Blog Archives

The Way of Peaceful Creation

The Way of a Peaceful Creation

Hearing creation stories always thrill me as what was once a speck of a thought could turn into such a huge impact on the society and culture we find ourselves. These stories span more than the traditional Judaeo-Christian Adam and Eve, or even the Iriquois’ turtle and

airoquios20creation

photo via marcinequenzer.com

mother, but even span into ideologies and such as is read in Invitation to Peace Studies the beginnings of modern “nonviolent action” (122). This is further developed by Henry David Thoreau in his essay on “Civil Disobedience.” Within both of these sources there is an underlying call to action that can’t be ignored. When powers at hand are getting out of control it is up to the people to stand up in nonviolent action against the threat that is either being imposed or quietly setting up ambush.

Treating nonviolent action as a method of war is important to the rationalization and justification of it. Many people unfortunately believe that we can not live without war or violence and that humans are programmed for it, though war and violence are a means to death. Taking the non-combative course is necessary but must still take on some characteristics of war. So much energy and time is devoted to running scenarios and planning for the worst and best scenarios, and nonviolent action requires the same if not a little less of this. If this sort of discourse was spoken more often in real war situations we would certainly see a much more rational means to an end of the war. The act of war isn’t reserved for whole countries violently fighting interstate wars but is also standing up against an institution or program, law, etc. to positively affect our own situations on behalf of humans and their rights.

A population growing restless is a threat to the order and governance of a government that is why peaceable solutions need to happen when these arise. Gene Sharp “described 198 different nonviolent actions used in dozens of nonviolent campaigns across diverse societies and eras” (122) but perhaps some of these nonviolent campaigns came too late. As is later pointed out in the text some of them moved on to actual wars within only a few years time. Then, I have to wonder how many heard the call to start speaking out in a positive light to try and quell the storm rather than waiting. Thoreau explains it just as I’d imagine that “they will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret.” The regret paints the first sign of a brushed off obligation that one holds. The idea of waiting means they already have a goal in mind but have only time between them and that goal. Waiting is sometimes something that’s inevitable but actively waiting spells a totally different story.

The truth that is making the distance between action and inaction lesser is the availability of facts and methods. “Never again will people be…faced with inventing tactics on their own” (122) to combat what ails us as a nation. I have waited long enough to have the guilt to begin weighing on me. If I’m getting discouraged because no one is standing up and saying “Enough!” then maybe it’s time someone like me does. There is enough good intention in this world that could strengthen the pleas and add formula and further planning to such an outcry. There is a lot that goes into organizing and pulling off such a strong feat with building momentum. But as with all creation stories it could be your spark that starts the new beginning.

movement-for-the-starting-of-everything

Works Cited

Thoreau, Henry David. “Civil Disobedience.” Blackboard. Sdccd.blackboard.com. 1849. web.2 Oct. 2016

Wood, Houston. Invitation to Peace Studies. Oxford. Oxford University Press. 2016.

The phrase America has forgotten

*please note all links contained within are to supporting documents of statements made*

Photo By: Mike Mozart via Flickr.com

Photo By: Mike Mozart via Flickr.com

It is impossible to turn on the news without hearing some absurd happening within communities of these united states. Trivial things turned vicious, ignorance turned deadly, and tolerance turned intolerant. The number of stories have increased tremendously especially over the last 8 months. It seems as if there is something America has forgotten. A phrase, saying, and steadfast pillar of peace and tolerance; practice what you preach, treat others how you want to be treated, turn the cheek, or even bite the bullet. The amount of specific examples where this phrase or collection of phrases could have been used to promote peace is astounding. Following are a few examples.

Cops

In 2011 Florida state highway trooper Donna Watts arrested a Miami police officer who while driving a marked police car led her on a high-speed pursuit for over four minutes with speeds topping 120 mph on the highway. After the arraignment and judicial procedures the arrested officer lost his job. Though he broke the law, other law enforcement officers from 25 different agencies searched police archives (privileged information) to find her address and contact information in order to harass her.

If the other police men and women took a second and said, “practice what you preach,” they would have found no need to try and intimidate an officer who was actually doing what they are all sworn in to do. Maturity would have allowed this phrase to enter their minds before they reacted blindly. It also should have stood as a testament to the fact that they are not above the law. Of course there are many other current situations where this applies to the cops as well, so please, officers start asking yourself if you are practicing what you preach.

