So you can read my books

Thursday, August 25, 2011


There are things only the dead know, views only the dead see.

Victor Standish, impudent pup that he is,

asked me to write of them here anyway.

At least in how they shape the art of writing.

What do I know of writing you ask? Each of us is the author of our lives, though many insist upon making them boring, repetitive.

The way of the writer is the way of water :

Most of you restrict yourselves, limit your vision. Be instead water.

You put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;

You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;

You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.

Sometimes it is still like the hush before dawn. Sometimes it is wild like the heart betrayed. But it is always alive to the world around it.

Be water, my friend.

Do not think, is like pointing your finger towards the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss the stars!

The ghost of Thoreau tells me only that day dawns to which we are awake. Water is always awake. But are you?

A child is acutely aware of his expanding world, for it is new, ever-growing, ever fascinating. The way of the writer is to stay that child.

Most of the living become calloused by their flow of experiences, falling into the sleep of habit.

They wrap their personal problems about their eyes so that they walk blindly through all their days, listening only to the musak of their sorrows.

They put on layer upon layer of habits, clothing themselves in restriction until the water of their souls become stagnant like a swamp.

You living become so insulated in this manner that only the knife of tragedy or great joy can stab through to you.

Most of you have stopped being aware sometime in high school. Have you not noticed men whose fashion sense halted in their mid-twenties?

Since most of you are not laying up new stores of awareness and observations each day, you must go back to the same stale, old ones when you were still awake.

No wonder that so many authors write and re-write the sensations of their early years or childhood. Have you not known an author who seems to be able to tell only one story?

No matter the heroine’s name, the snowflakes will still melt on her fluttering eyelashes. The hero will always be strong, silent, misunderstood.

Ah, but the truth is that all of us remember strongly the things we saw through the clear, warm light of childhood. And when we want to bring a scene to life, we return to those sensations that sing to us of life, of being aware.

But if we endlessly return to that same pool, soon our writing grows stale, repetitive, and lifeless.

The ghost of Henry James just strolled by, saying, “Tell them to be one of the people upon whom nothing is lost.”

You cannot do that overnight.

No. Take ten minutes of each day to practice the innocence of the eye,

to ask how a child would see what is around you. Do this in different locales, never the same.

Taste the breeze. Listen to the robin in the tree to your left. Watch the stroll of the ambling dog outside your window, studying where he stops, watching his eyes, looking at his wrinkling nose and shifting ears.

Turn yourself into a stranger in your own life.

What colors are the things around you? Why would someone paint his house moldy green? What colors are the cars that pass you? Did the persons want that color? Why?

Close your eyes. What are the smells? What are the sounds? What could a blind person tell about the world you perceive this way?

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety.

In that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.

Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.

Be awake, my friend. Be a child. Be a writer.
Don't forget to join Rach's PLATFORM -BUILDING CAMPAIGN!


  1. Blogger hates me it seems.

    I am losing followers, snatched away by the invisible fingers of Blogger.

    Guys, even if you became a follower long ago, hit JOIN THIS SITE, will you?

    I have done the same for you and have found that Blogger has snatched my name from many of your role calls! What's up with that?

    The ghost of Bruce Lee is depressed. No one has commented on his guest post. C'mon, cheer up a depressed ghost. Comment. You know when he's depressed, he sticks with me all day. You ever have a depressed, short-tempered Bruce Lee in your back seat?

  2. I absolutely loved this one! Of course that is due in part because I'm a HUGE Bruce Lee fan and can nearly quote the Tao Of Jeet Kune Do word for word. ;) Well said my friend!

  3. Heather :
    You'll probably love the sequel to THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH then. The Sensei that Victor talks of teaching Parkour in the first book is in fact the ghost of Bruce Lee.

    When things are at their darkest as Victor runs a gruelling race against evolved raptors, the ghost of Bruce Lee appears to give them a lesson in Jeet Kune Do!

  4. Bruce Lee, eh. Be like water.

    I like that analogy. Adapt and overcome, and above all adapt. Become that which you write.

    - Eric

  5. Oh, and on the blogger-snatches, it is probably old followers who have been inactive for quite some time. I was going through the blogs ~I~ follow last week, and many of them are dead and un-updated for over a year.

    Maybe blogger does some smart purges. I sure hope it does.

    - Eric

  6. Eric :
    Thanks for suggesting it is Blogger purging old, unresponsive followers. I don't feel so picked on anymore. LOL!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Mr. Lee's ghostly visit and advise. Roland

  7. Beautiful post!!! I really like this a lot. It's exactly what I needed to read right now.

  8. V.R. :
    I think all of each need sometimes to be reminded to breathe each breath, to be aware and awake to the richness of life all around us. Thanks for tweetering me, too, Roland

  9. Loved your post and especially love the music that went with the previous post-"Standing the Storm" while I read this. As writers we are always facing a storm and the biggest one is hitting me now-now that I have spent my life dreaming and planning on becoming a writer-- after I could save enough to do it. Now that they close every bookstore in my area. Now that real books are being replaced by technological wonders. Contraptions that need batteries. The storm is now.

  10. TheDesertRocks :
    You might consider doing Kindle Direct Publishing, using your blog as your platform. Dreams seem to find a way if we but refuse to give up.

    I will be praying for you to find that way, Roland

  11. Hi, trying to get around and say hello to all the authors in the fantasy groups! Hello!