Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Last day of April, huh? If I had to look back over the past 30 days, I ask myself what I've accomplished.  What have I done to further my interest in writing, to make myself more productive in my writing, and to become a wee little bit more creative.  Has the past 30 days been good for me?  I really believe that it has been.  This journal has been therapeutic...I think I've called it that before.  I love that I have added a lot to the website in the way of writings.  I love that I have started on a story.  I love that I am writing.  I am not going to worry about the fact that I have not come close to being ready to publish anything regarding to Lionel Aber.  It will happen.  The interview that I did with Lionel helped, and is helping, to bring him to life.  It has been a cool journey.  This is why I can promise something.  But as always, my self imposed time limits don't really mean anything.  They serve to push me.  I am learning that part of writing.  Discipline.  I'm getting better.  And the past 30 days have proven that.  So here's to the next 30.  Stay tuned.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men....isn't there a famous quote in that vein?  Pft, I could be way off base.  Anyways, I set out to accomplish some good writing this weekend.  I was bound and determined to work on Lionel's story and get something posted on the website.  Yep, them were da plans.  Did it work?  Did I follow through?  Did any of my plans come to fruition?  It's a one word answer:  Nope.  I could come up with a million excuses as to why I didn't.  But the bottom line is that none of that matters.  I spent a fair bit of time on the phone with my folks, and my two brothers.  And when it comes to writing, family is way more important.  And my weekend was family.  Important.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28, 2012

I know.  I was committed to some serious writing this weekend.  Well, there is still is only Saturday.  Albeit really late on Saturday, but that still leaves me Sunday.  Depending on what transpires between church services, I may be able to get at it for a bit.  And if that fails, then there is always Sunday evening.  But I will write.  I'd love to get the introduction to Lionel written and posted.  Lofty goal, but it is well on the way so I do believe it is achievable.  I would have written today, but there was no time.  I spent time with the family during the day and did some computer work for a friend this evening.   Yes I have priorities, and writing is not quite at the top.  Nope.  It just isn't.  But it is up there on the old up there scale.  Trust me.


Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012

Feeling pretty good tonight, but alas, no time for writing.  I have to go out and try figure out some computer issues for a friend.  But, I definitely feel that this weekend sometime will be a good time to finish the introduction to Lionel Aber's story.  I think I will post it on my website, and let all 3 of my readers read and critique it.  I really don't think I have what it takes (yet) to actually publish anything.  And I am fine with that, because I am writing for the joy of writing.  I don't mind so much if people don't read it.  What is important to me is the actual writing.  Yes, I can feel it.  It is coming soon to a near you.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012

Finally.  Finally I am starting to feel better.  And I think I figured out what was causing the issues.  Now, nothing has been proven yet...tomorrow will be a big test.  If I can feel good tomorrow and keep food from making a grand appearance at inopportune times, then I think my theory will be right.  Truth be told, it's my wife's theory.  She suggested it.  The wonderful piece of all of this is that once I am feeling better I can start writing again.  There is something about feeling crappy and writing that just don't mix.  Kind of like my digestive system and Splenda.  It just doesn't seem to work.  Hopefully my wife will be right (again) (as always) (I love you).  My writing depends on her (no pressure).


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012

Well, I did not write yesterday.  And I may not do a whole lot of it today either.  I don't have much of an excuse, but suffice it to say that the flu bug has hit me and that seriously dents my desire to write.  As it is, I am staying home from work today so I can remain close to the throne room.  One never knows, does one?  And so, as I head towards my 100 word, self-imposed word count, I can only hope that this bug departs rather quickly.  Not explosively, just quickly.  Go.  Leave me alone.  Yes, I am pathetic when I am not feeling well.


Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

A day of reflection and celebration.  Yes, today was a celebration of my lovely wife's birthday.  Thanks to the twitter-verse, a few celebrities wished her a happy birthday.  Included are Ramin Karimloo, Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnashelli and Robert Irvine.  Very cool.  I think it is really neat that these people who are placed on pedestals because of what they do take time to acknowledge us 'little people'.  I am impressed.  Today is also a night for reflection.  As Alberta voted in a fairly substantial Conservative majority government, some are wondering what this means for Christians.  I suspect that it is not good.  However, in all things, we must trust in God.  Nobody said our road would be an easy one.  I for one will pray for our Premier and our elected government.  I am not one to make political statements, and this is about as far as it goes.  Those who know me know that I am a Christian, and so I can say Glory be to God.  And that is as much writing as I will get done tonight.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 2012