LGBT community and supporters

Photo by: Sushiesque via Flickr.com

Photo by: Sushiesque via Flickr.com

We all know the fight for equality has been difficult but has seen some amazing steps forward with the repeal of DOMA and Prop8, along with the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. The past few years have been great, there is still, however, a very real struggle underway. In some places the fight is going backward. Let’s think Memories Pizza in Indiana. They refused to make pizza for a gay wedding. It is their constitutional and living right to choose who they serve. If they decide they want nothing to do with it, try some other business, or think of some other cuisine. The backlash created for this family run business is sickening. If we allowed the phrase, “treat people the way you want to be treated,” to run through our minds this wouldn’t have happened.

No we don’t want to be looked down upon, or berated for who we are, so why would we do that to someone else. Just because their beliefs don’t align with what the rest of the world is trending toward doesn’t give us, the same people who only recently have made some serious milestones, the right to tear their business to shreds.

Those screaming RACISM!

It will be a very dark page in the history books when the stories of Ferguson, Garner, and many more hit them. It is a time in America when we can say that unfortunately racism still exists. It is with all of my heart that we can get this to go away, but it won’t if the reactions continue to be less than appealing. There is no need to shoot and kill an innocent officer because of the color of his skin. There is no need to attack and refer to all police as killers. If it weren’t for the police force we would be in a  world that stinks way worse than it does right now. So even in these rough times, when it seems there is new evidence being turned out about some other wrong doing every single day, we should be asking ourselves, can we “treat others the way we want to be treated?” Racism exists, yes, but we need to be able to come together and live life devoid of the ignorance that creates the terrible idea called racism. You may never know when you meet someone that’s racist, but as long as you hold true to yourself and let your light shine, you may never know who you converted away from it either.

The Racists

Photo by: Adele Booysen via flickr.com

Photo by: Adele Booysen via flickr.com

I don’t know your story, nor will I ever, but the color of ones skin doesn’t equal the caliber of human you may perceive them to be. In a clear, unaltered news story that recently came up a few Florida police officers were fired because of the slanderous way they talked about black people. Sure it can be easy to lump individuals together by a common feature, but you are doing yourself one of the worst injustices you can. Don’t be narrow minded and allow yourself to think, “treat others the way I want to be treated.” Who cares what your thoughts are or what you think of people. Do the most human thing and think for a second and treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. It is, after all, ignorance which breeds intolerance.

The Unyielding Religious

It doesn’t matter what religion you are, most religions preach peace and love. Yes there are certain abominations, but it is also up to God, Allah, or whatever god you pray to, to judge those in abomination. So keep that in mind when you want to judge someone for the way they are. Recently a lawyer in California, who claims to be Christian, posed a ballot that encourages homosexuals be punished by a “bullet to the head.” This is an extreme case, but in every day life you will run into someone who’s views or life you don’t agree with. It is already stated in the bible that you aren’t to judge anyone, but leave that for God. So why can’t you say to yourself a phrase taken from your book, the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12)

To Those crying No Immigration!

Recently President Obama went out of his way to pass a law that would allow illegal aliens to gain citizenship in the United States. This was a double edged sword. If the people didn’t meet all the criteria chances are they could be deported back to their country. Some of you reading this may be happy about that, but I ask you, where did you descend from? In 2013 only about 2% of Americans were native, which means your family came from somewhere else. We are constantly flooded with reports on how immigrants get a free ride, let me tell you this is false. Understandably there is concern about foreign criminals and such reaching our soil and staying, but the government has many practices in place to limit that from happening. So think about those families who want to come here and are willing to take the jobs you don’t want, along with another, just to make ends meat and support a family away from said criminal and brutal activity. Practice what you preach. If it weren’t for immigrants chances are you wouldn’t be here.

There are many groups that weren’t touched on here but the point of the essay is to increase the internal dialogue of everyone. This is America, home of the free. Of course there will people that don’t agree on one topic, life, religion, or creed. That’s the point. Take that and realize we are merging into a new era, a new generation, and the last thing we need to be guilty of is creating a hostile environment for our young ones, let alone our neighbors and ourselves. We are united with the respect of each living person, glorified in the knowing that we can live harmoniously together.

