Book review: Stygian by Sean Michael

cover“Exiles feed on dreams of hope.”Aeschylus, Agammemon

Art first became a craft. Then it became an industry. Or a bunch of industries. Fueled by certain technological advances, art has been plagued by the world’t desire for instant gratification. It’s all rules and guides.

But before all this, art was emotion.

This is Stygian.

Some ninety-something pages of pure emotion.

“If you found me in nowhere, would you take me by the hand and lead me somewhere?” – Stygian

One poem after another, Sean Michael builds an intricate web of feelings and emotions. You can taste it all, you can see it, you can feel in on your skin. It’s dark and gritty, it’s powerful.

But that’s what art is supposed to be, right?

As cheesy as this sounds, but art has to make us feel something. Take us outside our comfort zone, make us use your empathy and imagination and find a place where there’s no hope to be found.

A hope we find on our return to what we call reality.

The one flaw of this book?

It’s only ninety-something pages of pure emotion.

***

You can buy Stygian on Amazon.com here.

Happiness. Hope. Ambition

things
When did we become a therapy society? When did it become easier to tell everyone about our troubles, but not our successes? Do you ever think about that?

But what is happiness? How can we attain it?

Well… the idea is that happiness cannot be pursued. It’s not something you receive or stumble upon. It’s not something to be found while actively searching for it. Continue reading

Don’t Outsmart Yourself

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine asked me for advice about writing . And the best thing I could say was that she had to write in the easiest and simplest way possible.

Let me explain.

Ever read a brilliant piece of writing, something so good that you wish you had written it yourself? For aspiring writers, it seems like there’s only one way to go about this: try to write something similar.

Like they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery. But, you see, all great writers realized that in order to write something real, something that will resonate with readers, they need to write in the easiest and simplest way possible.

Writing should come naturally. It should be effortless, and it should be about whatever it is that makes your soul ache.

If you can’t shut up about it, then it’s worth writing about it. If it makes your cells dance at the thought of having this story read by people, then write about it.

You know, it is said that one should write the book one should like to read. So, write it the way you’d like to read it. The style that suits you best…

Don’t think about what other people would like to read, don’t try to ride trends, don’t try to please everybody.

In fact, don’t think at all. Just write. And while almost everyone else is thinking about writing, write some more.

Write to write

“Write to write. Write because you need to write. Write to settle the rage within you. Write with an internal purpose. Write about something or someone that means so much to you, that you don’t care what others think.”Nick Miller

There are a million different reasons to write something. The narcissistic belief that what you have to say is important to others, the selfless ideal of helping save this world through art and beauty…

Fame. Money. Love.

Heartbreak. Depression. Solitude.

All of them are important reasons.

But there’s something about writing just to write, writing to get the words out of your head…

Writing because that’s what you do. Writing because you won’t have it any other way.

If you feel strongly about something, then you can write about it.

All you have to do is silence all the other voices that keep telling you stuff like people won’t like it (who cares?) or it won’t sell(again, who cares?) or it’s been done before(everything’s been done before, or so it seems until something new comes along).

Just write. Type those damn words. There will come a day when you’ll be thankful for that.

Summer afternoon

summerHenry James thought “summer afternoon” to be the two most beautiful words in the English language. The hopeless romantic in me wants to agree. He can see the melancholy beauty of the landscape only two words create. He can see a place, a time, he can feel a faint breeze.

And he can also feel love. Continue reading

Writing is healing…

writing_healing“Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.”  – Gao Xingian

Have you ever asked yourself why is it that people write? Why is it that they feel the urge to put on paper thoughts, emotions, events… why do they have to write it all down?

Perhaps they do so because they don’t want to forget. Or maybe because they write differently from what they think, and only in writing do they find the freedom they so desperately need.

Or they write because they simply want to move on. Continue reading

You either write or live

This is something Jonathan Fisher says in The Writer. In certain ways, this particular statement holds a lot of truth. You have to take a step back, see things for what they are, and then write about them. You have to become an observer, you have to put your life on hold. You have to spend a lot of time inside your head, a lot of time all by yourself, in your living room, scribbling down one word after another. Continue reading