Friday, January 29, 2010

what made them succeed?

I am not talking here about people who get rich. I am not talking about people who possess a lot of power and subdue others under authority. I am talking about those people we admire, the real people who make history. Those whom we admire because they stood the storm-- we have watched them so calm in the midst of harrowing vissicitudes in life, we have seen them unwaering before the truth. 

They are the men who believed in themselves. Chesterton would tell me that such men are in Hanwell orin lunatic hospitals. Maybe he was talking about a different breed of men. To believe in oneself is to believe in the justice of life and of God... Life and God are generous and just. They never give us less than we need, and they never give us excess than we can manage. Wise people know this and they set themselves up to cultivate what they have received from God and nature.

I was talking to a newfound friend. And our conversation came to a point where we were talking about conistency and fidelity in the choices we make in life. 

"I am afraid about deciding on..."
"And why are you so afraid?"
"Because things change. Time and seasons change, and people change with them."

Time never changes. It offers us its seasons that we may have vacation... that we may not grow old. Time never changes. It gives us its seaons that we may become wise and mature with our choices. People break up in a relationship, say marriage because they did not give the only thing that is worth giving, the only thing that must be given; they always remember the only one thing that must be forgotten: themselves.

Great people are those who have learnt this lesson. The weak ones gloat and recriminate over little things. Mature men, I mean those who write their name on the face of life do not complain. They see every little thing as a gift. And where there is change, they seize it as a moment of enrichment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

words are precious

If you have never sat wistfully before your laptop, drudging for words to say the thing that itches inside you, if you haven't known a story you want to tell yet you forget what everything is called... if you haven't known that world of numb silence colored with opaque images that flood in your mind, if you haven't yet known the incapacity of just saying ... well there are things we find no language for, then you will never understand and appreciate the preciousness of words.

But I am not scared when I know I have a story to tell. Words may flee. I will cogitate. Words may flee. I will gaze on things in their world... in that single world where they become beautiful, the world without which they cease to be what they are.

Words are precious. If you use them wrong they suggest something else. Bad! If you use them anyhow, just anyhow, they irritate the ears of your audience. Catastrophic. If you use them without knowing what they are, the battle comes back to you... Hmmmm. See what I mean?

I have been searching for words. I have been on this laptop for almost an hour. I have written five pages. I have deleted five pages. But there are remnants of those syllables that echo in my memory. What I have written and deleted, what has touched the silent part of my being is the finesse of all I could try to say. I have come to realize this, that writing is a passion, but it is also vision. It is about something that is desperately writhing inside us, willing to come out. But it is also about the ability to see that thing in its beauty. That is the way it is to me. The passion is the tension towards the thing and the vision if the principle that defines and names that thing. That is what accomplishes writing.

That said, I move to chapter five of my novel. And I don't know if I will end up with 5 deleted pages. Whatever it is, there is this echo that remains, the echo that reminds me of the untold story.


I wonder what is it that keeps a lot of people glued to fantasy tales and vampire novels... Hmmm. Strange thing. I do not believe in vampires, in elves and flying dragons and talking trees. But I find it healthy reading this.

If there is something that modern man has lost, it is this child-like simplicity of waking up and thinking that the sun sets at the limits of the next knoll... like thinking that the angels are mourning up above when it rains... that the rainbow are a thousand smiles of fate upon our path of human.

Fantasy is healthy. Fantasy is fun. Fantasy is the mind in exercise. And fantasy means we believe there is something beautiful beneath the monotony of just being human, that beneath its pain, there could be a haven of thrilling joy. I still believe in fairy tales, but I don't believe in Cinderella... I know the ethics of Cinderella as the sound ethics of good triumphing always over evil. I don't believe in mythical kings and princes but there is in those tales something that makes me look higher from where I am now.

Vampires are a dreary myth of those who cannot come to terms with the differences that lie between individuals. But it is healthy because we recognize there are still "witches" or people with gifts superior than ours... and,

that is why I love the world of fantasy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

About thoughts

Don't think they are abstract ideas we that take shape while we dream -- thoughts are desires, images, feelings... I don't want to write about the guy drooling in the bus, mouth open like a gaping hole, snorting like a pig, eyes half-closed as though afraid to be awakened. Did you ever hear that line "I am tired of living and scared of dying", living mid-way between doing and sluggish inertia, desire and numbness? Yes, that was the expression I saw in his face.

And it left a sensation, faintly creeping, something indescribably disturbing. Then there was the old woman lifting his head gently, and posing it on her shoulders -- and I thought of weightlessness lifting weight. Mothers could be brave and strong in the way they are fragile. Love to think about it.

But I can't know how to tell it to you. I mean what I saw and how I saw it, and I don't know if I could ever tell it in the way that you feel it the way I felt it, and see it in its lucidity. 

What I am trying to say, in a nutshell, is that all that constitutes my writings are the things you see also. You might have seen them from a different angle, but I have seen them in the way that makes me wince and shudder sometimes. I have seen them in the way that makes me dream and hope. I have also seen them in the way that makes my heart lurch and makes me queasy. I have heard colors, I have seen sounds, I have felt things in the darkness of their birth and in the light of their extinction... simple things, big things, things in which we are born and dream and hope and waste till only the essential is left of us. 

Thoughts are things that make me remember the ancient truth: fairy land is the sunny country of common sense.

When the Lights Go Out

When the idea of writing a Young Adult Fantasy Novel struck me, I shuddered.  But the itch was persistent and strong I felt I would sag if I did not give it a shot... but then, as I tried to put every idea into place, my mind kept going back to those colossal figures of writers that excel in this field. It isn't worth the pain.. I felt the weaker, the skeptical, the hardly certain part of me nudging me. You can't do it better than the Rawling and the LJ Smith and the I don't know who. Even though. That isn't reason enough to quit.

But the truth is I know I have got a story inside me, and until it gets out I will continue to suffer. Well, I made up my mind to get into this. And I wonder how it will turn out. 

I have read a lot of creative craft and I have come out with just one certain rule... it may not count for anyone, but I believe in it. You can't teach anyone how to write his or her own story. Every writer has his own rules also... this is because writing is an intimate exercise, something that unites us to our world, something that heals us also. And the pains may not be the same for every writer.

It is no more time to drudge over what this great writer or what the other did or what made the other best. What interests me now is that I am writing. I have begun this tale. I tell it to myself, I listen to it as I write it for the world.  I remember its characters, issues of the dreamy sphere of my spiritual depths. I love them. Those I hate, God pardon me, I will kill them... I will be posting some passages of the book here for friends to savor and to give me feedback. I don't want to hear that milky talk like I like this story... Believe me, I know you won't like it... (so don't lie.) Just go ahead and tell me what makes it a lackey.