Short Story Part III: Defeat

Am I angry???

Imagine a consciousness, tumbling within a void. I am still searching for the other side, or praying that I have already hit the bottom. They say that you can only go up after getting knocked down. But sometimes wallowing in the pain can be so much easier, simpler.
It's been a while since my last entry. Finding the time to stay creative and productive is very much an energy that takes strength to find. But as much as I wish to just stay and rest in my filth, I am ever persistent in what may very well remain my life's ambitions. 

 Short one this week I know, but here is another entry from my first short story I'm trying to work on. Links below to catch up on previous installments. 


I see the kitchen empty, nothing but a plate of chicken, potatoes, and beans on the counter. I ate the plate right there, staring into nightfall outside the window.  

I can see my Jeep Cherokee parked right outside the back door, cooling in the moonlight glow. I love that car, got me to a few places. Got me out of some of other ones too. The roads were bad up here and you needed those horses to get through the mud. One wrong turn and you’re stuck up here, as if the mountain won't let you out.  At least that’s what I always thought as a kid. 

I finish my dinner and leave the dish in the sink. I didn’t even use a fork.

I see the light from the master bedroom as I approach through the hallway. The sound of the water already running in the background. Angela is in her usual tank top and shorts; her hair pulled back as she rinses her face. She sees me in the mirror as she goes for the towel. I walk up behind her and wrap my arms around her belly. Her hair smells like spring and I begin to kiss her behind the ear.

“Thank you for dinner,” I said into her ear.

“Was it cold?”

“It was fine.”

I see Angela’s expression in her mirror. She’s worried.

“How much longer?” she whispers.

“Just a little longer.”

“We can’t stay here.”

“You know we can’t leave now. They’re all running tail on us. We have to stay low until JayDee calls.”

“So we just stay here, until…”

My throat's dry, “When I get the call.”

And just how I’ve disappointed her so many times before, she rushes right by me, towards the bed. It felt like I was losing the night.

“Why are you doing this right now?” the tension runs up my spine, “I don’t need you to act this way, not out here!”

She’s still unwrapping the bed covers. She didn’t even turn around.

“I don’t want to start a family like this.”

I didn’t have to see her face to know that sound. The sound of regret that, no matter what I said, couldn’t change what I’ve done to her and what I’m about to do. 

She makes sure she rolls under the blankets before I could see her tears swell. Defeated, I make sure I switch off the light before I walk out. I carefully close the bedroom door behind me.

Short Story Part II: Darkness

Part of my own motivation to tell this story is to find the source of what makes a central character human. Any meaningful story always has a main protagonist that we can identify with in one way or another. Although their actions may be shrouded in controversy and morally grey, we can't help but empathize with their wants and desires. After all, it is our own imperfections that give us dimension and identifying such imperfections is what makes story characters human.

The following is a continuation of a short story I wrote some time ago. I will be releasing the story in chunks and if you missed the last segment, Part I: Sunset, the link should take you right there.

Part II: Darkness

The tree line faded as day’s death continued to blanket the earth. I’ve forgotten how to walk the trail line at night. Now, being trashed drunk all to hell, walking around in pitch-darkness was starting to look like a stupid idea. I was looking for a sprained ankle. Maybe, I was looking for worse.

As a kid, my brother Jesse and I would come up here on summers. We never really paid attention to the rules. My aunt would always get mad at us though. Kept yelling about not playing out by the shed near the woods after dark. She had it in her mind that something was in those woods, and the closer we’d got to the edge, the closer it would get from taking us. Jesse would never fall for it, but I wasn’t so sure.

Made it off the trail with nothing more than a stub toe. I walked back into the clearing, the lake house looked serene. There was a single light in the kitchen window. Angela stood at the sink, probably washing away today’s dinner. Her hairs in a ponytail; she only does that when she’s stressed.

I stop just a couple yards away from the back porch entrance. I look up and just let my mind wander into the night sky. It felt like we were so far from it, but like a giant web, it just sits there waiting to catch us.

I walked around the back end of the house. The cellar door was closed and locked. With the key in my back pocket, I took the padlock off the door.

The air was stale and the wooden stairs groaned loudly in anticipation of my weight. I still remember how Jesse standing at the cellar entrance. We use to play a game on who could stay down here the longest. I held the record.

“You have to go down farther! I can still see you”

“What are you talking about? You stood way closer last time. I can touch the pole.”

