Friday, May 27, 2016

A Slice of Life

I had seen Danika a couple of times since the disaster with the apple pie.  We would say a quick hello or just a few simple words as we passed each other in the hall, coming and going in our busy schedules at school and while trying to catch up on my blog posts.

I liked her immediately that night she had “invited” me over.  She had asked that evening if we could meet for coffee at some point when things settled down, and we could sit and talk for awhile, so I told her sure.  

Doesn’t everybody say “sure” knowing lives at school keep us busy thus thinking to ourselves that wouldn’t happen, but not with Danika.  

She caught me yesterday in the hallway and said 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. I almost choked on my answer, sure I said, again.


I am getting ready to meet with Danika this morning and I step infront of the mirror. There stood my perfect reflection looking back at me. I am trying to recreate that day over and over again, when I swore I saw James, standing just so, leaning over the fountain.  Just one more glimpse was all I needed to be certain it was him!  I failed at every attempt.  

A knock on the door, it must be Danika.  Punctual, I like that!  I open the door, and she has such an energy about her even at 10:00  in the morning, ugh!  I am not awake yet.  I do need coffee!  She asks if I am ready, yes just grabbing my sandals as we head out the door.

As we are walking over to Dunkin Donuts, it is a beautiful day and quite a long walk, so we decide we are going to have ice coffees.  She begins to ask me several questions.  What am I doing this summer?  Am I going anywhere?  Will I be working?  The semester is over, and I am still thinking about all the writing I want to get out of my head and on to paper.

And then my mind froze.  Did Danika just ask me to be roommates with her?  She keeps on talking about how she was invited to go on two different mission trips this summer, and she would be gone for awhile, and that would allow me to have the place to myself and write.

I can’t believe this, but I am going to say yes!  This is going to be an interesting summer.  I look over into the store window and see our reflection or Refraction.  Hers, mine and possibly a third?  James!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Black, White or Gray & 26 Letters

As the semester winds down, I have spent many hours reading essays and papers of others from the tutoring center.  (Have I mentioned, I love helping others edit their work?  It makes me feel like I’m making a small difference in someone else’s life - you know, making an impact.)   

There was one all about the necessity of dream realms, or illusory realms in fiction.  It fascinated me.  While the paper focused on how using a dream to allow a character to figure out a moral dilemma was in essence a cop-out, I’m not so sure it is a bad literary concept.  It might even be one that needs to see a real revival in this present time.   

My first thoughts float to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and how love can be fleeting, the complete opposite of the words of love which oftentimes claim to be undying and everlasting…

How often are people picking up books and just getting upset because in fiction, the problems seem to solved to quickly?  There are complaints about the real world being messy, not black and white; that simple solutions just do not exist. 

I am not so very sure that is the case.  The answers to most scientific equations tend to boil down to standard equations that many memorize as a child.  I mean even the English language is comprised of only 26 letters, yet we continue to write about new ideas and create new characters.  

It seems that reality is not as complicated as we make it.  What if our minds throw in too many what ifs, to the possibilities of the future, and that is where the world gets grey and messy?

Would you agree with me, dear reader?


Friday, May 13, 2016

A Character Takes Form

Sitting back and listening to others talk always reveals thought in a new light.  While I was sitting on a bench yesterday, waiting for my afternoon class to start, I listened in on a conversation between two girls.  They did not even notice I was there.   

They were discussing an assignment they have on Peter Pan.  More specifically the concept of Peter Pan often played by a woman for on stage productions.  As they continued, discussing the need for Peter Pan to look younger as the reasons, I started to wonder about how different life would be for me if I had been the opposite of myself… like Peter Pan, a boy, acted by a woman.   

Would I enjoy searching for stories around me?  Would I care to sit still long enough to listen in on other’s conversations?  Or would I be full with a drive to be active in my surroundings?  Building friendships with many other guys and girls simply because I enjoyed having a busy schedule…  

James re-entered my mind.  He will become that version of me - the what if I had been the opposite… a refracted, altered, version of the me I am.   

