I seem to write in cliches and tropes when I compose any kind of fiction. I can’t help it. An urge to follow things that have already worked seem to emerge through my storytelling. I can only assume it stems from my intent on writing something that people will enjoy as opposed to something that will turn heads and cause extensive debates. Basically, I write for entertainment, I am not trying to create the next great american novel.
Of course this creates some extensive problems with my peers on the platform of critiquing. Most of those who look at my work tell me I need to avoid common tropes when writing; that I need to create new tropes, things to call my own.
I strongly believe that I should not create new tropes for that is a waste of my time. Why not use what is already there, robust tools of writing, that when placed together will display my overall message and meaning of what I am trying to say. Why must I focus my attention on being completely original? Why can I not focus on what matters: the message of the story. The touching romance, the magnification of societal problems, the test of true relationships between individuals!
Everyone is so bogged down with trying to be different that they forget what should matter in writing which is the context. In fact, I seem to create scene and dialogue that is new to me, but when studied by my peers it is revealed to be some cliche or trope that has no value.
I suppose I come from the fold of people who think there is no more new ideas to use. Yes, you can dress an old idea to seem new. But really, why would you do such a thing? Why not use something simple; something that can be understood by everyone as to make it easier to swallow. But I suppose ideas that are easy to understand are the ones that people tend to ignore.
Here I am again. I seem to come here to empty my brain whenever I do not wish to work on a project. Only recently I actually post what I write instead of keeping it in a locked folder.
I had a lot on my mind today, though I can’t remember what it all was exactly. I do know that they were good thoughts and I told myself I should make a blog about them. So here I am, trying to rack my brain as to what I wished to blog about. Knowing me, it will only drive itself into a course of something completely unrelated. But at least it is here, no?
When I added that question mark in the previous sentence Tumblr asked me if I would like to open this post up for a question. I do not remember this feature, it is a change for me. Things always change, don’t they? …Tumblr seems to be misjudging my rhetorical questions. But now we have a topic, which was something I was thinking about heavily today: Change
I look up, about once a year, and always find myself in a completely different spot from the previous one. Not only physically, but mentally as well. I am a being of change, constantly forming into something more solid; or at least I hope it is solid and not a mushy paste of regret. Nonetheless, it is a change. I hate change.
Ask anyone who knew me growing up. Whenever something diverged from the norm of commonplace I threw a fit. I hated change and change hated me. I remember—and I might have already blogged about this once before—that due to the weather my family could not go to my grandparents house on Christmas Eve one year, something we did every year, and I completely shut down. I felt as if that small change was going to effect me for the rest of my life. But it did.
You see, that was the last Christmas Eve we had with my mother still alive. And it’s also the Christmas Eve that always comes to my mind when I think of the holiday. Therefor, that depressing change, no matter how small, has made a deep impact on me as being somewhat of a bad memory that also served as one of the last memories of my mother during that particular season. When I think of Christmas, I think of being disappointed and giving my parents a rough time for it. Not the best of memories.
The passing of my mother is also an obvious change that was unpleasant. That’s a given. However, it led to a collection of changes to follow. Just not having her around was bad enough, but living through each holiday without her was miserable for my great dislike for change.
High school ended, college started, friends left, friends came, friends left, friends came, roommate after roommate, and changing between three places of living in one town are only a few things to follow up until now.
But that’s life.
We live in a world where the only thing that is promised is a change. Good or bad, how can anything really be defined under two categories? Tumblr didn’t ask if that was a question, another change.
All I know is that right now, as I look up in this moment, I see my possession of a nice place to call home, an excellent education that is almost finished, a woman that I dearly love, a great sense of independence, and a future that is my own.
Will you raise your tumbler full of spirit, while you browse my Tumblr, and join me in a toast to change? For the concept of change is the only thing that goes unchanged.
The last post I did, merely minutes ago, was supposed to be about something entirely different. It has come to the point where I do not plan what my blogs are going to be about, instead I simply just blog. Even now I leave the title blank, ready to be filled in at the end of what I type. The topic always seems to change.
Why make two posts? I’m sure you have the question lingering in your head. Well, it’s because the other one was too long to contain more than one theory of thought. I want these to be self-contained, as opposed to jumbling everything into one single post. Right now I feel an urge to write, and I swear that when I write, whether it be blogs or stories, causes me to become an even better writer. I suppose that’s a given though with the whole idea of practicing a craft to find proficiency in it.
