Creativity

A to Z 2013 : NOSTALGIA

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Childhood. I always remembered the phrase: “as a kid you always want to grow up, but when you do you wish you could be a kid again.” Okay, I’m not completely certain that is exact, but you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes kids try to grow up too fast. I think some don’t get to fully experience being young, whether by choice or forced (forced makes me think of those children beauty pageants that make me incredibly sick to my stomach). They can’t wait to have this profession or that (usually a cowboy or princess), can’t wait to drive, can’t wait to have a family; the aspirations changing through the years.

I can’t recall if I wanted to grow up fast or not. I know I wanted to be a cowboy, a cop, a private detective, and then a bounty hunter (are you seeing a theme here?). Then dreams of being an artist/writer of comic books and novels came about. I don’t think this meant I wanted to grow up any faster, but like I said I can’t recall my state of mind. My family would, but I haven’t asked them previously.

One thing I do know is that I can’t recall a lot of my childhood; just little blips. I see pictures my relatives will post, and I’ve absolutely no recollection of the event/time frame. We aren’t talking only pictures of when an infant to three years old, but where I seem to be ten or older. Not exactly sure why I can’t remember these events. People have tried to hypothesis a handful of reasons, most usually involving trauma.

Resistance is Futile

A good chunk of what I do remember, however, are times I wish I could revisit/relive. Some of my favorite memories revolve around my creativity. For example, I would make games for my brothers and I to play together. These games could involve paper, cardboard bricks, or whatever else I had access to.

The main building block... to many of these creations were Legos. I would use our coffee table to build an entire street of a town. Sometimes I would enact a movie for them, but other times we would play a game. The game had no real name really (that I recall), and it was a variant of one I made with G.I. Joes (we were all boys, so yeah).

I guess it was called Friday the 13th after the movies, because that was my premise. You had a character and you decided which location/house you wanted to be at in town. I’d then use cards, which were shuffled (every day I’m shufflin’), and lay them out face down in front of the locations. I think I sometimes allowed for a character move now and again, but once everyone was ready I would then flip up the cards one by one. Those that were inside the Lego house marked by a face card died. What killed them? You know... ghosts. It was a haunted Lego city no one moved out of... just moved a lot on the same street.

We all loved playing that game. Even the G.I. Joe version it originated from which used books as “cabins” and an “outhouse” was popular among them; the killing being dished out by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-esque Jason Voorhees.

Eventually the games got a bit more complicated; dice were added to the mix. One of my favorite games consisted of constructing a Lego base that was besieged by the Borg (of Star Trek origin, if you weren’t geeky enough). You had a limited amount of space you could move, and if you were engaged by a Borg you would “battle” by rolling the dice. Our characters got 2 or 3 lives before being assimilated. The other characters (I guess Red Shirts by all accounts) would only have one. It all played out like an epic movie. Trust me. I know. I was there!

The Brothers, The Brothers

Through the years, after (and during) all the sibling rivalry/fights, the four of us have gamed together; Magic: the Gathering, board/card games, but mainly video games. Once we all got our own places/families/lives we had a weekly designated Game Night (generally Tuesday evenings). My brothers would come over — their TVs and game systems in tow — and we would spend the entire night gaming together. This was usually the highlight of my week, and I’d like to think it was for them too. If someone couldn’t make it, we would get pretty huffy.

Like with all things losing its appeal, eventually attendance dwindled as life dictated, and eventually we all chose one system (Xbox) to play on. Soon everyone had the internet, were online, and could game together from home. Game Night was reborn!

Again, that too began to flux, to the point where now I may game with one of my brothers every few weeks. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t game as much, and two of my brothers don’t play on Xbox anymore. I’ve just recently made up for it some by seeing those two brothers on Monday’s and playing with them on the horrid PS3. The third brother I see often on Xbox still and we play when able.

I long for a monthly (being weekly may be unrealistic) Game Night where we can all get together and game again. It spawned from our holiday tradition of playing video games at family gatherings — like Thanksgiving — while the rest of the family watched football, and I am a creature of habit.