“No way! I thought the rule was that we can’t see our feet. I can still see your feet!”

“Fuck! Shit!”

I’d inch farther away from the light. I don’t know what kind of stuff my uncle stored down here. I think there was old furniture and family portraits from when they used to live in the city. He never liked us playing down here.

“Okay, start counting!”


“I counted way faster than that!”


I would feel my heart start to beat. All I could hear was the breath inside my head.



The cellar doors slammed shut. Pitch black.

“What the hell!!

“It wasn’t me! I swear…I didn’t…”

“Stop playing! For real!”

“The door’s stuck!!”

“Open it right now!”

“I’m getting uncle!”

“No, no, no, no. Don’t leave, please!”

His footsteps faded away, leaving me alone in the darkness. My heart felt like exploding in my chess. I told myself that everything was going to be fine, that it was all going to be okay. I didn’t really know how to lie to myself at the time.

Then it went silent. All sound, all movement, everything living on this planet disappeared. And that’s when I heard them for the first time.

“You need to go…”

The sound came, soft and cold. The darkness froze and the ground sank.

“To live, you have to leave us behind…”

The voice, like a frightened child.

“You need to leave us now…”

I was terrified. Afraid of what was breathing in the swallowing darkness, I slowly turned my head. Out of focus, the dim glow of a child. Sad and alone, it delivered its message. With unknown courage, I spoke.

“Where do I need to go?”

A sudden rush of air and fire flooded the room. The sky was brilliant as the earthly light illuminated the staircase around me. It was an image of a child, frozen in glory, but ever bearing the joy of good news. I heard his words in my mind.

“Do not be afraid. For we will watch over you.”

I didn’t know why, but I was at peace, hearing its song, locked in eternity.

David! What I tell you about playing down here,” my uncle bellowed.

“You could get hurt down here. You could have knocked something over and gotten crushed.”

Jesse was standing a couple feet behind my uncle. “Sorry. I didn’t mean it, really.”

I wanted to hurt him, but I said nothing.

I never did come back down here again. Kids and their imaginations, really. I kicked backed some more of that brown liquor. It wasn’t so crowded down here as it used to be. My aunt got sold most of their things, mostly after my uncle died. I think she couldn’t stand to look at it much afterwards. The only thing left was a couple of wine crates and his old workbench.

Underneath the workbench is a large, oak storage cabinet. I make my way to the workbench and with a loud screech; I slide the cabinet door open. The black duffel bag’s outline was sitting in the faint darkness, still there right where I left it. I unzip the bag open and searched through the green bricks of paper bills, just about fifty large, and a loaded 9mm right at the bottom. Angela didn’t want it in the house. I should have been more careful; didn’t have to be such a hard ass about it. I guess I’m trying to make this easy for her. I zip the bag back up and slide the cabinet door close.

And for a moment, I listened to the silence, unsure of what I should be listening for. The dark room held empty, revealing nothing. With a sigh, I pulled back the last drop of bourbon, then left the empty bottle on the workbench.

When Victory Has Defeated You

One constant theme that appears to reoccur throughout the series of recent days is the notion that our current adult-selves has developed most of its own cognitive behavior from thoughts and memories from childhood. I am almost certain that this comes as of no profound revelation to anyone that reads this, but as someone who has been exposed to an enormous amount of recent self-reflection, I have to say that this understanding is extremely compelling. It is as if our adult personas are not a reflection of "new" knowledge, but a mere projection of our childhood habits and personality traits.

As my own examination upon myself, I have to say that I have lived a fairly decent life. By no means did I come from a wealthy household, nor was I the high achieving scholar that received top honors in school. I was your average, run-of-the-mill kid with the sort of a sense of what I wanted to be, but never having any of the gonads to really set a game plan to go pursue it. I was fortunate to come from a solid home in a small town community and was blessed to have the loving parents that devoted their lives to insure that I have the resources and means necessary to create the man I am today. My life was simple and, for the most part, extremely happy.

I suppose that at the ripe old age of 30 is when you begin to look back and really examine how all these events in your life really fit together and what is the direction that will lead you to where you are supposed to go. As I sit here on a warm summer night, I really begin to wonder how I got to this moment and all I can say is that I have been extremely spoiled, having never really felt the true pain that this life is capable of.

