Friday, February 5, 2010

True Lies

Last night was my weekly creative writing class and I must say that I had a blast. It was the first night that we were able to do some writing and group participation. (a much needed change of pace from listening to our instructor simply read to us various writings)

The teacher decided to have us do a writing exercise that was called "True Lies," in which we were told to write a small blurb, about 50 words, telling a lie, yet somehow connecting some truth to it. I'm a very black and white kind of guy. Those instructions were a bit to gray for me and so I had him give an example or two, then I set my pen to motion. Here's my true lie.

I'll sit in contentment as we share our raft. She'll probably rest her weary head on my shoulder. "I told you so," I'll say. "I knew this would happen." She'll deny any wrong doing, but I'll sit happy in the knowledge that I was right. After all, happiness is a state of mind, not a follow up to circumstance.

The class was asked to try to brainstorm about what the truth was and it became something of a riddle for some people. When they asked what my truth was, I explained that my beautiful bride-to-be and I are going on a cruise. That's right! Her father decided to buy us a 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise on Princess Cruise lines. We'll be leaving in March during spring break. I'll post more on this later, but for now, I'll explain how it ties in to my true lie. The lie portion of my blurb was a prediction that our cruise line would end up sinking. See, I have a fear of being on the open sea. I blame it on diabetic camp at age 8, but that's another story. All in all, I'm taking a huge step in overcoming my fears, by going on this cruise. I know it will be wonderful, BUT, I've jokingly told my fiancée that "I've seen the Titanic movie, I know how this ends."

So, the truth was, the fact that we'll be going on a cruise over the open sea.
The lie was my 'knowing' about the ship sinking, leaving us to sit in a life raft.

That's it for now. Have any of you done any neat writing exercises that you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Writer's Wedding Vows

My bride-to-be and I met with our officiant yesterday evening to discuss the ceremony details. We are having a traditional non-denominational Christian wedding, in which vows are said, rings are exchanged, a unity candle is lit and the big kiss seals the deal. So, as we discussed the options for vows, we were hit with the option of writing our own vows.

ME!? Write the vows?

Why was I so nervous about it, after all I am a writer? It's not like I don't have hundreds of pages of written work that I hope to have published some day. Haven't I entered contests for short stories and poetry? Shouldn't writing these vows be a simple act? Heck, I could even invite a few agents to the wedding and tactfully wink at them claiming "I will now read the vows I wrote," in hopes of landing a deal for my next novel.

Uh, no. Try again.

I realize that we, as writers, all (well most of us anyway) have a concern about letting other people read our writing. After all our sweat, blood and tears are put into those words, it can be devastating to hear that someone didn't like our masterpiece. [I mean, c'mon we ARE legends in our own minds.] I found that this translated to why I didn't want to write my own vows. I'm afraid to let people hear my writing. I know that this is a difficult task for so many writers and in my own life, I will have to get over it. I have still decided not to write my own vows, not just because I have reservations about letting people hear my works, but also because quite frankly the traditional vows are REALLY good. They encompass what I want to say anyway.


In my attempt to break out of my shell and share a bit, I'm going to post an email that I sent to my bride-to-be. This isn't quite "Vows," but it does give a bit of insight into how I feel and helps me let go of my insecurities of being critiqued. This blog has helped me do this quite a bit as I've been able to post all sorts of things I've written. So, without further ado, here's my love letter:

P.S. I did write the first part of this "cheesy" on purpose.

Dear Bride-to-be,

It's come to my attention that you intend to marry me. I think that's fantastic! In fact, I'm so very excited about the idea, that I've already gone out and ordered a tuxedo and invited 75 of our closest family and friends to come celebrate the event with us. I'd love nothing more than to see you walk up that aisle to me, take my hand, and jointly declare before God and Family that our love will ensue through this lifetime. I've taken the liberty to prepare my heart and mind, sanctifying it for you and you alone. You are my one, you are my only, you are my love. I vow to protect you, cherish you, teach you, love you and be true to you as we walk hand in hand together after God. Your love is precious to me and I will hold it like a porcelain doll, with gentleness and care. I will do my best to serve you and make you proud to be my wife. I'm so happy you've chosen me and I will strive to make sure you are always happy to have made that choice in me. I love you more than the stars in the sky.