Touched

What I miss the most, though, is that creativity. I guess it makes sense that I would have aspirations to be a writer; writer’s can create entire worlds, people, etc. A game designer was also high on my list. I even began to create a card game, but eventually almost all of that — along with most of my writing — was lost in multiple hard drive crashes.

I like creating things for people, but mostly for those I love and cherish. Over the last few years, I feel as though I’ve lost that creative spark. I get little surges of inspiration, but I never end up following through and finishing any projects. This is where the lack of motivation comes into play. I never have the lack of ideas, just the lack of drive.

I wish I could channel that ability I had when I was a child growing up. To be continually active in creating new things for myself and those I care about; for the world. For anyone and everyone to enjoy if they saw fit. To see or hear about how something I brought into the world touched someone in a very positive way. Touched their heart.

Even if just producing one more additional smile or laugh in this stream of life.

What did you want to grow up to be as a child? What games would you play with your siblings? Any sibling traditions? What are you most nostalgic about?

A to Z 2013 : KALEIDOSCOPE

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

I am a leaf on the wind.

Sometimes it feels like I have no control over the path I am taking. I am but a passenger. If I struggle, go against the flow, I am met with turbulence. Dramatic eruptions spin me out of my element, and I am initially powerless against the impact. Bombarded, I endure the assault until I learn how to let go; learn I am choosing this. To eventually embrace the calm and once again fall back into the stream. Wrapping myself in the warmth and comfort of not familiarity, but acceptance and understanding.

If I were a kite I could go against the grain. Head held high and soaring to new heights, with a constant surge and birds-eye view. Should the gusty source falter or confidence dip, the plummeting to rock bottom is sealed; no hope for a grip. I love kites, but I never fly them because I think of Benjamin Franklin. From a simple storm comes such a great lesson

During Inception I had a full bladder. I kept thinking “How many damn levels are in this multi-tiered dreaming ladder?” And why the hell was there so much rain? Not just in blips, but excruciatingly prolonged slow-motion, screwing with my brain. Finally the end was near, the end to my strife! No wait — Level Five? — fuck my fucken life!

I’ve always wanted to be a private detective. I only wore the fedora twice, because I couldn’t get a case. Was it my stance, lack of motivation, or that I move at a slow pace? Getting in shape was the key. I could talk about how I bought kale a few times. But I didn’t eat it, I just put in the freezer. I didn’t know what to do with it — I just knew it was healthy.

Grey is a color, one that I adore. The Grey has wolves and in my subconscious opened a door.

My thoughts swim, and glide, and dance, and collide. It can be hard to focus on just one at a time. They want to merge and blend, yet remain independent. Just when I think I have something that makes sense, I open my mouth and in return I receive stares.

I advise that when Jak-speak is involved it’s best to not ask questions. Some students learn fast, other take their time.

I should buy a boat.

A to Z 2013 : END

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

On top of Camp NaNoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge, it is also National Poetry Month. While I’m sure there are a handful of other events taking place, these three have been the most prominent for me. So far the A to Z Challenge is chugging along, but I’ve not yet dabbled in Camp NaNoWriMo; my meager 10k word goal.

As for poetry? Not my cup of tea. However, my blog meanderings have left me inspired to partake in some. While I know deep inside this is a terrible, terrible idea — on par with skydiving without a parachute — I just can’t seem to help myself.

While roaming the A to Z participant list, I came across a handful of blogs that I decided to follow. One of these was Rebeccah Writes (also one of my Liebster Award nominees). Her theme this month is Oulipo poetry. It is a form of poetry that, from my understanding, uses a variety of constraints in order to challenge creative boundaries.

The first example for “A” was Acronymic poetry. Now I couldn’t find a whole lot about this online, and what I did find seemed to be different. Perhaps I wasn’t searching correct terminology. I don’t know.  Either way, I’m going by the example she provided being it seemed like a lot of fun.

The constraint for this is: Each letter in the title furnishes the initials of the words in each line.

