Friday, February 24, 2012

Power and Rainbows

Sometimes the lack of something in a young person's life, or concentrated and continuous reception of pain, would form a hyper-creative mind.

I was reading over a transcript I had printed out on a forum with author Octavia Butler as the guest. It was in 2001 where the moderator/host was Ben Trumble for SCIFI. It was a promotional tour mainly for the novel Kindred which had been adapted into a four-part audiodrama miniseries for SCIFI.COM.

During the discussion, Octavia was asked the question about power...

QUESTION: "Ms. Butler, many of your novels deal with power relations: the gifted vs the normal, the time-traveler who knows vs. the manipulator. What about power interest you so much as a writer and human being?"

BUTLER'S ANSWER: "I don't feel that Dana has power in <em><strong>Kindred</strong></em>, and only a little knowledge. Power is what she needs. Power does interest me. I grew up feeling so powerless, not only because I was Black and female, but because I was so shy. I wrote about power so I could understand it. It still interests me in the way that people use it. It's such a part of being human."

At those times where someone lacks power, the natural deepening of creativity explodes.

During the SCIFI discussion, Octavia states: "I used to live next to my landlady and I told everybody she inspired me. And you don't need imagination because everybody has it. We carry it from childhood. And forget about talent. If you have it, wonderful. If you don' a few best sellers and see who else doesn't have it, then get to work."

She stated that she began writing Science Fiction before she began reading it, or at least recognizing it.

And even after finally getting published, she still had to deal with a complete disregard when it came to her creative art.

First CoverNewest CoverTrilogy Cover

QUESTION: "I recently had a chance to see an earlier print of Dawn and on the cover was a Caucasian woman pretending to be Lilith. What were your reactions when you first saw that cover?"

BUTLER'S ANSWER: "Well, my reaction was the same as when I first saw any of my early covers. Writers have no control over that. Well, maybe Stephen King. It's the luck of the draw and sometimes there is no luck. I think it was the marketing ideas of the time. Black people don't read SF. Blacks on the cover don't sell books. As my books sold more, that changed. I literally outlived the adversity. I have editors now who actually care what I think. My early editors frankly didn't. They'd send a cover and say, "Isn't it beautiful!" If I thought it wasn't, that didn't matter. They would explain to me why I was wrong."

Octavia stated she received the audio script of Kindred as a finished product. She didn't get a chance to view it before it went into production. She stated in the discussion that the audio told a different story than the one she was telling, but (she added as a positive note) it did what it did in a very interesting way. She also added another positive statement that she liked the way the slave narratives were handled.

When I read those two positive statements from Octavia about the audiodrama, I still could hear the disappointment, and perhaps even the anger, of these people who took it upon themselves to take her creative art and do what they wanted, only to tell her: "It's All done! Look! You should be thankful!"

Today, though, one's inspired creativity from the darkness of childhood experiences, can be shared to everyone exactly how the author intended it to be. Self-publishing allows just that. It takes time to see those beautiful lights of the rainbow especially right before the dark scenes of life. And I'm so glad that today has the true freedom of expression--the way that it was intended.

Authors, like Octavia, helped to pave that way, with their silent acceptance of what they couldn't change, but bursting their light through in places where they could.

Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006)

As most know, every story that has ever been written has already been written. While I wrote in my young age, I never came across any stories similar to mine, until I picked up Octavia Butler's book. I had no idea she was a Black author because of the cover, and a few years later, I picked up another book in the library, and started reading, and yes, I had already read it. It was Dawn, and I had now the Trilogy, and the excitement, to read the next few books of this story. That was in the early 1990s, during my college years. I had hoped one day that I would have the honor to someday sit down and speak to the wonderful author who wrote so similar to my own thoughts and imagination, but unfortunately, it would now never be.

Today, I can only continue my version of story telling in the similar steps as her own. And I'm happy to be able to do just that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spartacus: A World Of Flesh And Heart

Spartacus. The pivotal of a man's show, for sure. A world filled with flesh and blood, pleasure and pain, deviousness and desires. All of it gets your blood on fire and your eyes widen for more.

A wondrous, sinful sight, for sure.

If certain laws were not in place, even Las Vegas would appear to the senses just like this world of Spartacus. City of Sin. Pulled away from the chains of morality and constraints of being virtuous, there is a surge of adrenalin in freedom.

To succumb to such delights can bring one to addiction, thus enslaving you for more and more until reaching an calamitous end where your life is snuffed out by someone who was harmed by your increasing greed and they sought, and fulfilled, their vengeance; or, you become indifferent and ultimately bored because you've done every delicious thing and thus your life no longer is aflame with its excitement.

