Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Inner Voice of Wisdom

The beauty of contentment is access. The inner voice is the entity that is accessed as we create. It offers a complete composition of...something.

The expression of the inner voice is without emotion yet it reveals sources of discontent: phobias, loss, addictions or anger. The inner voice overlooks those potential points of confusion (irrelevant energy) and is totally disconnected to both the emotions and reasons behind an intuitively led action.

Intuition in this case is simply an authority within regarding the unknown. Intuitive thought is ultimately an act of faith based on premonition. It is certainty without shape or form. It is wisdom standing in a shadow. There are no distractions in this zone. We hear noise along the peripheral but the inner eye does not blink. We are connected. Intuition. The lyrics of its' silent music are about the subject of oneness.  We hear what is there...a thing not yet manifested. It is the source of creative productivity; the engine that propels the wheels of providence: the result of relevant thinking.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Unfold the Mystery of Colorful Writing

Sometimes we add life to our stories by creating different avenues by which the reader comes to understand the unique nature of the character. Sometimes we express background through dialog, sometimes by narrative and sometimes through the view of other characters. The magic to characterization is conflict that falls within one of three distinct categories:

(a) there's how the world sees us.
(b) there's the way we see ourselves (self image).
(c) there's who we really are and who we choose to become (self-esteem).

When who we really are is consistent with what we think of ourselves, point (a) above, loses both   its'  appeal and its' power, therefore the beholder is empowered.

If you can write a story that expresses this principle you will have created great characterization because the reader will have followed the character through her points of conflict, through bad choices and will have prevailed through its consequences. This process guides one to the point of it all: self-actualization.

Has your main character been self-actualized?

Employ a catalyst to trigger character development

 I like to expose character by having the reader pursue an article (on the internet or by newspaper), or they might pursue a question or challenge an existing set of assumptions which causes one's character to unfold. A useful catalyst can be any event that prompts your character to action or to respond. It is usually a binary expression, a relationship between to entities, persons or ideas. A binary relationship means if a particular thing happens then your character will likely do or say a particular thing. Below is an example expressed through dialog.

"Did you know that Janice is going to the party?"
 "No. But I know what it means. Do you."
"T-r-o-u-b-l-e. Big trouble."

Sometimes, a poem or a letter -even if written to oneself -may be equally effective. To ensure magnificent impact of character it is good to display inner conflict.  Here's how.

(1) Establish inner conflict, preferably of a moral nature.
(2) Write from the abstract, leaving readers with small hints of the character's likely resolution.
(3) Allow the conflict to evolve around the character's need to resolve it but be sure the conflict grows with every attempt to resolve it.

In the below example, you will notice elements of both conflict and the abstract. You can make it mean whatever is right for your character. The below example is based on the feelings this writer experienced at the beginning of a new and meaningful relationship. The character is expressing feelings that only you, the writer can interpret.

Tell me, please, what you think is happening within the higher conscious ( the sub-conscious mind )which is inferior to nothing except God. I humbly submit that we may find the so called sub-conscious mind  is superior to present awareness. Present awareness has to be inferior because life is a process that has not yet been completed.

                                                              The Silent Drummer

Do you think that I'm expressive or, do you wonder why I beat my drums?

Because there are rooms in my heart. What's behind the doors?  Those doors are reservedly closed, a place where the most expressive of men falter, closed, yet unlocked.

What are those rooms like?
When I get to know you, the existence of that very discussion will speak to the elevation of our relationship. I know what lurks behind the door and how it is likely manifested.

Is it something bad?
It is not judged. It is simply a child's vision of the world, part of which remain with us forever,m a sensitive door at times whose bell does not always ring to relevance, where fear despises reason and courage excels them both; courage given legs not in spite of fear but invigorated by its' presence. Courage, the only antidote to fear; A silent room in spite of the beating of the drums.

There is a place in the soul, a place scarred and healed, remnants of a broken heart...the process of life filtered by pain, the ingredients of self-actualization, a place where the voice of the whisperer within is given base and the genius of wisdom flows, like a typewriter in your head, you read and remember every sentence, every promise of God regarding you and it seems a stroke of genius.

In reality you have become empowered by the need to love again.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Meaning of Life Part II

There are many answers to the above question but most share one or two common themes, most prominently:  change.

