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Do you ever feel like a Picasso?

June 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I mean seriously. Look at this thing. I don’t like Picasso’s art work for the most part. When I see a work of art I look for beauty. Something that makes me go “Ah yes …very nice”. Perhaps Picasso is accurate about aspects of life and reflects those well but he’s not cheerful. In this world full of cruel irony and lost sentimentalism, I frown when I look at this thing.

I wouldn’t have one of his paintings in my house. However, this is how I feel today; disjointed, out of place, broken and thrown back together as if the maker lost his plans and guessed where things might go.

The music is far from the instrument, my hands are small, eyes are lifeless. I can’t figure out what goes with what. I’m sitting in my own lap, licking my own tongue. Shadows with no maker. I feel this is how people see me too …at least for now. But, my hands tremble as I calmly assure them …this is not me …let me get myself together. I plead …please wait. I am impatient with me too …and justly so …and I’m growing that way with the world.

Is my vision disjointed? What corrections can you make? With one move the picture could focus or fall apart.  Because I’m disjointed my strength fails me. I’m three people or just one. Blocky, square, rounded and colorful but unmatched. My clothes are out of style. Victim of cubism and the cry of a collage life. I am pieces of discarding beginnings. Shadows look through me and reach around. I’m hooded and lonely like a leper. Am I here or there? My jaws out of joint and mute like the painting.

For God’s sake …please know that this is not me. From afar you’ve seen pieces and set them together with innocent misconceptions. To know me fully will help you arrange these snap shots, these flat squares of my life that hang on the walls of your heart. It is not me. I, the momentary broken Humpty Dumpty, as all the king’s men shake their mythical heads. Pray I can be put back together, at least partially and put back upon the wall. With a little help from my friends and the best that’s in me and the God I’ve doubted I shall reunite my broken hinges.

The older I get I realize nothing is wrong with being a healthily co-dependent (though I’m been doggedly independent) and that the high point over two promising hearts holding hands is a God on high who shines wisdom into their hearts. All else is vanity and if doubting becomes your master you end up like a Picasso.

Do you ever feel like a Picasso?

_________________________

In other news…

I have decided against using a pen name. I will delete this blog (and A. R. Travis facebook, twitter and youtube channel) I will lose a lot valued connections. If you wish to “friend” me or follow me under the name given me by my momma and daddy, be warned, you get the whole me, the very non-politically correct me blogging about all manner of things. If you wish to abuse yourself, you can follow me at www.aspeakinghuman.wordpress.com and on twitter @ASpeakingHuman (http://twitter.com/#!/aspeakinghuman) and at http://www.youtube.com/ASpeakingHuman.

I’m tired of being two people and wondering what I should and shouldn’t reveal about myself in one place or the other.

A. R. Travis (Alton Ray Travis on facebook) was going to be my alias for that day when I publish my epic heroic fantasy, which I’ve been crafting and creating for about 5 years. My real name is Allen Bagby (on facebook).

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Categories: Art, Creative Writing Tags: ,

Thought Storms

June 24, 2012 Leave a comment

There is a walking trail in my hometown. Since about 2002 I’ve been walking there periodically, sometimes daily. It was all rocks back then. It’s all paved now. It’s a straight path. I just walk or run up and down. The section I haunt is about 2 miles. There’s an old bridge. I pause there and consider…things. Yesterday, when I had nearly got back to my car I paused and looked back at the trail in reverie.

I imagined all of the times I had walked that path. I saw replicates of me – my incarnations along the trail walking throughout the years. I saw this until I was a multitude crowding my different selves.  Then I saw those little clouds, like in the comic books, containing my thoughts rising above my heads. My thoughts billowed like white smoke into the sky until they blocked out the sun. Like a  thunderhead my thoughts darkened with rain my thoughts struck like lightening. Then the storm blew itself out and the sun returned. I need to think up another storm.