I’ve seem to be writing quite a bit lately, mostly working on stories. Fiction, to be more precise. I’ve got to buckle down and get stuff compiled. Even if the end product is bad, as long as it is something then that’s all that matters. I promised myself that I would compose some work everyday while dropping any excuses to do otherwise. I have missed a few days, I always do, but the days in-between where I actually sit myself down and write are so well worth it.
I sometimes wonder if I should share any of this work. I write a couple of pages, set up a nice construct to work with; a rise in the track of a roller coaster, if you will humor me with my allegory, that leads to a sudden drop where the pen can write without any serious cognitive of where the bends and future rises will be. Imagine that, a roller coaster that is always different and always egging on surprises around each corner.
I scribble down all these ideas, but I never seem to be interested enough in turning those scribbles into readable words. And when I say readable words I mean words that coax a hunger to be read. A thirst, coming from the reader, to consume even more; page by page.
I do try to dispose of the ‘initial phase’ of writing before I dive into something that matters; the phase when one begins to write and everything seems to be poorly composed. However, I run into the problem that that initial phase is so interesting that I want to see it continued. I want to see every story I start have a full life. Even those that I am not too keen on writing. Does not every story deserve to be heard through its entirety? If people do, then the same applies to stories. For, are stories not as important as the people who read them? I sure as hell think they are.
Perhaps I will give myself an allotted time—thirty minutes should do—to extinguish any pre-writing lettuce that I can use as a groundwork for my salad of something more edible to the mind. Maybe my salads should be served here, only until I learn to make a desirable sundae. One day, perhaps, I can even create a main-course in place of an entree or desert. Time will be the greatest teller of my preparation of a meal for the mind.
Oh, hello there. The last time I posted any content here was far too long ago. The reason for that I can only blame on falling into a horrible lack of confidence in my writing. No, I do not believe in writer’s block, but I do believe that a blocking can occur if life gets too crumpled in front of the drain of the imagination.
You see, everything I wrote that was not associated with school was just a collection of sentences and words strewn together in boring and dull lines of dribble. Even now I may still be suffering from it. All that I produced looked, to me, like garbage. Perhaps I was saving every ounce of my ‘good’ writing for the harshly scheduled assignments every week for my Summer classes. And before Summer was Spring, a season filled with stressful writing.
But you already know that, only because I always use it as my shadow to hide behind when I’m late to the party. Does that lead to a conclusion that I am weak? Falling into a repetitious method of squander and brittle grayness? Does not matter, says I. Only thing that matters is I’m here right now writing, and my excuses for not writing have given me something to write about. Have I not won at least in some way for this? Let us pretend, or try to; I know how hard it might be to do so. Trust me, I’m a writer which is only another way to say “I’m a pretender.”
Since the last time I’ve been here, on a page writing for a general public, I have taken a few classes in the art of literature. I have also received fantastic grades on these courses, which only alludes to a theory of mistake within the system of education and the endowment of grades. What I’m trying to say is that apparently these teachers enjoy my skill in writing.
Don’t worry, I laughed too, although not from a standpoint of hilarity, but instead from a vision of pressure to do well.
Let me tell you about my skill. The foundation about my skill stems from my idea that I do not believe a ‘skill’ can be explained. It is not physical, nor can it be directly observed. No, it can only be watched through another means. Writing, for example, can only be viewed through the scope of an end product of a soul bleeding upon paper, which is too metaphorical to really be properly observed anyways.
I guess the idea I am trying to present is: skill cannot be measured in orthodox. People ask me all the time how I obtained this ‘skill’ of writing well. I can only reply with a combination of circular explanations and periodical stutters. I do not look at a page and design a frame of how a sentence goes together in a grammatical sense, nor do I think of how the entire concept will connect throughout its life of being written. I only have faith that it will come out alright and cross my fingers that I won’t have to rewrite via editing and polishing.
I write what I feel, and how I believe those feelings should be written on paper. The ‘skill’ only comes from how the individual reads what I produce. That’s where the skill comes from; not me, but from how someone sees me.
It seems those who teach the advance classes in the English department see me as a student who can write and understand heavy concepts. The teachers who teach the lower classes seem to see me as a writer who thinks too much. Too deeply. They see a student who tries to bleed too freely.
Just let me bleed as I breathe in the air of my inner sanctum.
…Sometimes I do wonder where I picked up my style of writing. If you catch me in a corner with some tasty beverages and a good aroma of atmosphere then I can promise you an endless conversation of the beauty of one’s soul. I can promise you that.
