Importance of first readers

Darkness. It is ever so dark. The magic is ebbing; the magic is dispelling. It fades into the void and the darkness grows. As the blackness increases, we decrease. We begin to fade away. We are bound to the magic without it we cease to exist; without magic, we die. Perhaps…

Jenna slumped to the floor, her head laid within the palm of her hands. This could not be allowed to happen; the dragons must not die. She lifted her head speaking up, “Lendaw is not the only thing dying,” she paused, fighting back the tears, “The dragons are in peril too.”
…our time has come.

As opposed to:

Darkness and cold. The magic is ebbing. As it does, we depart too. Perhaps…

Jenna fell to her knees. Her face cradled in her hands.

Kur! I will never allow it. You must not die.

Jenna gathered herself together. She held up her hand to fend off the others from approaching. “I am alright,” she stated, as she rose; mumbling, more to herself than to anyone else, “I will never let you die. You have my word on this.”

…Our time has come.

Although this is still rough, one gets the point: The importance of critical first readers cannot be overstated if one is to produce good story telling.
-Robert Confiant 21 July 2018

 

 

What makes life worthwhile? What gets you motivated? What gets you up to face each day?

dawn1

What makes life worthwhile? What gets you motivated? What gets you up to face each day? These are interesting questions.

I myself cannot fully answer these questions, but I will attempt my best to answer them.
Because I must, I must get up. One has to earn a living. One has to earn an income to live. Life isn’t cheap: There is a rent/mortgage, food, clothing, and bills to pay. However, there must be more to life than being chained to the “nine to five” existence; there must be more to life than “Working for the man.” For me, writing and socializing fill the gap. I love to write. It has become my passion. I like to socialize as well. I am not good in a strange crowd, but over time I become more social. I am shy at first, but outgoing once I get to know people.

I like to meet a lot of different people from a lot of different places, and with a lot of different experiences in life. Everyone of us is unique. We all are different: We come from different classes, different cultures, different upbringings and different experience. It is a joy to learn about where people are at in life, where they have been and what their hopes and dreams are for the future. I get a kick out of learning about the people who come into my life.

I am a writer, so I write about what I know, and about what I like. Sometimes I write about what I have learnt and what I have experienced. I write about how I am doing or how I am feeling. I write about whatever comes to mind. I never really know what I will write until I sit down and start to write. Sometimes it is a topic.

I usually start with the topic on the opening line of my verse. It is still a wonder sometimes where I get my ideals; although, I try not to over analyze my writing procedure too much. I just accept that ideas come to me and I write about whatever idea has entered my brain – It’s as simple as that – no great mystery.

My partner helps get me motivated to face each day. My partner, in this case, is also my best friend. He loves me, and I him. I know he would never intentionally hurt me. This was a key in my search for a companion. We love each other unconditionally though. I accept him and he accepts me. It is why we rarely argue. We have never gone to sleep angry. We’ve always ironed out our differences before going to bed. It makes getting up in the morning easy.

So, these are the reasons that life is worthwhile, getting up is easy, and they are the things that help me face each day.
—Robert Confiant 7 July 2018

On writing ideas

I am never too sure where my ideas originate.

When I need to write, when I must write, I find it difficult to do so sometimes (most of the time). I realized that when I am not pressured, like when I take transit, my writing flows easier and without restraint. It is easy to write.

I have often wondered where I get my ideas.  Most often it is triggered from a thought, or my experiences, or observing my surroundings.

I am a city kid. Grew up in a large Canadian city. On those rare occasions when I would travel into the countryside, “God’s country,” we called it. The get away was a great inspiration for me. I am not too sure whether it was just the natural environment I was in, or the recharge and relaxation, or the scenic view, or a combination of these factors; however, being outdoors was a great inspiration for me.

I love writing. It a strange profession though, some days the writing comes easier than others. I am just glad I rediscovered it again. Sometimes, I wish I had never stopped writing. I found my passion.

This passion fulfills my life.
—Robert Confiant 15 May 2015

P.S. Two posting in one day. Go figure.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. Currently, I am on the fourth book of The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, although I have read other novels between each book. Gone are the days I could read a whole series in one sitting. I cannot even binge watch on Netflix without a bit of a break (after two episodes, I need a break). Anyway, the point is I am reading a lot.

The Maze Runner Complete Series

It amazes me how authors come up with these stories. As an author myself, I have a better insight as to how these ideas manifest themselves. Authors write what we know, what we like, what we observe, what we think or feel, or believe; we write what gets triggered by those around them, or the environment, or their interactions with others; or we write about our dreams/nightmare. When one writes, almost anything can trigger an idea. Reading, I found, can be a valuable asset when one is a writer.

Reading can trigger writing ideas (what ifs scenarios). Reading re-enforces grammar. Reading introduces one to different writing styles. And reading can be enjoyable for its own sake.

Reading is fun; reading is good.
—Robert Confiant 21 Jun 2018

Wasting time playing games

I haven’t done much writing lately. I don’t have a reason. I have distracted myself with mundane tasks. I bought some new gadgets. I have been distracted with those. I feel like I have wasted my time.

I should be writing or learning French, or something more productive. Well at least I still found time for reading.

I have been reading Timothy Findley’s Famous Last Words. He was an interesting writer. He was fond of writing facts with a fictionalize narrative. In Famous Last Words, he wrote about Charles Lindbergh, Count Galeazzo Ciano, Rudolph Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and the fictional character – Hugh Selwyn Mauberley who plot to establish a government with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as head of state in the 1930s and 1940s. The book also references Ezra Pound and the Grand Elysium Hotel with mention of some of its famous guest. I read this back in 1990 but re-read it this week. I am almost finished. I have been reading it on the bus. You might say, “I have been savoring it.” It is an older book but one worth re-reading. I have been enjoying it more the second time around because I am more familiar with the historical aspects and characters of the book.

