Back in the Saddle

I have been waiting to use this expression for some time now. It first struck me as an utterly remarkable phrase while playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare II. You complete the opening mission and gain the in-game achievement “Back in the Saddle”.  The phrase came up again while I was playing Final Fantasy XIV, as the name of a particular mission when a once long gone character makes a rather grand return. (Notice an odd trend with me and video games…) In both instances this phrase struck a cord with me primarily because it brought on a feeling of familiarity with nothing more than a few simple words, and to initiate a feeling solely with the proper positioning of a few key words is writing in it most powerful form.

Enough stalling! I’ve been away for a little more than 12 months an entire year and now I’m back in the saddle! (of blogging and what have you) And now so are you, so buckle up cowboys and cowgirls we’re about to ROLL OUT! Get along little doggies! (Maybe I’ve taken the country western cowboy theme a bit far…)

Okay more writing about writing coming soon. Welcome Back!

See you soon,

Lefty

Advertisements

The Boy Who Cried…

I’m still working on Chapter 24 but I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the book. This is from early in the book and is the first appearance of the main protagonist. Comments are always welcome.

A key hung from a shoestring, and the shoestring hung loosely from the neck of a small boy. He fiddled with it, struggling to pull it from underneath his shirt and place it into the front door. He was sniveling; remnants of tears could be seen along either side of his face, along with a large welt stained across his right cheek, it would turn dark purple by tomorrow. A school yard fight, with a school yard bully was the source behind his unusually frantic disposition. He was usually a happy and joyful child, but this had been his first fight, ever. He was eight.
            He knew his mother would be upset that he had been fighting, but truthfully it wasn’t his fault. Nick Abernathy had followed him half-way home from school, teasing him about his father. He was dead. But Nick said he was probably just a “dead beat” who ran out on him and his mother, and she probably just made up the story about him being dead because it was better than admitting he and abandoned them. He tried explaining to Nick – along with the small group that had gathered to watch his persecution – that his father was a hero who had died bravely as a U.S. soldier. A hero who had died protecting everyone and everything that he loved. A hero like in his comic books, a hero like Powerman, or the Olympian. Nick and the other kids laughed at this explanation, then Nick pushed him… so he punched Nick, and our small boy fought for the first time, and he lost.
            The key served its purpose, there was a catch and a loud click as the door unlocked, and the sobbing young fighter made his way inside.
            “Mom!” he called out, but received no response. The house was dark, the curtains drawn over the windows, blocking out the afternoon sun. He darted to the bathroom, making a futile attempt to clean himself up. He splashed water on his face, ran a cold towel across his eyes and took a deep breath, all in the hopes the he could wipe away the smell, look and shaky nerves of a fresh fight. None of it worked, not even in the slightest.
            He crept slowly into his mother’s room, opting to get a jump on explaining himself first, before she found out what happened by some other ‘unscrupulous’ means. Her room was just as dark as the rest of the house, perhaps even more so.
            “Mom?” he called out again, his voice already prepped for pity. She still didn’t answer. She lay in her bed, her back to him, apparently sound asleep. It was odd, she never slept during the middle of the day, and her room – which usually carried the delicately sweet scent of roses and wildflowers – filled his small nose with the strong and pungent odor of what he thought to be rotten eggs, in actuality it was sulfur; specifically it was brimstone. He stepped forward, and at that moment a bright yellow butterfly fluttered from his mother’s bed, landed on his open, awaiting hand then floated silently out of the room. His heart sank and immediately he knew something was wrong. He ran to his mother’s side.
            “Mom? Mom wake up!” she didn’t respond.
            “Mom!” he shook her shoulder. “Mom wake up please!”
            Nothing.
            “Mom you have to wake up now! Please mom, wake up!” Hot, wet tears began to streak down his face once again. “Mom please wake up! Don’t – please I’m sorry, don’t leave me!” by now he was screaming his face wet with tears, his nose runny and red; he struggled to catch his breath between pleas of desperation.
            “Mom please, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m… so, so sorry.” He buried his face into her chest and neck, she was still warm, she stilled smelled of roses and wildflowers. He inhaled the sweet aroma, taking in long lungfuls, desperate to breathe in as much of her as he could before the rotten stench of sulfur and pain pushed her out of his memories.
            “Mom?” he called out again, this time more gently, less hysterically as if his overactive emotions were what kept her quite. But still she didn’t reply, she simply lay motionless, lifeless, her beautiful brown face frozen in the last expression she would ever wear, a peaceful and serene smile, now stained with his tears and phlegm.
            Nate,” whispered a hushed little voice from out of the darkness of the room. It sounded slightly like a small child, probably no older than the boy himself.Nate can you hear me?
            “Wh-Who is that, who’s there?” he sobbed.
           It’s ok, I’m a friend.”The voice replied.
            “Why can’t I see you?! Where are you?”
           There’s no need for you to see me, at least not right now, but I’m here, I’m with you now, that’s all that matter.
            “Well if you’re a friend then help me, my mom is hurt, o-o-or she’s sick, she needs to go to the hospital.”
           No Nate… she doesn’t, I’m sorry but it’s too late. She’s gone.
            “NO! You’re lying! She’s not gone, she’s not! She wouldn’t leave me here, she wouldn’t leave alone like this, she wouldn’t  I know she wouldn’t ..” Nate clenched tightly to his mother, crying frantically into her shoulder.
            Nate I’m sorry, it’s true. But you don’t have to be afraid, you’re not alone, you’ll never be alone. I’m here –
            “Shut up! Get away from me! Leave me alone! I don’t need you! I don’t need anybody… WE don’t need anybody, get away… get away.” Nate held on, sobbing and panting, determined not to let anyone pull him away.
            Nate… you have to leave… it’s time – it’s time for us to go.
            “No!” he sobbed.
           It’s too late, I’m sorry… we’re already gone… its already over… besides, you have a job interview in 3 hours.
            “What?!”
            Nate awoke covered in a cold damp sweat. Sunlight peered in through his bedroom window. He checked his alarm clock. 6:58 a.m. It was scheduled to go off in 2 minutes. He had his first job interview since graduating college at 10 a.m.
            “It’s going to be a long f***ing day.” He mumbled to himself, no one replied.
***

