Monthly Archives: May 2012
Shandre Wintrell was a genius. He’d been informed of this by his therapist shortly after his I.Q. test. He always knew though, especially with his thought patterns. There was never a true straight line of thought, but often scattered and web forming; catching ideas and hypotheses only he could understand because he already drew the lines.
With the best intentions he wanted to use his genius to the betterment of the world. A savage war had begun in the middle east which had struck a chord with Mr. Wintrell. I will join the military, He thought in a particular genius moment of thinking. He came to this conclusion of thought after initiating it with a theory on war and the weapons we use in such. From this the lines went to our technology, then the training one receives in the service; the tactics the enemy employs for their training, and how we go about strategically implementing our resources from our men to the technology used in smart bombs. It was a rather simple solution; him joining the cause would only benefit the best nation in the world.
I’d get in much better shape too, He thought. Often the only dialogue Mr. Wintrell participated in was within his mind. It was a shame he didn’t clearly outline his plans to his therapist; he was a genius though, and knew that she would attempt to foil his plan with statements of insanity or manic depression.
I would be able to investigate the training, show my intelligence, specialize in weapons, and eventually develop the best course of offense and the ultimate peace keeping weapon. He smiled thinking his thoughts. A parade followed where instead of him being seated high and celebrated; his device was, as he marched along side his fellow men. It will be a great day.
Shandre Wintrell was a genius. He went to the recruiting office and spent particular time paying attention to which service he would join to better maximize his benefit to the world. The Navy had ships, My device isn’t a ship, he thought. The Marines were more specialized, My device is broad, he thought sending this to the side. He rested on the Air Force believing airplanes may be necessary to deploy his device. There were shadow projects of high intelligence the Air Force often initiated as well, which would be his ticket to getting the idea recognized.
The psychological exam was easy enough to pass. He signed the papers and went to his Therapist appointment. She was worriedly waiting for him. In the past five years she had gotten to know him he had never been late for a session.
“Sorry for being late,” he said walking confidently as the newest member to the Air Force.
“Do you mind me asking why?” She asked, comfortable now that he sat in front of her.
“I took a path not even I had thought I’d ever go down.” He said sitting, but with a more rigid stance than usual.
“Why would you never go down this path?” She asked with file in hand ready to make any additional notes. Today they were to be re-evaluating his treatment plan for his release from the program.
“Because it leads off the way. It takes me to a place I don’t recognize. While going from A to B, it isn’t normal to go to point F first. A point that is off the plain of where we need to be. Today I did that, I went from A to F and was fascinated with the perception change. It was a moment of clarity everyone deserves from time to time.” Mr. Wintrell divulged.
“Very good.” She smiled.
“The best part is, it got me here. I made it to my goal, though slightly behind schedule but with a gained sense of reality.” Shandre was certainly proud to have cleverly told her exactly what he was doing. It was better that she agreed. The rest of the session went as usual, while he still thought on the bus ride to base. He’d get off of the bus and run into the barracks go through intake, place a pornographic magazine in his bags just to seem normal; a minor infraction. Then he would be in his sleeping quarters purposefully clumsily getting his things together while the Drill Sergeant screamed at the other recruits. They would be called to formation when he would show as the best dressed with each seam aligning perfectly, shirt blousing as picturesque, while being berated for being too perfect.
His therapist finished with him. “See you next week.” She couldn’t actually say good luck, though he knew he told her exactly what was the next step. He played along with her actions.
“See you then,” he laughed at her cleverness.
Shandre boarded the bus as Recruit. Fascinating already, he began making notes. His pornographic magazine smartly settled into the bottom of his bag to make it appear as if he were trying to sneak it in. He left his hair go knowing the hair dresser, there, would gain a sense of worthiness from cutting his hair upon intake. The bus departed as he happily began way to fulfill his destiny. It was aggravating though, that the others on the bus were talking. He didn’t care why anyone else had joined, or where they were from. Everyone was supposed to be wearing meek expressions of fear on their face as they journeyed to a place unknown. Shandre perfected this face and wore it proudly, though the irritating leather seat plucked at his simple nerves.
A man boarded the bus and began shouting orders, adding substance to his ideas and fulfilling what was meant to happen. Rushing out of the bus with hidden porn in hand along with a few other personal belongings; this was going perfectly. He received the haircut he knew he would and smiled knowing he had fulfilled the dreams of his hair dresser. Getting to barracks he purposefully stumbled around his bag of items to make his bed and dress in uniform. Playing his game, he hadn’t noticed everyone was already lined up and at attention. The Drill Sergeant approached.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing recruit? I say fall in, you fall in.” He pushed Shandre backward.
“I apologize sir,” Recruit Shandre responded.
“You apologize! You apologize!” Two other Drill Sergeants that had been busy screaming at the recruits in formation ran toward Recruit, screaming as if they were in pain. This was not quite the way it was meant to go, so he gave into defeat and attempted to fall in.
