The short stuff is a dead end

It occurs to me, in a moment of reflection, that the many times I submitted to various publications over the last few years–the faith-based ones and the literary/fiction ones—came up fruitless.

Except a few publications would see my work, but I don’t have the resources for it. Nobody came to my aid this time.

Frankly I’m tired of trying. That means I won’t need to write about my movements in regards to writing anymore. This means this post is my last. But it does mean there are several other blogs I have started last month, where I will be writing.

So long but hello again. I am joining a monastery that has access to the internet and a laptop. There I will be a writer/blogster-writer and chant away.

The short stuff

I don’t like promoting my own work. That’s the way I am. I like doing the writing and would leave the marketing to others. So, I’ve been published in magazines, websites and newspapers that don’t require me to promote my work.

Back in the day when I was doing writing jobs, someone said to me that I should write a book. I was friendly towards such suggestions because in my mind that was what I was going to do. So I explored my fiction writing first before seeking out publishers and found out my ability at that stage.

When I got a grasp of the big picture of what is entailed in publishing I realized that I don’t like doing self-promotion. As I said, that’s how I am. If I was a professional sports player in another life, I would play the game, not promote myself.

This leaves me where a blog of mine a few years back started off. That blog was following my movements on writing short stuff, the articles, the items, the one paragraph devotions, and the short stories. In this pursuit, I may aim in vein, but writing the short stuff is who I am as a writer.

Choices

What one needs to remember, and that includes myself, is that film producers usually require “spec scripts” or scripts written with the intent of soliciting work.

That may come as a shock.

I’d sooner have my original story made for the big screen, but it does not work that way I come to find out.

What this means for the independent-minded writer is that he or she has to work for a producer if their spec script is approved of.

This means a writer writes what the producer needs as the producer has certain products they will produce. Not everyone does horror and science fiction. Not everyone is your thing, but some may be more up your ally.

This may leave any writer asking the same question: should one go ahead and write film and television scripts for that producer? These are choices one has to make.

 

Back to Dante. Yeah!

The experience of reading Dante’s Inferno made me think that the original Star Wars trilogy of books is a lighter read–for escapism and a lightness of step–compared to the heavy, hellish, grotesque imagery in Dante’s Inferno.

Having read it, I transfer my reading of Dante’s Inferno to my experience of watching the hellish Revenge of the Sith years ago.

Revenge of the Sith is not something to really enjoy like the first Star Wars trilogy. Like Inferno, it’s about a descent into hell, literally and figuratively, depending on the story.

But both make interesting points so are worth a read and a watch.

I have two translations of Dante’s Inferno. The first, which I have read, is eloquent and sometimes difficult, not an easy read. The second translation, which I am reading, is readable. The readable translation is the one I would pick over the eloquent translation because I want to follow what I am reading every step of the way. The introductions of both books are useful in their own ways.

Imagination

In terms of my writing projects, like fiction, I love writing from my imagination the most. It may a purely imaginative work without anything observational (apart from the basic structure perhaps), experiential, or from one’s home truths. It’s purely from the mind. Maybe I would look to see how I could include my home truths as well, if it fits.

Foundations

In terms of my writing projects, in contrast to writing jobs, they are pretty much in limbo, but are finding their way into the light slowly.

I can come up with a zillion ideas, but being confident with my foundations is what my fiction and writing should be about.

Foundations is what I call my truths. My personal truth, spiritual truth, emotional truth and human truth and my writing can be based on these. These truths are for the purposes of writing. They are not universal truths, but what makes this writer tick.

Not always usable, though, because good inspiration can strike and become an article or blog post, irrespective of personal truths.  But in terms of writing projects, writing from the foundation up is where I’m at.  Foundations can even go deeper–to the deep core material of a writer.

Dante makes me think

Six parts to read of Dante’s Inferno, having read a further five parts today, so am closing in on the target.

The main thing I gathered from today’s reading is how evil distorts humanity, bends it out of shape, manifests in all sorts of contortions from what is good.

The reading today brings into focus the existence of evil and the origin of evil being Satan himself.

Dante has made me think. I have heard the question before. Why did God allow evil? But when one is affected by the distortions of sin, the question is how does one get back into shape? Therefore, spiritual need outweighs theological questions.

I keep on thinking because of Dante. When in need there must be an answer for that need, not ever spiraling out of control questions that may breed dissatisfaction to the needy.

I think again. In the end, God gives us what we need to overcome evil and the theological questions pale in significance. Spirituality should deal with the basic needs of humanity because humanity can be bent out of shape. But God has provided the way out if we take that path.

Heavy in small, but memorable, doses

Been a week away from reading anything. Haven’t read Dante’s Inferno for a week. It concerns me because I should be reading something every day nearly.

A week is too long absent from a book. But, alas, there is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to rest from reading.

Predicting in a week I’ll be back to the book and from there on to the finish line–when the book is finished.

Reading books is interesting, but it can also take it out of you. Inferno is ‘heavy’ in the sense it’s about lost souls in hell and Dante is giving a commentary on it. His commentary is sometimes caustic though I know it’s sort of humorous because he meets people he disliked in hell. Dante is also very serious about what’s going on in the underworld–it’s horrific.

On!

Inspiration:

‘Whoever, fameless, wastes his life away,

Leaves of himself no greater mark on earth

Than smoke in air or froth upon the wave.

So, upwards! On! And vanquish labored breath!

In any battle mind power will prevail,

Unless the weight of body loads it down.

There’s yet a longer ladder you must scale.

You can’t just turn and leave all these behind.

You understand? Well, make my words avail.’

[Inferno, Dante Alighieri, Canto 24:49-57, translated by Robin Kirkpatrick, Penguin Classics]