Although I am humble by nature, my current set of accolades would bid that I should be extremely proud of who I am. Graduated with my Master's before 27 and being a property owner before 26, I have the gusto to say that what I aim for is what I get, period. My path in life has always been dictated to me by external circumstances and I believe that it has resulted in something much more dangerous; my senses became numb. I looked for the obvious choice, as if life was plowing the way for me, hoping that I would hop along closely.

So what happens when the pathway runs dry and life looks at you and asks, "what do you want from me?"

Isn't the whole idea of finding yourself is that the answer should just appear, clear as day, in front of your eyes? That quickly becomes a childhood myth when the realities of day soon come crashing on your doorstep, asking questions that you are not even close to prepared to answer. I look back upon the lessons that I have learned throughout childhood, in search of a clue, only to leave with one final conclusion; I didn't have a clue.

In the last few months, one of my biggest influencers for making the leap into my dream chase has been motivational speaker and preacher, Eric Thomas. Known for his viral sensation If You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breath speech, Eric Thomas illustrates how life will punch you hard in the mouth and that those who are accustomed to success will quickly fall to their knees. The video below references one of my favorite speeches, not only for his reference to Batman --which has become one of my all time favorite film franchises-- but because he really hits home how a life with hardship is essential for the realization of true potential.

Beautifully spoken, Eric Thomas illustrates how the darkness of our lives can be embraced in order for our own true selves to reach the light. As I walk upon my own true awakening, I have come to accept this sense of "no direction", understanding that one must be lost in order to be truly found. Recognize that the trials of life are beset so that you may rise above adversity and live to tell the tale. My own failures and setbacks are but a stepping stone for something greater across the horizon.

My Desert Rat

The Desert has always been a tough place, 
burning dry under the summer sun. 

Growing up, I was always prepared for the raging fire;
a tidal wave of fury racing down the mountain side. 

But we fought and we won 
and I continue to call this wilderness my home. 

The barren desert becomes the proving ground, 
testing all would be travelers' character and will. 

Just as the blistering deserts without a spring in sight
embody the long stretches of struggle and adversity,
will too our conquering of such a struggle prove our own merit?

Just as the lone traveler struggles and falls along His wasteland, 
finding the strength from within and up above,
will He live on and become the savior of man.

Short Story Part I: Sunset

I gave myself time to really try and develop my own voice and style in terms of how I convey my imagery and character development on the page. When I decided to myself that I wanted to try and carve out my own legacy as a writer/author/storyteller I couldn't help feel fearful of the decision that I had made so many months ago. All my life I always looked at my written skills as some what of a weakness of mine. I was an outdoors kinda guy, with having numerous camping and sports related activity to add towards my identity of being a guy's guy. In school I was always good at history and english, but I dreaded the research and essay assignments only for one reason; I HATED WRITING!

So now imagine the irony of having attended all my years of postgraduate and graduate school to try and find my direction towards what the heck I was supposed to do with my life, only to settle on the idea that I enjoy a good old fashion story and that I may have the talents to prove that I could take a pretty good crack at it. I was never the student that enjoyed reading for work and I was the first to reach the infamous Cliff Notes that so many students used to get that passing grade on that weeks quiz. 

Although I was always looking for the quick out to avoiding reading as an assignment, I found pleasure in reading as recreation and how it translated so well into actually conceptualizing, developing, and actually writing out the story beats that would drum in my head for months. Imagine me, a kid who failed college English because he couldn't "effectively state an argument through a comprehensive essay" finally dabling towards the notion of becoming a writer. 

Perhaps it is a case of failure becoming the ultimate teacher in life. Writing has always been my own nemesis within my mind; a sort of battle against myself. The love hate relationship that I have had towards this medium can only be described as poetic as I am constantly reminded of an old African Proverb, "When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do us no harm." 

I am now coming to grips with this realization that my own enemy can very much be my own hardest teacher, giving me the essential tools required to take me towards the next step of my own development. So I have for you now a piece of my very own short story that I have finally decided to flesh out. The background to this story will relate towards my central character from Beneath The Ink. This is the first part of a multi-episode series that I will be continuing developing.
Part I
          The sun was warm. Perfect. Setting across a distant horizon. I couldn’t tell you how many times I didn’t notice those kinds of things. Never gave it much more then a passing glance. But I’m here now, with the long flowing grass beneath my neck. The western sky was set ablaze as I wondered; will I see the sun again?

          “Hey, I want to go back in.”

           A steady rising and falling to the steady rhythm of my breath; Angela’s hair lies across my chest.
          “I thought you were into these kinds of scenes,” I mocked.
          “No it’s getting cold,” Angela was already getting up, “I’d like to go while we still have light out.”