She offered the example of Fear. So each line would be 4 words long; the first beginning with the letter F, second E, third A, and the fourth word “R”

This is the constraint I decided to explore with. Mind you, I don’t write poetry — the last time being in kindergarten — while the words are specific, there is little rhyme (or reason... couldn’t resist), and tenses thrown to the wind. I’d like to think there is a story in there. Somewhere. Deep. That’s what I’ll tell myself to help me sleep at night.

Okay, okay... on with the show! I present to you:

END

Each new day
Engage numerous dimensions
Escape normality disenchantment
Everyday nothings discarded
Encapsulated nevermore, detainless
Endings never determined
Each new day
Eviscerate notions demanding
Enthralling neurotic derailments
Ego’s narcissistic delusion
Eventual negative deluge
Each new day
Ethereal nomadic divulging
Extraordinary news describing
Evils noticed decomposing
Each new day
Entrancing, nature’s domain
Eternal, never dying
Each new day
Endless navigational doorways
Each new day

And there it is. My first — and possibly last — poem in ages. I can dig it. Can you dig it?

I also wanted to link another blogger Average Poet, another of my nominees, who has chosen a poetry theme for this months challenge.

I’d highly recommending checking out both blogs! They have some great stuff up!

Do you write poetry? Do you have a favorite poet/poem? If so, who/which? Have you ever heard of Oulipo poetry?

THE HARMONIC (DIS)CHORD OF YESTERYEAR

Once upon a time, I had an incredible bout of writer’s block. I will try to pretend that it wasn’t more than a ten year struggle that just recently ended last November. During this time, I was unable to extract the bountiful creations swimming around in my mind. I would think about writing, my writing, all the time. Characters, plots, dialog, etc etc. It was quite maddening; not being able to bring to life my imagination in some tangible fashion.

To those who say writer’s block is a myth, I say: Piss off.

Sure, I can sign on to the various psychological barriers that are self-induced and causes one to be unable to be creatively productive. I get that. Those claiming it is an excuse to be lazy, or that it’s a sign your creative product is shit: Piss-right the fuck-off.

I'm sure I should read the books claiming the latter (and I will eventually) before letting it get me all worked up, but it just comes off to me like a - newly prescribed - jumping on the bandwagon scenario. Perhaps I will sing a different tune once researching more.

I am getting sidetracked, though.

I wanted to point out that, while enduring this block, I was somehow still able to create on a very minor level. Essentially I would write song lyrics (this may seem to contradict my claim of being blocked but... it doesn't to me). I'm not exactly sure why that was. Perhaps because music is such a central force in my life? Because I constantly am making up songs throughout the day? I make up songs about the most random, mundane events. Think Marshall, from How I Met Your Mother. It used to irritate my ex, and does others in general. Someday someone will appreciate it!

So, I thought I would share some of the various songs (lyrics) I wrote over the years. Does the fact I got them out past the writer’s block mean they're not crap? Not at all. They do, however, hold different levels of importance and nostalgia with me. This will be just a sampling, but I will likely offer more as time goes on. I’ve never been good at writing poetry, but I’ve always considered these creations to be on that level.

The poetry of my soul.

Some are fun, some are vulgar, some are emotional, but all coming from somewhere within.

Perhaps someone will enjoy one themselves.

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

We'll start with the first song lyrics I believe I ever wrote (or at least documented). This would be in the mid-1990s. I remember trying to get a friend to write up some music for it, but it never came to fruition. Creative differences? Ha! Gotta love high school.

-QUICKSAND-

I need your help
But you give me none
Life overwhelms me
And it’s not very fun

I call out your name
But you don’t hear me
Or don’t you listen
Anymore

I am stuck here
Or can’t you see?
I’m stuck in this rut
With nowhere to go

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Within this land
Within this quicksand

You were my everything
My dove
You were the only part of life
That I loved

Help me
I’m sinking deeper down
To my death
Give me your hand
Within this quicksand

You left me
But I still love you now
Even though you can’t seem
To return the vow

Help me
Take my hand
I’ll pull you deeper down
Within this land
Within this quicksand
Quicksand

*     *     *

-THE WEIGHT OF US-

She sits alone
In her room, in the dark
Praying for a change
She wants to
Get away from this life
But she’s too scared to move

