Soledad

To sit in silence together and not need to speak a word. To enjoy another’s company in the midst of solitude. In a culture saturated with noise and infatuated with things, why can’t we simply enjoy silence?

Gaze up at the stars, wrapped in the cool, crisp air, and remember silence. Admire the elegant branches of trees, the ripples from drizzling rain, and forget yourself in solitude with me.

The world drowns in noise; we value not the quiet.

Become intimate with the language of solitude, a myriad of expressions without a sound.

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Lead Me to the Starving Artists

I will never understand the love of pop music. Today’s pop music has decreased exponentially in quality and I am not sure how one line repeated over and over and over (and over and over…and over) again is considered a lyric. To what distant land has our creativity disappeared?

Lead me to where out starving artists have wandered because I am starving for art!

It appears that half of movies these days are either sequels (or trilogies, etc.) and/or based on books. The movies that are considered original are generally mediocre, kindling my  desperation for that next plot that will remind me artists still exist, although they may be hiding in the deepest corners of the earth.

And the quality of fictional writing has declined horrifically. Books should challenge readers with unfamiliar words, provide questions to ponder, and ooze originality. I want to weep when a beloved character encounters tragedy, exclaim with triumph at the protagonist’s success, and become delightfully frustrated when the perfectly woven plot leaves me hanging and begging for more.

Part of me aspires to be one of those starving artists and remind the world that originality is still alive!

(Please pardon my extreme use of adverbs and other writing taboos because I have not written in a long time and am fond of lengthy descriptions.)

You know that dream you’ve buried? Drag it out and dust it off.

Stop living for yourself. You are nothing. Stop living for everyone else. They are nothing when you are unsatisfied.
When you abandon God you have nothing to live for. Except yourself. And I’ve learned the hard way that, without God, I’m a worthless, unsatisfied nobody.
I became a master artist of lies, weaving intricate plots to avoid consequences. I was ashamed and yet continued to lie until everyone I loved despised me. When they tried to help me, they hurt themselves.
I began to suffer from severe depression. I lived hour by hour, fretting over every little thing. It was misery. My former passions were now ghosts that constantly reminded me of my failure. To seek motivation was to enter a barren wasteland. I hated each second of my existence. The objects, actions, relationships that had once made me “happy” were sources of disappointment.
God was literally standing in front of me saying, “Let me help you. I will help you bear your burdens.” And I shoved him aside. Attending church was too much effort. Socializing was tedious.
I still had hopes and dreams, but they grew to seem like distant, lofty aspirations meant for some other individual.
To live without God is to live a life that makes a finite impact. You are a particle of dust.
Eventually, I reached the edge after crawling around on my scraped up knees, blind and pathetic. God didn’t push me off the cliff; I pushed myself. Don’t blame God for your issues, look in the mirror: There is a gaping hole in your shriveled heart and you ignore it while you bleed to death. No more excuses.
I fell so far I thought I’d never get out. I had already given up long beforehand. God doesn’t give up, though. Instead, he slapped me in the face and told me, “Look around you. People are suffering everywhere. You are whiny and you are nothing without me. Stop staring at the ground, look to me and reach out your hand because I’ve been here for you this entire time. So, you’re covered in bruises, so what? I’ve used people in worse shape than you to change the world. Your passions cannot be achieved without falls.”
Stop living for yourself. How can you change the world if you cannot change yourself?

Writer’s Curse

Lost in an eternal moment, a pensive, overwhelming mood. My thoughts devour me until I grow empty, yet the complexity of the world is within my mind. If only I could bridle the chaos of words and create meaning. I am emotion, so hidden, but at the same time barely contained in myself. One day I wonder if the world shall pour out of me, an aching waterfall of feeling that has no end, consuming every problem in the world.

My thoughts are fleeting, writhing, mangled things. Mysteries. I find myself considering humanity’s predicament and am plunged into the deepest ocean, choking on my useless tongue. I have a voice that could be heard clearly from heights of mountains, but it is trapped inside my beating heart. Words are but abstract sounds; we give them significance. Entropy is beauty incarnate, refusing to follow the river’s flow and instead becoming my Plague.

The earth is a looming weight upon my broken shoulders, but the Creator’s hands prevent it from crushing me.

How To Snare a Reader

“The Earth trembled beneath him as if rattling its final breath.”

That is the opening to my novel. There must be some secret to catching readers, but I doubt my ability. Each phrase must be crafted with the utmost care; each sentence must be flawless.

Do these words create a sense of urgency? Do they make you wonder what is happening? To whom?

Fellow writer, would you read this book or set it back upon the shelf?

I leave my words here, vulnerable to your venerable opinion.

The Struggle is Real

Imagine a novel without dialogue.

Horrifying?

When you open a book for the first time, your eyes are seeking white space. No one wants to read pages of lengthy paragraphs burdened with aimless, wandering descriptions. Readers need to see your characters interacting, moving the plot forward, otherwise the pages are filled with silence.

Dialogue is not small talk; it must serve a purpose.

This is my struggle and also the struggle of many others. I don’t want my audience to grow bored with my one-dimensional characters. I borrowed an excellent book from the library that has various suggestions to practice writing dialogue.

For example:

1) Create a conversation between your protagonist and antagonist. Ensure that their words clearly convey motives and we can have sympathy for both characters.

2) “What if [your] characters start talking and they all sound the same?”

“…Stop writing for a moment, pull up a page, and just start writing like a mad person in the character’s point of view…Don’t think about what you’re writing. Write about anything. Explode.”

Thank you, Gloria Kempton for the advice!