          She stood there waiting for a response, but I was feeling my usual today.

          “Just go back alone then,” I spurted out. 
          I don’t know why I said it. I wasn’t even mad at her. I held up the bottle of some brown liquor and through it back. I let it set, as the liquid burned the back of my mouth. Maybe I needed the silence; maybe I wanted the pain, 
          “A little bit longer, okay.” 
          Without so much as glance, Angela turns and makes here way up the dirt trail.

Beneath the Ink

As an aspiring screenwriter, it's easy to get wrapped up in the dream of seeing your name up on the silver screen, hearing your name called out at that BIG award show, or just simply sitting at some cafe off of Cahuenga Blvd on a Saturday morning putting the finishing touches on a studio first draft. I am one of many choosing to run the race in a pursuit of something only few can ever really hope to achieve.

So despite those immense odds, what gets me up in the morning? 

Knowing my own convoluted self, the answer is never really that simple (please bear with me as I ramble this part). I would have to say that I subscribe to a very particular belief system that my ideas are my ideas for a purpose. Of course I wish to entertain through my own voice, but I also wish to spread my ideas and have them represented in a way that brings new thought processes to audiences and readers alike, even if it is for just a moment.

As I said before, our stories represent a certain cognition that can be described as indefinitely human. They represent our same hopes, fears, and dreams that should transcend far past cultural or racial barriers. Not to get too hippy on all of you but I suppose my purpose is to try and make the world a better place, or at least an image of one through the lessons and teachings of each story. That is a tremendous challenge for any aspiring writer/screenwriter, but in some way it drives my own purpose to continue on through the challenges set before me everyday.

With that being said, I know that for any long journey to start, one must begin with one single step. I share with you now a piece of my creative pursuit of a small dream. In collaboration with my like-minded creative brother, we pieced together a short film with quite an ambition to become something larger. Our first draft of our short was considerably longer and it was more inline of a television special, but with today's YouTube generation of 2 minute attention spans, this scaled version would be more appropriate.

As a quick synopsis, the short is titled Beneath the Ink, which follows the path of a troubled tattoo artist, Doc, as he sheds his dark past in pursuit of life in a tattoo parlor. Slowly realizing that his visions and dreams of his past are more than just his imagination, Doc must soon come to terms with the reality that he must face his demons in order to find true peace. 

The short was a great experience for us because we got to work with tremendous talents on and off screen. It was our first ever collaboration with talented producer, Lanlin Wong and amazing Director of Photography, Johnny Ching. It was also the first time helming a project of such caliber as a tandem of writer/director with Chris Anthony. With hard work and focus, we were proven that something amazing can come out on top. 

Since then we have dabbled with the idea on how to expand our beloved main character into something more and began the process of envisioning his world within another medium (i.e. film, television, web series). As one of the creators, I'm challenged into finding what that story really is. As I reflect on this particular short story after three years, I come to believe that we were trying to tell a larger story through such a small window and perhaps it did not resonate the way that Chris and myself would have originally intended. 

So the chapter and novel for Beneath the Ink is still very much open for Doc and his colorful cast of angels and demons. We are actively exploring all possibilities and I have begun my part to that discovery by engaging in the origins of Doc and how he became to be. I would like to invite those who read my blog to come along this journey with me as I attempt to discover the larger picture. After all, it is in the searching of the unknown that makes the telling of a great story half the fun. 


Finding The Internal Compass

Today is another day in which I wake up and ask myself "what am I to do today?" Several things are beginning to mix in the melting pot but its yields have not presented themselves to me just yet....and that is the key part to all this. The day and age when all things are at an instant command of our fingertips, we lose our own sense of what our time on earth really holds. The structures and expectations of our cultural norms forces us to continue on, without a stop, as if the machine that protects us all depends on our active compliance to just keep going.

I took a chance so many months ago to begin this blog as a platform for my creative writing and to actively take steps to pursue my own creative endeavors full time. Though I was warned so many times before, I don't think I truly registered the full reality of what it means to place your destiny in your own two hands. To see so many "potentials" turn into false hope in such a short amount of time can cause anyone to questions themselves and their true motives. Everything within themselves becomes an issue of self-doubt and that perhaps my judgement on what I really wanted in life was just flat out wrong.

