Creating Empires, Writing Redneck

Like the Wind

“Like the wind” to me is a poignant metaphor. The wind has a distinct affect on everything. Snow drifts in the winter. Sand drifts year round in places like the Sahara, in places like Moab, Utah it has carved the distinctive red rock into soaring arches.

Yeah, wind did that. Not alone of course… but still.

However, as I have found, most people don’t like the wind. It makes us cold in the winter, biting through even the most secure layers of clothing, scarves, hats, and gloves and even our very skin and muscle to penetrate into our bones.

In the summer (if you live in a desert) it can cause dust storms, which impairs driving.

In certain areas, it adjoins microburst storms and rips trees from the ground as if they were no heavier than plastic toys. It can crush awnings and send carports sailing through the sky.

What is there to like?

How about the cooling effect when the sun is hot and you’ve still got a half a mile to hike out?

The ripple on a lake or in a meadow where you can see the wind coming before it ever gets to you?

Give a thought to how it feels when the weather is just right and the wind brushes gently by.

The sound of wind in pine trees is one of the most peaceful to me.

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Creating Empires, Writing Redneck

Painted with an Outline

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When we really begin to break down the fundamentals of the matter, we discover that a wall isn’t just a wall. It is a protector, a guide, an insulator, and the means by which we have the colloquial “roof over our head.”

It is also what a writer generally sits around looking at, searching deep into paint and wallboard for answers. (If you’re lucky enough you look at brick or logs, which tend to yield more inspiration.)

But walls don’t have to be just paint and the odd family photo (seriously, those things can be strange.) They can have more secrets on them than the bottom of the ocean and provide you with a window into your own mind. They are reflective and probably the most thoughtful surface in the house. (My conclusion being that windows are jovial and ignorant that you are trying to focus. Ceilings are stern and studious in their own way, but are too caught up in their own job to give heed to you. Floors are ridiculous and cause more problems than they solve. They put shoes and blankets in your way when you’re trying to pace and completely ignore you. For heaven’s sake! I just want to walk around . . . in the dark . . . and my floor just up and decides to move the desk three inches to the left.)

If you want my advice, post your story outlines on your walls. Even your pictures that you drew to inspire you or to really get a grasp of what your scene should look like. You may not like the way your drawings look and people will definitely stand in your house or your bedroom and wonder if you’ve flipped your lid. But who cares about them, your brain is working overtime just to keep track of your story, so don’t worry about keeping track of your papers too.

Your walls are your friends, use them to the best of your ability.

(Tape is a really good friend, too. Tape kind of sticks all the papers together and because carpenters and homeowners can be really finicky about holes, it is a nice solution for keeping paper on the walls.)

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Writing Redneck

Beating the Brains out of Writer’s Block

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As a writer, I spend a lot of time trying to “get my head right” in an effort to stump writer’s block. For me, writer’s block is just a time when there’s so much going on in the real world and the story world that I’m on the verge of panicking. I have discovered one sure way to beat it and make myself sit down to a pad and paper or computer. Duh! Splitting firewood. Continue reading

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Writing Redneck

The Influence of Details

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There are some scenes on this planet too beautiful to believe, and you have to look again and again to soak it all in. Whenever I stumble upon this type of beautiful scene, I wish I could jump out of the truck and just let it drive on so I could sit alone and look out at a world untouched by modern technology. The one I’m writing about today was a winter one, because its September and I’m really sick of summer, and I really want there to be snow so I can have a fire in the fireplace.

Continue reading

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Writing Redneck

The Detail in Language

There are dozens of ways to write and dozens (hundreds?) of people offering advice about the subject. But what does it really boil down to? Well, I tend to think it depends on what drives the individual. An outdoors-man who writes may draw inspiration from peaceful, natural settings. He may look at a tree, dead for twenty years and see some kind of beauty in its decay that fuels a story, a scene, a metaphor, or really just about anything. A writer on the corner of a New York intersection or inside a coffee shop may see something spectacular in the hustle of the ever noisy city.

But for me, inspiration, drive, entertainment, and my own edification comes in the form of something we use every day. Continue reading

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