There will be times when the simple phrase, treat others as you would like to be treated, will go to the way side especially when someone threatens what we all stand for. An enemy of our rights. A true threat to the freedom that we have to be able to argue about such values. But when it comes to person to person, neighbor to neighbor, community to community we must stand united with a respect to each human to have their own thoughts, beliefs, life, and religion. This is America. These are our fundamental truths that we must not let pass.

May God Bless America!

Caleb A. Mertz

 

Of letting yourself go…in a bad way

Life is one amazing journey. Through the troubles, surprises, and successes we learn more about ourselves than any time prior to the now. So why, through these amazing experiences, is one still capable of letting all the success and pleasant surprises go, only to stand once again amongst a fist full of troubles? To be in the center of letting yourself go…in a bad way.

We have our goals and dreams in life that we pursue. All with flickers of hope that spawn creativity and inspiration. Though while through such we experience moments of despair and willingness to give up hope, once drove us to limits we’d never experienced. I write this post because I have a friend, remaining anonymous, who is an aspiring actor. He spent decent money to get himself in shape, amazing head-shots, and willingly gave time to local theater and independent film projects attempting to make his name. Day and night he worked, sometimes until five in the morning when he’d call to ask me if a certain sentence made sense or to simply feel out my emotional response to a reading. Most were amazing, others needed only slight improvement, but he continued to work. He followed his dream with a determination that I envied myself. His dream also brought him to the west coast, Los Angeles in particular.

I met up with him today, though he seemed busy. He just got off work and wished to do some manscaping before his boyfriend got home for the night. Always handsome, and always a good friend, I still blushed as he stripped to nothing to begin the process of trimming his chest and pubes. But as he did so, I noticed a great change in him. He no longer had a six-pack, which he bragged about constantly in the past. His hair wasn’t done, and his room in his apartment, which is in a great location by the way, was in near shambles. I turned away from him as the sight of an ass appeared and began looking around his apartment. There at his desk were old playbills, framed, on the wall, action shots of him on stage, and a notebook nearly opened with the amount of bills and unopened envelopes stuffed inside. Scattered around his desk were nearly fifteen 24oz. cans of Coors Lite and plates littered with Pizza Hut to-go packets of cheese and crushed pepper.

I began identifying a man that turned into a different version of himself. A man who became so obsessed with his boyfriend’s life he forgot what he was doing, and where he was going. I eventually touched on it with him after he showered and dressed a bit. He informed me that though his boyfriend made great money, his own bills were going untouched as the server position he held barely covered his half of the rent.

“I spend my days as a housewife then go into work around five,” he told me.

“Well,” I said looking specifically at the beer cans and the dirty plates, “not a very good one.” We laughed before he offered me a glass of beer which I happily accepted. It was a good time getting to meet up with him, reminiscing and finding out more of what’s happening in each others lives; both fallen in love, both happier than ever, and the part I didn’t tell him, both letting go of ourselves.

I found it true, and this incident proves none the other, that often advice to others is intended for the giver’s ear. Maybe we’ve seen ourselves in a similar situation, or currently are, but some tidbit of said suggestions can apply to one’s own life. I drove home from my visit with three hours to think about what happened to him and look at myself as well. I knew I always had a love for long drives, alone. It provides just enough distraction so as not to go off on a ridiculous tangent, but also enough quiet to provide the mind with an atmosphere conducive to self-reflection.

Change for the better takes longer than changes for the worse, it’s designed that way. Everyday conscious action reinforced with positive change results in a habit or thought pattern that will stand firm even when beginning to drift. Each day is a new day, each minute a new minute, taking advantage of this will yield greater results within ourselves. Finding a buddy to help along this journey is a great route as well, even if it is a blog or video blog.

Goals, determination, and clear understanding of our dreams will pull us from the times we begin to slide, if only we remind ourselves of them, then take action to achieve them. Letting go happens but it’s up to us to not let it happen and change the patterns that sneak their way into our lives affecting them as such.  Remember you are you, people love you for it, you should love you for it too.

