Dancing Night – A scene from the play Melanthios Morales

This is something I usually don’t do as I am afraid of showing off works that are not done. I’ve been thinking of doing an exception.

For some time now I’ve been working on a new stage play called Melanthios Morales, which takes place in the same universe as The Gardener. Basically, this is a side story that follows the character Caliana Underwood when she leaves her hometown Lancaster City to live with her newfound love, Melanthios, in Riverdale.

So, here it is:

ACT 1

SCENE 2

(In the living room of Melanthios’ apartment.)

MELANTHIOS MORALES

What’s the view from over there?

I prefer sitting here, on the floor;

This I love while watching you, perform

The dance you so carefully execute;

Like a flower in a brisk spring wind – 

You cannot control yourself.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Will you join me my love?

MELANTHIOS MORALES

I rather not my pretty flower;

For I will be destroying this perfect scene,

With my untalented feet.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

You are always watching from afar,

My loving hero of the night;

My savior of the dreadful dawn.

You came, saw and swept away

The worries hidden deep inside of me.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

I am blind, just a simple actor,

Stuck in realities that do not exist.

Do not be mad my precious flower,

For what I have to say is awful:

I never saw you that night,

My intentions far from gentle and good.

The boy strolling at your side, blissful – 

I hated him from the first glance – 

I wanted to see him suffer like I once did,

Steal you away and watch him decay.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

The evil you exerted upon him

Brought love into my blunt life.

For this I am forever grateful.

Kiss me and fill me with your breath,

The poisonous soul you carry within.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Be warned for I will devour you,

Every last bit of your innocence.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

I certainly hope you do my love.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Be careful what you wish for.

I am capable of terrible things,

Many of which you never known,

So be warned, once again.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Your treats have no effect on me – 

I find it rather charming;

You are like a little boy,

Cute.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Don’t stop.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

I need more wine.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Certainly my love.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

This scene here is lovely:

In the arms of my one true love,

A glass of good wine, and

Moonlight shining true the night – 

One could think of it as a dream.

Kiss me and never let go.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Dreams never last, temporarily amusements.

Nothing more than a Devils trick;

A confused mind searching for understanding.

You’re better of leaving it alone.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Why do you say such things?

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Dreams will only lead to chaos –

Madness, distress and distorted realities,

The one you cannot escape.

Do not fall for the trick of the Devil.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

You speak of experience, it seems.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

No worries, my mind is sane.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

As every insane person say…

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Do not question my mental health; 

I am certainly not insane – 

Awareness is my strength,

Allowing me presence in the land afar.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

You said you are blind.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Do not confuse blindness with awareness;

A blind man can still be aware.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Please forgive my narrow minded reality;

What I see is what I know –

You challenge all of this.

Please do not understand me wrong –

You are what I need in my life, but…

Your world – it brings me down.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

My world?

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

I come from a life filled with surface:

Dressed up to serve a particular circumstance;

Taught how to speak, when and where;

Always be subservient –

Your world invites participation,

To use my own words and thoughts,

It is confusing.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Still young at heart, my precious flower;

Time is on your side –

Be mindful and you shall excel,

In this new world of yours.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Thank you my love, for understanding –

It is a difficult time for me.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Where are you going?

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

To bed, all of this got me tired.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Sleep well, I will join you soon.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Have I made a mistake – bringing Caliana here?

My troubled mind still uncovered,

Still hidden deep inside of me –

But for how long, until she discovers the truth?

MRS. VOICE (whispered)

Dive deeper.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

I do not dare explore,

the deepest parts of me –

MRS. VOICE

Dive deeper.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Afraid of them surfacing, bringing insanity.

MRS. VOICE

I said: dive deeper!

MELANTHIOS MORALES (shouts)

I will not!

CALIANA UNDERWOOD (off stage)

Melanthios, are you alright?

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Everything is fine, go back to sleep.

You made me wake my love.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Who are you talking to?

MELANTHIOS MORALES

My love – no one – just humoring my mind.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Oh.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Go back to sleep.

CALIANA UNDERWOOD

Come with me.

MELANTHIOS MORALES

Certainly.