Yet, within this world of pounding, moaning, slicing, moistness, roaring, screaming, squirting, romping, stroking, and luring: a pull to the heart of right and love exists. No matter how much flesh a man can have or want, there is always that ONE that turns him to something greater than what he could ever imagine. He craves for that particular woman. He'll turn the world over for that one person.
When a man loves a woman
Can't keep his mind on nothing else
He'll trade the world
For the good thing he's found
The song ,sung by Percy Sledge, defines the connection between man and woman when the mind, body, soul, and heart is entwined with, and for, another. One could only hope that the pull, that can not be turned away, to that other someone is of worth and goodness...or else suffering is eminent.

Love does conquer all, rather it is: right or wrong, good or evil, bliss or sorrow. And which ever way the pendulum sways for one human, the absorption of love is a power, a mastery over a force, that can rise or destroy anything in its path.

True Love is mostly seen by, and given to, those who have suffered through the darkest of hours. Only these types of people, those who've traveled that dark lane of life, are the chosen few who can truly recognize that brilliant light. It is always night, before the day.

If you're fated to know love's true essence...wield its power well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Write Now!

I haven't been the typical writer. I don't write every day like I'm supposed to. I don't even write every week. Well...not on my novels anyway. I'm trying to write once a week for both of my blogs (this one and the one for authors). But I can go months and months and months without writing on my novels.

I should be writing RIGHT NOW, and write now (Heh. Heh.), but I'm sidetracked with all the time that I have to catch up on my TV shows (Once Upon A Time, Fringe, Grimm, Spartacus and very tempted to try to catch up on Eureka and Warehouse 13). Something has to give. I just got too many shows distracting me. It's really bad because I don't have cable so I'm not glued down to weekly times and dates. I let everything build up and then try to watch everything at once.

What am I doing between building up shows to watch? Catching up on my Netflix 3-movie rotation.

I'm a bad, bad, bad writer.

What's worse is that ALL of these distractions just suck away from my art of writing. When I do finally sit down to write, everything sounds so amateurish and feels like a jagged rock trail. It doesn't come out smoothly at all. I found myself editing past writing more than adding new material.

Bad Writer.

Eventually, I get back to the novels and I use these shows and movies to "jump-start" me back into my storytelling.  These are those times where I wish I had more time to relax, to then have the time to write. But time always seems to get away and there's never enough of it.

Oh well. Back to my shows. Oh. You thought I was going to say I'm going to write? Hm.. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Screwed Up Life!

Yep. Sometimes you reach that point. Life is just SCREWED UP!

We make decisions; find out they're wrong. People wrong us, abuse us, hate us. We begin to feel that there's no way out. It feels like it's night...All. The. Time.

But in little ways, there's an outlet, a break, somewhere.

I find my outlet in music and in films...especially music.

My current theme song during this time is: 
NO SUCH THING (John Mayer) especially when filled with decisions and choices, after years and years (being that I'm now 40) of life:

All of our parents, they're getting older I wonder if they've wished for anything better while in their memories, tiny tragedies

I'm still young to those older than me, and old to those younger than me, and everyone will tell you that "The grass is not always greener" and "They're always going to be bumps in your life".

And, though these voices are meant to be thoughtful of YOU, and to help you NOT make a bad decision, they all sound like:
"Welcome to the real world" she said to me condescendingly"Take a seat, Take your life Plot it out in black and white"
There's no solid, logical answer to the WHY NOT question to a decision. WHY NOT do it?! And it all makes you wonder if:

They love to tell you "stay inside the lines" But something's better on the other side

Happily Ever After is what most dream of. LOVE is what we most want. And the absent of happiness and love causes extreme evil...everywhere and in everyone.

The bottom line in decision making is to be truthful to yourself (No "convincing" yourself of this or that), and to make a decision that WILL propel you forward in life.  If you find out it's the wrong decision, at least you made a decision. ("Make a decision," my father would say, "And stick to it.") Make a decision, and then you're OUT of the spot that you were in, and in a different place. Though sometimes it might seem similar, the wrong decision, it is still slightly different.
  • Identify the wrong pattern. 
  • Learn it. 
  • Get stronger. 
  • Progress.
I am invincible I am invincible I am invincible as long as I'm alive

Power. Logic. Love. All these (three) things, together, mind you (always together), leads you to daylight. And fear, which makes you NOT do something, will retain you in the night.

Until Next Time...