I will officially be returning to Denton in July! Why is that? We have done it; we have a house! I want to dedicate this house to arts and the artists of Denton. We will be opening it up as a public venue for musicians as well as host art shows to support all of your art. The shows will be free to…
We have a house! It’s going to be fantastic! We have a great year ahead of us.
Imagine building with Legos for years, learning how to build by just building. Adding onto older creations and creating new ones inspired by past ideas that never saw a fully complete stage. One would find that they get better at the craft of building with the material, able to create better things over time by using knowledge of previous successes and mistakes. All from self-taught raw emotion of what is right and what just doesn’t fit together. It becomes a science, a kind that does not borrow from logic but instead from pure intentions and gut reactions.
Now, imagine that you are required to shove all of your Legos to the side and replace it only with Lincoln Logs. In addition, these new materials come with a learned individual who tells you all the tricks, the paths to choose from, and instructs you on how to build better things. There is little room for you to grow the craft for yourself, you are required to copy what the individual knows. By watching him carefully and thoughtfully you immediately find your way around problems and road blocks that would normally have taken you months to tackle, months of self discovery.
And what about the Legos? The material that requires more rules and regulations of how pieces fit together. Forgotten in the dark corners of the creation area. You are told Lincoln Logs are better, they have very little rules on how they fit together. It’s more about the concept compared to the structure. Beauty over logic. And you agree, perhaps it is better than Legos.
But it was never about logic in the first place, you say. It was all about emotion. It always has been. A way to share what you feel by exploring other worlds and unique individuals who have always existed within you. Just waiting to bleed out onto the page. Waiting to be discovered.
In an attempt to dig up these worlds and characters, something that Lincoln Logs could never offer, you search for all the pieces of Legos that once use to be your tools. The damage is done, however. Many pieces are missing. Even the pieces that you created yourself, in order to truly create something wonderful. It’s all missing, lost in the depths and overshadowed by the memory of Lincoln Logs. The worlds you created with the old material are half-destroyed, the remains of an original idea. You try to recreate it, but all that comes to mind are the teachings from the individual that will only work with the Lincoln Logs. The ‘better’ material. The material that, once taught by the individual, began to corrupt and destroy those many years of self discovery.
But you do not give up. You look hard at the leftover worlds, only half there, and begin to consider that maybe they are not half-destroyed but instead half-complete. Working off of the jagged remains you create a bridge that does not repair the world, but makes it better. The key is to ignore what has been taught and only rely on self discovery. Rely on your emotion, the raw essence that only you could ever possess. For an individual cannot be reproduced, but teaching can.
The result is a world that starts and breathes, built without logic and purely on emotion with the tools that actually rely on logic. Shattering the notion that logic is safe from it’s opposition. But the world slowly changes over the course of time, turning into something that transcends pure emotion and is built upon raw feeling of the creator, taking ques from all forms of building. Creating something that challenges the normalcy of construction. Creating something that is purely the reflection, the echo, of the creator.
The missing pieces will never be found, and that is a gift. The new knowledge will remain, and that is the challenge. But when combined there shines hope for a better craft.
Here is just something I cooked up real quick after looking at a tree while waiting for the bus. I didn’t have a chance to edit it, so I’m just going to post it as is. I apologize for it being so raw. Enjoy.
The Lines of a Tree
The old man asked me a particular question one day, in his normal position under the giant oak trees surrounding the property, on the side behind the large unused farmhouse. He pointed to the trees and asked me how all those lines formed, the lines between the bark that fashion the unbreakable brittle look. This question, like all the rest he gave, was so sudden but foreseen that I took no notice of his abnormal cough that accompanied his spoken word at that time.
”Must be the way they grow, it just is. Right?” I said. I was only a young boy at the time and knew little of the structures of things as complex as nature. He nodded at me, like he always did. Never did he call out my ignorance. Sometimes he smiled, most likely from his remembrance of what it was like to be so naive and content with the lack of ascertaining a different side to the coin of the answer. The other side of the coin, to me at that age, was always shrouded in darkness. Perhaps it still is.
”Well then, why does the grass grow?” he asked. He was not smiling this time, however. His gaze was set on the tree as he laid against another.
”Easy. Grass grows for the cows, so they can live.”
”And what about the worms? What purpose do those serve?”
”Birds gotta eat something, I reckon.”
The old man nodded again. “And the birds grow for the cats to eat, I suppose?”
I thought about this for a moment before agreeing with a shrug. “Nobody said life is fair. Even for those birds.”
