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The Writer: Chapter 17

Could you please give me a piece of paper and a pen? A post it would do just fine. I want to write something down. No? Why not? Do you think I can use them as a weapon? Do you think I’m one of those people who can kill another in a thousand different ways?

Then I’ll just read you one of my stories.

Memento Mori

 

It was a hot and dry summer. The harsh air wrapped around clothes and skin, the heat stuck to your lungs, and it was as if an extraordinary force pressed hard against your chest every time you had to breathe.

I wouldn’t have minded the unscrupulous heat if I didn’t have to walk for almost two miles to my father’s apartment. He had moved out the previous spring, and now he lived all by himself, so once a week I would pay him a visit. We would talk for two or three hours about sports and politics and the weather, and he would cook me one of his exquisite steaks.

Every time I had to go see my father I had to pass a cemetery. It didn’t bother me. There was an imposing concrete wall surrounding it on all sides, white crosses covering its mussed surface. I thought the wall was there to offer some privacy to those who were no longer apart of this world, to shelter the dead from the crowded streets and the murmurs of agitation, from the incessant rumble of car engines. Or maybe it was only meant to discourage grave robbers.

Pine trees stood tall on the sidewalk, and it was as if time itself was suspended within the coolness and shade they provided, and a gentle, refreshing miasma rode on the breeze.

It was nothing unpleasant about having to pass a cemetery, nothing terrifying or sad. I could have avoided it, but I never did. It was on the shortest way to my father’s apartment, and I had nothing to worry about. Continue reading

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The Writer: Chapter 16

I have this strange custom. Every morning I like to go to the park and sit on the same bench and just gaze at the sun. For as long as I can, until my neck starts aching or my head starts hurting. If someone else is sitting on the bench, I stroll around the park until they leave.
One winter morning, something happened.
A woman was standing in the middle of the frozen lake, her feet struggling to keep her body balanced. It’s been so long since that moment that I forgot what she looked like. But I remember that she had a beautiful smile.
She was in love, that I am sure of.

Continue reading

The Writer: Chapter 15

When I was in high school I used to skip a lot of classes and aimlessly wander through town. Especially if it was sunny outside.

I loved staring at all these strangers, all of them fueled by their little dreams, hurriedly heading God knows where. I loved walking down streets, my soul overwhelmed by sweet surrender, because I knew and I could feel it with my entire being that I was and always will be different than all the strangers that melted together in afternoon crowds.

I would invent stories for each and every one of these strangers. A smile had a story behind it, a lover sending flowers or a gentle kiss. A smile was a memory of times of happiness. And what about those who were sad, who kept their heads down? Well, for them, I created stories that were going to make them happy. And so, I gave a past to those who were happy and a future to those who were sad.

I was the only one stuck in a murky present, the only one who had to kill stories when the strangers disappeared, swallowed by the incessant noise and commotion of the twenty first century. Somehow, and trust me, this hurts when I say it out loud, the world seemed to be distorted in such a poisonous way, and what appeared to be real before my eyes seemed to be but a hopeless prison for my soul. Continue reading

[Blogging Mindset] When Nobody is Reading Your Blog

The Art of Blogging

The first few weeks of blogging. You don’t know what you are doing, you do not know the platform, the rules, the principles. And, worst of all, you’re writing into a void.

You’re talking to yourself.

I remember feeling like this. I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path, or if I sucked big time, or if blogging without an audience is the kind of thing they lock you up for.

90% of all bloggers quit during these first few weeks. After all, it is illogical to pursue something if there’s no reward and no sign of progress, right?

Uhm… not quite.

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The Writer: Chapter 14

I once wanted to write a romantic story. Something that would involve sun, kisses, and tender embraces, as all romances seem to contain. After a couple of days I came up with a title. “The Portrait of a Lady.” I thought, why not, let’s search the Internet to see if anyone else came up with the same title as I. And figure what. Someone did.

Of course, it’s a famous novel written by Henry James. He obviously typed faster than I did. Pardon my bad humor. I knew who he was, I just didn’t know about that specific work. “The Turn of The Screw” is my favorite. Apropos, what do you think about it? In my humble opinion, it gives you a freedom of choice unparalleled in the world of literature. But you’re not here to talk about books. Let’s face it, reading is one of your least favorite things to do when you walk out of this room. So, let’s cut to the chase.

That book scared the hell out of me. And, trust me, I’m used to handling strange. But this was just… impossible? Is that the right word to describe this? Continue reading

The Writer: Chapter 13

Every morning Sebastian would come out of his improvised office, yawn a couple of times, hand me his notebook, and say, “Do your thing.”

That meant I had to check for spelling mistakes. Oh, and place the occasional comma here and there. Other than that, there was nothing more I could do. Everything he wrote was perfect.

While he slept, I would spend my time in the library, reading books. He had been right. I couldn’t find information about any of the writers or books that were there. But that didn’t stop me from reading them. Some were good; really, really well written. Others, not so much.

But what I found odd was the fact that most of them had the same name for the main female character. Selena. Continue reading

The Writer: Chapter 12

You know I’m going to read you one of my stories. Maybe you’re going to like this one. It’s… a bit, well, you’ll see.

 

One

 

I am an avid smoker. When I wake up in the morning, I feel this inexplicable urge to smoke a cigarette. I have to do it. After a good meal, I light myself a cigarette. I can’t drink coffee without two or three cigarettes – as a side dish, I suppose.

So one day I made myself a promise. For every cigarette I smoke I have to write one page of literature. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. I have to write one page, five hundred or so words, just so I can puff away some nicotine.

At first it was easy. I found enough inspiration to write thirty pages in a matter of days. It wasn’t so bad. After that, I wrote a twelve page short story in a day or so. Again, it was not the usual amount of nicotine I had been used to, but it had to make do. Continue reading