Sometimes I Lose Sight Of Who I Am – [Just Me]

The delusions surrounding are endless. Layer after layer of “I have to do this” and “I need to do that” when it’s all really a choice in the end, my choice.

To recalibrate, I remind myself that it’s not about what I should or have or need to do, but what I want to do. Responsibility is only efficient if you’re working towards an achievement you genuinely desire.

All I want is to be, to speak, be heard, to create, be seen. That only requires a gentle and persistent attentiveness to the soul.

Over this exhausting week, I took moments to praise past creations I was hesitant to share. I’ve decided to follow through with exposing them again, rekindling my music and my poetry.

The research for my dark fantasy novel series has led to a nonfiction book idea actually. It was unexpected, but I think it was a necessary concept that can be manifested into a kind of “guide for creative spirits” thing. All things in time though.

Self-trust and being grounded is so important for me right now. I want to share how refocusing on those two things over and over again is such an excellent anchor that we tend to let go of when distractions occur. I recently listened to the podcast What in the Wyrd by Kelley Harrell, which is basically about life lessons we can attain from the elder futhark aka the Nordic runes used for divination and other magical uses. The most recent episode discussed accountability and soul tending relating to the rune thurisaz, which is all about how there are many types of powers that want to survive. Depending on the power, the extent at which we try to keep that power alive can be out of desperation or integrity or whatever. That also depends on how efficient our soul tending is. Going back to my point, self-trust and being grounded keeps one’s inner power alive and burning, but sometimes us creatives forget that.

I write, I create, and I am because I’m aspiring to stop straying away from myself and forgetting my power to the point that it ends up dying. I don’t want to go back there. Never again.

Be well.

On Writing Atmosphere and Archetypes – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 16

On Writing Atmosphere and Archetypes

…Is writing the second draft supposed to almost feel like you’re writing another story? Well, it doesn’t feel that extreme to me, but there’s a lot that needs to be added, changed, and polished. I don’t know why this seems strange. During this writing session there are times I feel like my first draft is a botched mess and the fact that I’m having to fill in details that were obviously necessary must mean my writing needs a massive amount of improvement, but harsh inner critic aside, I’m fully aware that writing will always be a practice. The best I can do is remain teachable, open, and devoted to the craft.

Just like music makes the mood for a social gathering, atmosphere and archetypes are key elements to the mood of any work of fiction. In art, mood and tone with colors range from cold to warms; I know in writing we have to explore all sorts of sensory details, so what I learned today, and also what I consider today’s triumph, is conveying a character’s demeanor with common attributes we associate with a Jungian archetype.

The Fun of Writing Environments – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 15

Photo by Eric Tompkins on Unsplash

The Fun of Writing Environments

One author I was thinking about after my writing session today was F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I may have blogged or written about his vivid writing style before. One night I decided to listen to The Beautiful and Damned on audiobook hoping it would help me go to sleep. It was impossible. The diction and rhythm of his writing kept me awake and invested in Anthony’s life, family, grandfather, and the girl in the tub. The narration is omnipotent third-person. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, but every scene has ambience, the internal conflicts and emotions of the protagonist are interdependent on the atmosphere of every scene. Of course why wouldn’t it? The American 1920s was a very lively time where your status and progress in life determined whether you were all the rage or not. Although there’s a looseness or almost carefree façade to the high class life of that time, there’s also a stress and competitiveness digging inside their guts. Fitzgerald wasn’t just narrating (and parodying, I think) about a time and characters he meticulously understood, but…

I Miss My Novel – [Just Me]

So, I dedicated this week to working on updates with my horror short “Autonomy Bleeds Black”, which is why I haven’t uploaded a VPD or blogged much of anything else this week. I knew I had to give the horror short some time to make sure my marketing is successful and that my dream of my short stories becoming movies becomes possible.

However, I miss the crap out of my novel! I’m going to work on it today and write a VPD as well as share my other ones. I guess this is the risk of having more than one writing project. Have you ever had this feeling though? Where you miss the world and characters you created? It’s gotten to the point where I have designed playlists for my characters with Spotify when I want to think about them (it’s very fun!). I honestly love this feeling and can’t wait to get back on track.

Also, I started the audiobook called Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. Have you read it? I absolutely love it so far. It’s definitely a must for artists of all types who need inspiration or encouragement, especially if you’re a poet.

