Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Was I Reading?

I will admit that it has been difficult lately to organize my thoughts. Come to think of it, I have never been good at that. Yet the past week has been even worse. I understand that writers must spend a lot of time writing and a lot of time reading. I am willing to do both and down right eager. My only real issue is focusing.

It's a struggle to concentrate on what I am reading. I often find myself rereading paragraphs two or three times because my mind drifts while reading. I start thinking about other things going on in my life and before I know it I have read a few paragraphs and have no clue what the author said in those paragraphs. I get frustrated and have to start over.

In writing it gets worse. I have spent a lot of time writing notes on characters and settings, histories and such. When I go back to continue that work I find myself overwhelmed. I read for an hour, trying to decipher what I wrote so I can take off from where I left. But my brain gets muddled and I fail to gain any inspiration or direction.

I hope one day I will be at peace. At least enough to concentrate on my craft and write something worth reading, maybe even worth selling. I tell myself this over and over and I read and read, hoping that my subconscious, at the very least, is paying attention and gaining some knowledge that can be put to use at a later date. Who knows!

Saying all that I will tell you I have been able to make some progress on my project. Yes. It's a writing project. Is it marketable? Probably not. Why do I keep writing it? Because for some reason I am able to write in this project without having to rely on my conscious mind (umm, I know that sounds strange but it's true). I have been writing 'Tales of the Golden Monkey Fist' without thought of the master plan, without thought of marketing or 3 dimensional characters or plot twist. It just write. I sit until a word pops in my head and then I write.

So without further adieu, here's yet another sample of my 'subconscious work'. It's just a dialogue between these strange humanoids that have lost their way in the dreaming complex of Skywale. The characters are looking for food and discover the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The chapter is entitled Empire of Electric Indigo:

“Nothing,” Comma says. “Nothing left to eat.”

“It’s just as well,” says Anchorage. “True knowledge is a chain. We are free for never tasting that forbidden fruit. Free.”

“Ignorance is bliss,” agrees Clip. “They say that knowledge of good and evil gets folks sick with some illness called guilt. I would rather starve.”

“Should we move on then,” asks Nineveh.

“No. Too tired,” replies Clip. “Besides where would we go? We don’t know how we got here. So, how are we going to know how to leave? Best just to stay here and die.”

The others nod their agreement but Nineveh sits up from the marble park bench. “Not I. There is a way and just because we don’t know what it is now, that doesn’t mean we can’t find a way if we look. Clip, you’re starting to sound like a dense-brained dreamer caught in a labyrinth nightmare.”

Clip rubs his long hands over his face and lets out a sigh. The air is warm here. The whole garden is warm. It used to be cool. The sun was always warm but there used to be a cool tropical breeze from the ocean that sailed through the jungle of Eden. Yet, after thousands of years of tourist dreamers wandering through to take a nibble of the forbidden fruit, the ecosystem of the garden took a beating and the Garden Heart could no longer draw breath from the cool air of the ocean. So, it is sweltering.

Clip rubs his face again and finally he gets to his feet and stretches. After a moment he hobbles over to his younger brother and sticks his long finger in the other’s chest giving him a good solid poke. “We have had enough of your walking and seeking, Nineveh. It’s time to die. That’s what we do, we lie here and die. That may not make sense to your swollen, over-active brain; that may wound your precious sense of determination and your odd sense of survival but we are getting sick of you. Grow up! You are not a dreamer." -Empire of Electric Indigo

I would say that at least 75% of this book (what little of it is written) is written in the present tense. I haven't figured out why I write it that way. I wonder if I will ever have the patience to re-edit and switch the whole thing to past tense.

Edit: If, for some crazy reason, you are interested in reading the entire piece (the work in progress) I have published it here.



  1. Maybe some work on outlining will help focus you?

  2. Yes. I really should spend more time outlining. I was also thinking that I should spend more time fleshing out characters to bring them to life.