Today was an inspirational day.  Not the kind of inspiration that causes me to write, but the kind that makes me reflect.  Today I attended a church service specifically designed for a group of mentally handicapped people.  This group has been meeting for 25 years, and today was the anniversary celebration.  At times it was good for a chuckle, at times it was enough to draw tears from your eyes.  No, it didn't inspire me to write, but it did make me realize that the world is a better place because of these special people.  I feel sorry for those who look down on this group of people, for they do not know what they are missing, or what they are not seeing.  A miracle is at work.  If only more people would see it.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012

Well, it wasn't looking too good for any amount of writing today....until a few minutes ago that is. I was intending on going for coffee with a friend tonight, but she is not feeling well. That opens up my night to possibly write some. We will have to see how well the juices are flowing. Maybe watching some cooking shows with the family will inspire some creativity. Maybe listening to some soft music will put me in the mood. Then again, maybe I will get lots of wriying done this afternoon as my boy practises on the pipe organ at church. Listening to him play is always a joy. So, here I sit, listening to the boy and the organist doing some tuning on the organ. Once the tuning is done, the music starts. And I hope that the melodies he plays leads me to convey some thoughts to whoever will read it...someday. For someday, I will publish it. I hope.


Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

So as I sit here in Starbucks, I feel good. I am in a fairly comfortable chair with only a foot stool missing. I am not sure what music is playing, but if you've ever been in a coffee shop, it is the same sort of background music that is usually there. Really, it is a nice place to mellow out, kick back and write. And write I did...I am. I am writing this journal entry, and I have already written more in Lionel's story. The first draft of the introductory paragraphs are written. I say first draft, but truthfully it is the second draft. I was not fond of the direction the story was going, so I changed it. I think it has much greater potential to be interesting now...not as dark. Yup, I am feeling it tonight. I will head back to the story now for a brief period of time. After all, why waste a good thing, right?


Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, 2012

This could very well be the worst journal entry to date.  And I don't feel bad about it at all.  I am simply too tired.  My brain won't engage, it won't come up with any decent words, and there are really no coherent thoughts up in the grey matter.  I will struggle through this, trying to get to my 100 word limit.  Why?  Because I promised myself I would, that's way.  It wouldn't do me or my craft any good if I didn't write merely because I was tired.  No, I will write.  I will just write poorly.  And as little as possible to fulfill my promise to me.  And just like that, I've done it.  Proudly.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012

Well, I didn't write any thing more yesterday. I am a little disappointed in my lacklustre effort, but in the big scheme of things, it is not horrible. After all, my pledge to myself was to write at least 100 words in the journal everyday. That is something I will stick with. What worries me a little is that Lionel's story is going to get buried in my head, never to see the light of day. I know it's a bit early to think that way, and it may be a bit melodramatic, but I need to give myself a kick in the pants. I have to chastise myself if I don't put in the effort I think I should. I am my own worst critic / enemy / nightmare / coach. I have a meeting tonight, starting at 8, so at least if I don't have time tonight to write, the reason is legit. Last night was just lazy. *sigh*. One day I wil learn.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

I am sure hoping to do some writing tonight, aside from this entry.  I am not sure if I am going to continue the interview with Lionel, or if I will continue the story.  The interview has proven to be a real revelation.  I have learned a lot about him and his life through this process.  I can't help but think that there is so much more to know, all stuff that will help me develop the story.  The other thing I am learning is that writing is a cure for writers block.   Even when I feel I have nothing to say, I have to write.  That really was the purpose behind this journal, and it is paying off in spades.  I may have already mentioned that in another entry, but I really must stress this process for others.  Do you write?  Then write.  Not writing is wrong.  It has helped me immensely.  I gave myself a minimum of 100 words a day.  It has been easy to go way beyond that.  Time to up the ante?  Nope.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

I did it. I have written the opening little bit of my story on Lionel Aber. Who is he? Why, he is the lead character in the story I am writing. Read through some of my previous journal entries where I have mentioned him before. Not a lot of detail has been shared yet, but he is not 'new'. I must remember that this is only the first draft, and is subject to change. I will have to see how this whole thing unfolds, and it is a very real possibility that hings will change. But, it feels really good to have started. And the amazing thing is that it did not start as I envisioned it. Nope, the words just kind of flowed and took off on their own. That is either a realy good sign, or a really bad sign. Will I publish it on this website? I don't know yet. If I can get it written on time, I may submit it to a writing contest, and one of the stipulations is that the work has to be unpublished. Yes, I may do that. Or I may not. Time will tell. But now it is time to get out of the bathtub and have supper.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 2012

