Edgar Allen Poe

No one writes alone

I need some book recommendations.
Image by classicrockrox via Flickr

I have a lot in common with David Halpert over at Scifi Watch.

I have always been a writer too.  For me, It started when I was a kid watching He-man and the Transformers.  I started writing and drawing my own comics.

I fell in love with books when my sister bought me the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.  I started telling stories for my AD&D club, and my preferences were always Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

I never thought about writing a book before I read Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey.  That book changed the way I saw novels.

The Internet changed my writing

Before I wrote Liquid Sky, I agreed with David:

Realistically I’m all alone when it comes to achieving my goals of getting published (and hopefully to one day write full-time) [SciFi Watch].

Now, I see the error in that way of thinking.  I am not alone in my writing goals.  I have my readers, friends, and fans to help me get where I want to go.

It depends on your goals

If your goal is to garner the approval of publisher so a corporation will pat you on the head and say, "Good job." at least once, then this system might not work for you.  But if your like me, with a compulsion to write and a desire to get your stories out for others to read in the hopes that it will become a full time career, then give it a try.

Writing and fandom...

are forever connected one with the other.

If you have a story to tell:

  • write it
  • edit it
  • polish it
  • share it for the world to read
  • connect with your readers
  • grow your readership
  • hone your writing
  • repeat

You are not alone in your writing.  Today, there is a cloud of readers who can and will help you build and audience and support your work.

Never believe that you are alone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No one writes alone

I need some book recommendations.
Image by classicrockrox via Flickr

I have a lot in common with David Halpert over at Scifi Watch.

I have always been a writer too.  For me, It started when I was a kid watching He-man and the Transformers.  I started writing and drawing my own comics.

I fell in love with books when my sister bought me the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain.  I started telling stories for my AD&D club, and my preferences were always Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance.

I never thought about writing a book before I read Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey.  That book changed the way I saw novels.

The Internet changed my writing

Before I wrote Liquid Sky, I agreed with David:

Realistically I’m all alone when it comes to achieving my goals of getting published (and hopefully to one day write full-time) [SciFi Watch].

Now, I see the error in that way of thinking.  I am not alone in my writing goals.  I have my readers, friends, and fans to help me get where I want to go.

It depends on your goals

If your goal is to garner the approval of publisher so a corporation will pat you on the head and say, "Good job." at least once, then this system might not work for you.  But if your like me, with a compulsion to write and a desire to get your stories out for others to read in the hopes that it will become a full time career, then give it a try.

Writing and fandom...

are forever connected one with the other.

If you have a story to tell:

  • write it
  • edit it
  • polish it
  • share it for the world to read
  • connect with your readers
  • grow your readership
  • hone your writing
  • repeat

You are not alone in your writing.  Today, there is a cloud of readers who can and will help you build and audience and support your work.

Never believe that you are alone.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Life as a Story

I went out to write at the San Francisco Bread Company today. The longer I write, the more I realize how important it is to get out of the house, even if it is only to sequester myself at a small table in a cafe with my headphones on listening to music, surfing the web, struggling with new concepts and editing a book I wrote that I actual enjoy reading. It is odd how something as simple as a change of venue from my office to a cafe can change my mood and energy level, but I have read enough from other writers to know that I am not alone.

I have a theory about why something as simple as a change of venue can so profoundly effect a writer's mood.

I started writing as a defense mechanism. As a child, I grew up on a farm miles from the closet kid my age. I spent most of my time either on the phone, outside with my dog Red, or in my room inventing new stories with my Voltron and He-man action figures. When this wasn't enough, I started drawing crude comics and playing out a sort of paper theater with playing cards and my imagination. Through all this, my imagination was fueled by He-man, She-ra, Transformers, the books of Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain, and the fantasy world of Dungeons & Dragons. I didn't have anyone to play with, so I spent my time making up stories about these fantastical creatures, demigods, and demons. The music of Kiss and Dolly Pardon filled my nights in my room watching "Too Close for Comfort" dreaming of the day I would write my own "Cosmic Cow" strip.

When we moved to Maryland, things got worse. I had a strong accent, which got me beaten up in school a lot, and I had not people skills so the few friends I did make really had to work hard to get past my clumsy social interactions. I didn't know how to relate with these "people." They were so different from me, and they expected me to know how to act with them. I just didn't.

My salvation came through The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and my knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons. I played these games with them as a means of interacting. They gave a structure to our together time and gave me a common language to speak. In time, we added Marvel Superheroes, Robotech, Earthdawn, and the many classic White Wolf storyteller games- Vampire: The Masquerade, Were-wolf, Mage: The Ascension, Changeling: The Dreaming. In fact, I became friends with Brian through a Vampire Chronicle.

Through this role as the storyteller, Star Trek Fandom, and my near obsessive interest in music, I found my medium to talk to others.

Storytelling is who I am. It is how I comprehend the world and explains why I am so deeply involved with the works of Joseph Campbell. This is who I am for better or worse. From the many biographies about other writers I have read, I think we have all taken up the life of a storyteller as some sort of defense mechanism or way to make sense of the world. It is easier to lock yourself away from the world than to jump in and struggle within it.

When I force myself out of my cave, even if only to isolate myself from the settings I find myself in through headphones and work, it reminds me that the outside world is still there. It lets me see how people actually interact with each other, for better or worse, and on those rarest of occasions, allows me to have incredible conversations with people face to face.

It is hard to explain how isolating is can be at times to be a storyteller. The hours, days and weeks spent locked away from the world crafting a reality that I hope others will experience and enjoy with the same fervor that I do. The simple act of seeing other people and hearing other voices enlivens me.

Like other writers, I am an observer of life much more than I am a participant in it. These little glimpses of the world outside my friends and family and the characters I write about (feels more like with sometimes), grounds me and helps connect me with the bigger world that is so easy to let slip away.

I wish more people shared this experience. Looking out at this world of strangers that I may or may not ever see again, and watching the plots they have entwined themselves in. We all tell our own stories. That is the art of conversation, to weave an entertaining tale about ourselves and others. As these plot lines co-mingle and intertwine, the story of our family, friends, city, state and nation are told. These stories often matter more than the facts. (whether or not that should be true or not is a whole other discussion).

I recommend that you give this a try. Next time you are out with friends, watch the stories that you are telling each other closely and follow them out as if they are plot lines in a novel, movie, or television show. It is startling how often you can predict other peoples actions by listening to their backstory, current plot, and projecting that out as it would play out in the genre appropriate to the person. I am not saying that this is always the case, but more often than not you will be able to see what will happen before it does. This is also the best way to choose your course of action. How will your action effect the other all story. Try it out, I think you might be pleasantly surprised.

Never More!

Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven was first published today in 1845, enjoy: The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. `'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door - Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore - For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore - Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating `'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door - Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; - This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, `Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; - Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!' This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!' Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. `Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore - Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - 'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door - Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door - Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore - Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door - Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only, That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered - Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before - On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.' Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, `Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore - Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore - What this grim, ungainly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. `Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! - Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted - On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore - Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore - Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore - Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting - `Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!' Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted - nevermore!