How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Reader Response Theory

One thing that used to bother me as a writer is that I would always have a point I wanted to make, and not really know how to make it.

My attempts to be obvious were heavy-handed and artless, and when I was subtle I found that the stories I wanted to tell didn’t say what I wanted to say.

This was the cause of no mean frustration for me, since younger me wanted to make a point with everything, to the point of ultimately giving up and writing either stuff that I considered meaningless drivel or stuff that was so chock-full of symbolism and heavy-handed ideas that it lacked any real development or originality.

Continue reading “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Reader Response Theory”

The Importance of Reading

Since beginning a voyage of self-improvement in March, I’ve read 200 articles and at least 10 books just for the sake of reading more.

I spend at least one hour every day dedicated solely to reading, and I spend a fair amount of time reading stuff written by people who are wrong disagree with the beliefs that I hold.

And I’ve noticed a few positive trends in my life.

Continue reading “The Importance of Reading”

Happiness

While I was drinking my tea today (apple, if anyone’s interested), I had an interesting realization.

I have been happier in the final weeks of March and April than I have been at any other time in my adult life. Probably more so than at any point in my adolescent life, either.

Some of this has to do with a spiritual re-awakening, since I’ve been more involved in my church and the Scriptures, but a lot of it has to do with simple changes to my life.

I write about two to three thousand words a day on average. I’m more or less equally productive on my previous projects, but I have taken up blogging regularly.

Continue reading “Happiness”

Living in History

Life does not exist in a vacuum. Every living organism is the product of complex chemical and biological mechanisms that we are just beginning to truly understand.

Minds, likewise, do not exist in a vacuum. Our days do not unfold in a vacuum: they are not sequences of events disconnected and disengaged from each other.

Yet we live, for the most part, like our actions do not connect to reality. We pretend that the events that unfold around us are something that we have no control over.

We pretend that we have no history and no past, because it lets us shape our future according to our whims and our fantasies.

Continue reading “Living in History”

Fall of Babylon

in myriad ten-fold they stood to watch their leader

“trust in me” he said, holding armageddon in his hand

so they trusted, looking to the skies with war straightening their spines each held a lance and each wore a crown because they were free as they followed their leader they wore crowns

they did not know God or the cosmos or the order of creation they did not know the path to peace nor did they care to learn it and they stood with their backs straight and their souls empty

only the wailing of the children left behind remained

Enjoying Writing

Yesterday I talked a little about writing as a Stoic, which is all about self-discipline and making choices because they’re what you should do to become your ideal writer.

Today I’m going to talk about how to kick back as a writer and really enjoy it (or at least the things that help me destress, relax, and create a “contented plan” for the future when I am writing).

Continue reading “Enjoying Writing”

The Writer as Stoic

Stoicism is an important philosophy in the founding tenets of the Western world; it is frequently tied into Christianity owing to the religion’s nature as part of a Roman tradition (albeit one that grew to outstrip the political entity that eventually adopted it).

Stoicism involves the pursuit of morality and virtue above all else (which certainly helps explain its appeal to Christian scholars who saw a link between it and the teachings of their faith, leading it to be preserved for centuries with a great deal of fervor as a sort of secular proof of the rightness of a moral life).

Continue reading “The Writer as Stoic”

Gods of Babylon

They worship gods of Babylon, noble in vain self-conception.

Creating edifices of self-destruction, they cast their bones into the sky, sacrificing the stars for mastery of the world.

Profane flame burns in their chests, and nothing supports their feet.

Under a sunless sky they will meet eternity, weeping at their loss, purging their minds and bodies of what they knew in their first breath.

They worship, and come away unfulfilled.

Their temples are hollow, their eyes soulless, their hopes dashed on the rocks and shattered into the splinters of a thousand wasted words.

And still they worship gods of Babylon.

Salvation

She wanted to save him.

Sand passing through her fingers.

She could see him fall away. Distant and yet towering, former glory passing below the horizon.

The world was drowned in sorrow.

How could there be anything else?

She held him close to her heart as the decline began.

Even though she knew he could not hear.

She held him in her arms, his frail frame barely coherent. And she could hear the raspy jagged breaths. She closed her eyes,

letting hot burning swell inside the lids.

The sun had gone down and it would not raise again.

No salvation.

The Flames (Part 1)

Herrek hadn’t gotten the chance to see Lethe before it burned. Born on the frontiers of the empire, he had always had his eyes turned home.

But the empire was too large, Lethe’s influence too wide-spanning, for just anyone to return home. Travel was expensive, and not without risks—how little they had known—so he had been stuck on a frontier world mired in dust, mud, and rebels.

The Hammer had been his chance to return to the land of his forefathers, to go back to Lethe.

He arrived to ashes, the burnt shell of a once-proud civilization.

Continue reading “The Flames (Part 1)”