And so I face another day in which I wonder what my schedule will be and that every move on my part must be justified in accordance to my overall plan. I trust my judgement and I do not have any regrets towards this process that I have decided upon so passionately. The seeds of prosperity have been planted and I am the humble farmer waiting patiently to reap its harvest. Not to be cliche but patience really does become a virtue that can lead to the higher, prosperous ground. The ability to stand in the face of adversity and all your own enemies from within and just say "one more day." Though my smile may not appear across the surface, I stay diligent in the idea that I am building my own strength; forging my own steel that will one day cut through the greatest of adversaries.

For those who read my message and come upon the same crossroads in life, do not give up and falter from what you and only you have decided for yourself. We are the masters of our own craft and it is our purpose of our own lives that we seek to make that destiny realized.

"One more day"

Time begins and ends in a beat.
I can't seem to grip how much time passes us by. 
We trip over our own feet to reach the next day. 
Wondering if we made our efforts good enough
to reap our rewards. 
Stop and listen to ourselves. 
We cannot continue to burden ourselves with indifferent meanings of purpose. 
Let our minds wander and search its nether realms.
Our deeper response lies just outside our thoughts. 
Our time is now, for everything becomes a memory.
Let today reign supreme and give thanks to a sun
that continues to rise across our horizon. 
The path awaits us. 
Until then, I shall wait and watch the sky in awe.  

Beautifully Human

The mind stays active long after sleep.

I grew up with the notion that ambition is admirable and that true success towards a fulfilling life was always driven by ambition. That true purpose and the pursuit of life's ultimate goals revolved around one's relation towards ambition.

I have to say that idea can lead many into a false calling. Desire and ambition can only lead one so far and without a clear sense of purpose and the passion the can only fuel that inner fire, desire can only go so deep beneath the surface. It is extremely necessary for the psyche and spirit to assess self purpose.

with that being stated, I know that my avenue in this crazy thing we call life is not just to become a story teller,  but to become a teacher of some sort. I am not referring to chalk board and glasses type of fellow, but some what of a leader or consultant. I want to help people find their own purpose some way, some how. My own experience and credentials would deem me the last person that is qualified in any way to counsel people with their lives, but I know that my talents held within my words on a page can somehow cultivate people's way of thinking into understanding, perhaps life.

Someone very special to me described my way of expression as a utilization of a constant form of analogy, continuously using some point of reference to express my inner thoughts. I always understood this method as a quick and simple way to relate to people and to connect to people on a visual spectrum. I suppose that my need to relate aspects of life into a "story" has always been my path to connect with understanding life and I suspect to why I've loved great storytelling. 

I would not boast myself as a particularly religious man, as my path from God has reached a bit of the outer reaches, but I could not help but coorrelate my desire to express my thoughts and beliefs in short form analogies to how Christ tought about his kingdom of love through parables. I believe that it is a fundamental quality of being human that we as a species relate towards stories and that teaching methods revolving around this aspect are the most impactful. 

Now, in no way shape or form am I comparing myself to be Jesus or that my ultimate purpose in life is to be "Christ-like" (that, my friends, is a discussion for another blog) but what I am trying to say is that my relationship with storytelling goes towards the most primitive level. I seek to teach others in the hopes that they walk away having at least thought about some aspect of their own lives differently. 

With the launch of our video production website, Bernal Pictures, I only ask that everyone that may enter our domain come with an open mind and heart, because we are in the business to not just entertain but to teach an aspect of ourselves that we can only describe as beautifully human.

If You Can't Stand The Heat

There have been several instances where my lack of direction have plagued my own mental health. I try to continue to stay positive in certain moments, but I can't help but focus in on my failures and how my progress in life is not necessarily where I envisioned myself to be.

In less than a month, I will be turning 30. Without a steady job, my own home, and my own family, I can't help but imagine what rock bottom would be like. Now, declaring that my life is at a rock bottom is a bit of an overstatement, for there are plenty of other individuals in this world that are hurting with much more urgent matters.

I am blessed to have the support of loving family and friends that will be there for me at a moments notice. However, to examine to say that my current circumstances in life as a turning point would be accurate in the sense that I have found a new personal bottom. They say you must truly strip away all that was once your former self in order to manifest into something better. I can say first hand that I hope that I am at that point and to say that I am mentally drained would not describe the immense pressures I have to hurtle past time and time again.

