Category Archives: Emotion

Checking In and Some Thoughts on Current Events

Hello, my friend!  It sure has been awhile. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I’ve really missed your smile. 

~ Nelson ~ 

My oh my. It has been awhile.  The last few months have been filled with job hunts, landing a job and dealing with hosts of medical issues I hadn’t thought possible. I’ve thought a thousand times about sitting down at the computer to write, but the serious lack of energy / inspiration / motivation has kept me away. So I thought I would play a little catch up and hopefully it won’t be such a long time before my fingers grace the keyboard again.

First: What in the heck is going on in the world? I mean… SERIOUSLY?

In the past few months, it seems there has been a triple-dose of crazy run amok. I normally try to steer clear of more of the political hot-bed topics as this is more or less a me / writing type of blog. But let’s just get down to brass tacks here. This could be the bones of some great writing material.  In coming up with ideas for writing, I like to call my idea-file the “What If File.” Don’t laugh. I’m only creative on the page, not in my organizational skills. I leave that to my youngest daughter who is an organizational Jedi Master.  But I digress.  Back to the original thought of the here and now lunacy.

What if – the world actually thought it was okay to let Iran play with nukes?

What if – a once great Olympic athlete were given an award for courage, not for his athleticism, but for his, now her, transgendering to the masses and there was no public outcry, it was just another day at the office because no one cared?

What if – after a mass murderer is sentenced for killing a bunch of people in a theatre, a copy cat hundreds of miles away in another state lathers, rinses and repeats the same horrific crime?

What if – we all lived in a world where we didn’t have to listen to the latest “news” about Kim / Kanye or any other stupid “celebrity” and everyone minded their own business?  (And I say to myself… what a wonderful world.)

You see where I’m going with this? Take today’s headlines and ask yourself, “What if…” It’s a beautiful concept.


I have always loved astronomy and while I admittedly played with Barbie’s as a young girl, I also used my telescope to look up to the stars and wondered about what was out there. It’s a vast universe and the Hubble Telescope, long-range scans and other missions to the great beyond are showing us just how much. This brings me to a couple of points.

Pluto. I don’t care what NASA or any other scientist says. To me, it’s still a planet and the visual images recently released are spectacular.

BN-JN955_PLUTO0_P_20150724131944
NASA’s enhanced color image of Pluto was transmitted from the New Horizons spacecraft this week. PHOTO: NASA/REUTERS

Apparently there is another little Earth out there. It’s probably not habitable (in my opinion), but Kepler-452b has it’s own little orbit around a star that’s older than our sun. It was actually “discovered” in 2014, I believe. But things like this take time to get out.  (Please forgive me if my date is erroneous – reading technical jargon always puts me to sleep.)


My last thought of the day and love me or hate me, this is what I believe.

There’s this ugly thing in the world today called “racism.” I’m going to say this straight up, it’s not going to stop. It’s an issue that runs deeper than the color of one’s skin. It’s an engrained mental process and it’s an issue of the heart. A person has to want to change their thinking, their beliefs, their heart and so many people don’t believe they have a problem. This holds true for whites, blacks, reds, yellows, oranges, greens, blues…. you know what I mean. It’s not a black and white problem. It’s a human problem.

The only solution is to learn to love and love unconditionally. It would stop a lot of the hate and violence in the world.  But there will always be hate and violence in the world because that’s part of the greatest story ever told.

On that note, I bid you a good night. Adieu!

Advertisements

Tunes to Inspire

“Time stands still
beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything
Take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath,
Every hour has come to this…”

Red Dragon by Aggiorna
Red Dragon by Aggiorna

~Christina Perri: A Thousand Years~

Dipping into my writer’s toolbox, I dug out one of my favorite topics to share with you today.  Music.

Many writers and authors write to tunes of all sorts of genres.  I find that the music sets the scene, just as it does in the movies. I mean picture watching some of your favorite flicks without the scores. It doesn’t work. Music evokes emotion and that’s what we as writers aim for.

“The Dragon’s Kiss”, the novel I’m currently working on, has about 35 songs attached to it at the moment. Each of which is for a different mood I need to capture in a scene. I thought I would share a few to maybe inspire you today.  These songs aren’t necessarily there because of the lyrics themselves, but the beat, the passion of the song.

“Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling. I use this song for two different scenes. One during a transformative moment of my protagonist and the other is a chase scene down the streets of NYC. I also use “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)” by Fall Out Boy when I write chase scenes. It has that kind of throbbing beat that works well. (As a side note, it’s one of my favorite “running tunes.”)

“Rain” by Jon Heintz. Such a lovely song. Originally this appeared in the TV show, “The Deadliest Catch” (which I love.) But it’s a haunting song, dark and deep. It’s perfect for a character who has lost much and is in mourning. Bill Wither’s “Aint No Sunshine” has that same feeling for me. I alternate between the two because the loss is different.