She has a dream
That she thinks she can’t reach
That can’t come true
So she dances
Because it sets her free
It sets her free

Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on dancin’ girl
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

He wishes
That he was somebody else
Someone with fame
He wants to
Make so much more of this life
But he can’t seem to move

He needs to
Find out the reasons why
He’s misunderstood
He smiles
Pretending it’s all okay
Everything’s okay

Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You hate the world and want to escape
Keep on smilin’ boy
Cause I know the truth, the truth about you
You pray for the pain to fade

Keep on dacin’ girl
Keep on smilin’ boy
Someday your pain will fade
Keep on smilin’ boy
Keep on dancin’ girl
Someday your pain will fade

Sometimes the weight of us is enough to hold us down
Sometimes the weight of us is enough to make us drown

*     *     *

-WORRY-

Where has the time gone?
I swear I was a boy just the other day
And where do I go from here?
The future, it scares the shit out of me

And is there love?
Is there someone out there waiting for me?
I thought that I had found this once
But I was wrong and that ended up just a dream

Pre-Chorus
And are the Angel’s above looking down?
Are they laughing, or are they crying for my tragedies?
Should I even worry about what all the others think?
Should I worry?
I can’t worry
I can’t help but worry

Chorus
Will I always be the last one to understand the joke?
Will I always be the only one left standing out in the cold?
When will it be my time, my time to be happy?
You just sit there and stare and all you can say to me is: don’t worry

And where have my walls gone?
I swear I was safe just the other day
And how do I get out of here?
Vulnerabilities scare the shit out of me
And can I believe
In such things as my happy ending?
I hope that I can find this once
Cause if not all of this may have no meaning

Pre-Chorus/Chorus

Break One
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you feel the same
Try two days in my shoes
And see if you can still say
Don't worry

Break Two
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they laughing?
Are the angels above looking down?
Are they crying for my tragedies?

Chorus

*     *     *

The End is the Beginning is the End

Three should suffice. And it seems I left out the more “fun” songs this time around. I think these were some of my more emotional creations; especially the final song Worry, which remains one of my favorites.

As I said, I may share more as time goes on. If not, I am glad to at least have these three up.

Technically I create new songs almost daily, but rarely do I ever write them down, which is a shame. Even if they aren’t the best out there, they are still creations I am missing the opportunity to work with. The ones that keep coming back over time are the ones I eventually document. I figure, they must be coming back for a reason. Makes sense right?

Until next time, try to be more mindful to the poetry of your own soul. What you find may surprise you.


I | INTERLUDE | I

-Shameless-

If it is one thing I know, it’s that a weekend without a prophesied Apocalypse makes for a predictable weekend indeed. While there were likely many out partying it up, getting beyond drunk; sleeping with whomever would; and living like there was no tomorrow, I attended a small gathering of 3. The four of us took to the night engaged in a battle of wits and betrayal; Magic the Gathering. It made for a very fun night, as it is every time, with a multitude of shenanigans. It was a late night, not getting home until almost five in the morning, and so I slept through until this afternoon; half the day wasted. Worth it.

I plan to eventually make a blog based on the more “entertainment” aspects of my life; video/card/board games, music, movies, etc. I would like to be more fully engaged in my ability to continually write before doing so, though. So far, there has been decent content for me with my personal blog. As for my contribution to the collaborative blog? That is another story. I wanted to attempt my hand at writing comedy, but I don’t think that will happen. At least, not yet. So I may give some fiction a go; perhaps some more modern or sci-fi pieces. Regardless, I’ve been hung up on it.

So I thought I would instead give a shameless plug for the collaborative blog.

You can find it here: (Sorry, now pretty much defunct)

So far, as semi-promised, there is a mixed variety of styles and topics. Some light-hearted, some disturbingly dark; some personal, others fiction. There even exists some skeevie. I would encourage you to check out the blog. The individuals involved are a unique bunch. Some may even have their personal blogs up for viewing if you so wish. Once I figure out some material, and feel less intimidated by some of the great writing already taking place on the blog, I will get in another entry. Sooner than later. I promise.

Semi-promise...