Category Archives: Inspiration

Bog Bodies

300px-Tollundmannen

Tollund Man – Public Domain

In an effort to stick with my original vision for this blog, which was to be a sort of online writing journal where I share story ideas, concepts and moments of inspiration, I thought I would share the birth (rebirth?) of this story idea while it is still fresh.

Yesterday morning, I came across this article, The 10 Most Overlooked Mysteries in History, and it included a post about bog bodies. I vaguely remember reading or watching something on this subject years ago, and my fascination for it was instantly rekindled. If you are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, here is a link to the Wikipedia article, which is as good a place to start as any, I suppose. Go on, check it out, it’s pretty freaking awesome, but be sure to come back here when you’re done.

Anyway, as I let my mind dwell on these bog bodies, a story began to emerge. I turned to Evernote to record the ideas I was having, and I quickly realized that the concept was not new to me. There was something strangely familiar about it. As soon as I had the opportunity, I dug through my old writing journal. There, I found two entries from nearly five years ago that I had scribbled and forgotten. Here are some images from those pages in my journal:

photo (3)

Click to Enlarge

photo (2)

(good luck reading my scribbles)

Well there it is. A moment of inspiration, linked back to other moments of inspiration from almost five years ago. I will take this as further argument as to why it is so critical for every writer to keep a writing journal and write down every idea, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time. (I shudder to think of the ideas I’ve lost because I didn’t write them down.)

But perhaps most importantly, I will take this as a sign that these Bog Bodies will not let me go until I’ve fleshed out their story, and given them new life through the written word.

What about you? Have any of you ever had an idea that just would not let you go? Perhaps a recurring idea that you didn’t remember having previously? A Déjà vu idea? A Déjà-dea? Thoughts? Comments?

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I’m Not Dead: Balancing the Equation in My Writing Life

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I’m not dead. Not yet anyway.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to say, but if this is going to become a real post, I’d better make up a few more words. I could always explain things, tell you loyal readers why it’s been so quiet on the writing front these days, but I’m sure no one is really that interested.

Oh what the heck, I’ll just do it anyway. Besides, I need to find more ways to stretch this thing out, haven’t I? So then, what I’d like to do is elaborate on the things in my life which have caused my writing to slow down, and then explain my strategies on how I plan to overcome them. If you are bored with all the personal details, just hang in there and keep reading…I promise there’s a nugget or two in here somewhere.

So here it is, the reasons why productivity has slowed down so drastically in my writing world. It can easily be summed up with this simple mathematical formula: Writing productivity is inversely proportional to the intensity of real life. That is, as one speeds up, the other inherently slows down. So what has been causing the intensity of my life to increase so much? Work of course is the big obvious and boring reason, so we’ll just get that one out of the way. There! That feels much better. Now on to the more important issues.

Buying our first home has been one of the biggest challenges my wife and I have ever faced, from the initial and grueling home search, to obtaining the financing and gathering all the countless documents that go along with it, to a myriad of other hiccups, bumps, and catastrophes along the way which I don’t have the space nor the patience to get into here. We finally closed on our first home just four days before Christmas and orchestrated a complete DIY move over the course of the next week between Christmas and New Years (with a bit of help from our friend, Lisa…thanks Lisa!). Oh, and did I mention that our second child was born just three days after Christmas? So that means I practically moved an entire household by my lonesome while my wife was recovering from childbirth all while helping to care for our newborn baby boy and very active two year old daughter. Whew! Makes me exhausted again just typing it all.

So now what? Well there are still countless things occurring on a daily basis such as work, getting settled into our home, and taking care of the family which can all decrease writing productivity, and I know that this trend will never change. After all, such is life. So how will I manage all this and still remain productive in my writing? How will I bring balance to the equation? Not-so-simply this, I must carry on and try to become more creative when it comes to finding ways to squeeze in the time to write. (A bit like trying to squeeze lemon juice out of the peel, but nonetheless, it CAN be done!) That means analyzing how my time is spent overall and looking for ways to skim a little time off the top of other activities (i.e. sleep, surfing the internet, World of Warcraft), then arranging and compiling that time into blocks, chunks, and snippets which can be reallocated for writing.

I will use this time to update the blog as I can, and conceive of ideas to help generate content and traffic flow in ways that will require less of my time, hence using more of my endless creativity. I will also be behind the scenes organizing and editing two nearly completed chapbooks, slugging away at final edits on my novella, shopping around a few completed short stories and poems to various markets, and starting up another large scale writing project as well.

To summarize all this gibberish, all I can do to rise above the delima of not having the time to write–and bring balance to the equation–is to get extremely creative in my time management. With that, I must make the absolute most of the precious time I do manage to set aside for writing. I heard it said recently that not having enough time is one of the biggest falacies we give ourselves to use as an excuse. And in a way this is true. Everybody, no matter who you are, has exactly the same amount of time each and every day. It is what we choose to do with our time and how we use it that makes the difference in our success. While I agree with this for the most part, I will say that whoever first came up with this idea, certainly did not have children.

What about you? What creative ways have you come up with to find more time to devote to your writing or other projects?


Rage in Glass

During a recent family trip to an amusement park, an incident with a gorilla inspired me to write this piece. As is the case with most of the poetry I publish here, it is a rough draft WIP, but I thought it might be fun to share. Enjoy!

Rage in Glass

 

Daydreaming…

…bamboo snaps,

wicker rustlings,

crystal dew on moist, misty mornings–

 

–peck, peck, peck, rat-a-tat-tap,

breaking concentration.

A slight jolt,

eyes shifting, giving warning.

 

Mid-day in shade,

awake from napping.

