrasound once more. Nothing. Nothing wrong. Lou sighed and set the paperwork down on the counter.

"We've got nothing here that looks too bad. Your blood work speaks for itself Mark. You're doing good. It's likely stress induced I.B.S. Wouldn't be surprising. At least 20% of Americans have it. Are you relaxing at all? Cutting back on work?"

"I try," Mark replied noncommittally. "I don't know what to do, Lou. This is all a royal cluster-fuck. How am I supposed to do my job with this... condition? I get stressed about being stressed... it's all killing me."

He paused, then, picking up his train of thought pointed back to Lou. "And don't get me started on that medication. I've been dipping in an out like nothing else."

"Well," Lou replied, "I don't know what to say..."

Silence passed between the two. Until Lou sat down across from Mark.

"Take some time off, man. It'll help."

Mark hesitated. He looked nervous, folding his hands. After some time, he nodded, then leaned back.

"I'll try," Mark finally spoke in a low voice. "I gotta' get it together."

"You will," Lou affirmed. "It just takes time."

"Yeah," Mark agreed weakly. "Yeah I guess it does..."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Writing the Non-Fiction Novel: Big-to-Small

I sort of got into this last week, but I thought I would take the much needed time to elaborate on the art of condensing ideas.

This is the hardest part about writing: taking a big idea and generating content out of it. About 95% of the issue here is that, when writing a large section of text (like a chapter of a book), there is not enough information available that can be used as your text content body. This is where the difference between experience and inexperience come out. I've discovered though that all the minutiae, the little details that inform your chapter thesis are often put in on the second run, towards the end of the second editing run-through. All the cool ideas that you've been able to sit on and explore after the initial composition of the chapter have been able to form and settle in your mind. The result is that you have a better understanding of how you can compile the information and execute it in your chapter. Therefore, most of your little details that fill up your chapter come later, resulting in a Big-to-Small progression.

Big-to-Small is my way of saying, "take your biggest idea (top three) and lay them out sequentially in your chapter." These thoughts represent beginning, middle, and end. These big ideas will constitute an introductory "problem," or setup for your chapter.

Say I was writing a chapter about grilling. "How to Grill," would be my chapter title. What is the introductory "problem" in grilling? Why grill? I would introduce the subject of grilling as an alternative means of cooking. One grills because they want a different taste, a better steak. So my big point, A, would revolve around the problem of taste in conventional cooking, and why grilling brings something new to the table.

Point A - The problem of Taste

Our middle point is supposed to be our halfway point to the final conclusion, which is the outcome of grilling: a better taste. The middle idea could be about anything but, because taste is our biggest concern in this "chapter," I will suggest marinating as our point two. Marinating a steak changes the composition of the meat by breaking down the thickness, the consistency, and overall cooking process in grilling. It's a good midway point, and ultimately factors into taste within our grand scheme of the chapter. Your point B should always be some kind of halfway mark for the chapter.

Point A - The Problem of Taste
Point B - Marinating for better taste. 

Because our chapter is all about grilling, the final end of the process should be about the actual grilling process. Again, I'm speaking hypothetically, constructing a chapter out of three points: a beginning, middle, and end. The final "act" of our chapter drives home the importance of grilling. Therefore, the "end" piece of the chapter should deal with the result of grilling, the solution of better taste from alternative cooking means.

Our three points then are as follows:

Point A - The Problem of Taste
Point B - Marinating for better taste
Point C - The "Grill" 

Now that we have our three points, where do the small details come in? If you are a serious writer, after explaining these three core principals of grilling (three distinct thoughts that are easy to list, rattle off, and compose without having to strain any creativity), by now you should have encountered several offshoot topics that easily integrate into each point. Through research, outside reflection, and randoms moments of experience, you will have gained several other subtopics to write about. Each of these subpoints will constitute the connective fibers of your paper. What is the difference between smoking and grilling? (Point A) What are the effects of different marinades? (Point B) What are the flavors resulting from a good "grill?" (Point C) This is how you can go from Big-to-Small in your writing.


You can tell that I had more time to write this, huh? ;)

Hope that helps!



SW

 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sabbathing and Printing

So despite the troubles I've been having with my health, the ebook for my upcoming science fiction novel Spirit of Orn is more or less complete. Now, the trouble shooting process begins.

Editing an ebook to me is a new process. Considering that multiple platforms use different type settings (or at least leave it up to the tablet that is processing the document files), I've learned that the normal embellishments that the author is capable of making in a book become moot. Not only this, but creating fonts has been taken out of the whole game, other than cover design. I'm not sure how I feel about this, all things considered. Printing has always been an art. Without the flexibility of picking and choosing fonts, the creative expressions via text disappear, more or less. Then again, I also don't have to pay a publisher ten grand to print my first thousand copies that ultimately may end up living in my garage for the unforeseeable future; that is, unless I sell them. It's a give and take.

As for my health...

I think it's mostly in my head, but for safe measure my doctor, at my behest, has scheduled a CT scan to check me out. I'm crossing my fingers for a clean slate, then I can get back to my life, finally. This whole ordeal has given me a lot of thought though, about how I live, what I eat, and the effect my Day/Dream job has on my overall health. Working all these hours certainly has an impact, but how I spend my free time, if I have time for free time, has become an issue. We Christians call it "sabbathing." Submitting to God and asking him for rest has been something that I've neglected these past few months. Remembering that I don't need to impress him with my work, my talents, but understand that he is all I need, takes a huge burden off of my shoulders. So... one step at a time I guess.

