Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Waking up the dreamer inside

May 15th 2018

            In stories, I've learned, there are moments that character's must choose to leave their' world behind and start the adventure with no assurance that their goal will be reached.  One could say that they begin their new life in the world of a story but I say that many of us share this quality. Both fiction and reality contain that "crossing over the threshold" vibe that really hit you with the big questions; Am I ready to see what's out there? What will happen while I'm gone? Will I fail and return home in shame after not accomplishing the   main goal?  The BIG questions that makes writer's creation a two dimensional pile of shit or a fully realized protagonist with wants, needs, fears and has meaningful lost. Does the choice the character make have consequences after learning new information of change by the end of their arc?

            It was realizing this that I realize something else. A moment far more need than I assumed but often disregard as dreams of a dreamer who's yet to wake up from slumber. The source of my months- on -end writer's block is that I have yet to have crossed over my own threshold as a writer. I haven crossed over the state lines to see the highways that connect these great states.   How could I write about characters, my characters, growing through out the stories in my mind when I have yet to continue my own path as a dreamer who makes things up for money? A distracted salad cook working out a questionable pizzeria, a determined dishwasher at a local bar-b-q, an anxious delivery truck driver, a foolish cabin server cleaning planes even though he's never been on a flight, and a smooth talking hotel houseman have one thing in common. They never left the south to see if they could make it work, these silly little ideas of success and adventure. Another thing in common these employees have in common is they are all me, not the character's I've been writing about.

            How about this: A writer, disappointed at where he is in his career, wants to leave his southern roots behind him and take a trip to New York to awaken his inner dreamer.  The words look foolish and ridiculous as I write them down but it's the most honest version of myself I can see.  A fool with nothing to loose but his ambition if he doesn't leave where he's from, not forever, not even for a month, but long enough to find what he's been missing.  The fire in his eyes that's gone out.
            The WANT to write stories.  The NEED  to see how it all transpires. This "DREAM" his mother laughed at long before his graduation from college a BFA in Creative Writing but not that much after his decision to become a freelance writer. And so, I begin my journey to the BIG APPLE to see for myself the place of mine and many other people dreams.

            To begin this story properly, we must go back to the beginning. It all started a few weeks ago. I had been working a Mellow Mushrooms restaurant for about a month and was hired on as a salad cook after an interview cut short by an overworked hiring manager. Paul, as I would come to learn his name, was a very frail man who smiled of American Spirits cigarette smoke every time he stop by my station to ask if I needed help learning the different salad combination.
            "We could really use the help. The sooner you start the better."
            He holds his hand out to me and I could see the entire experience as I took it. Hours upon hours of lunch rushes, dinner rushes and the mad scramble to keep managers of my back. 
            This being my second job in the food industry, it wasn't my first time around the kitchen. My first job working in the back of the house was actually at a bar-b-q hole in the wall four blocks from my home.
            After being among ribs and pork sandwiches for a year, I decided it was time to move on. Alas, I find myself at a pizza joint ten blocks from my home, a step above dishwasher and a step down from pizza chief.  I was working there for two pay periods and by the third one, I was over the 9 to 5 much faster than the prior job. I could have said that I wanted to work somewhere else but after you been in the work force since you graduated high school, you realize that the reason for quitting is the last thing that matters once you're done with the job.  Two weeks felt like a marathon next to merely letting someone know you've lost interest in working for the future of the business. 

            So there I was, walking out on another job because that's what happens when you work at a job that had zero experience relation to what I attended college for. Before, I'd will simply clanged to the idea that working in labor to earn a living was the way of life. No shame or resentment. That we as people can serve with dignity and a chance provided for our family and ourselves. That's how I was raised in Atlanta and that's how my parents were raised in the south.  Work equals survival.  Yes, I could say it was because that's all we ever knew, working Monday through Friday, enjoying sitting on the porch listening to music all day Saturday and attending Sunday service followed by what can old be described as a pot luck dinner amongst church elders and mothers.