“Kecharitomene” by Loreena McKennitt is brilliant for the fantasy world I have created. It has an etherial quality to it. I alternate between that and “Flying for the First Time” by Elenowen.

Some other songs on the playlist include the Kelly Sweet remake of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” “Walk” by the Foo Fighters, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and “Disappear” by Hoobastank.

Obviously there are more than I’ve listed, but maybe some of these will inspire you to look outside what you normally listen to and expand your writing.

Advice: Score your book while writing it. I think it adds a little something special to what you’ve done. Now go and create something amazing.

Thoughts on “The Book Thief”

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Book Thief

Apologies for the delay in communication. I have spent quite a bit of time as of late with the new grandson. Small. Cute. Easy baby. All in all, I will give him a 10.

It was during my travels to and from my hometown to my new home I encountered “The Book Thief.” I wanted to watch the movie, but I tend to read the books prior to watching a film as films can only grasp a tenuous amount of plot-line  However, I have to say this time I took it a step further and listened to the book narrated by Allan Corduner during the long, straight drives through the plains under blue or starry skies.

I have listened to some other books on tape including “Watership Down” and “Storm Front” (Dresden files by Jim Butcher-awesome), but while both were excellent stories, this one entangled me. Zusak wrote a great novel and Mr. Corduner’s read is delightful, moving and spot-on with the German, which is a necessity in a book of this magnitude.

Set in WWII Germany, we learn about Nazi fanaticism, a Jewish fist-fighter, thievery, friendship and death. They are all intertwined in the story of a girl seeking out an existence. We learn, we laugh and we cry. We learn that death indeed has a heart.

Liesel Meminger is a character I shall not soon forget. Deep. Well-rounded. Flawed and yet still flawless. She inspires me in ways I have not yet fully realized as she is each of us in our own unique ways. How did Zusak do that?

Beyond the well-scripted plot, the word economy and the descriptions of things seen yet unseen, I found Zusak to not be a writer or an author, but a natural story-teller.  And to add to this, Allan Corduner is a BRILLIANT talent who brought to life this poignant story.

Now, there are some who have trouble getting into the book as Zusak’s writing style is unique. It flips and flops until it settles into a rhythm such as a cha-cha or something of that nature. By the end of the first hour of listening, you are well into the story and transformation has indeed begun.

I generally steer clear of writing about books I have read, but “The Book Thief” changed that for me. I hope you will take the time to delve deep into the pages or the audio-book and breathe in a fresh and inspiring look at the beautiful piece of work Zusak shared with us all.

Metamorphosis.

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
Robert Frost 

stop-writing

For the past couple of months, I have taken a sabattical of sorts and pulled away from the normal hum-drum, work-a-day life. It has done me a world of good mentally and physically, but financially, it’s taken a bit of a bite out of the bank-book.

However, I think I can say I think I finally feel more alive than I have felt in a long time.  I see things with a clarity I hadn’t seen in a while and I appreciate people and places again. While that may sound strange, I had “turned off” many relationships and just didn’t want to communicate. This may be the best blessing of all. I am once again breaking out of the protective shell I had built up around me. 

When I write, I have to write from an emotional place or the scenes ring false and mechanical. Robert Frost hit the nail on the head. You have to bleed onto the page and let your emotions out. I held them too tight and let them fester and boil inside, but letting them out – well, I wasn’t going to do that. That would have been having to admit I actually HAD emotions. Fear, angst, loathing, hurt, love, joy, happiness… all of them I had kept bottled up for a while and I couldn’t express any of them. You know something? That’s not a way to live.

I thought I did it to protect myself. I thought if I insulated myself enough, I couldn’t be hurt by all of the changes brought about this year – that I wouldn’t be affected by “life” and it’s ebb and flow. I was wrong.

As a result, for the past few months, I couldn’t write. Physically, it was just painful. I couldn’t bring myself to actually look at the screen and put my fingers on the keys. Why? Because I write with emotion and I just knew that if I did, all of the bottled up feelings would unleash in a torrent and I wouldn’t be able to put a cap on it. I was “afraid.” Isn’t it bizarre to admit fear? Bizarre, but oh so true. 

Over the past week, I have read about nine different books and some of them were REALLY good.  The writing was tight, the characters were outstanding, the plots were well scripted. Slowly, the bottle on my emotions shook and as I closed the last book, the cork popped and everything I thought was contained released in a small explosion. 

This time away from everyone and everything has done me a world of good. I see things differently now. Today, I am a writer once again. 

Lost

Currently, I’m sitting in the dark at the new apartment, which still doesn’t feel like “home.” I’m eating an Amy’s TV dinner and listening to Coldplay’s “Magic” while the dog looks out the window wondering if there are squirrels running amok. The weather is not bright and sunny, but sad, almost morbid. It fits my mood. 