A large chuckle came from the old man, with an addition of a glance towards me. “No, son. Nobody ever did. Which is, in a way, an answer that the opposition should be expected.” His smile faded as he looked back at the tree. “So tell me, if all those things have purpose, then why don’t the lines in the tree have a purpose too?”
I had no answer.
”If they have no purpose, then why does it have so many?” He reached up with his hand and touched the tree beside him, following the grooves of the lines. “So many. Up and down, throughout, every single one a reminder of a better time. Memories adorned with the passing of age, slashed against the unwilling tree, and yet others do not notice them. They are just, like you say, there because that’s the way they grow.”
”Maybe that makes it stronger?”
”What?” He turned his attention towards me with interest in my meaning.
”Well, look at it.” I pointed and he followed with his eyes. “It looks weak, with all those lines, like it has been through a rough time. The more lines it has, the less time it has to make more. But, when you touch the bark it feels strong and sturdy. Safe. Like…I don’t know, as if these lines make it more reliable as a living thing.”
The old man touched the tree once more before looking back at me. He was smiling now, telling me that I was a smart kid. This was the moment when I first noticed how old his face looked, his eyes and mouth forming so many lines. Too many to count.
I’m sitting here alone. Again. All of my roommates are gone, which is not unusual for a weekend. It’s the same every weekend, me being here alone in a large apartment, which usually leads to thinking. And thinking, as most might remember, is not good for me. Here I am, sitting at my desk and thinking about so many different possible endings to every single event coming up in my life. Thinking of all these parallels, most of which would likely never happen. When I finish with a batch of possibilities pertaining to a day, I keep moving farther and farther into the future, the only possible direction to go.
I suppose I do this from my past experiences with people. For most of these events involve people, how they will react, what movements they will do in this symphony of ups and downs that all jumble together and lead to a rest in the aperture where it dost not belong. The music plays, the people move, and the world slowly comes to an end. But such is life, a means to an end. Everything we touch with our eyes has a time-limit that is constrained within the confines of brutality. Violent winds gushing against us, chipping our stony curvatures, the things we call our bodies, until we crumble. Yes, that time we crumble, when the music takes a rest but never returns until we realize it is too late. The music has ended and so has our souls. Left behind to the cries of a thousand crows that pick it apart and produce an image, with text as tool, of those no longer with us. But the text is a lie. It always is, but it cannot be blamed. For blame gives birth to another crow, adding to the flock of the inky red-eyed beasts.
But why curse the fate that has its own fate. Time is better spent ascending and descending with the music, in harmony. In accord. In unity. Coming together and taking all the good, and all the bad, for accounts that have not yet happened and forming it into a better statue of etiquette. Though the statue will crumble, like all the rest of the curvatures do, it is a propinquity that we have with ourselves to reach for a better finale, the moment right before the final rest of the symphony, the moment when we can enjoy our lives without the parallels.
I wish I could say the reason I have been absent from blogging is from how busy I have been. but that would not be valid. Yes, I have been busy, there is no lie in that, but there have been plenty of times for me to write down my thoughts, whether just raw or in prose. But I did not, instead I’ve found myself staring at the wall again, thinking. Thinking, you see, is my greatest disease. I can’t help but think. About what I’ll eat next, how much work I need to get done, where I’ll be in a month’s time and the precautions, and of course about people. Mostly it’s about people. It’s always about people.
Even now I can’t hide from my roaring thoughts of people from past, present, and future. They haunt me, all these possibilities in an endless loop of my own imagination. Circling into a pool of bullets that patiently wait to fire into the middle, into my head. To end it all by causing a mistake or misstep in the flow of conversation or bad decisions. This is a constant for me. The only divergence is when I am with the person I am thinking about, only then I can feel safe with my predictions. Not by much, though.
Sometimes I feel that the entirety of life is about shattered promises. Yes, not broken, shattered. These promises are not made verbally, but emotionally. Friends, family, loved ones, everyone is included. I do not know why everything is founded upon these fractures, I do not have that answer. All I do know is that promises are usually the first thing to become lost. Is it still valid to call it ‘lost’ when there is no possibility of retrieving it? No, I think not.
I feel, however, that I am one of the few that can really feel these emotional promises being made. Perhaps even to a point where it doesn’t exist. But it exists to me, and combined with all those swirling bullets only deepens the pulsating stress. It deepens until it reaches the spark for which ignites one of the bullets to fire within me.
Two days ago my right eye began to bleed. I assume it happened due to a broken blood vessel, something to do with high blood pressure and other jargon. But I know the truth, the bullet hit the spark and popped.