Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How I organize my ideas

When I am trying to figure out either a storyline, a plot, or a particular character arc, I use post-it notes. I lay them out on a board or on my desk or something, and then I write down the scenarios or plots I am trying to decide with on the post-its. I sometimes even rearrange the notes until I get an interesting enough arc or sets of events. It is hard sometimes when you want to do a certain sequence and you don't know where it should go. Of course your story should make sense with the flow of things, but it is always a good idea to mix things up every once and a while.

Another Passage

Another part of the novel I am working on. A bit different from the previous section.

The stagecoach swayed back and forth as the oak wheels turned on the ground below. Mud and dirt shot out from the wheel spokes and a small bit of mire reached out and landed on Jess’s face. The mud felt cold and refreshing on her face. She had been leaning outside the wagon for air; at least that is what she told her father. A much as she loved her father she did not agree with his views sometimes of how she was to act. Her father being a very lucrative business man and always kept an order of things about him at all times did not want Jess to be anything but a lady. Having to celebrate her thirteenth birthday in the frontier with wagon masters and hardened miners and workers was not her idea of a good time, although she thought the West wasn’t such a savage place as the people thought back home in New York. With the war raging on between the states, she only knew of the times her father bathed her as an infant and how much he enjoyed her laughter. Now times are different, and with the success of her family business Jess was becoming more and more accustomed to the wealth her Father was creating with the help of the gold rushes and the excessive need for people to start a new in a new place.

The coach hit a hard bump in the road. The entire inside cabin shook and swayed so much that Jess clenched her father’s arm. Douglass C. Winnham eased his daughter’s fright by gently moving a strand of her blonde hair away from her eyes that was shaken loose from the wagons rocking forces. A tall and slender man he was with all the makings of a successful business man. His suits were always pressed and secured, his hair always combed in the most stylish of fashions to suit the day, and his grey mustache hung under his nose as if chiseled by a Greek sculptor.
His long wrinkled fingers were still strong. If anything his hands were the pride and glory of Mr. Winnham. His were the hands of a builder; a reminder of the days of old before his grand operations where he worked hard each day to survive. Waking up every morning before light came to help his father build his family’s house and later to build his own with his wife. Even Jess’s crib and all the house’s furnishings were crafted by Winnham. Growing up as a carpenter’s son, he knew and loved the feel and smell of wood. He ventured into all sorts of wood trades and quickly found the lumber business satisfying. After being married he started his business and became successful. Always in with the over seas trade with other counties which was what Winnham really wanted to be in near the time of his daughter’s birth. With trades with China and Russia and even England, he managed to create quite the lumber trade. Knowing that ships needed to be built along with houses and farms, not to mention the towns booming up with all those gold rush stories; Winnham knew it was right for the taking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why do I write?

I have been writing for most of my educational career and even as a small child my imagination always seemed to run away with me. I was like most other kids in that I stayed fairly active, but my body got all the exercise and not my imagination. I was always daydreaming of other worlds, other adventures. Growing up I was exposed to a lot of television and movies so I loved watching those things to escape my normal happenings.

As a kid I hated doing homework and only wanted to write and draw. My parents saw a natural talent for both, but still insisted I do my homework. Writing for me as I got older became more of a natural pursuit than a hobby.

As I entered into Jr High and High School, I couldn't wait to enroll in my English classes so I could write more stories. Writing to me seemed to have a purpose. At that age for anyone things usually are pretty awkward, and what I realized the most was how to adjust to my affinity for the arts at such an early age in my life.

When college rolled around I desperately needed to be in a place where I could create. Music has always been close to my heart as well. When I drive around I listen to music. For some strange reason, my creative mind just gets triggered and I imagine stories unfolding while I listen to particular pieces of music. I think in a way music is my muse of sorts. I have been able to really come up with a lot of good material just driving from place to place, running errands as normal people do, but I always tend to be able to let my mind just go. This process for me is quite freeing.

I now I shop for music according to what stories I want to draw or write. For a while in my early 20's I was a huge Frank Frazetta fan. His fantasy art really inspired me as a kid, so I decided to produce a series of Viking-like drawings in honor of my late hero. As music served me then as it does today, I listened to the "Conan the Barbarian" soundtrack to inspire me. The work never looked better.

