Monday, November 18, 2013

Fortunate Soul - Opening

Sadness and euphoria are intertwined within the fabrics of our lives. I should know; they are the emotional landscape I’ve crossed back and forth for decades. I never wanted for material items, mine were more spiritual. Maybe I didn’t care about the material things because I never had to think about them. They were always provided to me by my fellow disciples. The spiritual ones developed over decades of following my instincts and intensive education. My entire life was dedicated to my craft, which led me to another dangerous exchange between sadness and euphoria.

        My name is Caeles Novo. My grandfather believed I was sent from the heavens to change the ways of our lost disciples. This is why I was given my particular name. You won’t know me. I work in the shadows. I look like any other human wandering the busy streets of large cities. I can also look like a broken man on the side of a country road. That’s the idea.

My education and that of my fellow disciples was more extensive than most that travel the earth. You see, my life expectancy was once more than three times longer than ordinary humans, so my structured learning lasted three times longer as well. Ordinarily you would think more education could only be a plus. Think again. Our superiority has destroyed our way of life. We are not ordinary humans.

Despite my superior intelligence, I was victimized by some who no longer found my way of leadership in compliance with their own way of life. Priorities changed for some, mine were more secure. My fellow disciples and I were trained for one mission in life. I followed my gut and continued our predetermined journey, others didn’t. But suddenly, I again crossed over from euphoria to sadness. I realized I lost the ability to do what I was destined to do. In those mere seconds of self realization, when you have once again crisscrossed back to the other side, you must decide who you are.

Some are designed to lead, while others follow. Some are dominant. Others live a more submissive way of life. Some live very conservative lives while others want to change the structure of every institution they meet. Some are men, some are women. Some have dark skins, others the shade of cream. None of that mattered to me. I only cared about the next soul on my list. I could read souls like some read the daily newspaper. If yours was broken, I stole it. That was my mission in life and I make no apologies for who I am. If you couldn’t appreciate all that life had bestowed upon you, welcome to my list.

I was trained to be an unseen shadow. You never found me. I found you. When I did, you would either fall to the ground or barely feel a scratch. Everyone has a soul. However, depending on how much one believes they own a soul, determines how much the loss affects them. Non-believers are fools. I know the truth. I will steal your most possession if you make my list of being a dark soul. I’ve taken from some who laugh in my face, or cry for redemption within moments of my thievery. Either way, I was completing what I was born to do.

If I wasn’t taking your soul, one of my fellow disciples would do so with as much passion as me. After all, we trained for fifty years to be experts in our decree sent from the heavens. However, some of our disciples claimed that the extra education, they evolved past being mere soul stealers. For their sin in wandering away from our mission, I will destroy their perfect lives.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Be yourself

Sometimes it's not easy to tell other writers why it's important to find your own voice and not someone else's.. this says it all and not just for writers.

“Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else” – Judy Garland

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Writers Groups

I'll be the first to admit I wanted to quit my writers group after one session. I had taken the first page from my first book about a guitar player. I explained to the group, the main character would go on to be a world class musician and travel with his band. One of the members in the group stated, "Wow, you really are that good of a guitar player?" To which I stated, "No, but Dylan was, my character." Which brought this person to state, "If it never really happened to you, you cant write it."
I wanted to get up and leave right then. When I asked this person if they had ever heard the word fiction or not, the stares around the table were not pleasant. I've now survived that meeting and close to 100 more. There are still days I scratch my head like at my last one where again one of the members wants to debate me that I can't possibly write about a soul stealer because stealing souls is not possible. When I asked him if he was sure, only another dirty stare. I've survived critiques that were justified and some that I think were over the top. I've learned to balance them and there is no question I am a better writer for continuing to go most Wednesdays and the occasional Friday. I bring this up because I just read this piece from Writers Digest Online which shares some of my same sentiments. If you are an aspiring writer or even one who has published a few things, I would encourage you to join a group. But find one where the members know you can write about things you have never done. And when someone critiques you, remember that's why you went in the first place.

From:  How to Become a Kick-Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig

Writers are not editors. (File under D for “duh.”) They have different priorities and different perspectives. (And they’re probably also raging drunkaholics. Editors are nice and drink wine. Writers will drink all the cough syrup at CVS if they can get their ink-stained fingers on it.) Whereas an editor will often highlight a problem, a writer will come up with a solution. That doesn’t mean it’s a solution you want, but it’s worth it to have that perspective just the same. Submit your work to other writers. Demand that they not be kind. Mercy will not strengthen you.