Monday, July 15, 2013

Hemingway and Sentences

Ernest Hemingway leaves some confusion about how the words "same way" can be interpreted - some are martyrs, some die naturally, some received the death penalty, some are killed by disease.  

However, the essence is understood.  We all physically die.

How we die?  Again, that differs, but we do die.  Our story (here, at least) comes to a temporary end. 

In the same way he says our lives end, so do they all begin in the same way.  We are all born.  We all struggle for that first, laborious breath into the vast cosmos and our cries soon beckon for our dear mothers.  

Remember learning about sentences and punctuation in the first grade?  How a sentence - a proper, living sentence - begins with a capital letter and ends with a period?  

All the words and grammar inside that capital letter and period may be total rubbish or they may surpass Shakespeare’s genius.  Nonetheless, we all get a fair share.  Regardless of the sentence’s quality, it will always begin and it will always end. 

What lies between those two things distinguishes that sentence from every other sentence in the world.  What lies between the first letter and the period tells its own unique story.

Rather like a life does.
The verbs are especially important.  Haven’t our composition teachers asked us to use "strong verbs" in our sentences for ages?  To make our sentence interesting?  So that other will want to read it? 

“Strong verbs” and “strong actions” give our sentence dimension, depth, and style. 

They are rather like the “details of life” that Hemingway talks about, aren’t they?

Who knows, if a sentence is anything like a person's life - beginning and ending -maybe our composition teachers were teaching something beyond just writing.

Maybe something about life?

Of course, not that we should like “dangerously.”   “Strong verbs” are not rash, bloody, mindless things.  Rather, maybe they - like Hemingway - are trying to show that we must live “strongly.” 

Lastly, this saying to wrap up everything... =)  

Please comment with any additional thoughts! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weekly Creative Writing #`17

For Jessie. =) 

I am blind.  “Darkness” and “black” are not words to describe what I “see.”  In fact, a way to describe the nothingness my eyes give me does not exist.  I simply do not.  All my life, I have been denied from knowing the world through what you call “colour,” “dimension,” and “movement.”  And, contrary to what many may think, I do not consider the absence of sight a “void.”  It was just never there and so other things took its place.  

I like to think my sister took the place of my sight.  Not literally, of course, but it is a lovely thought.  I would much rather have no ability to gaze on the world, than to lose her.  For with her, I can see the world so much more beautifully than if I my own eyes were freed. 

Her laugh, for instance, is entirely infectious and sweeter than any bells you will ever hear.  It is all the colours I cannot see.  Yellow, pink, and light blue (apparently that is the color of the sky?) are the colours her laugh paints when she is happy.  She says those are “happy” colors.  Reds and oranges - a stifled, angry, and sarcastic snicker.  Deep blue, green - a melancholy sigh.  Black - no sound.  White (she says white is all the colours in the world together), so I like to think white is when she’s happiest, when the world is most at peace. 

She is always moving.  I cannot see it, but I don’t need to see movement to feel the energy it gives off.  She loves dancing.  And, no doubt, everything is brighter when she does - twirling and jumping around like she does.  That wonderful energy and happiness is released into what I feel is a heavy, burdened world - giving it some hope, some rest in the midst of its struggles.  And, swimming.  She adores it and she is fantastic at it, I hear.  I’m not surprised at all.  I have been swimming a few times.  The water certainly holds you up, yes, but if your spirit is not light and trusting, it will sink into the depths of fear - fear of the water, fear of the world, whatever. But it will sink.  That’s why I know she is so good at swimming - her spirit is light. 

She is an old soul, though.  She laughs like a newborn and dances like a fairy, but her mind and heart are so much older, so much deeper, and hold so much more dimension than anything else in the world.  She talks to me about books - how the older they feel and smell, the better they are.  Old books are trustworthy books.  Many times we sit and talk about God, heaven, philosophy and the patterns of our lives.  She willingly takes up those discussions with the wisdom of an elder, yet the vigorous humility of a childlike heart.  You want true dimension and depth?  Go find her and talk to her about the world.  Trust me, though I may not be able to perceive the depth of an ocean, I promise you she is even deeper than it.  

So, I guess I really can see colour, movement and dimension... a part of them that most of world is blind to, yet which my sister helps me see. 

The Happiest of Birthdays to my little sister today!  Χρόνια πολλά, αδελφή μου!   This specific writing is dedicated to her - an exercise in trying to describe her as if I was blind.  I am thankful that my reality isn’t blindness, but I want you all to know that everything said about her is truly reality. 

For the fantastic counterpart of this weekly themed creative writing project, visit:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pens and Perception

I was skimming Pinterest the other day and stumbled across some curious "pins" which caused me to stop and think a bit....maybe some of you could also give your thoughts?

With regard to the above images... for those who can't read the small script, the first one says, "If I tell you there are mountains, you will imagine them as such."  Directly next to it, the graphic and witty pun talking about the positive effect of writing.  How do these two relate?

Whoever said that pens and pencils are "weapons of mass creation" either 1) had been studying far too long for exams and the erasers of pencils were nubs - their rubbery pink fuzz scattered across the table.  Or, 2) meant something beyond just the "positive" effect of words - perhaps their ability to cause mass harm or change perception.

How does that relate to the funny black triangles next to it?  Perhaps what great influence words have on how someone perceives reality.   Those triangles could be anything - they may not even be considered triangles by some.

To a lost tribe in South America, they may represent the heads of arrows.  As a father, covered in the yellow and red paint of a warrior, is telling his story to his son.

To native Americans, the shapes could easily be analogous to the charred and burning teepees that beckoned them longingly as they began their Trail of Tears.

To a Christian, it may very well be an icon of the Trinity.

To a Muslim, it is just another geometric and calligraphic shape to add to a newly handmade transcription of the Koran, since they are not allowed to depict animals or humans.

But, he said they were mountains and it takes a lot of effort to forget that, doesn't it?  His words were weapons of mass creation inside your imagination.  Imagine what the words we have heard all our lives have done - both for better or for worse.