“Where do you think you’re going! We’re talking to you!” The others screamed in his ear making it hard to hear exactly what was happening. They’ll apologize, Shandre thought, once they know why I’m really here.
The yelling continued. Their bodies were pushed up against Recruits knocking him back and forth while the first Sergeant demanded answers.
“You think you don’t have to follow orders?” He asked bug eyed, spit lapsing his lips.
“No sir, not my intentions.” One of the other Sergeants now stood on the bunks rattling the metal. He grabbed Recruits bag and threw it on the floor scattering the contents, kicking the notebook and shredding the clothes.
This happened to everyone. It was part of the game. Why was he there? He was a genius, but why did he join the ranks as a recruit? How was his plan not working? There was a silence within him. A hollow voice filled him, the one from years past. The one that got him to Therapy in the first place. She was the genius. She was the one that got him to this place. She was the one that wanted to take control now she was in position to. He didn’t want to fight her but thought better with the recommendations of his Therapist. A jolt of pain to his body released him from the reigns and allowed her to take over.
When he woke his face was unrecognizable; blue and swollen. His hands bloody with broken fingers and ripped fingernails. He was alive, behind bars, and back in control. The hollow voice of the women laughed, happy to have played a trick on him. He sat in pain. I’m a genius.
You’re about as smart as a man named Shandre Wintrell; the stupid fool.
Exercise: Write a story about a character whose imagination is taken over with an obsession– and obsession with an idea, a tale, a vision — that determines the way in which your character lives his or her life, and acts out the forward movement of your story.
With every day that passes called off from work; I simply do nothing. I’ll watch youtube and type away at my book from seven years ago, and groan over my unsuccessful writing. I realize that while I write to write and tell a story or five twisted into a way it only makes sense to me; I could really avoid some of this agony by following ten different things.
1. Stop Reading “10 best ways to…”
Being subscribed to multiple news letters there’s always a ten best, ten things, or ten miracle secrets, I always wind up reading. What’s terrible about this is there are many commentaries which make me feel inadequate. For example one I read recently on e-book marketing talks of the “Dead” model of books; “This is an example of a dead book. The author only receives five downloads a day, only one paid download every other day. This merely results in a negative profit. More likely causes could be the writing isn’t captivating…” I wish I had sales like that! While these spawn good ideas that I painstakingly try to copy it only ever leads to more agony.
2. Stop spending my entire day off, writing.
So my muse, Hemingway, said a true writer writes everyday. Well I certainly do, but on my days off I seem to do nothing but leave my chair to smoke a cigarette or grab another beer. While sometimes my imagination is flowing and captivating, I only re-write what I wrote the next day resulting in a horrendous cycle of not-getting-anything-accomplished.
3. Stop staring at Statistics
While statistics are a good way to help formulate a snap shot of my writing performance, staring doesn’t make a difference. Punching numbers into a calculator doesn’t increase my odds, or ever make me feel any better. I sometimes literally stare at the bar graph or line chart and wonder why it continues to dip back to ZERO!
4. Stop trying to find a good place to write, and just write!
Searching for a good place to write only seems to take up more of my time that I could be spending writing. While location is important to inspiration, searching for a location along the beach is nearly impossible. I could stop in at Hillcrest sit at a cafe and write, but then my eyes are drawn to the men around me which inevitably leads to my discovery of the bar. Then, well, it’s all over from there. Thanks Hemingway.
5. Stop thinking of things I can buy when I don’t have the resources to buy
In a day I will get bored with writing or just demand a break from it. Then I begin to play with gadgets on my computer, all leading to things I could buy to “help” me out a bit. I need business cards, a good website, a nook, and more books on the topic of writing. I don’t have money for those sorts of things. I promise myself I will invest the money I make from my writing into those items when I begin making money. Is that wrong? Well, not going to happen for a little at least.
6. Spread out my time
Don’t worry about just my book. I have other platforms I need to continue to use. I hate getting emails from Examiner.com stating I’ve lost my status of “premier article presenter” if that even exists. While I have a big project in front of me, rewriting my old works for the release of my latest book, I can’t forget about those little side projects.
7. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
While appearing as a modern day Bo Radley might seem fun and twisted; there is nothing exciting about it. A hermit I can call myself. Approaching three months that I have been in San Diego and I barely know the names of anything around here, only the streets and highways I take to work. While worried about spending too much money, which I always seem to do, there are plenty of free things to do.
8. Pick up another lesson in Grammar
Folks, I believe I have said it since day one, but Grammar KILLS ME! I love to use comma’s and apostrophe’s where they aren’t really supposed to, go. (<-HAHA, get it!) Maybe if I took a small break from writing a thousand hours of my day away I could pick up a few valuable lessons in Grammar.
