Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Aspiring Writer

Welcome to my blog, the point of which is to take a very nerve wracking, potentially embarrassing, wonderful, hopefully rewarding, and absolutely necessary step.  I want you to read what I write!

I want to be a writer.  I like stories, always did as a kid.  I loved hearing them, I loved telling them.  I'm told that at two I would not stop talking and talking to my mother.  She always laughed as she recalled those conversations, and never once did she fail to note the imagination shown in those two year old tales.  She was a great listener, but it didn't end there.  She gave me a greater gift, she read to me as well.  I vividly remember the pictures in my mind as she read me the Wizard of Oz on those choice afternoons while my older siblings where in school.  She showed me the magic of books.  I loved the trips with her to the library, a place that will always be just a bit sacred to me.  I learned to read from my mom, long before I ever went to school.

My parent's home always had books.  And I read all the Dr.Seuss and Disney stories.  All the books that proved so easy to read so quickly.  And then the Sunday afternoon when I discovered a small book with an interesting picture on the cover, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; and finally cut my teeth on a chapter book.  I couldn't put the book down!  I never looked back.  Even though I first balked at cover of the Black Cauldron, a book belonging to my older siblings, I finally got up the nerve and read it.  And I've loved it ever since.

It wasn't enough to just read.  I went out and wandered the family farm, lost in my imagination.  I spent hours each day in a world of my own making.  Most of the time I loved being the hero, but every once in a while, being the bad guy was fun as well.  And books just fed the fire.  I discovered Greek and Norse mythology and devoured it at every opportunity.

My father, a little concerned at my penchant and focus on fantasy, introduced more solid and substantial fare, history, and I found another wide open world.  I now read history texts and biographies for fun!

Words have a hypnotic power over me, I still vividly remember the awe I felt as my fifth grade teacher read "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..."  I was hooked on J.R.R. Tolkien and his style by that line.  His was the first writing style that I came to recognize and admire.  How the words joined enhanced the story and brought color and depth to the pictures in my mind.  I truly believe that Tolkien is one of the better writers to have lived on this earth.

Anyway, stories intrigue me and have power over me.  And I have so many of them floating around in my head that I thought it high time to commit a few to paper, or electrons and pixels in the modern world.  So over the past several years I've started writing, discovered writer's block, seen my own mediocrity first hand and in almost unbelievable quantities, and finally seen a few nuggets of what might actually be good writing.
I don't like all that I've written and I see that most of it still needs work, but I now find myself at a crossroads.

By training I'm an engineer, and more than once I've been told that engineers make lousy writers.  I wholeheartedly agree.  At the very best, engineers tend to be average writers.  I need to overcome that.  So we come back to the blog.

For the past several years I've used my spare time to write.  I submitted one manuscript, which the publisher rejected.  But it was fun to make the story and I've started more.

Now I stand in need of some critical readers, folks who will tell me whether or not there is any promise in my efforts.  That's the purpose of this Blog.  Read what I've written, it's free (and most likely worth what you paid for it!).  Let me know what you think.  If it stinks, don't hold back.  If you see something you like, let me know.  It makes me more than a little nervous to cast these stories out into the ether, but I'm anxious to see what, if anything comes of this!  So please, read as much as you want or as you are able, and let this humble writer know if there's any hope!  Thank you.

So, for obvious reasons I do not intend to post complete stories.  Size limits are one concern, but I also have enough vanity to hope that I can someday make something off my efforts, and if I've already given away everything for free, well, you see where that gets me.  I will post partial stories, and ask for feedback and potential interest.

Some of the stories are done, some are not.  I am still working on all of them.  Please let me know if there is something you would rather I focus on.  I am open to suggestions.

If the blog works as I intend, you should be able to view the different stories as tabs along the top or as links along the side of the blog.  Choose what you will and go from there.