Category: Literature


So this is a blog on writing for all of those who write or desire to. I’ve been working on a novel for a while now, and I’m also working on this blog as well. I know I’ve had some gross inconsistencies, but this is for the most part past mistakes I’ve learned from.

Some people are born with an inate sense of organization. Life is orderly, and things seem to naturally organize themselves with little or no effort. Then there are those of you who are like me; organization is a funny word you say over and over as you miss the hamper with your socks. Things get cleaned and structured- occasionally, and the rare cleaning out your pants is a payday all in and of it’s self.

But organized writing is vital. It can make or break you when what you’ve written is a random mess of thought. What I recommend is that you treat your book, blog, or whatever like a research paper. Write out an outline, and fill in the points as you go.

On the topic of research papers, try to think of a thesis statement for your posts; or at least have some semblance of a lesson to to teach your readers. Remember; you will have plenty of time to ramble on incoherently in your old age, so make sense while you still can.

Stephen King put in the opening of his book on writing “To write is human, but to edit is divine”. Edit your work, cause no one gets it perfect the first time. Do your best to remain objective and eliminate that extra bit of fluff that may (and probably will) be there.

Then, there is a pivotal paradigm to hold if you want anyone else to see your writing; you have to be thick skinned. I’m not talking about constructive criticism from a peer, I’m talking about haters showing up out of nowhere, saying awful stuff about you, your writing, your Grandma, and the stuffed tiger you loved growing up. Just remember this; haters are gonna hate. No matter what you do, someone is going to dislike you for no good reason just because you put your thoughts to paper.

So start writing. I mean it, we all have something to say, so say it, and see what kind of reaction you will get.

Books!

So much time has passed since the last time I’ve written about books, and to be honest, I haven’t read as much this year as I have in previous years. At first, it bummed me out, but I have decided to start this blog to reignite my fire for the written word instead.

I have given this a lot of thought, and I have picked the five books that have shaped my life the most, and I promise to explain them with no spoilers. I would hate to spoil a chance of you reading any of these.

The Eyes of Kid Midas was written for a much younger audience, but to be honest, I bought a new copy a few years ago, read it loved it all over again.

Essentially it’s a poorly veiled retelling of King Midas, but instead of a king, Kevin is in middle school. It’s a great tale about power, and what it does to us.

East of Eden was recommended to me by my wife just after we started dating, and I would daresay it’s the most influential book I have ever read. It follows the like of a simple man named Adam Trask, and is loosely allegorical to the life of Adam in Genesis.

It covers topics that everyone struggles with; free will, predestination, love, loss, and the struggle to do right. It’s a beautiful tale, and I love it. The Trask family embodies the entire human spectrum, from our most pure, benevolent side all the way to our darkest points.

Quantum Leap Thinking. I know that I have mentioned this before, but it is a really great read. It seemed really quirky with the name, and evidently he was some kind of hypnotherapist before he wrote this book, but it is really amazing.

This book breaks down your life, helps you analyze it, and helps you realistically reach your goals. It’s as simple as that.

Crime and punishment. This was definitely a tough read, but well worth it. Dostoyevsky writes in a very unique fashion. This classic book explores every facet of life and what we as people are capable of doing in tough times. It explores, awakens, and helps us examine how we perceive others. It’s one of Joanna’s favorites too, so you know it has to be good!

And there you have it; go to amazon, borders, or wherever you get your books and pick up these to change your life.

Its not political.

As soon as I saw the 8/28 rally on the Lincoln Memorial, I was blown away. I knew I had to write about it, and I’m glad that I already have a medium.

Ok, so when I first started blogging, it was going to be a purely political blog. I have been taught principles from a young age, and I consider myself to be well informed and very opinionated. I started to realize as I wrote that I didn’t want to be a political commentator/blogger firsthand. I don’t know that I’m supposed to be involved in politics so deeply as to write about it constantly, but I do keep myself informed. I think that being actively involved in politics on all levels and having a strong opinion is such a necessary quality that its should be commended as much as you are commended on breathing.

I attended the first Tea Party rally last year on tax day. I was blown away by the patriotism and unity to say it simply. People were upset, but not angered. We were in disapproval of how our taxes were being spent, not mad about having to pay our taxes. I think its safe to say that I didn’t fit into the mold that the media painted the rally as; rich, white, and racist. I may be white, but I think I made about $20k that year before taxes, and I don’t have any need to prove that I’m not racist. I am a patriot, and nothing more. I love this country, and I want to see it prosper like never before, and that was what the rally was really about; a group of patriots who didn’t want to see our country go the wrong way.

What I didn’t like was that it was hosted by the local GOP. They had opened up a new office, and had taken this protest and stamped their name on it. I’ve said before that I don’t like to label my political ideals with a party, because I don’t really believe in either party.

The next rally was not long after, but I was unable to attend. My wife attended and expressed how disappointed she was in how it had changed from a movement of people to a promotion for the GOP. She said that they hit subjects that have always been Republican ideals, and she left not long after it started. It really made me feel somewhat cynical  towards what direction the country is headed in. I was worried that these people would be broken up by parties and political agendas, not to mention  the negative light that has been shed on this movement.

I joined freedomworks.com , read The 5,000 Year Leap and A Patriots History of the United States,  and tried to soak up whatever knowledge I could. I can’t say that I really spoke up much. I wouldn’t let a friend blast my beliefs, but at the same time, I got tired of arguements that all went the same;

Person: ” The current administration’s actions on (Healthcare, abortion, global warming, border control, national debt, take your pick) is finally a step in the right direction.”

Me: “Thats debatable, I think that there are other ways we can deal with this.”