9. Stop stressing about my Query Letter
I literally have a thousand versions that all sound good to me. Randomly, while writing The Unexpected, I ‘ll get yet another idea for it. I then open up my choice of fifteen different word documents all containing hooks and bodies of query letters. Practice makes perfect, but right now. I don’t need to be worrying about the Query letter when I have all of these other things gathering.
10. Drink more beer
Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I should be drinking less. Though in moments of writers block or severe writer’s agony the icy cold refreshment usually represents a way to relax and just write. While I will spend the entire next day editing what I wrote while drinking beer at least I wrote. This is no way to go about writing though, as I should learn again from Mr. Hemingway and his friend Fitzgerald.
To sum things up. I need to let my craft be my craft while honing in on some of the not-so-fun aspects such as grammar. I will get there but maybe in the mean time I could take some of my own advice as listed above.
The memorial day parade is about to begin! Looking out of my bedroom window I see there are no firetrucks lining up in front of my house. I’m used to watching them polish the bells on the front, and I think of myself crying, tied to the front of one; as my dad always says that’s where I should be when I cry. Buttoning the last button to the jean jacket my mom bought me at the thrift store, with patches from the navy, I smile because I’m going to look just like the army men that fire their rifles. I could almost pass as a real army man! Minus the navy patches. Looking to the right I see the balloon carts coming around; which means the parade is almost here! I’m missing a hat, but I know I have my camouflage hat hanging in the closet. Looking in the mirror, I know I don’t quite look like the army men that fire their rifles, but I put the hat on. They wear their camouflage and their boots. Boots! and gloves! My dad’s army boots are just in the attic, I’ll get them, and I have my black winter gloves; they will pass as Army issued!
Though the boots let my feet slide around in them, I proudly lace them up. Now I have everything that I need to stand at the side and collect as many shells as I can, before my brother gets them all. Whenever we play army he always wins because he has more shells than I do, so he kills me before I even have a chance! I’m going to get him in the next round! I can hear the bands playing so I grab the plastic American flag I got for free two days ago and walk out the front door to join my family. The band walks by with thuds from the drum that course through my chest, then the fire trucks! All so awesome and loud! Next I hope to see what I have been waiting for. I hear them. Their boots make a sound much like my boots made clambering down the stairs. I can’t wait! I hope it’s them! Here they come! It is them! The army guys!
“lept…lept…lept, rye lept” I hear the first man demand. They all follow his every word! So serious they walk by, but I get the most excited! I wave my flag. I know I’m going to be them one day. I want to hug them all! Their little kids, my age, have to stay home while they fight the war in the gulf. The gulf war is big, and I try to follow everything that’s going on, but that’s tough work for me. I smile, no I grin, no, I stretch my lips as far as they will go across the width of my face because, well; these guys are awesome! (Seriously this part brings tears to my eyes…ugh!)
They walk past, but I follow. “lept…lept…lept, rye lept.” my leader demands so I follow him. The parade goes right with the road, but these totally cool guys go straight into the circle, headed towards the American flag. Dodging baton twirlers I too head to the center, though a bit off cadence. I think it was cadence my dad said, I’m such a cadet, I think that’s the word I learned at West point last summer. My mom follows me as my dad is talking to a few guys outside of the post office. She’s talking to a lady with a camera hanging off of her shoulder and a notepad in hand. I don’t care though, the volleys are about to happen! The men line up as the lead man orders them to follow him.
“Ready,” he instructs. There is a distinct slapping of wood and metal as the totally awesome, I’m going to be them someday, men grab the rifles and bring them to their shoulders.
“Aim,” the commander instructs. People everywhere are covering their ears! What! I can’t wait to hear that sound of gunfire. The men change their stance, spread their legs and bring the butt of the rifle to their shoulders. Not quite sure what they are aiming for I simply just watch them.
“Fire!” The guns go off at different times but so close together it creates a sound I often try to duplicate. I stare. They know how awesome they are, right? I can’t wait to be just like them. It’s going to be so awesome fighting all of the bad guys, and having a gun! Following them to each stop, I have clearly collected more shells then Josh, my brother.
The very next day my mom wakes me with a newspaper in hand. “Look,” she says, “you made the front page.”
I look at the paper and see how awesome I looked standing there, waving my flag just as my role-models came into sight. But then again I’m sad.
“Where are the army guys mom?” I ask. I wanted a picture of them, not me.
“You are the little army guy.” She re-assured me. I smile and look at the picture again. I am an army man, I think.
[Okay, seriously don’t ask me why, but this friggin memory just brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it was the innocence in my thinking, maybe it’s because I never attained that dream. Either way this shit is sad! lol God Bless our Troops!]
Exercise: using the present tense, write an early memory in the first person, before you were ten. Don’t interpret or analyze. – The fiction writer should be able to present a narrative without nudging the reader or in any way explaining what she has written