New ideas

I have a new idea. Yes, I have an old idea, in the form of a book that needs to be completed, but I have a new idea, one that I’m excited about. I’m going to have to force myself to complete Jasmine, something that’s I’ve been saying for years now, so I can move on to this new project. It’s about…

Well, I think I’d rather not say, at least not yet. There’s still a lot of details that are vague at the moment. All I have are two characters and an idea of what brings the unlikely pair together. I’m excited about it, which says a lot. I’ve lost interest in Jasmine. I love the story, I’m just a little burnt out on it.

Another of my ideas

I have a brilliant idea! It’s part of my nature to have them, as I imagine it is for all creative people. The only problem is that they seem to come at the most inopportune times. Sorry idea, I’m busy working on another story and I would like to get something completed for once. You’ll just have to wait.

This idea, however, shouldn’t be relegated to some maybe pile, to be perused when I have nothing else to do. It needs to be fleshed out, organized so that when the time comes, I will be able to begin working on it. Hopefully when I do, I’ll have the same enthusiasm for it as I do now.

For now, I’ve written a brief little synopsis of the story, at least the main story arc. I have several files like this one littering my hard-drives and flash-drives. I’ll open them from time to time to see what I have, and most of the time I can’t figure out what had me so excited with the premise. Will this one suffer the same fate?

My fickle mind

Ideas are fickle creatures, are they not? They flit in and out of your consciousness randomly, with no real reason, and it can drive a man to distraction. Earlier today, while taking a load of cardboard back to receiving to load into the baler, I was struck – and not for the first time – how inconsequential my job was. Regardless of what I have accomplished academically or in my career, I’m currently stuck in a menial job, trapped by circumstance and my inability to find something that interests me.

I’ve noticed how carelessly we, the workers, are treated, not just by rude customers, but also by a management team that cares more about their own pocketbooks than the lives of the workers they espouse to lead. And that’s not unique to where I work. It’s a universal theme, the lowly being taken advantage of by “The Man”.

That’s the story I want to tell, the story of my life. Well, actually the story of a middle-aged man facing a crisis of identity, revolving around his job, but also how that job affects his self-worth and trickles down to his relationships with family and friends. It’s highly personal, and it’s a story that I attempted to tell once, before I picked up writing seriously.

It’s also a story, therefore, that scares me. How can I make my experiences compelling? I guess I can make a zombie jump out of a desk, or maybe have a customer hold up the place, or maybe have the business blow up, but that’s not really what I’m going for. I’m striving for raw and emotional, personal in a way that I want people to relate to it as if they themselves are in the narrative. I want the character to become an avatar for the reader. I hope for the reader to experience the protagonist’s journey because they have been on that same journey before.

I believe we all want meaning in our lives, and I find that my work has no meaning. It’s a dull, repetitive task that drains me of time, energy, and sometimes the will to live. I know it’s not a sexy story, or even original, but it’s something I know, this life I have lived.

What do I know about knights and dragons? How can I write of teenage girls and of their trials in growing up? I know almost nothing about politics and religion. I know this life I’ve lived. That’s why so many of my characters have been cheated on and have had their hearts ripped out. That’s why so many of my characters are introspective and quiet,. That’s also why I give them voice, to say what I need to say, to validate my ideas, both brilliant and utterly stupid.

I want to tell the story of real life, my life, but with a few slight changes for dramatic effect. But then again, maybe I could try my hand at another teen-vampire-romance series. I hear they are all the rage. In mine, the vampires are the heroes while humans have shunned the light. Oh, and don’t forget the forbidden love between the human man and the female vampire. And maybe a big musical number, just for the hell of it, but definitely no bunnies. I have to draw the line somewhere.

And now the idea is gone. Crap….

What are you reading?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~Dr. Seuss~*

I bought the Divergent box set recently off of Amazon, and it has sat of my desk for several weeks, begging me to be read. I found some time on Tuesday to crack open the first book, and instantly found myself drawn in by the story. I stayed up until three in the morning reading the book before putting it down to sleep. I finished it the next morning.

I’ve started the second book in the series, Insurgent, and I’m loving it. I plan to be done with it by this evening, and maybe start reading the last book, Allegiant. Then there’s the movies. Divergent is in theaters, which I’m planning on seeing tomorrow after I get off work.

It’s been a long time since a book has captured my attention in this way. Rowling managed to do so with her Harry Potter series, and once I discovered it, So did Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I read the Twilight novels, and I enjoyed them as well for what they were, and I fail to see why people reacted to viscerally against them, especially since most poking fun of the series probably have never read a book.

These are just a few of the books that have entered the popular consciousness to such a degree that they become inescapable. I’ve read plenty of other books by authors that have not cracked the Best Sellers lists. I’ve enjoyed many self-published titles, many I have reviewed for you here on my blog. On of my favorite author is Morris West, author of The Shoes of the Fisherman, and The Clowns of God.

I read to escape the tedium of life. I read to lose myself to the imagination. I read to transport myself into adventure. I read so that I may know, and in so knowing, to learn, to grow, and to better myself.

I’ve encountered strange ideas, thoughts that were at once foreign and alien to me, but once read, helped shape me into the person I am today. I soaked up ideas like a sponge, thirsty for knowledge, insatiable and unquenchable. I know I’m not alone.

I read mostly for pleasure, but what I read can provoke me to think about the bigger picture. What is the book about? What is the author trying to say?  How is what I’m reading relevant to me and to the world at large? Good books promote lively discussions.

My question today – as you can probably guess by my not-so-cryptic title – is what are you reading now? What ideas are you gleaming from the book or article? Are you willing to share with us? Leave a comment and share with us your thoughts. I would love to know!

“A home without books
is a body without a soul.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero~*

* – Quotes on reading came from ThinkExist.