            The simple life, as many of my family members have come to call it, composed of what you would expect from a black boy from the south. The southern belle whom they grew up with and married once blessed by the pastor, the constant attendance of cookouts with in-laws and yearly birthday get-togethers where friends you haven't seen in years would appear yet only to vanish once again when it is brought to an end . The life where you keep you're Facebook and Instagram in constant buzzing of approval.  To be clear, this WAS NOT what I wanted for myself. I wanted to leave, to get away from the normal to something abnormal.

Friday, November 3, 2017


So here's the thing. My life hasn't been the best exampe of the writer's itch. I get lazy ike all of you of course but I aso get to a point of complete disconnectt from the art a together.
Insprational  black stero type back greek muse! WHERE ARE YOU!?!?!

Here are things I am not surre of so far.

1. The rules of engagment when it comes to writing is getting up early.
The earier you feel up, the more can get done.
2.Give yourself something to hold on to or work on.
3. With most of the studying of other's authors' technique result in ambitious steps taken.
4.Go with the first idea.

Now, as I blog this morning's blog, I know these step are not perfected and attempt to find work as a writer. I ask myself if these truth's will benefit or condemn me.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day By Day

From earlier hours this morning, I was awaiting the inspiring muse that comes on the tail end of my dreams. The crust in the corner of my eye breaks and I open them to a brief vision of what I can create. What I can imagine and feel the fleeting touch of moments between sleep and consciousness.  I go thru the day thinking of it but to no success comes my search.

This is the moment I need to write. Create and dream yet I can't find the "real" in my false reality. Meaning I can't PenPoint the exact message and how to deliver it with a overall theme of storytelling. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The work I used to do vs .....the work I'm still doing?....Wait.

Behold, I have shared a picture, thust trusting the internet with a small clue to my life outside of writing elaborate stories. After working at the airport through my first adult years, to returning to college in the process to finish what I started, and now....Now i have joined the work force once again. Many of you my be wondering why that is. I know i certainly have some "Q"s that needs "A"s as to my choice of career.

On the one hand it could be taken as laziness due to the ease of my employment in a local restaurant down the street from my home.
On the other hand it could be my pure instinct to survive by doing labor for money for food and shelter. Strange that I have only really seen people working for a living but seldom see an academic or a fellow writer moving in haste to their job.

Look, I didn't go to college to work at a job that has nothing to do with my degree but when you are good at something, like labor jobs, you still have thoses skills,they just become part of the humbleness of life and understanding ones place in it.  I have always believed that a person who works for a living, a person who provides for people  they love by that work will always deserve ensured survival and the better parts of life.