Change is a big word. Change often involve all the things we would rather not do. When we think of all the many rewards change has to offer, we actually begin to look forward to it..sort of. Change is rarely a comfortable undertaking. We want to experience all the good that ensues but we do not want to feel the ensuing level of pain associated with change but change happens anyway. The good news is that something inside of us is constantly changing, adjusting and adapting in a self-sustaining manner...provided we are walking in our calling.

So, what does that have to do with the meaning of life? The meaning of life is to be happy.  If we have walked in our calling we will have learned the nature of struggle and the benefit of endurance as we achieve our goals. Happiness is a presence. It grows as we accept the things that makes us different.  It is during struggle that our differences are made known. Our differences define us. Awareness of our differences paints the pathway to the calling and we simply follow.

 The magnitude of our  real power remain latent until we focus on the thing we were born to do . During the interim...there is conflict. Undisclosed meaning is a latent sibling to conflict, the child of courage, heir supreme to change; therefore change is meaningful.  Meaning is usually hidden, wrapped in the cover of obstacles, struggle and disappointment. Its treasures are reserved for the courageous. It shall reward those who open the box with particular expectations.

Which of your characters might open the box? Which would certainly not? Which is most resistant to change?

Notice that opportunity may require change and induce suspense.

I'm working with two characters in a story whose philosophy could not be more diametrically opposed.  Neither are afraid to open the box. Opportunity is therefore suspenseful in fiction and in life. Each character is skilled. Each personality is imposing. Each character understand why they are here.  Both are extremely successful. One is good; the other is evil. One is happy. The other is content.

This particular manuscript is based on a true story and the thought it inspires is: in principle, the power bestowed upon the courageous (those of us who know why we are here) bears no moral influence.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Meaning of Life

Gutsy title, isn't it?

Obviously, the answer to the entitled question prompts a wide variety of thoughts pertaining to one's purpose and destiny. The thought might inspire more questions than answers, however, this writer believes that God loves each and every one of us so much that he has given us more than we need to reach our destiny.

Our lives are utterly unfulfilled if our course should fail to align with our chosen purpose and the King or Queen inside oneself is denied its reign, a most undesirable consequence filled with unrest, uncertainty and unwarranted fear.

We connect to our purpose in life by the powerful momentum of passion. We writers are elated each time we read a good novel by a first time novelist because we, too, are arrested by the same passion, a kind of binary kinship propelling us to write more.

We observe life and absorb detail: expressions on people faces, the modulation in which the wind blows and the impact it has on blades of grass and what types of birds inhabit the area and the accent of local people.  We are effective when life happens and deposit hints of color into the depths of the subconscious mind where it is allowed to ferment and return in a more vivid demonstration than the actual original events we previously observed - it returns one size larger than life. Art becomes life...or, we might say that creation is life.  Life flows through the printed word because the writer is passionately connected to the purpose for which the writer was born; therefore, few moments are considered "work"( in the traditional sense) and every scene can leave a lasting impression exceeding the life of the writer, thus the writer reigns as emperor of the world s/he endless treasure of refined ideas.

Aren't you excited that the spirit within you cannot be exhausted?  We are refueled, daily by life and life surrounding us. It is constantly changing and so are we. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Does God Speak Through Writers?

 A wise man once said, "an unexamined life is a life not worth living."

At the risk of stating the obvious, it's worth repeating, one of the most important rules of success is to do that which we love. We must make effective use of the two most precious human assets: good health and time, both of which shall inevitable vanish by appointment.

 If we are not doing that which we love, I submit we are either mentally incapacitated, grossly ignorant of the value of life or confused, all of which lead to the same oblivious road.

During the process of character development, I challenge writers to make the character's psychological outlook known through the character's actions, much like in real life; people say one thing and do another. We hope for a particular outcome and sometimes we are disappointed. How does your character handle that one? Maybe we feel too old or too young or too something... which prevents us from having what we want. Does your character feel that way?

What we really believe is demonstrated not so much by what we say, nor are it's parameters established by who people believe we are. Who we are is manifested in many ways:

(1) How we feel about God
(2) How we feel about success and failure in general
(3) How we value the assets of good health and of time
(4 )How we deal with fear
(5) How we handle relationships

 Like us, our characters are challenged by many conflicts as they try to find their way in the world. How characters deal with conflict tell us much about them no matter who they claim they are.

