beauty, masculinity, poetry, stoicism

Another Round

I acknowledge the exhaustion

Alone

This burden of performance

Relinquished after

Before the show

Remove the war paint

Unbuckle the armour

For a time,

Feel each ache and concern

Let them stretch and walk around

Then away

Because I ask nothing of sympathy

Just a moment to contemplate

Check my gut and say

Sometimes I don’t always have

The solution

But, always, I am the solution,

Spectacular when I’m inspired

To be so

But the day calls

Let me know if you are well

The game begins

Another round

And the die is warm

In my palm

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masculinity, poetry, purpose, work

much beyond sleep

Smile in the quiet

Up late,

Writing to alleviate

The constant hum of

Purpose

Only I hear it

The song, thick and low,

Like wine in my veins

More achieved,

Building a monument

Visible from inner space,

Potent with achievement

Put the pages away but they

Do not leave my sight

Much beyond sleep

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hunger, masculinity, poetry, women

Take the dragon by its throat

Conceptualising the future

Working to take a vision

Inside and eat the rough bread

Of process

There is a strength in bearing

The burden of the future

In silence

In darkness

Extrapolating the struggle

And I take chaos

By its throat

It writhes against my grip

But the strength of transcendence

Makes it surrender

And so it goes limp

Damp against my fingers

The dragon’s blood

Will not stain your skin

Its flames rasp

Dry in lieu of burning you

But you do not stand on

A pedestal

Before me

And you, in turn,

Must earn your place

A throne awaits

Take your seat

Next to me

 

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books, creative writing, fiction, purpose, women, writing

Writing and Reading

I am now 185 pages into Lawful Evil in second draft and already had notes from the agent about it. It’s more technical and descriptive issues than the story, which is a good thing as the story is always the most important thing to me. It is the bass of any book, the foundation and unless that works, not even the prettiest prose will save it.

I have ditched entire drafts and books before. As you write more and often, you find yourself becoming ruthless with the work you do. I don’t want to waste your attention when I have it.

I have finished a few books recently. High Rise by J G Ballard which was brilliant and disturbing, as he wrote in a very unique, cold voice that allows him to slip past some subversive insights and make it all compelling in its ambiguity.

Aftershock by Andrew Vachss was really good, although there were large slabs of exposition when the central story was more interesting but even those digressions were highly entertaining and rich with a ballistic, brutal poetry that kept me reading.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood was incredible. She tells beautiful stories with an acerbic sense of character and frailty, and there are some lovely subplots that pay off whilst weaving fact and fiction into a story that dripped with intrigue and tension.

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters had a really strong concept and was robustly written, but it felt a little slight in the telling. The inner journey of the protagonist was a little too rote for me to really invest in but the reality of the concept held me rapt at the plausible horror of it.

Good Bones by Margaret Atwood was fantastic. Spare and beguiling stories that make you think and entertain you in a few words. She’s hilarious and cruel and warm, certainly someone who I rate as a writer and as a reader of her work. If anything of hers comes into view, I grab it and read it immediately.

I view reading and writing as the highest expressions of my purpose, and derive pleasure from both of them, so it keeps me motivated. Thank you for reading and liking my work, as well as the comments which are deeply appreciated. A writer wants to be read as much as a reader wants to be written to, or for.

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beauty, masculinity, poetry, purpose, women

In BattleĀ 

Despite

Pain

Rejection

Internal

External

I hold true

When loneliness

Whispers

For me to surrender

When promises made

In fervour

Are rendered hollow

I hold true

My purpose is

Patchwork armour

Gathered from a life of battle

I raise my sword

Will your maidens favour

Still wave from my

Upper arm

As battle commences

In truth

It never

Really ends

Until I do

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beauty, books, creative writing, purpose, writing

The Process And Updates(Writing)

I have reached the second act of Lawful Evil, some 115 pages of edited work and have lost roughly 10% of the first draft along the way. The beauty of an exploratory draft is that you just play on the page, go on tangents and empty yourself of every idea in relation to the idea itself. With this project, there was the first conscious use of the story grid, and I am pleased to find that it has added utility in determining where the obligatory scenes should go and what needs to be discarded.
To quote Bruce Lee, you use what is necessary and discard the rest.
Experience and focused practice has allowed for less bloat in the exploratory draft so editing later is both easier and more difficult in that there are scenes that read well, but don’t serve the story. The second draft is leaner, it moves faster and the underlying emotions and themes become apparent on the page. It is a matter of confidence to trust that the reader gets it, and to allow for such information as to avoid being too ambiguous, to parse exposition to use as ammunition rather than having it dropped like a stone because it is too heavy and awkward to break down. I would not say I possess any special aptitude beyond an ability to focus and do the work necessary to advance my work.
Until She Sings is with several agents at the moment. I cannot agonise over its status, so I concentrate on the things I can control, which is the work. Say prayers and send blessings for its success.
I have several future projects in various stages. Strange Lights is sat in longhand, exploratory draft waiting for me to go in and build it up to a second draft. Another project has been fitted into a story grid, there are the serials Sir 2.0, Asra and A Bridge For The Furies ongoing here as well as the poetry. I am also putting notes towards two other projects and looking ahead.
I am reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry which is lengthy, exquisite and moving. It is a hymn to the American dream, awash with struggle, beauty and horror and all of it dressed in elegant, beautiful language. After that, I will be reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas then rereading The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. I try to absorb the good work, not necessarily in one genre and guided by an unconscious instinct for the stuff that will inspire and educate me.
There is a joy in the process, it sustains me no matter what my circumstances and serves as an expression of my solidity. I am not calcified in that, simply that I have a course, a path and I follow it by determination, a willingness to change up without losing sight of the prize.
The man I look at in the mirror each morning.
Thank you for reading, and hi to recent followers. Please feel free to comment and share the work that you like. What’s the point of being a writer if you aren’t being read?

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