As an aspiring writer, I understand that one must experience life in all various aspects and that the older we get, the better our craft becomes to articulating the pain and struggle. The ups and downs of life are but various different flavors to a pallet than will soon prepare a meal to remember. I just hope that I am prepared to stand the heat to stay in the kitchen.

Fight or Flight

For those who have been reading my page, there may already be a sense of confusion. I started this blog without a clear understanding of what I wanted to achieve. Perhaps I wanted an account for the upcoming events in this transitional period of my life, or maybe a niche to promote my written works or creative art. Whatever the reason, my current progress has been a bit stunted do to immense pressures from other aspects of my life, one of which being the pursuit of a passion project of mine.

Thus far, my blog has been on the abstract and that all written entries have been more of an abstract illustration of my written process, as well as my thoughts and beliefs. My clarity up to this point of my own life has always been murky, lost under a fog of doubt and insecurity. My recent experiences have given me that much desired clarity, only found under a trial-by-fire period.

Allow me to bestow that clarity upon you:

My name is Alejandro Bernal and I have always understood myself as an avid storyteller. Growing up, I always had an imagination that wished desperately to manifest itself into my own reality. Without much of an understanding as to how to do this, my own solace was to imagine myself and my own characters existing within the frame of television and film. I knew that my passion and my purpose was to drive this energy into the written form, developing worlds and characters that could perhaps one day exist on screen.

In recent weeks since beginning this blog, I decided to make that leap into the unknown and pursue a career towards professional screenwriting and entertainment. A scary decision for any, my decision to literally give up job and home for this endeavor has become something of a crucible, as certain aspects of the journey have not panned out the way I had originally envisioned.

This is not to say that I regret any of the past decisions that led me to this point. In fact, I am even more vindictive towards this path, in which if it were not for the tremendous circumstances that would call upon my primal "fight or flight" mechanism, I would not be the man that stands before you today, confident in the power that only lies from within.

To those who reads these words, I say to you now that fear of failure cannot be the definitive factor in your course of life. Judgement, instinct, and ambition are at its finest when one is painted in a corner, when there is absolutely no form of escape except to move forward. Live life with no regrets and its true gifts will reveal themselves upon you, for our own purpose is to strive for the perfection of a life that others would define as a masterpiece.

Stay vigilante

A distance with no end 
A tunnel with no light
A war with no flag
Standing at an edge of a great field
a chaos of war in the horizon
I look towards a strength that can only be described by evolution
My higher mind & being knows what to do
But it is a matter of understanding
and listening to see the direction.
Follow the field into an unknown
Confident in my own safety that will lead me to the righteous path
Harden your spirit from external agents that wish your demise
The spear stands tall in the wind
Ready for the fight of its life

When Does Hot Get Too Hot?

Its almost hard to determine a particular action, choice, or path in life if your current situation always seems to sit in a bit of chaos. We yearn for structure and simplicity in order to operate effectively, but when things fly at you from the murk of every which direction, its so simple to just sit back and shut down. No explanation, no justification. The easy way out can always deem to be the proper cause of action and a swift retreat in the face of danger can be a course of action that no one would blame you for.

But I am always reminded of the man that threw in the towel too early, or the playoff team that left the points on the table. It was their will that broke in the moment of character and the trial by fire. Merit is shown when the choice to rise up and take the challenge head on or turn tail and run.

I cannot say that I have all the answers in terms of finding success in life, but all I can say is that I cannot stress over the variables that I cannot control. It is not on me to determine the fate of my own, but it is on me to face my adversaries with a pure heart that cannot be squelched by insecurity or regret or pain or doubt. I know my power within and that is a realm that no outside force can change. With that sort of possession of myself, I have the power needed to change the course of history.

Is the fire getting too hot? 
Is the road getting to rocky?
Is the mountain getting to steep?
Its difficult to understand at which direction one should go
Whether the up is really the correct direction for air to breath
The sand grows soft and our feet begin to sink
My legs ache at the burden of my own weight
My trials and tribulations
My dreams and my desires
My strengths and my weaknesses
All have manifested into a vision that has formed into a curse
It will not allow me to sleep soundly or dream peacefully
A smile without the flame that warms my own heart
But the curse is an internal part of my spirit
One that almost becomes essential towards my journey towards greatness
It is my battle against myself
Forcing me to wage a war that will take me to the brink
Conquer yourself and you shall conquer the world
My curse is my blessing
One that will not allow me to give up
Iron & steel
Shield & sword
Mind & body
Heart & soul
All must burn into a molten pulp
To be sculpted and forged into the crafted masterpiece
Destined to survive a millennia

Happy Mother's Day!

