Archive for December, 2010

December 20, 2010

NaNo Novel: Page 3

“Then I started experiencing a feeling of unease, much like a slight discomfort when having eaten something that disagrees. I brushed it off initially, as I thought it was nerves from being so far from the village, despite the fact that I had been farther and experienced no such unease. But I put it out of my mind. All of a sudden, a rush of nausea ran over me, followed quickly by fear. I looked around, and the wind started to blow harder than could be expected. My hair was whipping around my face, and nearly covered my eyes. I could see nothing immediately, but the overwhelming sense of fear and suffering overtook me, and I began to run back to the village. I headed straight for your hut, Elder, as I feared that it was pressing.

“After being turned away, I returned to my home, and tried to keep my mind busy. But try as I might, my mind kept returning to the fleeting fear and mind numbing sense that I had missed something. So I sat on a chair, and began to meditate, to focus my racing thoughts and attempt to make some sense of them. Just when I feared that they would never settle and focus, a Vision came to me of a man. At least I think it was a man. This man, Elder, had the same physical appearances as me! He had the same dark, ebony coloured hair, the pale and almost iridescent skin, and the bright blue eyes that both showed emotion and hid it. Only he held a look of utter contempt and anger, and the air around him permeated evil; an evil of which I had never experienced, and initially did not understand.

“I fear for us, Elder, but at the same time I have begun to question my own existence. How can this strange man, whom I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone like him, have appearances so identical to my own? I have long since accepted that I am different from the others of this tribe, but still felt as though here is where I belong. Now I question that, I question my meaning and my purpose. Am I from a different tribe? Are my parents really my parents? If so, how can I look so different from them, and behave so differently. It is inherent in my personality, I know I’m different, but I do not understand why. I bring to you my Vision in hopes of keeping our village safe and secure.” She finished with the formal closing of the Shroughans.

The Elder sat in silence for a long while, contemplating what Eliana had brought to her. Eliana sat in silence, patient, despite being restless to have answers to her questions. She feared for her village, not for herself. For once, she felt as though there might be somewhere that she belonged that was not in the village of Shrough. That she might find home somewhere that there were others who looked as she looked, who spoke as she spoke, and who Saw as she Saw. She may have accepted that she was an anomaly, but she did not like it or see value in it, for she lived in a village of pragmaticism. The Elders were the only ones who looked at her as though what she Saw was real. The village folk could not accept what they could not understand, and most of them treated her with disdain.

Eliana’s mind often spread among the clouds, and she was most commonly reprimanded for daydreaming and intense imagination. She could not focus on the work of the ground, for she saw little use for it. Gardening she knew was essential, but there were more than enough gardeners for her village, and she avoided taking part in it as much as possible. Her mother was a gardener, and had high hopes that Eliana would also take on gardening as her village purpose. But Eliana had higher sights than that. She wanted to be an Elder. At least she had, before this day’s Vision.

Elder Garande opened her eyes, and Eliana noticed a level of apprehension in them. She feared that she may have upset her. But at the same time she felt the intense need to know about what she saw and felt. Eliana continued to wait patiently, and the Elder began carefully. “What you have Seen will become. The fear is for our people and our village. The pale man is likely the leader or general of this other, offensive village. I fear that you have Seen more than anyone ever expected you to, and your analysis of your own thoughts frightens me more than a little.” She fell silent at that, and closed her eyes again. This was a sign that she did not intend to say any more on the subject.

Eliana wanted to scream out, and she felt her eyes going red. She despised it when her questions were left unanswered, and she felt great anger and disdain for the woman sitting across from her. Her arms began to vibrate, and she felt as though her body might explode. As sure as she was that the Elder could feel her emotions, and knew that she was angry, she sat still with her eyes shut in deep contemplation and ignored Eliana. Standing up briskly, she intentionally neglected to speak the closing phrase of the Elders, and walked out.

Leonin was caught off guard as he noticed Eliana blow past him at a surprisingly quick walking pace. He straightened quickly, and began to follow after her. When Eliana did not even acknowledge him or make any sign to say that she knew he was there, he ran up right next to her. He did not say a word, for he knew that it could cause an emotional explosion right then and there. He would wait patiently for her to reach her destination. For now, he just kept up with her, walking parallel to her. The ground stirred beneath their feet, and the constant quick movement kicked up a trail of dust behind them.

The people in the village who watched the two of them go by paid them barely any mind. It was not uncommon for Eliana to storm out of the Elders’ tent, and even less uncommon for Leonin to follow her. When Leonin was not standing guard outside of the Elder tent, he was almost always with Eliana. He found her strange and unique appearance entrancing, and could not keep himself from thinking of her at any given time. The gossiping women of the village tended to divulge their thoughts, which often mentioned Eliana and Leonin ending up together. Sometimes with upwards of six children, depending on who was asked. Eliana had long since given up on trying to put the birds in their place, and instead chose to ignore them unless she needed to ask them a specific question.