He is all I need. Gotta' remember that...

Anyways, I am very excited. The book is coming, and the graphic novel is close behind! Things are moving, so I am very excited. I hope that I can show you some stuff very soon. Until, then...



SW

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Snap Shot Theater: Dear Diary

Diary of Jeff McMaster,

June 13th, 1975

I've been told by a select few that rehab is a place where you go to die. There, the team of specialists look you over, probe, and inspect everything. They want to find a root cause, which uncle molested you, or what television program told you to threaten your favorite celebrity. Most of the time, what they want to kill, they can't find. Rehab is a mortuary for the sin that can't die.

I first came to Harper Caverns when I was addicted to heroine. I couldn't stand. My stomach felt queezy and hollow, but I stayed. In an out after 6 months I came back, this time for a personality disorder. I kept seeing my self outside of my body; hallucinating myself into the world. They put me on prescription anti-psychotics and, ever since, I've had a nervous tick in my left eye. 

This October I found myself back at Harper Caverns again. The staff greeted me warmly. All the old faces and patients came back to me. Their grief and petty victories warmed my heart. Susan "got saved," Patrice was clean, and Harry got a new job as a claims adjuster. Lauren didn't make it. She committed suicide a year ago, a few weeks after I got out.     

Why I found myself at the clinic after all these years I couldn't understand. I was clean, I thought. There was nothing wrong with me. Every test on the face of the earth had been performed. What I had, though, was a spiritual sickness. I couldn't figure it out, neither could they. For twelve months I stayed, receiving meds, going to therapy. Still no help. The pain was there. 

I realized though, at the end of it all that the pain is there for a reason. It reminds us that we are human, finite. I would be in no worse shape had I jumped off a building than if I lived to a hundred and twenty. Maybe that's for the best. After considering the truth, the pain left me. No more anxiety, no more stress, just release. The care of something greater enveloped me and said "It's going to be okay." That was enough for me. 

And I've been better ever since. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Writing the Non-Fiction Novel: Chapter Composition

Previously in our talk on how to write a non-fiction book, I touched on the preliminary steps: creating a book outline and selecting your sources. Today I will go over what it actually takes to compose a chapter. You'll be pleasantly surprised to know just how easy it is. 

Depending on how well you've digested your sources and research materials will likely determine how organized your chapter outline will be. That being said, get to know your sources intimately. If you do, then you will be much better off. The word will come easier, flow better. 

Writing a chapter of a non-fiction book is a lot like writing a large explanatory essay. The thesis is what the chapter is about, so as long as you write a chapter focusing on bear dietary habits, in a book about bears, you will be fine. There will be subdivisions within your chapter. See below. 
Topic A
Point 1
Point 2
Point 3
Topic B
Etc.
As you write the formula of the entire chapter will change as your ideas consolidate, so be flexible.

The big thing that I encountered when writing my last chapter of my Sandman book was the progression of ideas. What is the best way to tackle a topic? I asked myself that many times. The best answer I can give you is feel out your subject. I was writing about Christianity and the impressions it makes on Sandman over the course of the entire 75 issue run. So at first I was writing things down, thought by thought, then I tried to do it by issue of appearance. Eventually I settled into archetypes, and worked my way through the biggest topics I could write about under Christianity. I wasn't afraid to elaborate on the small stuff either, simply because I must assume that the reader knows nothing about the source material. It also ensures that I explain my thoughts simply and concisely.

Take these things into consideration and your ideas will congeal faster.



SW

Friday, May 2, 2014

Defeated, But Not Destroyed

You may have noticed that my posts generally have that hurried tempo, quick steps from start to finish, like a spry little dance of prose. When you work two jobs, balance writing and still manage to get your projects done things get messy. My particular situation is no exception.

So I've actually grown accustomed to writing my blogs on my breaks at work. Imagine doing this rigorous, exhausting job, physical labor, high stress, the whole works, then sitting down and writing a blog on your thirty minute break. That's me. That's my life. I'll admit I'm proud what I'm able to crank out. Every Wednesday, I'm there, writing a short story, anything. Create, create, create on demand! It's all a rush and then I'm back to reality. But tonight is different. I wanted it to be.

So I'll share with you something...

Are you ready?

Writing is an endurance game. That goes without saying. He/She who writes most, wins. That's usually how it happens. Never give up, never surrender. Yaddy, yaddy, yadda. Today I was hit with a bill from my auto mechanic of about 1400 bucks. Blown head gasket and the works. It's times like that when life gets you, and you want to roll up into a ball and die. But I believe that there is a dark enemy out there, who tries to kill our joy. Call it what you want, but it's out there. I believe that, whatever it takes, we must endure as writers. It's so easy to give up, thrown in the towel, close down a big project because you've hit a wall. But it takes courage to stand up to face down the calamity that is life and say "No, let's finish this!"

So I'm not worried. I believe that God has a plan for everyone out there, and that's it all for good. I can't divorce my faith with what I do, so I stand by Him and what he has for me. I'm in pain, I'm tired, I'm weak, but not destroyed. We all have to believe in something in order to write well, so do whatever you have to do, believe what you must. Remember only this, at the end, the greatest reward is looking back and going, "Wow, I was a part of that."

And that makes it worth it.

All of it.


SW