After many months, I have finally found a new job and relocated over 350 miles from “home.” This is disconcerting to say the least. For many, this isn’t anything to write about. People pack up and move all the time. But for more than a few decades, I have been in the same city of under 200k located in the middle of nowhere. Now, I’m in a true metropolis and I feel lost. 

My friends and family tell me I should be happy. Maybe I should, but I’m in mourning. I miss my friends and my family left behind – especially my daughters and my mother. Right now I miss my friends at work. I know I’ll make some new friends, but it’s not feeling the same. Maybe it’s not supposed to. I don’t know. 

I’m sorry this first post in a while is so depressing… I promise I’ll shake the mood after I wallow for a bit. Maybe I just need to get out of the darkness that surrounds me and wander around this new city that I now call home. 

Simplicity and Honesty

I normally start all my blogs with a quote. Today – not so much.  I’m going to try to keep this simple and honest. No pretty pictures. Just raw and honest about a few things.

When I was a kid, I had all the unrealistic expectations you would expect a child to have. As I became a teenager, I had a couple of lofty ambitions. I expected I would become a journalist, the next Woodward/Bernstein, or I would work for Rolling Stone or Time magazine – travel the world and see the sights and hear the sounds the world has to offer.  But I grew older and I settled for less and I settled down. I got used to routine and the day-in/day-out became comfortable.

I never stopped to wonder why.

The time has come to take everything I have known and disenfranchise myself from my hometown and take on “new adventures.” It’s harder when we get older. Even though I remind myself I’m not old, right now – this very moment – I feel old. And afraid.

There. I said it. I’m afraid of starting completely over.

I’m afraid of moving to a new place that’s not so comfortable. This town is like a well-worn pair of jeans. But I’m scared to see if that pair of jeans is just hanging on by a thread and if my underwear is starting to show.

I’m afraid of trying to find a new job.
I’m afraid of not finding a job.
I’m afraid of looking for a new place to live.
I’m afraid of homelessness.
I’m afraid of finding new doctors because mine know me so well.
I’m afraid of not finding doctors that have a clue.
I’m afraid of driving in a place I know nothing about that has a crap-ton more traffic.
I’m afraid of getting into an accident.
I’m afraid of not fitting in.
I’m afraid of people not understanding my warped sense of humor.
I’m afraid of being “alone” in a place with thousands of people.
I’m afraid of wanting to come running “home” and home just not being home anymore.

I never thought that my fearless teenage self would be sitting in front of a computer at middle age afraid to embrace change. But there it is in stark black and white. Simple and honest. 

Ridin’ the Storm Out

“Ridin’ the storm out, waitin’ for the thaw out…” 
– REO Speedwagon – 
It’s a beautiful, bright and sunny day in the Texas Panhandle. Not a cloud in the sky dampens the horizon. Yet, here I sit procrastinating. The storm of change is coming and I should be preparing for its onslaught, but I’m not. I’m in a state of fear and denial. I’m like the proverbial ostrich sticking its head in the sand. However, like the bird, my butt is sticking up in the air and I’m sure I’m about to take one for the team with no lube, if you know what I mean.  

My spousal unit tells me I don’t have to carry the burden alone for what’s going on at home. I’m cynical and jaded right now. I feel like I do.  I have to-do list after to-do list made up.  They grow longer by the day and there’s not enough hours to tackle even a portion of them. So I suppose that’s why it’s easier to sit and do nothing than to get off my ass and do “something.” But as the deadline for having all this stuff done grows near, the self-loathing for not having anything done sooner will grow to biblical proportions and I’ll be kicking myself in the hind-end that already took one. Double-whammy.

How does one prep for change when one doesn’t want things to change in many regards, but does in others? How does one know if they are doing the right thing or the wrong thing? How does one make decisions that alters their life, but also the lives of so many people around them for good, bad or indifferent and those people don’t have much say? It frustrates me on a level that’s almost unbearable. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing and there’s at least one person I need help from that’s is unwilling to do so. It’s frustrating beyond the tolerable and I try to shove that fed-up part of me in the back of my mind, but it niggles at me from time to time and I just want to break like a squall line dumping rain across the plains.  (Long run-on sentence. Sorry.)

I wish I could say more as to what’s going on, but I’m not at liberty right now. Just know that my life is upside down and I don’t like the view. I’ve lost my rose-colored glasses. If I can just ride this storm of change out and wait for the thaw out, things will be okay. But right now, I’m feeling the outflow boundary, the winds kicking up and the rush of air blowing across my face. I see the lightning on the horizon and hear the distant rumbles of thunder. The storm is coming and as it hits I will just pray for the best. 

Okay… going to suck it up and get to work. Tally-Ho!