Have a good one. Be safe.

Second Draft Drama – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 14

Second Draft Drama (With Questionnaire)

For my “fantasy” side of my dark fantasy novel series, I created a World Immersion checklist for myself to make sure I have continuity from chapter to chapter. Here’s how it goes:

  • Setting descriptions
  • Lore Continuity
  • Magic System Rule Review
  • Character Placement
  • Character Dialogue/Dialect Accuracy
  • Story Flow

Not bad right? I think that’ll be solid enough. I also created a review questionnaire for myself to reflect on how I’m doing as a writer. Here are my answers for the prologue:

Writing Without Historical and Cultural Inaccuracy or Offense- The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 8

Writing Without Historical and Cultural Inaccuracy or Offense

My first novel has the protagonist searching for the historical truth of the world’s magic system. One of the harsh realities they’ll face is that no matter how much truth you dig up and show to others, there is a comfort zone in the status quo that some find is hard to escape, especially if a group or race of people have worked hard to prove themselves to be capable of living a civilized way through the abandonment of their origins. My protagonist has to face their internalized shame and break away from it through the risk of being demonized by their society. I can easily write about how my character’s risky actions lead to harsh consequences, but for my audience to empathize with them, I need to explore the pain of disconnection, conversion, and misrepresentation. For that, I’ll need to start with historical inaccuracies in general fiction before I dive into horror.

As an African-American living in more contemporary times, I know my losses aren’t as extreme as the losses my ancestors suffered, but unfortunately, the loss continues. There’s a trauma from that past I may never understand, but their history still echoes through the Black Lives Matter movement and the African-American creators today wanting to be seen and heard. My heart is full of the genuine desire to understand many indigenous cultures and capture their views of what they considered divine or supernatural without judgment. As an animist and mystic, I’ve always been drawn by their stories in the stars, the lessons from nature-inspired parables and fables, and the development of shamanic power pre-dating organized religion and colonialism as it has inspired an entire universe inside me I only want to express with gratitude.

Character Design and Conspiracy – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 6

Character Design and Conspiracy

I was talking with a friend the other day about needing to watch more or read more crime and mystery pieces and study how the “clues” lead the audience and the characters from one thing to another. I know my novel has a lot of conspiracy innuendo, but conspiracy can be really obvious real quick. We’re used to seeing a government organization, a religious organization, a secret organization, or an academic organization have players scheming in the shadows or plotting in broad daylight. Though obvious, I think the intrigue maintains itself if the end goal of the conspiracy isn’t so obvious and who immediately comes to mind is Lovecraft.

A Fulfilling Day – [Just Me]

Although I didn’t get the time to post a VPD on vocal today, I did a lot of writing and editing for my novel and it was really a blast. Tomorrow’s VPD will explain why.

I’m a little behind on promoting the VPDs on WordPress but you know you can always check in on what I’ve posted by going to my Vocal profile. I’ll have the other entries posted tomorrow. I hope they’re kind of interesting or helpful to read. The one I wrote today discussed cultural appropriation vs. respectfully researching another culture you’re not familiar with as an author and it was very enlightening.

More soon.

Studying Karma as a Writer – The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 5

Studying Karma as a Writer

As a writer, thinking about karma keeps me mindful of how audiences processes information. One thing leads to another. A ripple effect, right? But it’s not just about action and result or action and reaction, it’s the tension between those two things that makes karma such a universal concept because we’re all sentient enough to think about the “what if”, or the unknown/hypothetical situation caused by an action. For many of us, that’s our self-imposed prison taking form.

Flowing in Circles – VPD – Entry 4

The Violet Project Diaries is a diary series about the development of my writing career as a dark fantasy novelist. In the hopes of tracking my own writing progress, I hope to help and encourage other writers.

The Violet Project Diaries – Entry 4 – Flowing in Circles

If I were to describe where I’m at on the story timeline of my second draft, I’m approaching the “rising action” part of Freytag’s Pyramid. On the story structure circle created by Harmon, I’m somewhere between step 2 and 3. This is probably why I’m so giddy about having good flow today because this is the buildup before diving to the underground/unconscious/unknown. If you’d like to hear more on that, I have another Will Schroder video for you.