As I sit down to write this blog I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to say. Nada. So, I’m just going to let my mind roam and see where it leads. This could be a mistake since my thoughts have a tendency to slither and wander through the deepest, darkest crevices of my cerebrum and come up with some of the weirdest crap, I mean ideas, humanly imaginable. To put it bluntly, I don’t think like normal people—that’s why I’m a fantasy writer.
Of course, staring at a blank page is a familiar sight for a writer. You see, every story begins with a blank page. As words create sentences and sentences become paragraphs, pages are formed. Ideas, plots, characters, and worlds take shape and before you know it, you’ve got a story. It may be good or bad, a short story or a full length novel, but it’s a story none the less.
I’ve always enjoyed staring at a blank page. Staring at a blank page reminds me of a book I once read titled: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig. I read this book over thirty years ago, so I might be a little fuzzy on the details. As I recall, there was a section in the book where a motorcycle had been completely disassembled until there was nothing left but piles of nuts, bolts, handlebars, and all the other assorted parts. Mr. Pirsig went on to explain how people see things differently. Some would look at this miscellaneous pile of parts and see nothing but scrap, while others would look at this same pile of parts and see a beautiful motorcycle. I think the point of Mr. Pirsig’s example was that some individuals possess the enlightenment to see beyond the obvious and find the potential buried within. One man’s scrap is another man’s motorcycle. That’s how I feel when I stare at a blank page. The page may be blank but the story possibilities are endless. All it takes is assembling a few nuts and bolts…um…words.
The thought of a blank page made an old grade school joke come to mind. During art class (remember art class? Some of my favorite school memories revolve around art class. We used to come up with some of the craziest ideas. It’s a shame many schools have been forced to drop art from their curriculum. Art is like writing. Both require creativity. Both involve making something from nothing. Whether it’s turning a blank page into the next best-seller or turning a blank canvas into a masterpiece. But I digress.) Oh, yes, back to the grade school joke. One day in art class I handed in a blank page. The teacher took one look at my paper and asked why I’d handed in a blank page. I gave her a puzzled look and said, “What do you mean blank? That’s a picture of a cow eating grass.” The teacher raised a single eyebrow, cleared her throat, and asked in a tone filled with suspicion, “Well, if that’s a picture of a cow eating grass—where’s the grass?” “The cow ate it all,” I said calmly. My art teacher frowned. “Then where is the cow?” I looked her right in the eyes and said, “It went to look for more grass.” Enlightenment. I think Mr. Pirsig would be proud.
I don’t know why, but I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. God has been good to me. He’s blessed me with a wonderful family, a good job, a nice home, a full belly, and at least a small amount of talent. Add in popcorn, beef jerky, and Diet Dr. Pepper and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful world.
Many of you have asked about the second book in the Forgotten Gods trilogy. I’m not going to lie, I should have finished the story by now but life got in the way. Illness, stress, doubts: they’ve all affected my motivation, but I’m putting all of that behind me now. Maybe that’s why I woke up in such a good mood today. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing career. And I plan on making the most of it. I’m working on finishing book two. It’s about 80% finished. Then the editing begins. Ugh! I hope to publish book two in the fall. Unfortunately, writing is not my main job. I have a day job that keeps me busy and pays the bills. That’s probably a good thing or I’d be living under a bridge somewhere holding a sign that read: Will write for food.
Well, I just realized I’m not staring at a blank page anymore. It’s amazing what can happen when I stop thinking and just let my fingers do what comes natural. I hope I brought a smile to your face or at least made you grin. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. Until next time, thanks for believing!