Your husband to be,

What about you? Did any of you writers, write your own vows? Did you find it harder or easier than some of your traditional writing? Care to share?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fight Scene Blog Fest

So, over at Crimson Ink, I was informed that there was a Fight Scene Blog Fest Event. I totally came into it late, but here's a clip from a story of mine. It's in the first draft stages and will probably be getting some re-working, but that's not the point. Here's a short fight scene from my novel, "The Watchers."

“As for the bodies, this is what happens to anyone stupid enough to try to infiltrate Daethia. That’s enough now to satisfy your curiosity. We really shouldn't be out here. Every second we stay here puts us in more da-.”

Suddenly I heard an earth shattering impact and I realized the irony of Devin’s statement.

My eyes froze open wide as I watched in slow motion, Devin flying past me down the side of the hill we were standing on, tangled in the arms of what looked to be a baedra…or was it a drifter?

The creature wrestling him on the way down had a darker shimmering skin. Its face bore a look of anguish, but maintained a distinct humanoid quality. Devin’s own dark skin made it difficult for me to tell where he began and the creature ended. It all seemed so sudden as I watched them roll toward the valley below.

“DEVIN!” I screamed. “Hold on.”

My heart burned inside my chest as I bolted down the hillside after them. They each struggled to gain advantage over the other. It didn’t take me long to catch up and as I ran, I looked around making sure we were alone. I threw myself into the wrestling match, pulling at the creature’s arms with all my strength. I felt that I may as well been pulling on a stone statue. The being was much larger than me and stronger by far. His smooth skin was hot to the touch as I tried to get a good grip to pry him off of Devin.

“Get his stone,” Devin yelled out from underneath his attacker.

I looked in the direction Devin had yelled towards and noticed a bright canary-yellow orb lying on the ground nearby. The assailant, realizing he had dropped his stone, bounded off of Devin and made a quick dash to try to recover his stone before me. He slipped out of my grip, but luckily Devin caught him by the leg and pulled the being back as it clawed toward the ground.


I didn’t waste any more time. I made haste to pickup the orb and as soon as I did, I focused on the stone and the creature it was tied to as I had been taught. The creature, which yelled with frustration, suddenly ceased to move. His voice was full of fire as he demanded to me, “Release me.”

“Do you have him Caz?”

“I think so.”

Devin released his hold and ran over toward me as our attacker stood still, frozen under my command.

“Here, quickly,” He grabbed the yellow stone from me, gripped my arm with his free hand and suddenly we were within Deathia once again.
Devin panted and sat into a crouch.

“We dodged a bullet there Caz. You wanted to see a drifter, there you have it.”

Yin's Love

Keeping this post light today, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the encouraging words regarding my upcoming wedding and writing. You all have been so very helpful to me in so many ways and I want to say a thanks. Also, I just wanted to share a poem that I'm submitting to my local college publication's poetry contest. I'm not big on contests, but it doesn't hurt to try right? Here's the poem, titled "Yin's Love."

Ever since my Yang came back,
His face has changed,
His image black.

Where once like me, his every movement lithe,
Fluid in touch,
His soul was alive.

What happened since he went away,
Yang turned aside,
He lost his way.

Though I wanted to follow, I couldn't go along,
I'm simply Yin,
I just wasn't as strong.

Then returning from whence, I asked that he tell,
Yang seemed so different,
Like he'd just escaped Hell.

I was glad he was back, on this I've not lied,
Yet his demeanor seems darker,
It's as if he had died.

And so we've picked up, where once we left off,
I hold up my Yang,
While he stares from aloft.

Yet in its place, where once was a grin,
His passion abated,
As he stares at his Yin.

I'll never let go, despite his look from above,
Every Yang needs his Yin,
And even darkness needs love.