MRS. VOICE (whispered)

Dive deeper.

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Pushing my reading with the help of Goodreads

While I sit here and wait for my doctors appointment I thought I do a short update on one of my previous posts about The Importance of Reading.

I brought back my old account on Goodreads in an attempt to actually start reading on a daily basis. This because I am curious of how regular reading will impact my writing. And as you all might already know I am dealing with a rough time getting down and dirty with my writing – staring at previously written words, knowing where to go but unable to hit the next keys to push it forward.

I’ll see this as an exercise and if it have a positive impact I will keep going…

Writing With Goals & Deadlines

Time and time again I fall back into the pit of procrastination; daydreaming about writing. It stays there. It’s so easy to just sit there and wait for the heavenly inspiration that rarely shows instead of facing the harsh reality: if I want my stories to be done I have to work hard and write on a regular basis, get some routines and work towards reasonable set goals and deadlines. Without it – a work schedule that is – I will never be done with my life’s work.

I am one of those writers who likes to plan, carefully plot the majority of a story before starting to write. All of that is done and has been for a while now. I do write in the word processor Scrivener as it helps with said planning and it’s easy to add synopsis’s, notes and comments. The software also has a function which sets up the project goals. At the moment I have it set up with a goal of 17500 words by the end of this month. As it has a built in calendar you can check a box which then calculate the amount of words you need to be writing on selected days of the week in order to reach that goal. My daily goal with every day of the week selected sums up to 1140 words a day, with deadline day included. If I write more than that it goes down for the remaining days. if I write less, it goes up. Simple.

Sure, this is only one part of many in my project but by dividing the project into smaller pieces it becomes a lot easier to handle. And not so frightening. Small steady steps are good. The tortoise will win over the rabbit.

I don’t think that goal is unreachable. A quick counting means that I have to write about 3 pages a day, depending on formatting. And nowadays I have plenty of time as I have begun working nights with extremely short hours giving me pretty much time to write from lunch-time all the way to about 11 pm. And I still have the weekends.

Back to writing I guess…

The Importance of Reading

Is it important to read as a writer?

I have no expertise in this topic but I do find it interesting and I yet have to understand the WHY.

This is a common topic and discussion. Pretty much every established writer says to us aspiring writers: “read a lot.” How much is a lot? A book a week? More? Less? I do understand the reasoning behind reading as one who wants to write themselves – technique; plot build up and resolution; inspiration and ideas and so forth. “Learn from the masters”, they say.

When it comes to technique I can see the benefits of reading as this study most likely will help you find solutions when it comes to structure of sentences to create a certain feel, the use of words. Furthermore, technique might be involving presentation of characters and environments and how the writer have proceeded to make them realistic and fit well into the overall story line. Technique is what makes the idea real and realistic.

Studying technique I would say is important but does that really mean you have to read a lot? I’m not sure…

Then we have the idea that if I do read I might become influenced in a bad way and “copy” others. We borrow all the time from everything around us and turn it into something new, something that is yours. I am one of those who are afraid of copying someone else’s works. Or rather: I am afraid of someone saying my writing reminds them of another previously published work. On the flip side, when I have created a story from scratch and later on find that someone else has already created “that story” I get kind of happy, especially if that person is well known.

I do not read much at all. I would love to read – at least that’s what I tell myself – but I end up doing something else instead. I tend to be more of a writer who experiment based on an idea of the form of a sentence. I then read it all out loud and if I like it I keep it. In many cases they get revised several times before I move on (I edit while writing). This is my approach to writing – experimenting with the use and order of words. Sometimes inspired by the notion of versification even though I rarely follow the rules of certain verse.

So back to the question – is it important to read a lot? If we rewrite that sentence we could get: “it is important to read.” That I can agree with. But now we have another topic, one about reading in general. I do read, books about grammar and verse and how to analyse a story and so forth.

So now I will turn to you, my readers, to fill in the blanks of this post. What’s your thoughts on this topic with reading a lot? Does it really matter? (except for the learning of a language).

