Sacred Inside

 

There is a desert in the corner of a man’s soul

Where he keeps a thing too precious.

He walks through the hot sand and scrambles over jagged rocks

With a skin full of water, looking over his shoulder to ensure

That nothing else follows him.

It sits all alone, a belief or memory or silly thought too fragile,

Too vital to his being to let it near another part of him.

The visits are frequent enough to keep the thing alive,

And perhaps one day the grains of sands and chunks of stone

Will have no choice but to succumb to the will of the thing

And you will catch a glimpse of it on the other side of a stream.

Desert Stream

Why?

 

The world is so simple in the eyes of a child.

There’s a bunch of stuff, some big, some small.There’s people and animals and buildings and cars and flowers and everything in between. How children make sense of the world always fascinates me.

No two children seem to understand how life works in quite the same way.

Take Luiz Antonio for instance:

He’s developed the worldview that animals are to be taken care of by us, human beings. It’s such a simple yet profound idea. I bet if you asked Luiz why we are the ones who need to take care of them, you’d hear some pretty unique beliefs.

Sometimes we take for granted why we behave a certain way, what significance or purpose the things around us serve, and how we came to believe what we do.

I may not give up eating animals after watching the video above, but at the very least, I’ll ask a few more “why” questions

What Came First: The Scene or The Word?

I read an interesting tweet written by an up-and-coming author named Ksenia Anske that went a little something like this:

“My problem is not in what to write. I see stories in my head like complete movies. My problem is in how to write it all down.”

And I couldn’t relate more.

Like many writers out there, I have an active imagination. The stories I want to tell live in my head: I can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel what’s happening to or around my characters.

For instance, a scene I’m working on right now in Dark Flesh takes place on a foggy bridge. Aaron and his daughter are tracking someone through the undead infested city, and they’re searching the bridge for clues on where he might’ve gone.

The details are so apparent to me; if I were a director, if I could build the sets and cast the actors, I would be able to get the feel just right. However, translating all of those little things that happen simultaneously into a linear writing form can frustrate me sometimes. If I choose sight and smell, then I may miss out on describing the sounds, or is it okay to describe all of the stimuli in a scene? Isn’t that too much detail?

I ask myself: how can I possibly distill everything that’s going on in my head, what seems like real life, into words on the page?

How We Construct Reality

Even the scripts for films and television shows are quite barebones. If you’ve never done so before, take a look at scripts for your favorite movies. Most detail is left out because ultimately the director chooses what everything will look like. It just seems like such an easier transition from mind to reality than mind to paper. You’re creating the thing itself in a film or television show whereas in writing you’re creating symbols, representations for whatever you’re talking about, be it a bridge or a zombie or a mysterious black trunk  . . .

But what do you think? Do you have difficulty describing your scenes and characters as they live in your head or is it easier to paint a picture using words?

As an exercise perhaps I’ll take one of my favorite movie scenes and describe it in prose as if it were a novel. What details would I choose to emphasize in my description? Hmmm . . .

A Quick Guide to Surviving Snowstorm Nemo

Well, now, seems like the sky’s decided to barf out snow. This is actually my favorite kind of weather, when everything looks so pristine.

Snowstorm Nemo New York

Nemo chillin’ in Brooklyn.

However, it’s cold out there and will be in the Northeast for a bit longer, so I thought I’d share three tips for surviving Nemo (lame name for a snowstorm too; as threatening as snowstorm Percy).

1)     Tender Vittles

Unlike some folks who did their shopping in preparation for the storm, I went out during Nemo and bought all of the ingredients for garlic shrimp in coconut milk. Hey, if I turn into a Spanish tub of ice cream, I want the medical examiner to find something good frozen in my stomach. 🙂

Full disclosure: this is not what it would look like in my stomach.

Full disclosure: this is not what it would look like in my stomach.

So make sure you’ve got some good food to fill your belly with during the storm.

2)      Heating Brick

Soooo, the powers that be in my apartment building have decided not to give adequate heat (hence my fear of freezing to death, lawl). However, I was lucky enough to find a small heater that looks like it was designed during the Nixon administration.

I am not a crook . . . but I will steal a lot of electricity.

I am not a crook . . . but I will steal a lot of electricity.

Keep warm, my friends.

3)      Mind Lube

During the storm, which is still going on outside, I plan on watching The Walking Dead reruns until Season 3 starts up again tomorrow at 9. Gotta keep my mind occupied!

How would zombies deal with a snowstorm I wonder?

How would zombies deal with a snowstorm I wonder?

Don’t go all The Shining, friends. Guard your minds by keeping them occupied!

So what tips do you have to make the best of a snowstorm?

Memory Machines

Just a quick post today as the writing Muse has a hold of me something fierce.

More and more, I’m noticing my dependency on technology in a very key area: memory.

A friend of mine is in the hospital, and she gave me the phone number to her room, which I promptly put into my cellphone. However, for some reason, I couldn’t commit it to memory, nor did I feel particularly inclined to. I realized that I didn’t know any of my friends’ or family members’ phone numbers. I had them all stored away in my cellphone with little fear of losing them. And if I did, I could just reach out to them on Facebook and get their numbers. If that failed, then email would work just fine.

But years ago, before the advent of the Internet, I would memorize numbers because I had to. Sure, I had a little black book too, but at any given time, I could recite a list of numbers off the top of my head, at least the ones belonging to my closest friends and family. Since it’s no longer necessary to do so now, I feel like I’ve lost something.

It’s not just phone numbers, either. It’s all kinds of facts that I don’t feel an urgency to remember. Why? Because a casual search on Google or Wikipedia will give me the info I need. So that little transition from short term memory to long term doesn’t happen as much. Who needs to remember a bunch of facts these days anyway? Or Shakespeare quotations, which my literature professors could recite in a heartbeat?

It seems that machines are taking over not only labor but memory storage and management. I feel a Terminator 2, Skynet becoming aware scenario coming on. Maybe one day we’ll free up so much of our brain that we won’t have to remember a thing ourselves, and we can devote that brain power to something else.

Nah.

What do you guys think?