Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Year In Writing

     I've discovered a wonderful thing: if I talk about 2016 in terms of my writing endeavors, it's a pretty good year. Yippee!

     2016 didn't totally suck. It's been a rough year, personally and globally, but there've been good things. I've had good times and I have good people in my life. Thank goodness, or I'd probably go insane. I've also made lots of good writing accomplishments.

     First, I made good headway in what will be the final (or next to final) draft of New Year's Revolution, my vampire novel. Yeah, it seems like I'm always working on that one, but I finally discovered what it actually needs, how to do it, and how to make it reasonably lengthed. Yes, lengthed is a word (I also invented a word in 2016). Ironically, NYR is currently on hold, but I don't feel nervous about it being on hold because I know where I'm going with it. When I pick it up again next year, I'll know what to do. Also, it's on hold because I'm working on other projects, not because I'm not writing. That's important to note.

     My second big writing accomplishment of 2016 is City of Secrets, formerly known as Caribou Canyon. The serial version is well underway and a few people I'm not related to are even reading it! The serial version is essentially a polished 2nd draft, but I'm really excited about it. It's nice to have something out there, and I really like where I'm going with the story. If I keep going the way I am, it'll be another year+ before it's finished, but that's okay. I kind of like the idea of keeping something going while I work on my other stuff, none of which I plan to serialize. Once it's finished, I plan to polish it up again, then release it in about six or so little books in kindle format. That's the plan anyway. I might also change the name back to Caribou Canyon, but we'll see.

     Most recently, the endeavor I'm most excited about is the 2nd draft of Pieces. Pieces is the literary mystery with magical realism (say that 10 times fast) that I did for NaNo 2015. The big news is that I finally thought of a name: Pieces. I'm really happy with the title, I think it's going to stick. I just started the 2nd draft in November, but I've been researching it all year. This is the biggest project I've worked on to date. I've read a good 10 or so books to prepare (war memoirs, PTSD books, and a couple other subjects that are top secret), and I may have to do still more reading. I feel like draft 2 is going well so far, and I'm confident-ish that I can finish this in 3 drafts (fingers crossed.) I'm hoping to have it completed sometime mid-2017 (or even Spring) but that might be over-zealous, considering that I'm working on CoS and may be having surgery in a month or so (that's a subject for another time). The point is, I'm really excited. I feel like this might be the best thing I've done so far.

     Sprinkled in between the work I've done on my three big projects, I've written some poetry which I'm fairly happy with, and some blog posts on subjects that I think need tackling. So, yay me. This blog has been slightly neglected as of late, but I'd like to try and remedy that, but we'll see. I love blogging, but the major projects are of most importance.

     So, 2016 has not been a bust, at least not in the writing world. Yay! I look forward to continuing my stories, actually finishing some things, and learning and growing as a writer and a person. Yay.

     If you haven't checked out City of Secrets yet, you totally should: bit.ly/2a7FNDD

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We Don't See Color

We Don't See Color

“I don’t see color,” we say, often and loudly.
Proudly.
“I’m not a racist,” we declare, in our biggest, strongest voices.
They’re being unfair.
We don’t see color.
If only that were true. If only we saw no hues.
Our actions say otherwise.
So much fault, so much blame, but it’s not a game.

Maybe eyes aren’t really a prize.
Maybe we don’t deserve our eyes because we tell these lies.
If no one had eyes, no one would see.
We could all just be.
It wouldn’t be a lie. It would be a tie, binding us together.
No sight. No color. Now we are one. The same. No more blame.

Except we can hear the color—
High lilts, dulcet tones, rich accents, southern drawls, twangs, masculine, feminine…
That sound is color, and the deadly diversity is found again.
Diversity is fear and fear is hate.

What good are ears when they let us hear jeers?
Maybe we don’t deserve our ears.
If no one had ears, no one would hear.
There would be no fear.

Hold on—
We can smell the color.
It’s musk and sunshine, expensive perfume and stale French fries,
Dust and greenery, chemicals and blood.
Variations. Depictions of color.

Smelling the roses isn’t worth the woes of our noses.
We don’t really need them anyway—
We have mouths through which we can breathe.
Maybe we don’t deserve our noses.
If no one had noses, no one would smell;
It would break bigotry’s spell.

But wait…
We can still touch—
Hands, skin, lips, hair…
Soft, rough, thin, scarred, smooth…
Deviation.
The ones who deviate are deviants.

Touch really isn’t so much.
Why the fuss?
Maybe we don’t deserve our fingers.
If no one had fingers, no one would touch.
It’s really not so much of a crutch.

One problem remains: we can taste.
Mexican spices, Asian cuisine, Italian feasts, Indian delights…
The tastes are color, and color is difference, and difference means fights.
Taste makes us act in haste: fighting and killing and hurting and suffering.

Taste is really just a frivolous waste.
Maybe we don’t deserve our tongues.
If no one had tongues, no one would taste.
Our fears have been faced—no, they’ve been laid to waste.

Without our senses,
Color would be gone.

We see no color.
We hear no fear.
We don’t smell bigotry’s spell.
We don’t touch the textures of skin different than our own.
We taste no cultural diversity.

We see no rainbows.
We hear no music.
We don’t smell a home-cooked meal made out of love.
We don’t touch our lover’s soft hand—so different from our rough one.
We don’t taste the pleasure different foods bring us.

Now.
Now when we say, “We don’t see color” it is the truth.
We don’t see anything,
Because there is nothing left to see.