Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Writer's Song?

What is it, exactly, that makes someone want to write?

People tell me all the time how they'd like to write the book or story that's been meandering through their imagination. It's actually more common of an idea than you might first suspect. Why? Because words are like songs - music to our souls. And everyone loves music. It inspires, motivates, encourages and heals us. Of course listening to a catchy melody is fine, but it's always the lyrics that grab us. That's why a good song or book has to have a hook!

In fact, I'd bet that most writers have written a song or two themselves. I believe this, because it's true for me. In fact, after writing a previous post, I remembered that I enjoyed a short stint of song writing back in 2002-2003. That was a tough year for me,  and looking back I can see how I was compelled to write what was on my heart, never imagining that I would one day write complete novels. All-in-all, I think I wrote about 20 songs that year.

With that said, I'd like to honor all the writers out there who began their literary journey writing songs. To do this I'm posting an excerpt of a song I wrote for my wife in 2002. It's called...YOU. And yes, there is a melody. BOOM!  PS - I plan to post some of my old stuff I found in a dusty storage box in future posts so stay tuned! Here's the song!

You're like the sun on the ocean
And a cool breeze in my hair
When I think of you I get the notion
That I'm floating in the air

You're like the dew in the morning
And my favorite dream coming true
Of all the beautiful things imagined
My mind...comes back to you...

You're so Amazing... take my breath away
You...keep my heart racing...what more can I say...
This songs about you

You're like the stars out at midnight
And a snowflake on my tongue
And when I say that I love you
I've only just begun

You're like a candle in a garden
And a fire by the sea
So no matter how far you shine your light
No one...will ever be like you...


You're like the sweet smell of raindrops
Dripping from the sky
When I see you it feels like time stops
And I can't explain why

You're like an angel born in heaven
With a golden set of wings
Of all the things that God created
His choir...wants to sing about you...Chorus

And somehow, I have since graduated into the world of writing fictional thrillers. Amazing. Boom!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Questions That Make You Smile

Okay, you do the math! High school in 1988 - College in 2001. It took me a while, but I graduated from Indiana University through the school of Icantbelievethistookmethirteenyears-amIsomekindofidiot. Seriously, I did! It's a very obscure field - often overlooked by the elite intelligencia! Of course, after graduation there was the usual chasing down the American dream, the jobs, the family and all the rough spots in between that can bring you to the point of depression. Sound familiar? Well as you know, there are times that make the 80-grit moments of life worth while. Today was one of those days.

We brought the kids to my in-laws pool to enjoy one of the last sunshinny days of summer and my ten-year old decided that he didn't need to go to school. He presented a very compelling argument that he could, in the end, build forts and roof houses for a living, because he was strong and didn't need to use his brain to work. Now normally, I'd let that go. But come on, this was a life lesson gold mine!

I proceeded to remind him of the virtues of hard work and education and how much we love him and want the best for him. I also reminded him that he had helped me roof his grandpa's shop this summer, which was a misserably hot experience for all of us. When I finished, his mother asked if he still wanted to be a roofer, and he said, "No. But I can still build forts. Besides, I don't even understand most of what Daddy just said!"

I had to laugh. And then, I knew I had to write about it, so I said to my wife, "This is gonna make a great blog entry." To which my eight-year old daughter replied with frightened and fully aware eyes, "Where? Where's a blog entry?" She was swinging her arms in the water trying to shoo that darn blog entry away. I said, "It's over there, Anna! The blog entry is by your head!" She screamed and dove in the water.

Talk about good times! It was a moment that I'll cherish forever. But wait! There's more...

When Anna came out of the water, I asked if she really didn't know what a blog entry was. She said, "Of course, I do. It's one of those things you write on the computer." I was stunned and asked, "How did you know that?" She replied, "Everything I know, I've learned from the Disney Channel!" I shot a disouraging glare at my wife and immediately fell into a deep depression. However, I'm sure there will be more sunshinny days ahead. BOOM!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sleepy Little Boogers!

I should really be in bed right now, but I'm a blogger, and bloggers never sleep! Do they? Anyway, speaking of sleep, I have to hand it to my wife; she's a real trooper. She had a girls night out last night and made a "To Do" list for a couple of the kids to take care of. And here's what she found upon her return...

1) None of the items on the list were completed.
2) Two out of four kids hadn't eaten dinner (by 10:00 pm).
3) The house was trashed.
4) The only food the 2 kids mentioned previously put in their bellies was a 2 liter of Coke!

