Writing

The Artist’s Dilemma: When The Music’s Over

Photo of Jim Morrison

You know the feeling. You had a great night. You got the job done. You closed the deal and now you’re lying next to someone you thought you could never get. (more…)

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Interview With A Literary Sociopath

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So how did it all start?

Well, it started out just like any disease, just like any obsession—with a headache and a heartache. It happened when I saw my whole life ahead of me, cliched and predictable like a bad novel. And like bones grinding the nerves away, the closer it got the more paralyzed I felt. I became afraid. Then somewhere along the way I found an escape. Eventually I began to do it little by little, just enough to get me by. And the next thing you know I was already long gone.

Was it hard the first time?

It’s always hard the first time because everything’s new, everything’s speculation. That’s why—good or bad—there’s nothing like the first time. After that, what you have to look forward to is the last time. But there’s no way of knowing when the last time will be, that’s why I try to do everything as though it is my last.

Do you have a preferred method of execution? What’s your inspiration?

Everybody does what works for them. I personally have no attachments to any “method.” I do what works. Sometimes it’s necessary to use tact and wit, sometimes with an axe and a sickle, sometimes with poison and charm. You have to remember, the weightlessness of imagination is the only thing exempt from the gravity of life. Other times I sit in the toilet, meditating and feeling my testicles for signs.

How many victims have you had? (more…)

Imagination: The Theft of Fire

firestarter_by_alicelitwin-d389aiv

The imagery that surrounds us today are all worn-out, played-out, out of touch. It feels the same every time—every visual, every texture, every sound—to the point that we don’t even blink anymore. We just go through the motions because we know exactly what to expect.

And we start loathing it and we stop caring.

Today whether you go to the movies, you listen to the radio, you turn on the TV, or turn to speak to the person next to you, it seems like they are all saying the same thing—the same stale and sterile, tried and tested, mass produced and mass consumed opinions.

Twenty-first century media might have brought light to the world, but it doesn’t bring fire. Cautious objectivity is the job of machines and scientists, but we are a different animal. Light may illuminate. It may even bring peace, clarity, enlightenment; but light doesn’t bring fire. Fire is different. Fire burns. Fire is passion. And just like the fate of the rebel Titan, Prometheus, fire is something that is forbidden and something you can get punished for. Simply put, fire is truth because fire is risk. (more…)

Creativity: Interludes of Madness

tuesday-madness-03You look out the window. It’s not yet the end of the world but you can see it from there. You know you’re all alone and no one’s around. Your eyes gleam lunar wild and you lock the door because you start to hear the gremlins and goblins come out. Suddenly you notice that the rug is actually made out of Ewok fur and you hear the cat outside, plotting your demise because you haven’t fed it for two days straight. You feel the rush of natural morphine, seeping and swelling in your veins. You feel the circuitry in your brain sparking and glitching. Soon you begin talking to yourself, arguing and changing sides. You’re sampling again, medicating in darkness, invoking secret passions and fears, and becoming conscious of the level of sex and rage you’ve tried so hard to lock in. But despite all of this you feel safe in the danger because you know that it’s all yours. In fact you think it’s wonderful, freeing and necessary. You hiss and fret and laugh, and soon you’re happily greeting the madness with bared teeth until someone knocks on the door and the shadows slip away. (more…)

Writer’s Block: Finding The Elusive Muse

writers+block_fed465_5042647You thought you had it. Last time you did. Now you got nothing—just booze and chocolate and that asphyxiated worry clutching at your throat.

What the hell happened?

You were on a roll. You had invoked the muse. You had the ever-glitter of fire, gamma and lightning of insight, and the opal and tourmaline of imagination. But now, like cutting a candle’s wick, you suddenly find yourself sitting in the dark. (more…)

Fear: A Moment Of Clarity

 

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The city is at its rush hour plight. Everyone is out and about, going where they’re supposed to go. You see everything in solar salience—from parrots to canaries, vultures to pigeons, crows to eagles, circling above you in skyscraper altitudes. There they are pandering and advertising, sampling and soliciting, compensating, violating, enduring, hunting. Then you realize something. You’re getting older by the day. You can’t read two pages of a book without getting tired, and your only bff in the last few months has been Jon Snow. Every night you can’t wait to pass out so you can stop feeling sorry for yourself, because you know that all this time you have been wasting your life away. Trapped in a fate of your own design, you have been doing what you don’t want to do each and everyday.