As an artist and creative mind I find it comforting to know that I have a creative process. I sometimes over do it and it creates more stress, but it still works for me. Perhaps as I get older I will have it mastered or even it will all change for me. Until then I will continue to create.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Of Blood and Drink

The following is a passage from a novel I am working on. It is very much a rough concept so far, but I have many ideas planned.

Of Blood and Drink

The water was lucid and reflected daylight as it splashed under their feet while the party drudged onward toward the westward part of the banks. There were six total with one leading the group a few yards ahead. The group struggled to keep up, but the Native was not only familiar with this area, but was determined to lead these few where they needed to go. Trees tall and green surrounded the party in every direction. One could wonder if the Indian guide knew his way around at all. The party drew closer to the dark man as he came to a slower pace.

White Elk stopped and stood looking to the winds as if to receive further instructions. He bends down to adjust his leather moccasin. He wipes his brow with the sleeve of his shirt, now soaked with sweat and the scent of the forest itself. His belt holding his weapon: a tomahawk with a sturdy handle and a carving of a bird’s head at the top with a long narrow blade sharpened to look like the bird’s beak covered in scratches and dried blood. His black damp hair tied into double braids extends down from his head to the dip of his collar bones. He gets his direction again, and increases his pace from before.

The party’s Chef de Voyage, Bon Son proceeded to the front near White Elk. A large man whose presence shakes the very knees of most frontiersmen, does not dare upset White Elk by treading ahead of him. With buckskin trousers nestling a large hunting knife at the waist, and a true to life real Hawken at his ready, Bon Son grew weary of their passage up to this point.

“What did the winds tell you?”

“Chinook greeted us with great warmth” said White Elk. “She told me that the trees are watching for dangers and will let her know when it is not safe for us, Booshway”.

“That is all and fine. My men are growing tired. May we stop and fill our belly’s full of drink?” asked Bon Son.

White Elk did not stop but acknowledged the man with a slight nod and went ahead to scout for a resting point. He found a small nest of brush and fine weeds near the base of a rock formation. White Elk signals the men to come, and they all make camp ready to rest.

The night dropped in like a curtain at the stage. The mountain men under the guidance of Bon Son grew tired after a small meal of beaver and adwerdenty. Bright flashes of orange and yellow flicker and decorate the rock wall behind the party, as White Elk sits alone away from the excitement. Talks of newly explored wilderness and feats of great proportion escape the men’s lips as they drink more whiskey. Even Bon Son, who is usually not a curly wolf, extends lexis in conjunction with the other bearded souls. White Elk just sits away from the warmth looking to the trees that now loom over him. He pulls a small photograph from his leather satchel. The photograph with all its wear still seems bright in the dark impression. The image of a girl no older than twenty appears to the man smiling and peering into his heart. He breathes in slowly and lets out a sigh and shrug as if to somehow let out his very soul to the image. He then grips his tomahawk handle with much vigor and slips the photograph back into his satchel. A snap of a twig awakens White Elk’s weapon from its belted cradle and the Native turns towards the camp. There Bon Son is with a bottle in hand offering it to the guide as if it were payment of sorts for his efforts. White Elk lifts his hand vertical to the sky and shakes his head. Stumbling for a footing, Bon Son accepts the decline and proceeds back to join his fellow voyagers.

The air amongst the wood grows heavy and fleeting. White Elk listens for Chinook, but the winds are not amongst these few tonight. Silence falls over the camp, and out of the brush a snake leaps and catches one of Bon Son’s men. He lets out a wail of unnatural sound as the snake stops and coils to look at the men now awake from their drunken haze. The snake just looks at the men and snarls its fangs and hisses almost to deliver a message. The men step away just enough for White Elk’s blade to finish off the snake’s head. The body uncoils and then becomes motionless on the ground.

“We must leave now”, White Elk starts urgently. “There is great danger ahead and I fear our pause has brought us closer to it. I want to be far from here where our trail recesses.”

The men see to the one’s wounds and quickly gather their items. They all leave camp with fire burned out and empty bottles left behind.

Venturing for what seemed like hours, the whole of Bon Son’s men are still rattled from their mid-night taste of what’s to come. White Elk still ahead of the group now has both knife and tomahawk drawn ready to ward off what he knows, and only he knows is hunting them all. It was closer than he had realized. The thickness of air in the clearing was a sign, but too distraught over the memory of his fallen love White Elk did not realize the signs when he should. Now fully aware the strike of the serpent was clearly the work of panic and fear. Not Fear of the group but fear of what was trailing in the darkness.