 

 

finding some, inspiration

How’s life? A bar patron asks the manager at the restaurant I occupy. He smiles and goes off on a tale about the Padres. The guests smile and they begin to talk, I drift with a perfect beginning to my post.
Life is good. With the past few months of laxed writing practices, I am happy to say that I’m back! Not just back, but better than ever. In previous posts, in particular On a very different path, I take you along my road to recovery after a break-up… Welp, here I am, sitting in a restaurant while my boyfriend is in dance class.
My boyfriend, my FOUND inspiration, my new beginning. A life that, since he’s been in, has been utter bliss. I would tell u the story of how I knew one day I’d be speaking spanish, but that’d only bore you. Who cares about the young man feeling envious of the secret code being spoken around him? Desperate to break the barrier and understand what was being said, thus using bi-lingual packets to begin his learning. Who cares?
Now, I sit. I look around the restaurant. Only one other couple occupies the bar, but many have gathered to watch the fight between the Dodgers and the Padres. It is San Diego, after all. My Miller Lite is extremely lite, just as my wallet.
I present the only card that may be able to cover the price of two beers. If I succeed, I’ll have another and pay cash. If not, well, I have enough to cover and a nice tip as well.
I can’t help it! I think back to him. His smile, laugh, everything.
“¿Como estas?” A young couple asks, walking to the bar.
I know that: How are you?
Now the conversation goes a bit further. I understand! Not everything, but all things in steps right!?
It’s now within my scope to translate my best selling book, “With Thoughts of Jason” into Spanish. Why not broaden the scope of people that might be able to enjoy a book taken from my heart and soul?
My boyfriend is Mexican, and with that comes a sleu of, ahem, thoughts…yeah, thoughts. You see, my sister married a man from México, and well, he’s done some damage. So now, even with my boyfriend in the room with me, my mom doesn’t seem to accept that i’m dating a Mexican.

“Mom,” I say, “he’s my boyfriend, not just a friend,” I realize it might take her some time, well untill she’d meet him. At that point i know she’d fall for him as quickly as I have.

Well hey. Just wanted to give u all a heads up. I feel like life is taking a turn for something amazing, if u believe so as well be sure to like or follow my blog! I can’t wait to share more exciting things when it comes to writing, or stupid updates on the life that’s wielding my writing.

Thank you!
Caleb A. Mertz
http://www.calebmertz.com

Starving Artist Syndrome…A reality!

In a previously drafted post, Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?, I write about the intricate details going on in my life at that time. Over a year old I can’t help but to look back at that and realize how big a role it had played in where I am today. That syndrome, thought, and process never went away. I still had it. I yearned for it.

Here I sit in San Diego, California wondering what I’m going to do to pay all of my bills. Though I have a job, I am almost refusing to find a second because I want my writing to be my second job. I never came into writing with the illusion that I would be rich. I nearly dreamed of being in this situation (though I currently have it better than that dream!). I should have been picking up shifts at Top of the Market, where I work, over the past two days but there I sat writing. Working on my second book most of all.

You see, I forget about certain key elements sometimes. To stay relevant you have to be relevant. I promised my novel over a year and a half ago. Now I am reformatting, rewriting, and taking some serious jabs at myself while I delete pages at a time of irrelevant information. I won’t see any return on investment for a while, that’s if ever! However, this is my baby. I gave her life, 72,000 words of life. I must finish this novel!

I must finish this novel on an empty stomach though. It makes it tough, but I have my wine and cheap beer to help forget about it. Plus if I was truly starving there is always Ramen noodles!

Anyway, I just found it interesting that I wrote about this a while ago nearly depicting it as something that I would never do, and here I am! Maybe a little inspiration for you! Check it out. Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?

Thank you for reading,

Caleb A. Mertz

Onward! First stop Myrtle Beach

Three thirty in the morning I woke, after a 30 minute nap. It was pertinent that we be on the road by four in order to avoid some of the heaviest traffic in and around the cities at the busiest time of day. Watching the weather, it also looked like we would be driving through a snow storm just south of Philadelphia. It was said to be capable of 3-6 inches, and 8-10 near D.C. This could easily slow the progress, not to mention heighten the risk of driving making it quite dangerous. Behind that storm, and brewing just over Texas was a huge rain storm that easily took up five southern states. Nothing like driving through snow and rain for five days.  I looked around my dark room and saw the results of my packing. Love seat gone, now boxes piled upon Rubbermaid containers.

I jumped out of the comfort of my bed to make sufficient coffee to get me over the first part of the mornings drive. My heart was already racing in anticipation of the travel ahead. I filled the machine and pressed start before the noises above me signaled that the family knew I was awake. They would soon join me around the kitchen table to say their farewells. But I had to get moving with putting everything into the car. First I took the larger items, stopped to pour myself some coffee, then began taking out the odds and ends. For the most part everything was fitting together well. Mary, my sister who was going to be joining me on my journey, still wasn’t around. I hurried my already tired legs to the attic to see what she was doing.

