Life as a writer starts with a blank page. I let my fingers rattle the top of the computer keys without actually hitting them. I close my eyes and disappear for a minute or two. I have to ask myself the following questions before me and you embark on our journey together: Where do we want to go? Who do we want to see along the way? What time period are we traveling to? What are we going to do when we get there? How are we dressed and how will we behave when we arrive? To what extent does our imaginary mind hold precedence over our current reality?
Fifteen years ago, I completed my first book. To date, I have a portfolio that is thirteen novels strong (three of those being part of a novella and another three being part of a time traveling trilogy). When I started writing, I did not know where it was going to take me. Sitting in front of a computer screen with just your thoughts can be a tediously frustrating task and a somewhat dangerous place to be. There were times when I questioned my abilities and personal path. The things that kept me grounded were my support group and the actual story itself. The fictional characters, development, and plot lines grew into something amazing.
I have come to realize over time that a good writer becomes more than someone who composes stories for entertainment. When a true, non cookie cutter writer is ready to accept his or her responsibility, they become something that holds the fabric of all equations, formulas, and codes together. They become a failsafe. An escape. An enlightened soul. A wordsmith. An engineer of the unseen. The writer becomes the person you go to for pep talks because he slash she will not judge you or your situation nor dare share it with the neighborhood. The writer becomes something that transcends time and space because he or she has to in order to breathe.
True writers become constants.
Over the past two weeks, I have converted the first book I wrote, A Story About Her, into my first ever screenplay because I was instructed to do so. My journey with this specific novel is chronicled in these blog posts of the past :
If I’m to be completely honest with all of you, I have picked at, pulled apart, and glued A Story About Her together so many times that I think the characters are just as sick and tired of me as I am of them. I kill a certain character, bring them back to life, kill them again, bring them back to life with different hair color, and the cursor button looks at me, shrugs, and says, “dude, you’re not Jesus, I’m not Lazarus, so make up your mind and let’s rock and roll”. I put a particular couple together, rip them apart, put them back together, change a dynamic in their relationship, and they look at me argumentatively because they are debating if they even want to be in this threesome after the typing is over and the save button is pushed.
A Story About Her, the novel, sits at 1634 pages. A Story About Her, the screenplay, sits at 944 pages. I was able to transcribe and learn a completely different style and format of writing in a span of a little over two weeks. I have never been more motivated in my entire life. If there is something you want to do, there is only one thing standing in the way – YOU (and money, I know, I know!) Before long, I know I’m going to be able to take off these clothes in whatever state I’m currently living in, clothes that are stained with tears, sweat, and numerous characters’ blood, and, as us Southerners would say, “i’s gunna let dem bad boys hang out in duh sun to dry fer now.”
More importantly, as a writer who does not like to waste people’s time, I’m ready for all of you, the ones that are interested, the ones who have backed me vocally or silently, the ones who do not even know who the hell I am yet, to experience this story like it was truly meant to be experienced. I did rush to publish a couple of my novels so I could have the experience of holding the book in my hands and because I’m also impatient like everyone else when it comes to hearing three specific words – YES, NO, and WAIT.
For me, the answer was never an immediate yes because I needed time to grow as a person and help mature my art form. For me, the answer was never no because the creative storylines and characters flowed through me like the frigid runoff from a thousand year old glacier and continue to do so to this day. For me, the answer was wait, and waiting is what I have done. Man’s timeline is flawed, we all know that, but there is a way around that!
So what do I do from here? The answer is simple. I, as a writer and a person, continue to be a failsafe. I, as a writer, continue to be an escape artist for those that need it. I, as a person, chase my dreams and motivate others to chase theirs and not give up. I, as a person, give honest pep talks and receive honest pep talks in return. I, as a writer and a person, use my words wisely and forge them like a Wild West blacksmith. I, as a person and a writer, transcend the monotony of the every day, observe the world, and become enlightened – not self righteous. I, as a writer, carry a sword just in case my pen runs out of ink and write on the cave walls in my own blood if I must.
More importantly, I, as a writer and a person, remain a constant in a universal sea of variables. The world needs people like us now more than ever. As the saying goes, “it costs zero dollars to be a decent human being.”
Wish me luck, say a prayer, burn some sage, light a candle, chant tonight at twilight, push pins in your burlap doll, sit crossed legged on the floor with your palms up and hum a low tune, or do whatever you need to do to send positive vibes my way because I’ll gladly accept it. I wish and pray the same for you and your dreams in return!
Insert song here.
Thank you for your time : Feel free to share with someone : I appreciate all of you : Push Play for a Free Listen
NEW ALBUM – GIVE THIS OR HIS OLDER WORKS A TASTE – SIP LIGHTLY – CONTENTS ARE HOT
– I will confess this then disappear – I dance around in my kitchen while I listen to some of his songs (I have found that wearing socks makes the dance moves easier to sell on laminate floors) – There is one witness to this occurrence – And yes, I purposefully made this text smaller and harder to read – You gotta earn that secret, son!