This week has been a great blogging one for me. For the first time in months since summer vacation, I posted consistently and promoted my blog and seen my stats rise (and sometimes fall again but not so much). More people have subscribed to my feeds (thank you, you know who you are).
Becoming a Fiction Writer– ESL teacher, works abroad, dares to dream of writing fiction and starting out on her writing journey as well. Couldn’t believe it when I stumbled upon her blog.
The Art of Nonconformity – the title itself resonates with what Live Out of the Box is all about. The blog combines traveling, personal development and running a small business. His goal is to visit all the countries in the world. He’s already done 100. Sweet.
This short story excerpt is my last one. The fiction bank is now empty till I finish another one. The next project is in the literary and general fiction genre which means it will be based on real life, with an ordinary character who has something extraordinary happen to him and he has to make the decision whether to change his life or let it remain the same. It’s for anyone who has ever dared to dream and inspire them to take stock of their lives.
The thing is writing it is proving to be tricky, difficult and elusive. It’s not writer’s block. It’s just that I can’t seem to get it right no matter how many pages I’ve consumed (I write –longhand. I write with any good quality black pen because writing with the Chinese brush proved to be much too difficult.). I can’t seem to get the protagonist’s characterization. Too transparent. He’s a walking empty shell which he already is but I’d like him to have more life. He deserves it. Because of that, I can’t muster enough motivation to continue with the story which as you know, is anathema to any writer. Not if you keep hating what you’ve already written.
I keep on writing thinking I’ll get there if I keep it at it.
I managed to finish two pages.
And hate them.
Shoot, shoot. Yes! A 3 pointer.
Ooh, I could so try out for the NBA if this continues.
So, finally I changed gears. I left it alone. Shut it in the drawer and throw away the key. I figured the answer will eventually come to me.
And it did.
In the form of corned beef.
I was eating corned beef for dinner and listening to Steve Pavlina’s podcast, What is Your Purpose? when it suddenly struck me (the idea not the corned beef) that I had lost touch with my passion to write fiction. I thought for sure that this burning earth shattering force would stay with me forever but it turned out it decided to take a break eating doughnuts and left me to fend for myself. These past few months, I was too focused on writing, writing, writing that I wasn’t reading anymore which was the one thing that led me to this passion in the first place.
I was burned out.
I needed a chance to learn once more. I needed to unblock the clog and suck everything back in again. To reconnect with what drove me to pursue writing in the first place.
It’s scary because I’m not used to doing that. I’m more of a go-go-go kind of girl. It would mean postponing all my goals till I’m sure I’m ready to move on. If you really want to go after my goal, you must commit to it. Go all out. Don’t just push it with your cute ‘lil pinkie (it’ll push its little pinkie right back at ya too). Push it with all your body and soul. And I realize if I need to do this, it also means letting go.
Letting go and rediscover your love again.
Starting next week, I’ll spend my days catching up on my reading, watching movies and learning and getting inspiration from other materials. No work for now except the teaching. Can’t wait!
So I’m leaving you with the excerpt of my short story, Can You Have Dinner with Shakespeare?. It’s a 1,080 short story. It’s a mixed bag of fantasy, children’s literature, quirkiness and all out weirdness involving pirate ships, storybook characters and The Bard himself. Enjoy!
Can You Have Dinner with Shakespeare?
If you knew we live on a flying pirate ship, you’d think we’re crazy.
But we do.
It’s not mostly fun, by the way. We spent most of our days cleaning the decks, adjusting the sails and staring up at the puffy white clouds. So it was a welcome change when Uncle Ben suggested we invite literary characters over for dinner.
If you don’t know how to invite them, here’s how it works: You look for the particular book, address the invitation, stick it inside and throw the copy out into the sky.
Mum drove us nuts, shouting orders here and there. The decks have to be scrubbed clean. The sails were changed to newly washed sheets. We had to take out our new china and polish the candelabras till you could finally see their gold. We boys also had to take baths and be on our best behavior.
At six, our first guests came. Like ephemeral creatures, they fluttered wraithlike and alighted on our ship.
“Hello, Hansel and Gretel.”
“Hello, Mrs Dalloway.”
The couples wasted no time in occupying our halls. Scarlett O’ Hara and Rhett Butler glided past us with their haughty Southern air. Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw were much too locked in their eternal passionate embrace. I think they were making up for lost time.
While I directed Dorian Gray to the nearest mirror, Mum ushered two guests to our dining hall.
Mr and Mrs Darcy sat primly on our table. At first, they were delightful and charming and even made small talk to their hosts about lands and houses that nearly bored me to tears. But as they drank more from our watery soup and bit from our potatoes, their rosy cheeks gradually lost their luster. They became paler and paler and talked less and less. Finally, they ceased to talk at all and by then, you could really see right through them! When dinner was over, they seemed to have aged a lot and were starting to look their right years (considering when Jane Austen first released their novel) and left the table with slow agonizing steps.
–End of Excerpt
No corned beef? It’s alright. Let others have their own literary dinner by sharing the invitation.