Of course she was still sleeping! I finished loading the car with continuous vocalized prompts to “hurry up” towards my sister. Finally by 4:45 we were ready to rock. I said my farewells to an amazing man, and to my family before we started up the car in the brisk thirty-two degree weather. Once we began driving we both realized the comfort of a stuffed car. Seats were pushed almost all the way forward, there was no elbow space, and poor Mary had a bag under her legs, her computer bag, and her packed bag on her lap. I blasted some techno music from my CD’s the first hour, then encouraged Mary to grab the CD titled ‘I’m Somewhat Gangsta’ and put that in. It was more her style of music. I wanted to make her a bit more comfortable considering how much stuff she had weighing down on her.

Almost a full two hours passed before we had to make our first pit stop. Opening the doors reminded us of the freezing temperatures we were in. It was of no help to us that the wind was blowing harshly, beating against our faces. We went through Gettysburg, then Virginia, then Maryland, North Carolina, and then South Carolina. Following the route Google instructed us to go, it got questionable. We took an exit and found ourselves on some back roads. For miles there were abandoned houses. Randomly we’d see someone sitting on a chair out front of one of these houses, don’t worry, it still looked abandoned. Swamps lined the road with oak trees dripping Spanish moss. The sixty two degree weather encouraged us to roll down the roadways with our windows down. Only once to quickly roll them up when two dogs came running out to the car, next to yet another abandoned house.

Soon we had found a small Exxon. It was at the only developed corner we had run into the whole time in South Carolina. Walking inside, I wanted to be happy hearing the funny way they talked. It was tough due to their physical appearance. Just you know, not used to going out on the town. I smiled ear to ear anyway, which is when they all looked at me like I was the crazy one. I also didn’t have a full story to go along with my purchase, which alerted them that I was a foreigner to these parts. “Marlboro menthol lights,” I informed the lady I needed. She started talkin ta me. I rightly could hardlee unerstan wha she wa sayun. I smiled politely and gave her money. I think she gave up on me then, because she didn’t really have much else to say with her southern accent to a degree further than anyone could ever imagine.

We finally made it to our destination only an hour after my run in with the locals at the Exxon. Palm trees were more exuberant, red roads intersected and ran parallel, and the buildings were suddenly inhabited. Turning onto Ocean Boulevard was a treat, as it was lined with beautiful hotels, and entertaining shops. It was easy to identify this as a tourist or vacation spot. Palm trees lined the streets, and people walked lazily by the shops. The sky was a beautiful blue and the ocean happily reflected it. We got to the hotel and checked into the rooms. Mary, was on the sixth floor with an ocean view and small balcony. I was on the sixteenth floor in a corner suite. I was honestly hoping for more on my first suite visit, but it was still pretty neat. Hey I had a living room!

<<<The Decision: San Diego

<<<The Excitement: The Beginning

>>>The road, my sister, and Memphis Tennessee

>>>22 Hours to Las Vegas

>>>Las Vegas Please!

>>>The Hoover Dam then SAN DIEGO!

After the exploration of our rooms, I couldn’t stand the want for a nap and a beer. We went down to the closest gas station and picked up a case of beer. I had an exciting night ahead of me, and absolutely had to get my nap and a shower before I would face the town.

By the end of day one, I had excitedly navigated through the ninety five and seen some wonderful sights. I had a burning desire in my heart. It was there, pulsating, and making me shake. I couldn’t  have been happier to be there; homeless and living without a care.

The Decision: San Diego

Within every moment of our lives there are decisions that need to be made. Forks in the road in which you, the traveler, must decide which path to take. Small moments such as your morning coffee: homemade or Dunkin Donuts? To greater moments: college or vocation? Either way it is these moments that define us. They shape us. They create a unique story and perspective into who we are. It was in one of these simple opportunities when I had decided to move to San Diego.

I had  been afforded the wonderful opportunity to be in a relationship with a great guy for four years. In these four years I had found my strong ability to settle down. To change small habits of my own to fit what made him comfortable. To understand how best to address or go about handling situations with him. And to build a small tolerance to being alone all though he was off and out with his friends. Ultimately it was in this that I recognized my ability to establish longevity and common grounds. It was also in this where I had lost major parts of myself. The man everyone loved, the one that he had ultimately fallen in love with.