James is a college student, at a big state school.  He received a scholarship for baseball because he had an amazingly accurate throw.    

His world is full of action, sports to play, games to win, people to hang out with.  People always notice James as he walks into a room because he walks with confidence.  He is tall, strong, sure, just as so many athletes are, right?  He goes up to new people and says hi, simply because they are new.  (You see that is so not me... )  

James is so sure he knows what is in front him, what his life holds that he doesn’t second guess many things at all.  He just keeps moving forward, knowing that while he is in school, he will play baseball, and then he will be an architect. He will design grand buildings where other people do important things.    

The thing is, life never flows the path one foresees, does it?    

You see, dear reader, I have been thinking about James, the refraction of the images around me, and building this story for so long that it is changing over and over.    

James has his life figured out - his college goals, his career goals.   

Now that the character is formed, I must focus on the conflict, the twist, the drama that will bring the story to life.  And that, my dear reader, is what I will leave you with - what twist draws you in?


Friday, May 6, 2016

Writing Outside of Paper

I was running late for class yesterday. Lucky for me, the teacher was also. 

Unfortunately, Providence hasn't had a history of favoring me, but once in a while, meaning I'm on my own for a time. I will have to set my alarm earlier so I can get my writing done I suppose? 

Have you ever found this strange, dear Reader, that writers tend to do the most of and their best writing when they are away from a pen and pages?

I say, writers, though I guess that's just a broad assumption I'm making, that all writers are this way. I suppose I made that assumption because I am at my best when away from anything I can write on. Or I was yesterday when racing across campus.

The fountain I have passed on my way from class to class always seems to remind me of the story “Refraction” and my previously asked the question “Have you ever looked at yourself or anything in the water?” 

When I passed the fountain yesterday, my mind just clicked, I thought what would I see in the refraction of the fountain’s water?  How would this differ from the pencil? The fountain was turned off yesterday, making it the perfect time for gazing into its waters, which is what I found myself doing in spite of my rush yesterday. But, as I turned back around to make my way over I was almost too nervous to look! 

As I leaned over the edge, and I saw my reflection, there I was. The shadow of the sun over my head slightly distorted my face.  Standing there I begin to smile. I was bending and waving in the water. It was entirely a different view from my pencil in the glass of water, the distortions making it appear as broken. But my face was still whole. The fountain had a small ripple that my face waved in rhythm with. 

This is where I began writing without paper.

The character James, my protagonist in "Refraction", would view himself differently? Wouldn’t he? Would his reflection resemble mine? Or is it a different reflection all together? Does he see himself as I see him or does he view himself with a different light as if he were viewing at an earlier time of day with the sun behind his back?  The light would be different as well as the shadow it reflected. His character is set in my mind, but as I looked at my own reflection, I wonder if his personality is indeed defined in the character I have drawn for myself? Just a slight variation in the water from a single droplet can create a small ripple effect causing my reflection to move while completely distorting my view to a new perspective of Refraction.

I remember as a child going to the beach and putting my feet just at the waters’ edge.  I could see through the water my toes as they wiggled.  I watched as the Guppies swim past, and as I tried to reach down and grab them. Somehow, I always missed them.  I thought I wasn’t fast enough to catch them,  but now I understand the concept of Refraction.  It wasn’t my speed; it was Refraction as well as the light from the sun.  Refraction was the cause of my distortion, allowing me to believe they were right there at my feet.  When putting my hands into the water I assumed I could just pick them up right from where I stood.

Looking back at the fountain from yesterday, It's odd how writing without paper works. Nothing is concrete; everything is always flexing or waving. I felt distantly close to my story, almost if a reader discovering my own book. My perspective rippled and waved when I was outside my pages. The feeling being something like seeing a reflection of my written words.

I see Refraction is a little deeper than I first acknowledged.