Ugh.  Today is going to be a tough writing day.  That bug that was hitting me last night is still plaguing me today.  I did not go to church this morning, and I won't be going this afternoon.  I'm not sure I will continue my interview with Lionel Aber, either.  We'll see how that one plays out.  I did promise the kids I'd watch Phantom of the Opera with them.  Not the movie, but the actual musical.  I have the 25th Anniversary performance on my PVR.  And who knows what kind of inspiration that brings.  So, I don't promise a lot today.  But then again, I never promise much so this is nothing new, is it.  And now I need to go eat something.  My blood sugars will plummet if I don't (yes, I am diabetic).  Tomorrow is another day.  But today isn't over yet.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14, 2012

I actually did some very productive writing today!  I started my 'interview' with the lead character of my story.  His name is Lionel Aber.  And that is all I am going to tell you.  The interview itself is a cool story, and I may publish it on this site at some point.  It felt really good, in a different way, to write that.  These journal posts are good for me too, and I do enjoy writing them.  However, I think my writing is just about done for the day.  I am feeling not great at all, almost like a flu bug coming on.  I won't go into the gory details of what it feels like...that sort of thing does not encourage people to come back to read more.  No, I think tonight will be a sit on the couch drinking hot milk, watching Mythbusters with the boy and the wife, and getting to bed nice and early.  A creative day it was.  As the Fonz used to say:  Write on!!.



Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012

Well, That's Friday the 13th almost you suffer from triskaidekaphobia? I don't. I laugh in the face of such silly stuff. However, with that being said, I did not even try to write anything today (aside from this post). I did not venture into anything new. I did not change the way I do things. I am not superstitious, but why take a chance. So, the weekend begins. Not in fear. Not in trepidation. No, it starts in hope. In eager expectation. I am really hoping to find some creative moments over the next two days. I have a story idea that is more in the realm of fantasy. I will work it to be a short story, but it could have potential for more. I don't think the premise is a new one, but I will write it from a view point that is near and dear to me. I will quickly jot down some thoughts and directions as soon as I am done here, and expand it and tell the story this weekend. Hopefully the creative juice will still be flowing. I feel good about this one. I may take the advice of a friend who suggested that I interview my characters. That is brilliant, and may serve the purpose for or at least contribute to character development. And it forces creativity. Thanks, Alie! Friday the 13th is almost came trying to scare me. But I showed it who's boss. I had a great day. I. Win.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012

Tonight I am writing this entry from my iPhone. I am not home right now...I am at Mark & Nelena's for my kids organ lessons. One kid is learning, the other is playing on the iPad. Thus I am relegated to the phone. I love my mobile devices. One of my schools gave me a Blackberry Playbook to play with for a month or so. As I tweeted earlier, it is overwhelmingly underwhelming. I simply don't like it. But, I will give it a fair chance. I didn't think I would like the iPad either.
So, the story spinner. I have to gain confidence I think. I need to stop being my own worst critic. I have to publish what I write and hope for feedback. But my problem is that I keep teeling myself that my stories are crap. And maybe they are, but that is not for me to worry about. I just need to write the stuff, and don't sweat the small stuff. But for today, that is all.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012

Today, if all goes according to plan, I am going to try finish my 1st story in the story spinner.  I am having a few problems developing the lead character.  Actually, if truth be told, I am having a few problems with the whole thing.  But, I will not give up.  I. Will. Not. Give. Up.  I am going to do my best to make that story come alive.  I hope I feel more inspired later on tonight when I actually start writing.  Maybe I will sit on the couch, eyes closed, headphones on and listen to some music.  That quite often gets my mind moving.  Of course, if I still have this stupid headache then I don't think I will be writing at all.  I may just go to bed early.  Or maybe I will watch Phantom again.   First things first, however.  I need to help my boy make his pine derby car for the race this weekend.  And working with him, teaching him and guiding him is always fun.  One of these days I will have to write about my kids...there's inspiration if there ever was any.  And on a cheery note, today is my dad's birthday.  Happy birthday, dad.  I love you!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012