During this lovely relationship, I had been introduced to my friend Austin Stannius. (You have read about him before) Being as he’s in the Marines and stationed in San Diego, conversation often turned from our books to the fun that he was having out there. Weather, stories, and experiences had sounded like an amazing endeavor. I began to check out what was really going on out there. I fell in love with the pictures and the weather reports. I learned they had a football team, the Chargers, Coronado Island was a huge tourist attraction, and La Jolla hosted some of the finest restaurants in all San Diego. My interest was aroused. I had always wanted to go to the west coast but I had never truly looked into what it would be like.

On October 1st 2011, the lovely relationship aforementioned, came to the end it was destined for. Holding my head high as best I could I continued to work, read, smoke, and drink as usual. I began hanging out with friends to prevent myself from slumping into the looming depression. The nights I was forced to spend alone would be spent in solemn numbness. An occasional tear, or thousand, but I kept my thoughts from drifting. They would only feed the monster in the corner with the red eyes. Made of wisps of imaginary darkness heavy enough to drag one down, hold him there, and torture him there. A fight that would only end in surrender before the beast would hurl one into it’s dark cave, cold and lonely. I had to pretend it wasn’t there. It called to me everywhere and yet I had to keep on.

Before long, I was on a roll. Social life blossomed again, new friends and situations. People genuinely interested in me. Interesting people of which I couldn’t learn enough about. Friends who lent an ear, gave advice, offered living space, made me smile, danced the night away, enjoyed each others company so much there was no need for any television, and all around great people. There was a hitch. The decision had already been made. It was several weeks in the planning, but it was now time for me to move on. I had convinced myself of that.

It had actually been weeks. I knew of San Diego. I also knew of the constraints my work put on my quality of life and writing. Writing. That’s what I’d love to do. I wrote three books, two in the years I held a manager position, working 60-70 hours in a week. “What could I do if I had more time?

When I was a young boy, I always watched Emeril Lagasse cook. When I was old enough to get into a serving position, I wanted to work as a fine dining restaurant manager for Emeril Lagasse. A beautiful life goal right? I accomplished this. I loved it. But I then began to ask myself, What else? I don’t feel like that is the top of the ladder for me, but it was the top of that ladder in my life. What else can you do there? Stay – and be on top of that goal ladder and know you made it or, Jump! Jump to the next ladder that extends past this current ladder, gets you higher in the proverbial ladder maze of life.

Scary as the leap is it will prove worth it. Even if this one extends only fifteen feet above the last, I’m still further.

It is with this thinking that I chose to pick up and move everything to San Diego. Press the Re-set button. Bring my life lessons, experiences, and goals with me for a trip to the next big thing. Feb. 20th I begin my trip. I intend to stop at Myrtle Beach, Memphis T.N., the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Vegas. I will be taking pictures and posting as much as I can here from thoughts to fears, woes to victories, and scary to funny.

See you soon, and thank you for taking time to read this blog!

Caleb A. Mertz

>>>The Excitement: The Beginning

>>>Onward! First Stop Myrtle Beach

>>>The road, my sister, and Memphis Tennessee

>>>22 Hours to Las Vegas

>>>Las Vegas Please!

>>>The Hoover Dam then SAN DIEGO!

Is Location Important to Inspiration?

Could it be that the physical location of the author, writer, artist has a strong impact on their work? Is it the state of mind, frame of mind, or mental stability that produce works worth talking about? I’m not sure but I am more than willing to find that out for myself.

There are a million songs out there that have to do with break ups. A few thousand that refer to one being in love and the other not so, and a few more where the other is cheating. Regardless a situation as such is never good for one’s soul, heart, or drive/motivation. Could it be that this state of mind could create some of the most heartfelt poem, song, or soliloquy? Or would a refined  and renewed sense of life create a piece that encourages thousands of others through the same situation? This was only a simple example of how the argument of location versus mind comes into play. Is it possible that a new location, surroundings, view on life could stimulate a writer to create works of literature that could be read for years and generations? Much like our greats from the past (#Ernest Hemmingway)?