You heard right...Coke for dinner. Needless to say it was a late night for poor wifey. She did an after-midnight clean until 1:30 a.m., made omelets and toast for the two famished coke drinkers and lovingly snuggled them all to bed around 12:00 a.m. Now I wasn't there, but I'm almost certain she did all that with a smile on her face...the whole time! Well, that may be stretching the truth just a little, but I talked to her at 1:30 a.m. from work and she seemed to be in pretty good spirits. That is if the words, slam-dunking those sleepy little boogers to bed is a term of affection. There were other four letter words that came out of her mouth, I think, but I'm not sure, she was talking pretty fast and I don't think I got it all. But what I do remember hearing after she completed her pleasant monologue was, "They're so sweet."

So here I sit, at 6:55 a.m., finally home from working the midnight shift. I'm exhausted and absolutely beaten down from my toilsome labor. I walk in the door and see a mound of adolescent flesh piled up in my living room, making a variety of noises, some that I probably shouldn't mention, and yet, as wifey said, they do look sweet and content, like little angels. It just makes me realize how quickly they grow up and helps me to remember how much trouble I was at their age. Sleepy little boogers? Yes, they are. But they're my little boogers and I do love them. And uh, before I forget - I'm taking bets that they wake up before 7:30 a.m! Any takers? BOOM!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Writing What You Know

"Write what you know!"
"Write what you know!"

Every writer is guided by a long list of rules and regulations. We study. We highlight. We underline and subscribe to them so that we can master the craft of writing. One of the rules we constantly hear about is to "write what you know". The point of this rule is to write about the things that come out of you naturally, by bringing your experiences, interests, hobbies and the things that get you fired up into your work with the grand purpose of adding your own personal flare and passion. For example, if you're a runner, you might create characters that  run as part of their lives, because you know what that looks like. Or perhaps if you're a musician, you might enjoy writing about singers, songwriters or guitar players. What better way of showing off your musical brilliance!

On the flip side to this valuable rule, I really enjoy learning about stuff that I'm clueless about...like guns, cars and geography. Case in point - when I wrote Killing the Giants, I had to consult with a good friend who is an avid gun collector, because I really needed to know what type of gun an FBI agent would use, or what the nickname of a CIA helicopter is called (Black Bird). And I have to admit, I really enjoyed that process. But I also enjoy learning about people, how they tick, what they think, and what motivates them. I think it helps me to relate with others, and be a better person in the process. And maybe that is another reason why I enjoy writing - to expand my world - to be more than I was when I started.

So what's the point? Well, the point is, I really love writing, but most importantly, I think writers, journalizers, and poets should never be afraid to just write what we know. We have to get out there and unearth the lost information of this world. We must discover the hidden secrets and share them with the world. I mean, there are aliens, conspirators and other nefarious minions that have yet to be discovered. And we MUST rat them out! That's our job; to make reading fun and interesting and even a little tattletalish. Of course, it's okay to do that with a personal twist by weaving in your own experiences. However, to seek out what you do not know can add a whole new excitement to your writing experience.

And now you know the truth; when it comes to knowledge, I'm an empty page in need of filling. Actually, that may be closer to the truth than not. BOOM!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Get it Write.

Wouldn't you know it? This is like my gazionith attempt at blogging. I hope this one sticks, because I love writing and I love what it has done for me personally, like manipulate my subconscious through hours and hours and even days of prosing my thought processes into novelic story lines and simple minded characters.
Yes, that's how it works. Your shrink has been trying to tell you this for years. You see, the only difference between a writer and a non-writer is that writers take their shrink up on the journaling idea. Well, not really. But it is true that writing makes for great therapy! Maybe that's why it's so attractive to me. In fact, writing reminds me of my wife cleaning out her purse. She turns the bloated bag upside down and dumps everything on the table, and then proceeds to seperate the lip gloss and Starbucks gift cards from all the crap that's accumulated through weeks of shopping and errand running. After unloading two trash bags full of receipts, candy wrappers and ketchup packets, she meticulously rearranges and simplifies her purse...much to my amazement. When she's done, she can easily find what she's looking for.
And so it is with my writing experience. I throw out all of my thoughts, dreams, nightmares and other unspeakable musings on my literary table and shuffle through them until I've seperated what I want to keep from the trash, and then I organize it nicely into the hearts and minds of my characters, completely ridding the extra baggage from my brain, leaving it squeaky clean and fully refreshed.
And that's how it works. I must blog. I am complelled - no, ordained to do this. My blogging shall re-commence from this day forward. BOOM!