I wish to start this off with a Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there right now. Their strenght and courage has driven us all.

I am born of a strong woman, who raised me to be just as strong, if not stronger. She is the backbone in my life and will continue to be in the most trying moments of my life.

A woman and her child, the most sacred bond. 
The only relationship that puts meaning and perspective to our lives. 
You grew me, you carried me, you created me. 
To me, you are God in my eyes. 
The only name that can whisper, "I put you on Earth"
Men falsely perceive themselves to be powerful beings.
But they continue to seek and destroy with their arrogance. 
Thinking that total domination is earned by an iron fist. 
Women bear the burden of life upon their flesh
seeking harmony within their surroundings.
What can be a greater strength, 
than to face the dangers of this world, bearing a child?

Just a Ramble: Accepting Failure

I think I've always had a hard time accepting failure. Having to put myself in a position to really allow myself to grow at a breakneck speed has been something I've avoided for a good portion of my early adulthood. I really didn't know how to thrive under pressure and I sought the obvious security blankets of my general life.

But growth comes from within and the only possible way to see that growth is through challenges and obstacles. I can't wish to become a better man and human being without the trial by fire you can only imagine in great epics from long ago.

Taking risks is necessary to learn this growth and by no other circumstances can any individual wish to pursue anything similar. Failure builds character and by fortifying your mind and spirit during times of adversity will you rise to your true potential. 

Science Fiction: a Love, a Passion, a Reason to Stay Sane

I love science fiction.
I don't know what it is about the genre. It has something to do with that sense of wonder, that curiousness towards our own existence that makes us take a pause. Science fiction is a pure representation of imagination, of where man is now, and where he is destined to go.
The idea for me is that peace of looking into the stars and having a universe worth of room to create and imagine worlds that are unlike our very own --or if our own world were different some how. For myself, it gives me a fantastic chance to momentarily escape from my very own reality. It has definitely shaped the person I am today.
Growing up in the Antelope Valley, California, much of my imagination came from the absence of any visual stimulation. Don't get me wrong, the desert mountain ranges of the San Joaquin mountains are a breath to take in, but it leaves miles and miles in between of tumbleweeds and Joshua bushes.
So you can sympathize as to why I tended to drift mentality. Away from what my daily schedules and tasks were in class or at home. My head would just be in a cloud somewhere, yearning for my body to go to where my mind has traveled. I wanted to be in a world where I was free to do what I choose.
There was definitely something missing.
Then in high school, one of my English required reading assignments found me grabbing a book by the name of Ender's Game. Before that moment, I didn't really know what true science fiction was --at least not in a literary sense. This book became life defying as I knew somehow someway I wanted to be a part of this, either as a fan, or something more.
In the future, I will talk a little more about the works of science fiction that influenced me as a writer, as well as share some pieces that I am putting together. Until then, keep your eyes on the stars and wonder.

The Leap to Freedom

I can't be alone in thinking that all we ever want to be is happy. Living our own lives as if we are kings and queens of our own piece of this place we call Earth. Enjoying all the spoils of our labor and growing old with our children, seeing that they are raised with values that will create them to become successful.

When does the journey for that dream begin?

The road in front of me is particularly murky, wondering if I will be strong to see its end. I know I must jump towards safety but it fills me with fear. Why must I become afraid in order to achieve something so meaningful? I ask this because I already know the answer.

The call for battle is upon me. I can feel its chaos and decay upon my flesh. But I do not flinch. I can only stand tall and embrace the fear that seeps through out my veins. For the leap to freedom will only be conquered by the strong and for those who know what is at stake.

I can only imagine my present state and my current circumstances as a fight for survival; with all potential threats looking to challenge my progress and take what is rightfully mine. As Bruce Wayne jumped the gap within the pit and rose from darkness, he grew forever stronger to challenge an adversary that broke him in half. But to learn to conquer your enemy, you must first learn to conquer yourself and the fear within:

Continue on! Stay Alive!
In order to stay free
we must jump into danger
the heart rate rises
he is terrified
death is near
the crowds cheer for his success
he lets go of all inhibitions and gives his will to fate
he makes the jump to freedom and 
into battle
forged from steel within darkness

The Bungee Jump

The closer and closer I get, the more I realize how real this is becoming; the edge of the cliff, the end of the road. You want so badly to know what will be on the other side of the mountain, but who really wants to know? We all live for the sense of wonder.