Wow, 3 days in a row. And this is not the first thing I have written today! Yes, I have started my first story in the Story Spinner category. It may or may not be published all depends on how my night goes. Even though it's only been three days that I have been doing this, I can already feel the difference. My mind is constantly searching for something to write about. I still have a long way to go, thiugh. I need to get into the habit of documenting my thiughts, no matter how random. There's an app for that, and I plan on using it. I fully understand that this is a long process, and I am trying to be patient. I don't want to get to the point where I give up. I was almost there, and I was not happy. Writing is in my blood, but I need the food to let it flow. I love words, I love telling a story. It doesn't matter at this point who I am telling the story to, as long as I tell it. Someday, it might get read. Yes, after 3 days of this, I am feeling good. And I like it.


Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Today is definitely a day that I have to force myself to write. At one point I really wanted to write…I had some ideas and I felt inspired. Not that I was about to pen the next best seller, but I definitely had something. Unfortunately, I was driving. And it is kind of illegal to write a novel whilst driving. And by the time I got a chance to write, the feeling was gone. But I promised myself I would put words on paper every day. And I did. I’m not proud of this entry, but I am proud that this is day 2 of writing. Sooner or later I will write something cool. Whether it be fan fiction, or just another ‘epic’ article, or maybe a glimpse into a book idea…I will write it. Just waiting for the inspiration. But I don’t think trying to write in the middle of watching WWE Raw is a great idea. Maybe I should listen to Phantom. That just might work.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 2012

Every day I have to write something. Even if I don’t feel like writing, I have to put something on paper. Lately I have been lazy. For quite a while I have been un-inspired. I believe that laziness led to me not having the words to write, I did not have a story to tell. And so, I take some advice that I have read in a few different places. Write. Write poorly, write a little, write a lot. Make sense or babble. But write. That is where the inspiration will come from. As I write, I will find something to write about. If I don’t write, the words will say nothing because there will be no words. And without words, my craft will dwindle to nothing. Don't write for anyone but me. If someone reads this then great. But this part of the journey is mine, and mine alone. Not bad for a first entry. See you tomorrow.


A Letter from the Unborn

I did not write this, and I take no credit for it at all.  But I do share it.


Month One


I am only eight inches long

but I have all my organs.

I love the sound of your voice.

Every time I hear it

I wave my arms and legs.

The sound of your heartbeat

is my favorite lullaby.


Month Two


today I learned how to suck my thumb.

If you could see me

You could definitely tell that I am a baby.

I'm not big enough to survive outside my home though.

It's so warm and nice in here.


Month Three

You know what Mommy?

I'm a boy!!

I hope that makes you happy.

I always want you to be happy.

I don't like it when you cry.

You sound so sad.

It makes me sad too

and I cry with you even though

you can't hear me.


Month Four


My hair is starting to grow.

It is very short and fine

but I will have a lot of it.

I spend a lot of my time exercising.

I can curl my head and curl my fingers and toes

and stretch my arms and legs

I am becoming quite good at it too.


Month Five

You went to the doctor today.

Mommy, he lied to you.

He said that I'm not a baby.

I am a baby Mommy, your baby.

I think and feel.

Mommy, whats ambortion?


Month Six

I can hear that doctor again.

I don't like him.

He seems cold and heartless.

Something is intruding my home.

The doctor called it a needle.

Mommy, what is it? It burns!

Please make him stop!

I cant get away from it!

Mommy! HELP ME!


Month Seven


I am OK.

I am in Jesus' arms.

He is holding me.

He told me about abortion.

Mommy, why didn't you want me?


Every abortion is just...

One more heart that was stopped

Two more eyes that will never see

Two more hands that will never touch

Two more legs that will never run

One more mouth that will never speak.

Abortion is wrong. People are here on earth for a reason, and some mothers don’t want their babies.

If you are against abortion copy and paste!!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Music of the Night

Good afternoon, dear reader

You may or may not have noticed my 'sudden' infatuation with music.  Or, more correctly, with The Phantom of the Opera.  Very seldom am I moved by music, but this is one piece that gets me every time.  And by 'moved', I mean inspired.  Yes, dear reader, listening to and watching the musical does me good.  It gets my creative juices flowing.  And so, today I want to share with you a little part of the journey that I take when I hear the music of the night.