I have a new game plan. Because I have so many interests consuming my time and because I have been negligent with some of these interests over others, I have decided not to try to do a bit each day but to divide each day to a certain task – this is especially true for writing and learning French. I plan to spend a least two days a week for these two goals.

I get squirreled or dory-ed (as in the dog sees a squirrel in the middle of playing or chewing a bone and the movie about the forgettable fish).
—Robert Confiant 17 June 2018

Laughing through trying and difficult times

I just completed Lindsay Wincherauk (“Seed”) “Driving in Reverse – the life I almost missed.” What a compelling read; it’s witty, sarcastic, and very funny. The style of writing is different than I am usually used to – very back and forth-y; a unique style of writing – very much characteristic of its writer.

Driving in Reverse - TLIAM

If you cannot laugh at trouble, there is something wrong. My laughing during very difficult times is what aided me through them. I know, it seems strange to make jokes and laugh during very trying and difficult times in life but laughing certainly helps one get through them. I cannot not explain it, but it does help one to cope and to keep one’s sanity intact.

Like the author mentioned above, I have experienced many trying and difficult times. I have cerebral palsy a dis-ablility (sic) which affects mainly my legs and which I cannot hide. I stood out from the crowd. As a kid, this made things difficult at times. I wasn’t always accepted. I didn’t always fit in. Luckily, I lived in the projects. The kids there did not care. It was the other kids at school that made things more difficult. As I aged, I was teased by children – they made fun of the way I walked or pestered me on why I walk so funny. I usually just ignored them but sometime the teasing stung – I was hurt; even until today, the kid teasing can still hurt; I guess some scars just run too deep.

When I hit my teens and it became time to decide which areas of high school course I wished to pursue for my career path some teachers stirred me on the easier path because they believed I could only do so much. These “professionals” only wanted me to be more realistic about my career path, looking back on it now. I see that they had my best interest at heart and at the time, I did follow their advice. When I returned to school seven years later to upgrade for university. I proved to myself that I could do it. Although, my success at university wasn’t that great; I should have pursued a writing or social science field instead.

I did continue with my education taking computer programming which allowed a six and a half years stint in the IT field before the bubble burst and I could not get a job if my life depended on in (which it did).
I am a survivor and I am not ashamed to start over, or at the bottom. I landed a secure government job. It was nothing fancy, but it was stable, and it allowed lots of free time to resume my writing. The re-introduction to writing saved me. Writing made my life joyous. I found my passion. I found my goal. If one must do something in life, one should find one’s passion; discovering one’s passion makes all the difference.

I used to write when I was in my mid-teens but gave it up at twenty-two. I suffered from depression, and as a result, my writings were very dark. Unfortunately, I no longer have these writings – unfortunate because it would have been interesting to go back now that I do not suffer with depression as much and I can handle going back to review the writings without getting depressed again. Oh well, I guess losing these writings was meant to be. I rediscovered writing about ten years ago. At first, a lot of my writings were amateurish. Am I there yet? Not likely, but I have improved immensely over the years – every year I see improvement.

Look, most of us have it hard in life. No one ever said that life would be easy. Like Seed said (and I am paraphrasing here), “If you can survive difficult times in life with the person you are (the “ME” as I say) intact, if you can be happy, if you can find that which makes you happy, if you can love yourself, then that is everything you’ll ever need.” I concur. I have had my share of difficulties. I may not be a perfect person, but I think I am a good man – I try to treat others as I would like to be treated. I found that which makes me happy. My life is good. What more can one ask for?
—Robert Confiant 2 June 2018

The demons in our lives

We all have demons in our lives. We all have our peak points and our low drops.

Driving in Reverse - TLIAM

I am currently reading: Lindsay Wincherauk “Driving in Reverse: The life I almost missed.” It is a fascinating story. In the story, the author discusses “Vices.” We all have them. My biggest is drinking. Most of the time, I am a happy drunk, but alcohol (beer specifically) magnifies my mood. If I am in a good mood, then l feel better, if sad then I get more depressed, and so forth…

The “demons of our lives,” I have made poor choices; I have hurt people (never intentionally, but I have). I act on my emotions (sometimes I still do, although I have curved this as I have aged). My emotions betrayed me leading me to make poor decisions. I am better at this today.

My drinking has led me to act poorly toward others, but mainly I have hurt myself (physically, by falling down a lot – cerebral palsy and drinking don’t mix well). As I said, other than lower my inhibitions and acting on my feelings, the harm that results is usually self-inflicted. Although, once it a while I have unintentionally cause hurt in others. My actions cannot be undone. I could only ask forgiveness and move onward in life.

I know all about the highs and lows in life. I suffered from depression earlier in life. For the most part I am over it, although one never fully recovers from depression. It occasionally rears its ugly head – I have had bouts of depression, but I have learnt methods of dealing with them when I eventually realize I am experiencing a bout of it – it takes about a week to come to this realization and I just do the opposite of what I am feeling. For example, I get up instead of sleeping in; I go out instead of shutting in, etc. I curve my drinking, “Hello coffee shops.”

I have recently curved my drinking. I do so only if I go out. Usually, once every other week, or so, I feel better for it. I cut back because I am hoping to get healthier and the medicine I take to help me walk better is hard on the liver – I didn’t want to add to it.

We all have our demons. I have spent most of my life in reining them in. I have had some success. I also do not let guilt overwhelm me.
—Robert Confiant 30 May 2018