I turned and walked on. The cycle continues. I’m pretty much the same, as is the path. Ah but the places I’ve seen in my mind. So it’s not so bad to get away from the world and social networking. I have hope in my little muddy thoughts.

_______________________

In other news…

I have decided against using a pen name. I will delete this blog (and A. R. Travis facebook, twitter and youtube channel) I will lose a lot valued connections. If you wish to “friend” me or follow me under the name given me by my momma and daddy, be warned, you get the whole me, the very non-politically correct me blogging about all manner of things. If you wish to abuse yourself, you can follow me at www.aspeakinghuman.wordpress.com and on twitter @ASpeakingHuman (http://twitter.com/#!/aspeakinghuman) and at http://www.youtube.com/ASpeakingHuman.

I’m tired of being two people and wondering what I should and shouldn’t reveal about myself in one place or the other.

A. R. Travis (Alton Ray Travis on facebook) was going to be my alias for that day when I publish my epic heroic fantasy, which I’ve been crafting and creating for about 5 years. My real name is Allen Bagby (on facebook).

Are You Published?

April 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The simple answer is no. When I’m asked this question I wonder what the person knows about the art and process of storytelling. As with any type of excellence in art, overnight success is not the norm. Could I be published? I’m 100% certain. It’s easy nowadays via Vanity press or ePublishing. Nothing stands in the way. So being published is not necessarily a sign of success or quality. It’s basically like a General Admission ticket. Anyone can get in. Almost like buying a degree. There’s a universe of white noise out there now.

I began writing the saga Creed of Kings, which has sprawled into a 300,000 word epic, right before the eBook revolution started to crank up. I made a decision to never publish through Vanity press. Why? Because if I ended up self-publishing it meant—not in all cases of course—that I sucked. Sorry for the technical language.  Vanity means what it means. Gratifying myself is not my aim, which is to rock the reader’s world. Vanity costs dearly and you end up with a bunch of books in your garage. My goal is for Creed of Kings to be published traditionally, in hardcover, on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and others. on black Friday. Even though I’ve tweaked it a bit due to the eBook revolution, the spirit of the goal has not changed, but that does not matter either.

What matters most is quality. One has to spin a yarn better than the people in one’s creative writing class do. College football is planet away from high school football, and pro football is a galaxy from college. You must never rest when it comes to creating the best characters, plot points, dialogue, set up, mood, structure etc. I must see myself joining the league of David Gemmell , George R. R. Martin, Terry Goodkind , Steven Pressfield  now, not someday. What I create must stand the light of day with no prequalification. I have to write at that level of quality. I have to stretch myself, sacrifice.

I’m not new to writing. I’ve always had the bug. I had an active blog life that started in 2004 on Xanga . Before that, I was a regular contributor to a message board started by the rock band Creed—where I relearned the importance of spelling! I’ve written a oodles of terrible poems and kept angst ridden journals. Before that, I wrote a short story in college for a humanities project. The professor thought I should try to publish it. I did not think it was good enough. It was not about self-image, it was about objectivity.

People have told me all my life that I have the gift. It’s rarely flying in formation though. Life’s storms and obligations must be handled and I have discovered it takes a lot of effort for me to keep that flame lit. Furthermore, I am human and I suffer those outrageous idiocies of us artsy fartsy types, such as bored easily, moodiness, brooding, attention whore, borderline ADD, impatience, and perfectionism.

I feel strongly that my day is coming. The agonizing work has come up front. At the start it would have been arrogant to just whip out a manuscript, send it in, and wait for the book tour to begin. I never believed that. Therefore, I’ve clawed through 2 million raw words to eke out a few gold moments.

Nope, not published, yet. But, I have loved every second of this challenge. I will deliver a gift from my soul to many strangers in name but kindred in soul. If you don’t love the process, the nail biting, the blood sweating, fuggedaboutit. You’ll end up admiring your words in the vanity mirror.