So I'm a Writer/ kitchen boy....get over it.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I found many stories interesting in college.One that stood out to me was the short film the Envelopes starring Kevin Spacey. Is employed in obvious snow globe which where the envelopes collected by the character in the beginning of the story. The stamped envelops shed light on everything from the characters traits to the twisted plot answer the overall theme. His childhood hobby  was developed. The film used every envelope from that time in his life as snow globes to describe the main character as a collector. The envelopes journeys around the world with a different approach to showing on what the character was interested in.Another story involving envelopes and letters, The Things They Carried, gives a different view on the events of Vietnam in the eyes of 17 soldiers humping thru a war zone while carrying items used for either survival or sentimental possession. 
Somewhat like the short film the Envelopes’ main character, this story follows a lieutenant who passes his spare time pouring over letters from a woman named Martha. The lieutenant would often kiss the letters which would suggest is affection for Martha which makes it a very interesting snow globe for this character and for the plot. 
Later in the story he would blame his obsession with the letters for his fellow soldiers sudden death. This development in the story would’ve made the letters one of the more interesting Snow globes in the entire plot.  Others were ammo, comic book, drugs, and other thing that shed light on other soilders. 
In the short film Strangers the two men riding the train in the beginning both had visual elements that described them. The first man siting on the train was reading a new paper published in Arabic. From this, a reader could deduce he is either of Muslim faith or has been brought up in the Arabic society. The second man that boards the train is wearing a silver chain with the Star of David. This trend is generally popular among people who practice Judaism. Both character are established with out dialogue or narration thanks to the visual snow globes provided by filmmakers.
The story titled In the Grove had an interesting character named Tajomaru. He owned a sword and kept it on his waist at all times. I considered the weapon a snow globe because of the testimonies by all the witness, especially Tajomaru’s. The sword was mention in every part of the story including the condition of the body and the main clue as to who killed the individual. In Tajomaru’s own testimony, he clams to use the sword attached to his side and that is the only reason that it is there. 
He goes on to say that other kill with power or money. This suggests that he takes killing seriously and felt it was needed to use while pursuing the other man’s woman. The sword represents the character cut throat tactics. He doesn’t even consider the matter of killing as great consequence while capturing a woman.
One last example of a snow globe hidden in a story would have to be Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolf. The snow globe I observed in the story was the memories not remembered once the bullet entered the brain. Those memories revealed the main character’s childhood, adulthood, job, hopes, relationships, and other memories not included in the image that passed before his eyes as he died. The author felt it was needed to state what Ander’s didn’t remember to shed better light on why he would remember such a distant moment in his life. Each event mentioned gave readers a better idea on who Anders was before his death. I felt the connection with the character. 
This visual element was shed so much light on Ander’s in his life time that I felt awful knowing this character had been killed.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

As a lover of television series, I' afraid I must admit thatI've never watched Game Of Thrones but I have always admired the adaptation that screenwriters have delivered on HBO. With an insane budget of six million dollars an episode, George R.R. Martin's work has been one of the most watch television series thanks to the work of the team that is the show runners. During an interview that I observed, I noticed how David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recounted  their experience of starting off the first season of the show as main showrunners that had to gain the permission of Martin himself to even attempt to bring his work. I found it interesting that after talking for five hours with Martin, he simply asked them about a major detail  from  the book that only true fan of the material could only speculate.
After making an educated guess, they received Martin's approval to do the show.
The fact that both writers were  major players of Dungeons and Dragons game growing up and even shared this same hobby with George R.R. Martin seems to have been a factor in the collaboration. Perhaps Martin felt someone with detailed knowledge of his work and shared in fascination with that genre of storytelling would be perfect to adapted his books.  I think that a television series is a perfect medium to adapt novels instead of films because of the room that leaves showrunners to work in more precise details on camera.

My experience in collaboration  between other writers is always a good idea. I can understand the writers of the Game of Thrones series contempt with working separately and bringing their work together. During the interview, it was discussed that working on lines was something that was exchanged between showrunners on via email to expand the story.
It never occurred to me that showrunners working with HBO had a time frame of fifty minutes to complete and required addition production if that isn't met.

 The fact that the pilot was redone after the initial viewing shows how difficult it is to work on a production schedule for all involved in the creation process of the episode. A single flight delay or a weather issue could damage the set, causing creators to worry about making the episode work.
As a writer for short film, this is all too familiar to me, as constant issues involving budget and constant rescheduling of fellow co-writers.

In conclusion, I found that even though I've never been a die-hard fan of the series, I can truly relate to the writers dealing with average issues that others face throughout the industry. To get the approval from the original writer of the novels really  inspires me to work harder on my own material.
January 27, 2017

Three years ago, I made the decision to go back to college after dropping out twice. Of course, financing of such a venture cost money and for a twenty-something-year-old black man in Atlanta struggling to live independently, that was no easy task.

While working at the Atlanta airport in the first stage of my work career in the labor force, I saw somthing in every passenger that I wanted for myself,  it had to be something more than cleaning planes, more than clocking in on time and paying bills , more than living life everyday from paycheck to paycheck.