Eliana continued walking through the village, continued on past her own hut, all the way to the edge of the village. Only then did she start to slow down, breath heavy and slightly forced. She kept going, at a normal pace, until sweat began to appear like misting on her face. A small forested alcove was in front of her, one of her favourite places to sit and think, approximately one and a half miles away from the border of the village. It was small and quiet except for the wildlife, and it helped her to relax and process her thoughts with better clarity.

The alcove, which she had dubbed Eli’s Keep, was relatively small clearing, around 50 square feet. It had the appearance of a forest from the outside, and within it was a nearly circular clearing. In the middle of the clearing sat a log from a tree that had been downed. It had taken Eliana several days to move the log to where it now sat, but to her it was worth it. The grassy floor of the clearing was lush and within its expanse grew several different varieties of wildflowers.

 

December 10, 2010

Light and Dark (art)

Most of the time I draw in just pencil, but every now and then I like to throw in a little colour. As you will see by the tag, I did this in 2006. I look at it now and think I could improve on it, but at the same time I have a different mindset so maybe not.

What do you think?

December 7, 2010

Poetry writing made simple

Writing poetry seems so simple when you first start. Take a strong feeling that you are experiencing and throw it out there. Maybe try to incorporate some rhymes (often awkwardly) and make it sound pretty and obscure.

 However, pretty and obscure is not typically the type of poetry that you can write if you want others to read and enjoy it. Putting personal touch into your writing is always a good idea, but you can’t force your thoughts on others, either with poetry or regular writing.

Try to leave details open to interpretation, and you will have more people interested as they will find their own way to add details based on their own lives and perspectives. That way, your emotion is expressed, and the readers feel that they also have input because it will mean something more to each of them.

You also really want to make sure that there is a main, or primary, image that you are trying to show and put into peoples memories. This image should be the centre point and the main focus when using descriptors and metaphors. The more obscure you make your image the harder it becomes for people to be able to actually see it in their minds. If people can’t see your image, they will not appreciate the words you use or the rhythm of the rhymes.

Carry a small notebook around with you, and jot down any little situation that you notice when you have a moment. Sit at a park bench and write in detail about the scene before you. How the sky looks, and how the sun shines its light on the trees/equipment. Everything. Use every descriptive word you can think of. Practice your writing descriptions with this, and you will have a much easier time when it comes to imagining situations where you have to describe a situation or image in detail for your work.

Whatever you do, keep writing. Keep in mind that you are allowed to write bad poetry, it will give you something to go off of, get the excess thoughts out of your mind, and keep you writing. But when it comes to finishing and publishing (either in a book or on a website) remember to only keep the best lines, and don’t insert irrelevant filler just to make it look bigger. A small but meaningful poem will attract more positive results that a large and redundant one.

Now get writing!

December 2, 2010

Two key reminders when writing

Writing as a craft can be challenging. You need to be able to express your thoughts effectively in two primary ways.

Firstly, you want to feel that the message you are putting out is congruent with the message you intended when you started writing that article/post/story/etc. the words you write should satisfy you own creative nature in some way. Your works should contain some personal expression or personal touch that allows your bias and opinion on the subject to show through. Having this will not only allow you to feel as though you’ have expressed something, but it also makes your writing unique. Only you can have your specific thoughts, beliefs and perspectives.

When inserting your personal bias or opinion, try not to overwhelm the information. Having an overload of one person’s perspective may turn a reader away because they feel that they are being told how to think. Leave it open ended with your opinion sprinkled throughout. If you are trying to prove why your opinion is strong and valid, use facts and information to back it up. Use positive intonations to emphasize important points as opposed to degrading differences in opinion with negativity. Point out why your perspective is positive and avoid pointing out negativities, the reader can determine these for themselves.

Secondly, you want to ensure that your reader will understand the underlying message that you are trying to express. If you are writing about how coffee affects the brain, for example, you want to keep the information on topic and relevant to the effects of coffee on the brain. Going off topic can be very easy to do, but needs to be stopped before it gets too far. The person who is reading your article/post/story/etc. needs to feel as though they can relate and associate with the content, it has to have enough of an open personal touch. Pull people in with words that open up possibilities and create imaginative thoughts and pictures.

By providing open ended thoughts and ideas, you are creating the opportunity for conversation and debate. With the personal touch, you can show that you have thought on this topic as well as researched it.  Be open to constructive criticism and remember that each person will have their own individual view on the information and opinion you have presented. Work with your readers to provide a full spectrum of information and maximize your abilities.

Your writing should satisfy you and your readers at the same time. If you are not satisfied with your writing, take a break and try writing from a different angle or perspective. This can facilitate your brainstorming as well as causing you to look at a subject or issue with new light. By staying open-minded you will create the potential for reader relationship which will only help to improve your own writing abilities.