WHAMMO Moments

September 18, 2011 5 comments

I suspect no one who is reading my blog thinks writing a book is easy, much less an epic heroic fantasy. I remember thinking I would write Creed of Kings in 6 months while having a full-time job! Can you believe that? I assumed it would be difficult, like running a marathon. Confident in my creativity and inspiration I fiddled around with an idea and started.  Some 300,000 words later…well, you get the idea.

If I wasn’t such a perfectionist, I’d have a pile of rejection letters. I fear failure so much that I never surrendered to the common naiveté of so many wannabe writers. Learning the art is a continuing process. I didn’t slap things together and mail it off to an agent/publisher and cross my fingers. My tombstone will say, “Here lies a writer, whose manuscript just kept getting better, and better, and better…”

I’ve had many breakthroughs. I’ve shed a lot of skin, dropped many illusions, lost and gained confidence. I’ve charged the hill more times than I care to remember. One truly has to love this to bloody ones head tirelessly against the wall. I don’t want to settle out of court. I want to win under the harsh blazing sun. I want what I write to stand in that glare and not only survive but thrive in your heart!

I have 9 followers on this blog now and many who travel in from twitter, Facebook, and various other avenues. I owe to you and all the potential readers to deliver the absolute best that I can. But, before you, there is me. It has to rock my own world. If it’s not obvious, I am a harsh critic of my own work. There are many moments that make me smile in the saga I’m writing. I imagine those moments like Christmas gifts under your tree waiting and waiting for the opening. Until I see you smiling in my dream I will keep up the mission.

I know that I have lots of good parts, but I had not made the plot points and paradigms shifts as stark as they needed to be when I got to the end of the Creed of Kings in May of this year. I started revising. I thought I was on the final lap, but in an epic this huge there is necessary back story. One character had an odyssey in his past. As I revised, his back story grew and got better. It was too big and weighing down the story much like the student pictured.

The story has to be told. I’m the only one who can tell it. Given the nature of today’s e-publishing revolution it is highly advantages to have multiple (well done!) books available online.  That was the WHAMMO moment.

WHAMMO moments happen in books, movies, life, and the evolution of a striving writer. I realized I had two books on the verge of completion. I unraveled the back story from the main character in Creed and brought it out as its own unique stand alone story. Now, I basically have one book done that needs revisions and I have another book nearing first draft status. Furthermore, looking at things this way, I see a potential for one or two other books (these books are in my head now) prior to the trilogy Creed of Kings, which is already highly realized.

However, I still need to finish…something! I’ve put so much on the line. Walking away from a successful sales career, and I have a lot less than I’m used to now, for about 4 years now, all so I can pursue this life long dream. But, it’s now or never. Come hell or high water I will have a first draft complete within the next 100 days of my current unnamed project. 2012 will be the year! I’m aiming to release two major works within 6 months.

 

Getting Older

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Getting older… Getting over …vanity of youth …insanity of fad …from the blind side of sought and the wrong side of ought. Journey out of the naiveté, but ache and wonder resides and spills from the cloven seasons of my heart, even as I laugh, life moves in for the kill.

What was the future is beyond my furrowed brow, but somehow, brightness shines in the valleys between far away thrills, bridging the distance of that old resistance in an instance, to other hidden fields. The wonders of pain and stain, of sunshine and gain are all in the palm of my gazing mind, reshaping, improving thoughts that were blind or unkind. With a thought quick as a glance, smooth as a changing stance, leaping on the tip of icebergs galore, foundations of floating depth explored.

I’m not what I pretended, less than I intended and far less than I apprehended. There is grander I cannot grasp…a pleasant and powerful undercurrent to life parallels the misery, sensed only with my meager knack to detect wonder, as I stand astride two destinies, one good, one nil. Seems to me truth is more ancient than light, rolling like waves with such force I crouch to the deck on my squeaky little ship. There is more air than I can breathe more sun than I can soak up or see.

Life will rob you of peace, but think of no other riches than those of heart. Life takes its toll but strive for no other greatness than that of soul.

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