 Observe yourself, vicariously, from a distance and ask "How do I behave when something does not go my way?"

 An honest answer is best arrived at after a dialog with self. That's one of the spiritual aspects of art and of writers in particular that I so appreciate: the ability to question oneself and others regarding life changing issues.

The above question is a game changer...a life defining moment.  Great men and women have grown to cherish this idea because it can inspire perfect love. How? We come to know that we are not in control of anything separate of our thoughts...or should be.  The question, if pondered, truly broadens the mind, strengthens the imagination and ultimately leads to a kind of self-actualization that honors the underlying authority in an individual's life, adding credibility and exposure to the source which we honor.

If we honor decency it is because we are decent. If we honor wisdom it is because we are wise. Those who honor gain will always be in need. Those who give shall not be without.

What does your character honor?

It's important to know from a moral point of view because if you are giving life to a shady character in your story, that character must remain true to form. He or she, will honor many things indecent. The key to such a "slimy" character (and almost every fiction story needs one) is that he/she must answer to the law of compensation in the end.

To make this character work, justice must prevail in a form that vex and torment the character as it does in real life. For example, the shady character will respond to some form of fear. He may be afraid of getting old. She may fear criticism, poverty, illness...all the dark notions that are not a part of the characters reality for which he has given birth to his own demons. That reminds me of a verse in the Bible that says, " will be running when no one is chasing them." It is, in a higher sense God's judgement upon them.

A sense of justice permeates the end of a character's journey in much the same way it shapes the life of the writer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Color your Writing with Foreign Language

I would like to think that my upcoming book, Speak Spanish in 90 Days, is among the easiest methods to learn Spanish. Before I start bragging, I must applaud retired TSU Houston foreign language professor, Marcel Crespil, Ph.D, for his unyielding assistance as editor and consultant to this piece of work. Without him, the quality of this work would not have been possible.

Okay, now I can brag. The element that sets this book apart from others is based on my own experience in learning foreign languages, coupled with the common pitfalls experienced by others. For example, years ago when I first studied Spanish in High School, it was difficult to master, mainly because most teaching methods attempted to exercise the use of all verb forms - future, past and present - at once, therefore, after two years of study in high school I had not advanced.

In my last year in High School, my family moved to a predominantly Latino community and six months afterwards I was fluent in the language. Here's my point: there is a method of learning that makes the process far more efficient. We have discovered language barriers and provided a tried-and-proven method to learning.

In  the book, Speak Spanish in 90 Days, readers will be excited to discover that after 15 minutes practice per day, they will have gained a grip on the language after 90 days. What does that mean to you as a writer? It means you can create colorful dialogue of Latino characters whether your setting is in Latin America or the U.S.A. and the book will enable you to do so with an immediate degree of plausibility. Foreign language allows you, the writer, to break the monotony of dialogue and color it with fresh insights.

For example, what if you were writing a romantic piece whereby an English speaking lady walked past a gentleman she found handsome and heard him say to a friend, "Como bonita es ella?"

What if she understood that he had said, "How beautiful she is." Now, you can make her smile and lead the reader into a description of the characters and the scene.

What if she responded to the gentleman by saying "thank you" in English? Where will it lead? You might put them in the market place in...let's say Cancun, Mexico. Maybe she wants to bargain but only understand a little Spanish. Maybe she may ask this same gentleman to interpret for her. Whether you write, mystery, suspense thrillers or romance, you can twist Spanish dialogue to serve your purpose; for example a suspense story may make a different twist on the same scene. "What if the man said, "Necesito hallar adonde vive." I need to know where she lives, or, "Ella no me gusta." I don't like her. Can you imagine where that might lead in a suspense story, especially, if he starts to follow her?

What if she remembered what he said and stopped by a news rack to purchase a Spanish book to look up those words? What if she felt the man was following her but never looked over her shoulders? What if she found the Spanish book, interpreted his words, looked over her shoulders and saw this same man, quickly, duck into a dark alley?

Foreign language dialog is another tool to create and magnify red herrings and elements of foreboding to your fiction.

Try it. You might like it.

Speak Spanish in 90 days (c)copyright 2012 Hamdani

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Barry Writes: Why I Love My Fellow Writers

Barry Writes: Why I Love My Fellow Writers: I love writers because I love words and the potential to ride them vicariously throughout the world. I am helplessly romanticized by the som...