And yet you still do it. Defensive and evasive you circle the drain for the hundredth time just like everybody else. Why?

You know why. You’re afraid of leaving your job. You’re afraid of leaving your house. You’re afraid of leaving your husband, your girlfriend, your friends. You’re afraid to forsake your relatives, mortgage, cars, school, loans, and everything else you don’t necessarily want but just happen to be stuck with for a long time. You argue that this is normal. You pretend that you don’t want power. And you say to yourself that only a handful make it anyway. Why try? Through the years you made yourself believe in the funnel factories of aggregate potential and the virtual rabies of self-doubt. Then somewhere along the way your eyes dimmed and lost its fire. Now, you’re even afraid of leaving your own miserable self.

But then ask yourself: what are you holding on to again?

Perceived risks and neglected opportunities, secondhand knowledge and firsthand misery, these are the nature of modern fears. But wait a minute. This is actually good news. Dying slow used to be a luxury. Today, in the developed world, you are more likely to die in the poison drip of depression rather than in fatal, catastrophic social conditions. That ain’t too bad is it? Unless of course you want a better way.

And there is a better way. Getting intimate with your fears has always been a good thing so long as you learn what it is trying to tell you. Physical fear warns you of physical harm. Emotional fear warns you of oncoming emotional tragedies. You just have to learn to adjust to it. Life has never been about sedating or eradicating risk. The people we herald and idolize are all residents of fear. What you need to do is listen to it. A true examination of your own fears will provide a reality bath, an undiluted self-appraisal that will take you to another level. Because despite what you’ve heard or what you’ve been told, you are not enough.

You have to change, to dare greatly, and to act with courage. You have the human raw materials to succeed and you must forge something stronger than yourself to barrel through. Do not erase the warpaint of your tears. Do not suppress the drumbeats of your heart. Do not wish to delete your past failures because without them, you wouldn’t have access to the wisdom you have today. Smile in the face of your demons. Be happy that you heard its whispers and screams instead of the other way around. Because only when we master our fears will we be able to master our lives.

 

Ray Bradbury

 

 

Cure in Chaos

Detective-Comics-Vol.-1-880-animated-comic-book-coverIn a deck of cards the Jester is the only card without a rank or suit. He does not kneel to the King of Diamonds, serve the Queen of Hearts, nor answer to the Jack of Clubs. And even though he cannot brandish the Ace of Spades, he is nevertheless included in the set without purpose or utility—he is only there to cause distraction and discord.

In creation myths, the Trickster is also an anomaly. Neither good nor evil, he is both carnal and divine at the same time. Loyal only to his pleasures, this mischievous entity is nonetheless capable of good deeds and celestial engineering through a state of chaos.

This brings us to the most famous and modern incarnation of this creature, that is the Batman’s Joker. The Joker is unlike other super villains in that he is a killer without a pattern. This is why the Joker is Batman’s arch-nemesis, because he cannot be defined and he goes after your friends and family, where it hurts, i.e. the balls. Madness and chaos are his state of only normalcy. And in a way, although most of us are not lethal sociopaths, writers also thrive in such an extreme state. (more…)

Limit Breaks

Death by monotony. Death by theories and statistical wisdom. I.e. death without a trace.

You feel it coming that’s why you search the internet, scour for articles, watch the videos. Maybe even pay to watch someone in a panel or on the podium, hoping that their words will somehow stain you a little longer, seep into your life a little better, into your abilities, activities.

A month-old into the new year and a lot of people are still “motivated.” But just as water and food, this mental and emotional diet, if not nourished, will deplete. And this is why people will always wonder why they are always starving, deprived and depressed.

Online clickbait “secrets” will often try to sell you on some sort of system, “a way of thinking,” that will change your life. But this is only true if you have accepted the true necessary equation of “the secret,” prioritizing a way of doing instead of the passive, a way of thinking.

Blood + Sweat + Time = Chance (more…)