Hemmingway was a man of great emotional troubles. He was also a man that traveled often. Found himself in situations he wasn’t sure how to handle and later found a perfectly reasonable answer in his writing. One of his favorite things to do was talk about his travels. These travels inspired locations, landscapes, physical descriptions that allow the reader to piece together their own landscape roughly similar to what he had experienced. Were these places so special that he decided to write about them? Of course they were! Little towns, small cities, ports, all very important and of significance to Mr. Hemmingway. But then you have to ask yourself, especially if you are familiar with his works; What was his state of mind?

While Hemmingway was often apparently in feud with himself over a gal, he also was fond of absinthe. He loved himself a drink or two at any given point in the day. Each time he did this he made it seem as if it were a grandeur ceremony. Both examples show how the possibility stands that location and state of mind inspire writing. So while my writing feels stale and pungent, a good change of location may be all that I need to switch things up. Liven things a bit, add that extra spark. Even if it were to only be a mental thing, ultimately reverting back to a “state of mind.” Could a location as different from what we know as normal change the way we feel?

Every time that I used to visit Florida a flood of experiences waved over me. Though I was inspired to write, I was too enthralled with everything going on around me that I could not focus. I would type out a word or two and go and chase a lizard. A new world invited a threshold of new experiences, new views, no matter how miniscule. This is one of the reasons why I am packing up and moving to San Diego, California. I have a perfectly fine life here where I live in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. However, standing strong to my muse (Hemmingway) I am willing to try a change of scenery. A different view on life, new friends, new situations, and new surroundings. I have never been one to be okay with my life without trying to get to the Bigger Better Deal (BBD). I will obviously keep my blog, but I am anxious to see how much truth lies behind a location that inspires you to write. I mean, I am already writing. Only thinking of my future destination! Please check back to see where I stand with this philosophy, as mine change regularly based on my life situations.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you found some inspiration of your own.

Caleb A. Mertz

Sentence flow in…

The tables against the wall were only occupied by a single man playing on his laptop. The distance of the search was several miles, though the city was only a few blocks long. I had peered into every sidewalk window that I could. I made myself uncomfortable as I frantically searched for a place to sit with an outlet near by. The laptop doesn’t hold a charge anymore, so being completely wireless is impossible. The people watchers watched as I passed time and time again, going down different roads in my hunt.

I had a complex. I don’t spend much time in a city, so I wanted to experience it the best I could. I wanted to be able to hunch over my story while people passed, greeted, conversed, or glanced at me. I wanted people to see me sitting in a cafe, with the bold font across my screen “CHAPTER ONE.” I finally wound up where I had initially parked in a relatively busy part of Arlington Virginia’s Business District. Starbucks. They’re everywhere, yet I found my home here.

After ordering my venti iced quad caramel macchiato, I began to review my book THE UNEXPECTED. I decided to revamp my writing, after recently having the partial request denied and seeking feedback from a community of writers on webook.com. Something I noticed immediately was my over use of adjectives, sentence structure, and the constant start and stop of irregular sentences. I began breaking them apart. Since the man next to me was on a conference call, and speaking loudly I decided I could actually read the sentences out loud. Oh My Goodness! I rewrote the first sentence three times, the second twice. Then I read the third, and decided I could combine the third with the first. I HAD A BLAST! Next thing I knew I had a completely transformed initial paragraph. Something that portrayed emotion and feeling. What a rush when you can read something written three years ago in a different light. A different tone. A different sense of the beginning of the story. A renewed sense of joy for rewriting.

Sentence flow. Why haven’t I picked up on this before? I have been taking an on-line course of sorts through M.I.T.
(this is the link here)
which is helping me read and write a little better. The course is entirely free, and the book cost me maybe five dollars through Amazon.com. Pretty much it’s amazing. Definitely check it out! And here’s to happy (re)writing!!!!

As always comment, critique, but with construction in mind.

Caleb A. Mertz

I’m not asking for too much

It’s not often that someone reports on the down side of writing. I don’t mean the bad associations, but the artist’s pain that usually coincides with the writing. I have often found myself locked (literally) into a room with all but the light coming from my computer, pitched into darkness. Albeit the sun hasn’t decided to shine on this day. It makes me feel a bit better. When I can’t talk things out I can always express them in some sort of writing. When I can’t read others work because of my anxiety, at least I know I can write it out.

Often, just with any other artists work, pain, worry, anxiety, depression, and other horrible feelings circle around writing. I only hope that the writer has a way of letting this all out into the words artfully scratched across the screen.

Happy Writing,

Caleb A. Mertz