Posts

The Barrels of Your Skull

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WHY WE WRITE

We never have a problem coming up with ideas for our stories. As Taylor correctly points out in another post, sometimes we have too many ideas for our own good. Nevertheless, there’s never a shortage of imagination and inspiration. Writer’s block is non-existent around here. The main reason for this is we’re inspired by true masters of the pen. I’m not talking about Stephen King or Shakespeare, although I take nothing away from either.

We are always inspired by true lyrical masters. I’m talking about the artists, poets and writers of another medium.

Try this on for size: “He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed. He’ll put both his arms around you; you can feel the tender touch of the beast.” These lines were written by Bob Dylan, one of the preeminent poets of the 20th century. The words are lyrics to the song, Man Of Peace from Dylan’s 1983 album, Infidels.

These words inspire the visual artist and the writer alike. People try to decipher a deeper meaning behind the lyrics of Dylan, but I say, why? Enjoy the picture he’s painted with his words and use the words to inspire and motivate yourself. Consider these:

“But all the while I was alone. The past was close behind.” Hmm, “The past was close behind.” Simple, but powerful lyrics from the song, Tangled Up In Blue on Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks album.

“…Shakespeare, he’s in the alley with his pointed shoes and his bells, speaking to some French girl, who says she knows me well.” Picture that. These lyrics come from a song with a provocative title, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, from Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde.

Some will suggest there are better examples of Dylan I could use. On this point, that doesn’t matter. Two people could argue Dylan for days. After all, it’s inspiration, nothing more complicated that that. Get your inspiration from wherever you want. Bob Dylan’s lyrics are sometimes deep, sometimes fun, but they still motivate and inspire.

So, what about more contemporary artists, you ask? They write good stuff, too, you say. First, I agree. I can (and probably will later) give you many examples of contemporary artists that inspire us. Second, you read this far because you’re learning stuff you didn’t know.

One last point, from Dylan’s Man of Peace: “Well, he can be fascinating, he can be dull; he can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull.”

That’s badass.

Trains, Aliens and Radar Guns

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Recently, we got stuck… we were discussing where to take a certain character in a certain scene, and one of us had a mind blowing idea. “What if we did this…!” Oh man, it was awesome! We started discussing twists, turns, and scenarios, talking over each other, each eager to share the newest thought. It was fun and energizing…for a while.

All kinds of ideas started flying out of our heads and onto the computer screen. Antagonists in our story went from humans, to mutants, to actual aliens from a dying planet. We talked about radar guns, human fertility prisons, trains, you name it.

It seemed the more we added and changed our original vision, the more complex the story became. We had more questions than answers, and were having to come up with more twisted ideas to explain the curvy ones.

Ultimately, we figured out the best thing to do was go back to our original vision, our dream, our story. It worked. We came up with an easy explanation to a really not-so-difficult question. Long story short, we stopped trying to make our story and our characters something they weren’t. Maybe down the road we’ll rethink the trains, aliens and radar guns – not that they won’t be in there somewhere. Or maybe we’ll get even crazier.

Puppies and Posting

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A litter of eight German Shepherd puppies has been keeping us busy for the last several weeks. They’re ever so cute, but boy are they full of shit. Literally. We haven’t been neglecting the Changers project, but we’ve neglected posting. This is a quick update.

Feedback from a few of our beta readers is trickling in. One of our readers was in the middle of another book, so she had to finish it before turning her attention to Changers.

A co-worker is anxious to get his hands on our latest manuscript. Knowing this guy, he’ll be an honest beta reader. Some of the feedback we’ve already received is prompting some re-thinking and editing. We’ll make a few changes before giving it to the new guy for feedback.

Still having fun, whatever is happening!