"Lot 665, then ladies and gentlemen". On the original London cast recording, this is where the journey begins.  In other productions, it may start with a different lot, but that is sort of irrelevant.  Yes dear reader, at those very words, I am transported to an auction in old France.  I can feel the emotion in the voice of the Viscomte de Chagny as he looks upon the musical box in the shape of a barrel organ with the figure of a monkey dressed in Persian robes (still in working order!).  I can feel his pain as he remembers his love.  I am in pain with him.

But alas, dear reader, that is merely the beginning of the journey.  Truly it is the next lot in the auction that really makes one feel alive...lot 666 then.  Ah the very chandelier that figures in the famous disaster.  After a brief description as to what the electricians have done to it (wiring it for the new electric light), we are transported even further back in is at this time that my goose bumps have goose bumps, and the shivers going down my spine are shivering themselves. For now, dear reader, we are introduced to the panic and fear when he appears, or seems to appear.  I have lump in my throat, dear reader.

At this point, I can feel a noticeable difference between listening to the score, and watching the full production.  I have done both.  I first heard the Phantom in the late '80s.  My brother had seen it in the Pantages Theatre in Toronto, and he brought back with him the cd, to which he introduced me.  And that was the beginning of my love for this brilliantly designed piece.  Roughly 8 years later, I saw The Phantom live, in San Francisco.  Time has erased many memories of it, but I do remember the chandelier far the best I've seen.  And I remember the awe I felt as I tried to see what was going on from way up in the nosebleed section.  It was magical.

Then on September 14, 2006 I saw it again, this time in Edmonton.  This time Dianne and I were in the center of the stage, 8 rows back.  We were close enough to see the sweat of the performers.  We could hear and see things that I simply didn't remember from San Francisco.  My love was re-kindled, and I really wanted more.  Seeing the production again, however, was not meant to be.  Until recently.

Channel surfing is a wonderful thing, and it is because of browsing tendencies that I saw an airing of The Phantom on KSPS.  And it was not just any old performance.  No, dear reader, this was the 25th anniversary gala performed in the Royal Albert Hall in London.  This was magical.  I can only imagine what the atmosphere must have been like that night.  Naturally, I PVR'd this broadcast in high definition.  And, as a self-professed junkie would do...I have watched the performance a couple times now.

I have had the pleasure of seeing 3 different Phantoms now, and Ramin Karimloo (a good Canadian lad!!) in my mind is the best I have ever seen.  I have not been fortunate enough to see Michael Crawford or Colm Wilkinson, so I cannot compare.  But the sheer passion that Ramin brings to the role is astounding.  He embodies everything that the Phantom means to me. I almost feel his madness, his confusion. Listening to and watching this translation of the mad musician makes me feel as if I am wearing the mask.  His pain, his love is real.  And so is the evil that lurks inside.  Is he a man or a monster?  I dare say that he is both.

And then there is Christine Daae.  Again, 3 different interpretations of this role, and 3 very different emotions.  Maybe it is the length of time between me seeing each performance, but the most recent one is clearly head and shoulders above the rest.  I don't and can't compare her to Sarah Brightman (the original Christine), for I have not witnessed that performance.  But I have to say that Miss Sierra Boggess has turned in a marvelous piece of work.  Watching her bring Christine to life is something I will never forget.  So convincing and real was she that I hung on her every breath, her every emotion.  I believed every tear, every plea, and every profession of love...yes each kiss was not a seemingly brief screen kiss, but a kiss of love.

Yes, dear reader, I am a fan of The Phantom of the Opera.  Near the end, as Raoul was hanging from the magical lasso (he forgot to keep his hand at eye level!), I was hurting.  But I didn't hurt because the young Viscomte was in dire, I hurt because the mad genius who only wanted love was being tormented by a decision he had to make.  And I hurt because the one person who could save him from the destruction of his own mind could not love him as he wanted.

Yes, as Ramin and Sierra and Hadley Fraser (Raoul) played out these closing moments, I felt a rush in my very being that I don't think could ever be matched.  I felt the pain of love that all 3 actors portrayed so well.  I felt it, dear reader.  And at that very moment as the Phantom disappears behind his cloak, I was transported to very spot where only his mask lies on the chair.  I was there with Meg Giry as she picked up the mask.  I was there, dear reader, wondering if ever again I would hear the music of the night.  And then I realized that yes I will hear my head, in my very being.  Music moves me, dear reader.  It inspires me.  And when the Angel of Music is played around me, I will always now associate the sweet sounds with Ramin and Sierra.  I thank you both...the music of the night has never sounded quite like that.