Still groggy, stomach growling.

Companions nearby,

silver lining telling them who’s king–

 

–peck, peck, peck, rat-a-tat-tap.

Annoyance boiling to anger.

Another warning.

Human faces staring, gawking.

 

Again dreaming…

…beneath the canopy,

building beds of brush,

breathing abundant greenery.

Remembering cadence,

sweet nectar rains

drumming on banana leaves,

softly, hypnotic–

 

–peck, peck, peck, rat-a-tat-tap.

Rage surmounting.

Too many futile warnings.

Nearly breaching

captivity-eroded threshold–

 

–peck, peck, peck, rat-a-tat–

SLAM!

Double fists against pane,

full strength never breaking.

Human screaming

resonates through glass.

 


Aberrant Embodiment

I recently noticed a common theme with several of my stories: aspects of characters either changing physical bodies in various manners or altering their existing physical or mental state from one thing into another. It then occurred to me that this commonality might make for a good collection. As it stands, there are about eight or nine stories I’ve written that fall within this theme.

This simple realization has inspired me to further build upon it, and even write more stories to fit within this mold. I have a few more ideas brewing for new stories, and now with this concept in mind, I can work to make them more focused as I write them. I believe I might even have a few poems that could be included to further flesh this manuscript out.

The working title is currently Aberrant Embodiment: Curious Tales of Strange Metamorphoses.

And now I’ll leave you with a quote from Ovid, Metamorphoses:

    “Nothing in the entire universe ever perishes, believe me, but things vary, and adopt a new form. The phrase “being born” is used for beginning to be something different from what one was before, while “dying” means ceasing to be the same. Though this thing may pass into that, and that into this, yet the sums of things remains unchanged.”

To My Daughter

I’ve been working to strengthen the ending of the Life Phase section of my poetry chapbook, Inner Phases. I tried swapping out the last couple of poems with works I had already written, but none of them had the sense of completion I’m seeking. So what do you do then? Write new poems, of course. Here’s a rough draft of one of the new works I’ve sketched out. Hope you enjoy.

To My Daughter

I can still cradle you like a newborn

And you can still let me,

Your dancing eyes like sponges

Soaking up the features of my face.

You’re big enough to walk now,

run, dance, and even climb.

 

We rock, eyes locked;

In this moment

we are each the other’s world.

To me, there is nothing else

But the faces of mother and father

Blended perfectly upon a new canvas.

 

I imagine you in years to come–

Never again will we be this close.

Too many things will come between us,

Separate us as you slowly trade

Your life of play and mom and dad

For one of friends and boys and heartaches,

Late nights with lonely fools,

Fears and scars and breaking rules.

 

Though you’ll still depend on me,

Some days you’ll resent me,

Find yourself ashamed to be seen with me,

Even scream and say that you hate me.

Your words and actions will bleed me,

But in the marrow I’ll know the truth.

 

That you are still this precious child,

Part mother, part father,

Yet a being all your own,

And we will always be your world,

And you will always be our life.


It Dreams Utopia–The Moment of Inspiration

In my experience so far as a writer, it’s rare when I can pinpoint the exact moment of inspiration. This is one of those rare moments.

Two days ago, on Sept. 3 2011, at just before 5 p.m. EST, I dreamed up the idea for what I think is to become a Steampunk novella. I was trying to come up with titles for a “name this anthology” contest for a publisher’s forthcoming Steampunk anthology. I’d come up with a couple of decent titles and then the third one struck me rather odd. I felt a rush and a glimmer of a story flashed before my eyes. I was slurping down some rather tasty iced coffee and listening to Pandora on my computer. The song playing at that moment was “Come Clarity” by In Flames. The lyrics spoke to me and further worked as a catalyst towards inpiration. Even the cover art played its part, and I have posted it here for you to see. I even Tweeted the moment–“Wait! Something’s happening… it’s…it’s… Yes! It’s inspiration!” Then I scribbled just a hint of what was swirling in my brain into my writing journal. I’ll share that with you now:

It Dreams Utopia. Steampunk. The machine of clockworks and steam power. He’s obsessed. He locks himself into the heart of the machine–it will make him forget his loss–send him to the dream world. (In Flames-Come Clarity)

And that is that. We’ll see where it goes. But seeing as one of the goals of this blog is to attempt to create a log inspiration, I felt it was important to share this little moment. As far as the contest goes, well, I’ll still come up with some titles, but sorry guys, I’m keeping It Dreams Utopia all to my stingy self.

 


Fruitface Stealing Sleep

I couldn’t get to sleep last night. There was too much commotion in my mind’s eye. I think I was entering the nonsense of dreaming, and it started with me eating someone’s face. It was a female face. Pretty. I think it was my wife’s face. I tore off chunks of the nose and chin with my giant teeth, but beneath the skin there was the white tender flesh of an apple. The words followed. I was composing in my head and repeating the lines in order to engrave it in my memory. But I worried I’d forget. I rose from bed and wrote the words into my journal. Here is what I wrote:

Fruitface / I eat at your face / My teeth sink into your skin / The flesh beneath is like the / Flesh of an apple / Crisp sweet / Juice dribbles from the spot / where your nose had once been / I chomp at chin and cheek / I devour you / and your beauty rots / within my guts

Upon returning to bed I thought I’d easily get to sleep now that the words were safe. But I continued to dwell on them. I thought about parallels between fruit and beauty. How both are perishable. How we consume both for our own pleasure. Eventually, I slept.

So what I have now, I’ll likely revise a bit and turn into a poem. Perhaps I’ll just work with the lines here and there. I’ll try not to change it too much. I want to keep the essence.


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