As the mountain men struggle now to keep pace, Bon Son sees White Elk stop again. Chinook comes their way, bringing warning, but it is too late. They are all around, and they are ready to kill.

White Elk’s ears focus in on what sounds like a swarm of rushing currents darting through the air. Then in a slow manner to a crescendo the violent currents enter the sight of all in the open. The first spear falls and pierces the one with the snake wound in his chest. The man crumbles as he falls to his knees, blood draining out of his mouth as he tries to signal the others. Panic overtakes the party as more and more spears fall from the night sky. Some landing in the dirt, others into colleagues; White Elk stands his ground as he struggles to look for the origin of the attack. Spears are falling and piercing in all directions. Then in a swift motion, the spears stop. Bon Son is injured but not badly, gripping his left arm just about to stop the blood. White Elk now sees into the darkness. What looks like illuminated wolf eyes staring at what’s left of the company is indeed the party’s attackers.

The voyagers then find themselves in a rush of sorts made up of fierce warriors covered in mud and feathers screaming as they run lifting their oddly shaped clubs in the air. Their open gaps reveal rotted teeth and their heads barely covered by hair in bunches. Their eyes reflect the moonlight perfectly as they proceed to strike down the men in a violent haze of blood and passion.

White Elk’s weapons strike with might as bones and tendons separate under the swift cuts of his tomahawk and knife. A spear misses White Elk’s face and lands in the ground. He grabs the end and with his tomahawk breaks the spear in two. Just as another dark warrior rushes in front, White Elk thrusts the broken spear into the neck of his attacker spilling blood and spit into his face. Three more arrive and surround the young Native. He ducks under a swinging blow of a war club and jams his knife into the leg. He then hits in the abdomen with his hawk and knocks the foe from his stance. Another attempts a head blow with his weapon and White Elk turns and slices the enemy’s wrist with a swift swipe of his knife and finishes with a hack to the upper neck releasing head from ear and spilling brain. The last of the attackers swings with both arms large clubs. White Elk barely ducks backwards under the strikes and hits and takes out the knee spraying bone fragments in an outwardly manner. Gun shots all around fill the air with the smell of black powder as the mud covered heathens close in on their prey.

White Elk hits down another and calls to Bon Son who is seen struggling with one of the demons on the ground.

“Whatever happens, I will get us through this night”

Bon Son hits his adversary in the head with the butt of his Hawken rifle and gains his stance once again.

“What are these creatures?” asked Bon Son.

The mudded war party is starting to diminish. The fight may be over, but both sides have lost brave men. White Elk clears the blood from his trusty blades as the remaining dark souls escape into the thickets. He walks slowly over to Bon Son and reaches out to his shoulder.

“They go by many names. They are the Walking Death to my kinsmen. We have trailed on their land and they see fit to defend its borders”.

“Are they of men?”

“They are what nature needs them to be. They are one of the oldest orders that are from the ancient ways of the earth. The earth’s pains are their killing blows; the anguish brought on by the evils of man is how they are born onto this world. We live to venture on but at great cost. We must press onwards before the earth sends another party this night”.

As both men gather the two remaining mountaineers, they give penance for their fallen friends. The air grows light again and the moon lights the forest for the weary travelers. For White Elk this was a direct message from the earth herself. She is in great pain and only the Spirit Fighter can heal her wounds. For Bon Son it was a lesson not to venture this way again. His duty to his troupe was broken but not lost. The four gather themselves and continue on through the dark until morning light.

Hello and Welcome!

I have created a new blog for my writing! I am so excited because I had recently read an interesting article about how a local man in Anaheim, California had been wanting to be a published writer. He had said in the article that he tried and tried but kept getting rejected, until he recieved an email from a web company requesting that he send in articles to be read on a blog site for the original website. So after a year or so of writing for the blog, he got a book offer and now he is a published author whose books are printed in over 7 languages. So inspiring! So here is my little tidbit of cyberspace which features some of my up and coming works, as well as small topics/ articles of interest relating to writing for the entertainment field. Enjoy!