The Spirit of The Streets

The city talks to me whenever I leave my home, no matter how briefly or how insignificant the reason. I get to hear the joys and the struggles of its children every time. My neighborhood is just minutes away from one of the wealthiest parts of town, a couple more away from the poor, crime-stricken zones. As a writer with a predominantly urban focus, I couldn’t ask for more. I’m right in the middle. I walk the line.
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A Look Inside

 

Cover of "The Big Sleep"

Cover of The Big Sleep

I don’t read anymore. I study. It’s as though every piece of writing I come across now adds something to my experience and knowledge as a writer, however small both may be. I study various subjects related to my craft or personal interests; sometimes, I can also wind up learning more about myself and my work in the process. This may just be the case with the book I’m reading, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. Continue reading

Revision Hell II – Revision Harder

Revision Hell [ri-vizh-uhn hel]
noun

  1. an eternal clash with a terrifying first draft.
  2. the process of realizing you’re an idiot.
  3. a perpetual state of headaches, bad coffee trips and laziness.
  4. discovering you changed your supporting character’s gender seven times.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to today’s horror stories. Continue reading

Revision Hell I

I think it was Chris Baty of NaNoWriMo fame who said that revising a first draft is the fun part of writing. It makes me want to punch him in his handsome, bald face.

Nothing makes me feel more like an idiot than revising and editing my work, and likewise nothing makes me more insecure than seeing other people’s mistakes. It’s true. I could be having grandiose fantasies where I win a Nobel or the universal recognition of my peers, then all of a sudden I notice the dumb crap rolling out of my fingers and the grandiosity gets turned down a notch. Or ten. It’s humbling.

Now, I will narrate some of my experiences when it comes to revising drafts and manuscripts. Continue reading

A Note on Blog Practices

I firmly believe in turning unfortunate events of all kinds, from missteps to tragedies, into lessons. This is one of those times.

Blogging has been such an interesting avenue of expression for me. It’s the closest I’ve come to experimenting with complete authorial freedom, literally choosing to write and publish anything I feel like without the mingling of agents, publishers or market tendencies. It literally stays between the readers and me. I even felt confident enough to let them decide the topic for my April 24th post. However, not all is well. Continue reading

I Got Jazz

Image: jazz-and-blus.blogspot.com

Music has been an integral part of me perhaps longer than words; my love for the former is everlasting, but for the latter it is intense. My relationship with music is thus a lasting marriage, but my affair with words is passionate, mindless and probably savage. The best part of this arrangement is that both parties are okay with it. If I were to draw a cynical example, I’d be telling each of my two lovers, music and literature, that “we’ve come to an understanding”. I wouldn’t lie, but I’d do everything I can to continue that wonderfully perfect circle of love and debauchery.

That is not to say I enjoy all styles of music. I don’t think so, at least. For instance, I find things like mindless hip-hop, bubble-gum pop and nightclub music absolutely unbearable, namely because those are songs meant to get you dancing rather than leave room for appreciation –of which there might be none, anyhow–. But it wasn’t always like this. There was a period in my younger days where I enjoyed hating things on principle, ignorantly. Like a lot of people, I thought looking down on something was the best way to validate my tastes and my intellect.

In short, I hated jazz.
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The Tyrant

"I'd rather believe we're tyrants."
Image:blog.levante-emv.com

How many of us think of ourselves as creators, as parents to our work? I’d rather believe we’re tyrants.

Think about it. The moment we give birth to our characters, our “children”, we send them into horrible, deadly frays. We take away their money, their loved ones, their peace and even their dignity, and for what? It’s for the enjoyment of our readers, of course.
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March of 2012

The official beginning of The Bard of Steel and this writer’s blogging experience; interacting with a new community; short story collection progress; the importance of a hipster dress code and etiquette; a possibly historic precedent for professional blogging everywhere; douchey arguments with entitled folks.

This was March of 2012. Continue reading