Person: “Well what about what George Bush? He didn’t help out one way or the other.”

Me: ” I didn’t say I was for Bush, I didn’t support him, and I don’t think that this is a step in the right direction either. Here are some ideas I think are a better idea (add ideas here)”

Person: “(Ignoring my suggestions) well we are doing what other countries have tried, so we know the end result.”

Me: “These other countries are in trouble too. Most have only been doing this for up to 20 years, and look at their problems and debt now.”

Person: “Debt is not a big deal, this way works, your ways are just theories.”

Me: “Agree to disagree I guess.”

Then person usually leaves with a red herring like “I wish people would stop being racist” or “why do some people want to hurt progress?”

So I learned to pick my battles, and to definitely to do my best to bite my tongue on the internet. Its just so impersonal that you could lose a friend just by what you think is a civil disagreement.

All I knew to do from here was to simply wait for elections and vote for who I saw fit for office.

To be continued on Wednesday.

Long time no post

So I know that I havent posted in a while, which is only my fault. I had a great birthday this year, Joanna and I had a wonderful day together. I got books, clothes, CDs, an Xbox game, and even a flashlight! It was really great to hear from everyone as they wished me happy B day, and I wanted to go ahead and say thanks in the laziest way possible; right now. Don’t like it? Too bad, its my Birthday and I do what I want.

I have found some new exciting things to read, and its been really tough choosing which of them to read, and play my game as well. I’ve also been working on my book that I have set to the side lately. I know that I want to write, I know that I have a story to tell in my head, but at the same time I just seem to make too many excuses. My sister Sarah recommended me to start following a guy on Twitter, and just a few days later, he was tweeting about excuses he tells himself to keep him from writing. It really got me thinking about the excuses I make up

1. I’m tired. I’ve been at work all day, I mowed the lawn, and now I just want to sit back and do nothing for a while. I don’t believe in “days off”. If I don’t have to clock in, then theres at least ten things that need to happen around the house. I feel guilty for waking up in the morning and sitting around the house all day. So I clean up around the house, put in a load of laundry, mow the lawn, and take some time to relax, never thinking of the notepad next to my desk. What I have started to remind myself of, however is that I am not making it a priority. If I want to be a writer, I have to write. Plenty of people work two or three jobs, all I have to do is make it a priority as my part time job.

2. I don’t have the energy for it today. I have 40 hours of work, plenty of things to do around the house, and a wife to spend time with. If I think of writing after all of that, I just begin to feel too mentally worn out to do anything. Its like after your U.S. History final exam. You spend so much time memorizing dates and pulling your brain across land, sea, and time as you answer your exam as quickly as possible, that you can’t possibly comprehend going to your English test on Shakespeare in the next hour. But the truth is that you decide your own endurance level. Whether physical or mental, you have the ability to set your own endurance.

My Dad told me a story of a marathon runner whose goal was not to hit the 26 miles in his older age, but to go one mailbox further every time he ran. If I asked you to run a 26.2 mile run in a few months, you would probably laugh in my face. Yet if we get ourselves one more mailbox further every day, we get to define our own endurance. So now, I try to write every day. Even if its just a few sentences, its taking my mind a little more juice to write, making it easier the next time.

3. I have nothing interesting or original to say. I mean, come on; Nicholas Sparks took all the good romance (using GOOD as a loose term implying only he has sold a lot of books), Stephen King took all the creepy stuff, Dean Koontz and Tom Clancy have the suspense, and Anne Rice has a whole lot of wierd. How am I expected to have anything original when I haven’t even needed to talk about classic authors?

Here I don’t have any solid words of encouragement for any writers like the others. You can’t tell yourself “you are unique and special. Everyone will love what it is you have to say.” I really can’t though, because some people just aren’t that creative. What I tell myself is that I have to try. I have things I want to write; in blogs, stories, and songs. I want to write and see for myself if its possible to become a writer. Essentially, if you are supposed to do what you do, work hard at it, and it will work out one day.

Anyways, this post is done and I’m working on a few more.

Poetry

So I don’t know how long I have been reading poetry, but I have always been a fan. There is just something different about it that draws on the soul’s emotions and draws us together. Even in the most shrouded of themes, you can somehow feel what the Poet is trying to say, whether or not we can even vocalize it.

Here are some quotes about poetry:

Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.  ~Leonard Cohen

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.  ~Robert Frost

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.  ~Plato, Ion

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.  ~W.B. Yeats

Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows.  ~Edmund Burke

And your very flesh shall be a great poem. ~Walt Whitman
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.  ~Edgar Allan Poe

I’ll post on poetry from time to time. I love to post quotes and powerful feelings

To the States

To the states or anyone of them, or any city of the states,
resist much, obey little
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth,
ever afterward resumes its liberty.

Walt Whitman

I love this, because I never realized what a patriot Whitman was. It is concise and effective. Whitman is definitely one of the giants in poetry, and I love reading his poems.

Here is my favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, in one of my favorite poems ever. Its excerpts from “Choruses from “The Rock.”

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to our death,

But nearness to death no nearer to God.

Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The Cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us father from God and nearer to Dust.

I was told: we have too mant churches,

And too few chop-houses. There I was told:

Let the vicars retire. Men do not need the Chirch

In the place where they work, but where they spend their Sundays.

The Rock: The lot of man is ceaseless labour,

Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder,

Or irregular labour, which is not plesant.

I have trodden the winepress alone, and I know

That it is hard to be really useful, resigning

Oh I want to post more, but I’m not sure if anyone is really all that interested. I’ll do a post about T.S. Eliot one of these days, and maybe you can fall in love with his writings too.

Here is one last post, which is from Seamus Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy”

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.