Wishing for something new

For the longest time. Actually, almost ever since I started writing somewhat seriously, I’ve been working on a story I call The Gardener. I never seem to be able to get away from it and every new story idea I have is in some way connected to The Gardener; be a chapter, scene or a side track telling the background of a character or situation. To be honest, after more then ten years since its first inception I am now beginning to get sick of it. Somehow I think this is partly the reason to why I am not writing that much any longer. The spark, enjoyment of writing, is sort of dead. Even so, The Gardener never let go of my mind. Always present.

There would be a great joy in writing something new, the one thing that is not part of The Gardener and once again feel motivated and inspired to keep producing carefully chosen words to form neat lines. I’m not sure what that story is even though I have plenty in store still not written. Those are not really new. I want something new new.

I have no real clue of where to start such journey or even if I am able as of now to start one. I do like the idea of “write what scares you” but that shit is scary…

Mega Novel Project

Some of you who have been following this blog for a while might be familiar with my story series by the name The Gardener. It’s still in the works, and as far as I know it will be so for the time being.

Here’s the “problem”: It’s to big and what I write in the opening chapters echoes in the ending of the entire story. So I always goes back and forth “fixing” little things here and there, planning and doing story layout and so forth. What’s even more “problematic” is that I have, by accident or not, intertwined The Gardener with another somewhat large story of mine, a story that will for the time being remain unnamed as I am not ready to reveal its title. But this merging of the two stories opened up for a third.

What I have ended up with is three novel series where each of which will consist of – if the story line stays as it is now – 10 novels at about 1000 pages each. This makes me feel like I am getting nowhere…

There’s a lot more to this but which I like to keep somewhat close to my chest as for now. But I fear that nothing of what I write today can or will be attempted to get published until the rough draft of the final chapter has been written. That will be, if I make sure to write on a daily basis, 30 years in the future with my current writing speed.

I’m going to die before I am done with this shit!

The positive thing is that I have a fairly decent organisation around my scripts, notes and time-line. Scrivener is perfect for this large work and since a few weeks ago I bought Aeon Timeline which helps me a lot when it comes to keep track of when the different event is happening.

Work versus The Life of a Writer

Just as most other writers out there I am one of those who as of yet can not pay my bills through my writing. That means finding something else that brings money in, which in my case is a regular 2 shift job at in the wood-industry; a sawmill to be more precise.

In the grand scheme of things it’s all fine and the work is not necessarily bad, not when you start caring about the product you are making and care for the details. Making a good job and focusing on getting better at what you  do also helps getting the boredom of doing the same (or similar) tasks all day long. Of course there are those days when getting up from bed in the early morning to head to work is tough.

And then there is this thing with balance. Steady work means steady income but it comes at the price of less self-time and less time for writing. Often when I get home from work in the afternoon I am to tired to sit down and write and I end up wasting the hours before bedtime or I do a little plot-planning and structuring of existing chapters/scenes etcetera.

I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere. Like I am stuck. This makes me somewhat frustrated and even if I look at my life, what I have and the possibilities I have I can’t get rid of the feeling of being bored, tired and pretty much sick of everything around me. I find myself wishing to disappear and start over someplace else. I really don’t want to be another one of those who get stuck at a boring regular work and then forgets about the dreams and the endless possibilities that could come with it.

I don’t have the tools for it. Or, maybe more accurate, I don’t know where I have put my tools to deal with it. So I stumble along…

The other aspect of things is inside a question I often ask myself: how important is writing for you? I’d like to say: without it I would have no reason to exist. Is that true? I’m not sure but I do know that if I don’t write for a few days or weeks I get really weird and somewhat depressed and secondly, I think about stories and plots and lines all the time.

So for me writing is really what I live for these days but, as mentioned earlier, I have a real struggle finding (read: taking) the time to write and do actual work on my projects. Recently I did quit my role as chairman of a theater and in doing so I did also leave everything else at the theater. It sucks as the theater was my second home and I loved that place but I had to take something out of my life in order to make more room for the other things: writing. Quitting my job is not an option as I need the income.

Planning does not make shit happen. Only I can make shit happen. My life is in my control and it will become whatever I work the hardest for.