Back from The Land of No Return.

I’M ALIIIIIIIIIIVE!
And i’m a horrible blogger! Yes, I have been missing for forever and no I haven’t did anything I said I would do up to this point. Thank you for reminding me.

But do you know what? I’m not going to make excuses, but I will apologize.

I’m sorry.

There. You happy? Well good. Now wipe that smug look off of your face and let’s get back to work. We have a book to finish.

Chapter 23 is done, we’re moving on to chapter 24!

Let’s do it,

Lefty

My Ambitions as a Writer

Stay diligent. Stay focused. Do not succumb to self pity or doubt.

That nagging feeling in the back of your mind, the one that whispers to you “Give up.”
The one that so plainly points out the irrationality of your actions.
The one so adamant to convince you that, you are merely wasting time you do not have.
Ignore that. That is only your fear.

Your insincere Fear.

Your fear of Rejection, your fear of Disappointment, your fear of Failure, your fear of Success.

It is only your insincere fear.

It, by no means, truly believes a single thing that it has said.

So write on, write on, the chapter is almost finished, that paragraph almost done, that sentence is almost perfect.
Don’t stop! GO!

Go!
Move!
Grow!
Crawl!
Push!
Pull!
Beg!
Plead!
Pray!
Cry!
Laugh!
Love!

Live, and die… but do it all on that page.

And when you’re done… do it again.

Tell your story.

November = NaNoWriMo

It’s November which means its NaNoWriMo, which means National Novel Writing Month, but for me November means a lot of other things. For one my first year wedding anniversary was this month, Nov 6th to be exact, me and the wife went to Chicago for the weekend and had a great time, but I also took a complete break from writing for the weekend, not even letting myself think about my book project for some 72 hours (of course I cheated, but only because Chicago is a difficult city not to be inspired by) But before we left I finished Chapter 18, yep Chapter 18 done, on to 19. I sent out a few excerpt to a few trusted readers and hoping to get some good feedback as a really burst into the second half of the project. I’m planning for about 12 more chapters to wrap the project up which is less than I’ve already done but perhaps the most important portion. I hope to be done by year’s end but as December get closer, its seeming less and less likely. Here’s to trying.

Till next time,

Lefty

Chapter 17. Done.

On September 20 I posted that I had just completed the 16th Chapter of my Novel in Progress, guess what I did last night as well. No not that, I finished Chapter 17!

I didn’t realize that the completionof the two chapters were nearly a month apart, mostly because writing chapter 17 actually only took me little less than a week, starting it however took me three weeks. Strange I know, but I had an odd transition to overcome leaving 16 and getting to 17 and in the end I took a completely different direction than I had original planned (I know you’ve heard that before) which all just further goes to prove, a really good writing project will often take on a life of its own.

Anyway remember that character from chapter 16 that I said made such a large impression on me that it garnered her some more page time, well it did and in Chapter 17 she gave the performance of a lifetime. Its good, not to boast or anything but I mean I really enjoyed writing it and I’m just super excited for you guys to read it, that’s what I mean by good. I was so excited in fact that I did let a friend of mine read it, fresh out of the notebook at that, completely out of context, not even proofread, or in anything other than my horrific handwriting. That’s how excited I was about it.

She hated it! No I’m joking, she actually raved about it, she loved it, at least that what she told me, and I don’t really have any reason to suspect she was lying, so now I’m even more excited about revising, streamlining, typing it and including it with the other chapters and having more people read it!

Oh the joys of writing, they’re so self-serving!

Til Next Time,

Lefty