Monday, November 24, 2008

Write, Or Else!

It is said often in books on writing that a writer must inevitably write...and that, every day. It is something that must be practiced on a regular basis in order for it to be of any good and for anyone to actually want to read it.
I thought I was pretty good at this expression when I first signed up for my creative writing class at Valencia Community College in the early summer of 2006. I had, after all, stunned my English Comp teacher the previous semester with a paper I'd written entitled "The Truth About Flying." Jill Sebacher, the professor's name, had wanted to submit it to the school paper, the Phoenix, but, unfortunately, it was not accepted. Still, my ego soared high and I walked into the new class feeling confident, cocky, and ready to be recognized as the next great writer of the 21st century.
Reality slapped me in the face so hard that it took weeks to get over the sting of the pain. I stunk.
I spent the next couple of months re-learning how to write, especially creatively. The teacher, like a Marine bootcamp instructor, verbally tore us up and crushed us down, drilling into our heads that a writer must "show" and not "tell." We were challenged about point of view, the absolute necessity of conflict, character development, the individual roles of protagonists, antagonists, static, and block characters. And "don't forget to employ the five senses in your work!" Then one sweet day, after all of the humiliation, we saw the tiny sprout of something good coming out of our pieces. It was a small sign of muscular definition after weeks of torturous exercise.
I learned valuable information in that class. It stretched me. It made me realize that there was so much more to writing than I had ever imagined.
I won't forget what the teacher told us towards the end of the class. "God is going to get you if you don't write."
And so, with that weighty exhortation hanging over my head, I offer you this short rambling.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Andante Espressivo

That's what the top part of the left hand side says of a piano arrangement that I'm working on. I thought about how accurate that Italian term is for the piece. According to one online source, it means, when combining the definition of both: "moderately slow with expression." It works beautifully for the nice even eighth notes that climb up and down the scale in the bass cleft. It's kind of like going on a leisurely walk and taking in everything you see, smell, and hear. Savoring every moment of the experience. In these hectic days we need a little "andante espressivo" in our lives. Stop a moment. Slow down. Look around. Find beauty in God's creation. Take pleasure in the small things. Make the moments count. Tell someone you love them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sleepless in Ocoee

My body refused, like an overactive child, to settle down last night. At midnight I finally had shut the lights out and begun to burrow down under the covers. Many people at that time would have been sound asleep, I suppose, some blissfully having entered into that coma-like state, called "REM."
I awoke suddenly, like someone does before jumping out of bed after hitting his snooze button ten times, realizing he's overslept and is late for work. I grabbed my little white digital alarm clock and pressed down hard on the button that turned on the light. I thought sure I would see black-colored numbers, indicating it was 5:00, or thereabouts, illuminated by the dull yellow glow. I groaned at the realization that I'd only slept two hours. I threw my head back onto the pillow. I spent the next few minutes, or hours, it seemed, trying to find the ultimate "sleep well" position.
On my back; on my left side; on my right side; arms up around my ears; left arm up next to my left ear while my right arm is down by my right side; on my stomach. On my side; one leg bent towards my chest; fluff up my pillows; roll one pillow up and put it between my shoulders and my head. It was a veritable nocturnal workout, or should I say warfare. This fight between my desire to sleep and my body's restlessness continued on and on. Until finally, that welcome paralysis; that heaviness. The conquered limbs lay defeated and weary, and I could feel that wonderful haze coming over my mind, gradually, like I'd imagined it must feel like to be anesthetized. Sleep.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Teddy's Inspiring Quote

I was reading through some of my emails from "Quote of the Day" and came across this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
I am very inspired by such a quote. It makes me want to do my best in everything that I do and to keep trying new things, especially those things that I am afraid of , or that I think I cannot do. Of course I must attach "God willing" with everything that I attempt.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back to Normal, I Think

So, finally, after 3 weeks, I am in health, once again! It took so very long that I began to despair I'd ever be well. I am truly thankful. I have three jobs now. I still work one day at the optometrist's office and then recently procured a job working for a chiropractor three days a week, and for a spa on Saturday's. I'm actually typing this from the chiropractor's office. We've been rather slow today, with only three patients, so most of the day has been spent reading, looking at a magazine, and surfing the internet.
I'll probably leave at 6:30 tonight instead of the usual 7 if no one shows up.
You know, the more I go on in life, the more I realize that the passionate, the dynamic, the mind-blowing are only shadows on the wall. These are quickly evaporating sensations that in and of themselves have no merit. It is the mundane, the consistent, the settled, that have long-term meaning. It is out of these things that we must find happiness and not the other.