I suppose I imagine a bungee jumper, standing on the edge of the steel railing, looking straight down into a 100ft drop. Will my rope hold? What happens if the coil snaps? How hard is it going to hurt to die? But you let it go. All the fear and the guilt and the anger and the pain. You stare into the gorge that is mother earth and know that no matter what happens we will all return to her. 

"Yes, I'm scared!" is what I say to them, "and I know of no other way to live." 

They look at me with their blank stares, wondering when or if I will ever wake up. But I keep dreaming and I take that leap. Those few seconds of terror will account for more life than an entire lifetime on the other side of that railing. From souls to crown, all electric flow of life surges throughout my limbs, waking me up to the possibilities of what constitutes being alive and the primal instinct that fuels me to survive.

Stay hungry everyone and don't be afraid to jump every once in a while.

Tonight We Dine In Hell

Standing alone is often a metaphor given to epic showdowns in which our main character stands before a great army and blood-thirsty war lord ready to rain hell upon our small band of heroes. The opposition is perceived invincible and our only hope for survival is to perhaps submit to their will, allowing but a small piece of happiness within our so-called lives. But our heroes are constructed out of a different fabric,  standing strong within their ideals, un-wavered to the concept of what defines true fulfillment of life is complete and utter freedom to do what you were born to do, whatever that may be. 

I started this blog as a means to provide a sort of creative outlet; a means to promote my own artistry and perhaps make a few friends along away. But I can't help but pull some of the emotional tenants that currently exist within the flow of my own life. I am beginning my story at its most definitive, crucial moment of my own life. Without realizing my own intention, I allowed myself to document the journey in a medium capable to share with the world. I only hope that the ending of the story will be something worth telling. 

The journey really begins at a choice, one in which no one can ever make except for oneself. Through out my life I was conditioned to believe that all of life's turning points existed within a certain path, a trajectory that you can spot from miles away. My decision to move out of my parents home, to go to college, and to get a full time job were all significant periods in which the decision was pretty much made up because of circumstance. I was a drone plotting along the various channels of life. 

But what is to happen when there is no clear cut choice, when the decision to change ones life becomes so murky and convoluted with doubt that it begins to bog your spirit like a curse. Why must I yearn for something more and choose to reject a path of ignorance? In that moment, what is to happen when your entire being, your own internal conviction is telling you to go in one direction, without any hope of knowing the outcome? What happens when all sense of logic settles within yourself and asks you to really "think" this through, that acting with your heart is a fools errand? Then, what happens when you are face-to-face with an opposition and when that opposition is embodied in the faces of those you most love?

I suppose that is just the nature of things and that if we had everything figured out, then life would just be plain and boring. Of course, that's just me:

An "A" game; you can only have one. How do we get there? What does it take?
And Instinct so primitive that only in surreal circumstances can this be achieved
You are born to do this
This is your shot to sell your story
Sell your heart
Why does any one individual deserve greatness?
The obstacles will be what defines the outcome
You cannot falter
Stay strong
Move Forward

My Own Selfish Desire. An Exploration Within the True Self

At what point should I ask myself, "am I making the right decision?" The course of our very lives resides on the constant variation of our own choices, deciding on what we want versus what we need. To often than not, we rationalize our motives for those things that we want. Therefore, creating an internal conflict over that in which we  want versus that in which we really need. But what were to happen if that want constitutes a deeper desire?

Our own human desires are remnants of a primitive self, a former being in which knows what is required to survive within a wilderness. Our own internal perception of our environment grew over centuries of evolution and to deny this would be a complete lack of regard towards the power of the inner self. Our true nature is very much decided by that inner want.

This is not to say that people should completely divulge themselves on frivolous things that will only serve to feed your spirit in the short term. The true rewards lie within what the heart desires; the inner spirit that cries unto the world for a moment in the sun. Quiet your mind and open your heart. There may very well be a reward waiting for you that can define a lifetime.

Why me? What have I possibly done to achieve such a tremendous honor? Surely there are others that are more deserving of its precious gifts. 

The moment when one looks over the edge of safety can last an eternity, wishing that tomorrow would come swifter. But I cannot question destiny. For fate rarely calls upon those at a moment of their choosing. 

We are but a handful that have been placed within the winds of change, blessed by those who have sacrificed so much so that we may arrive at this point in time--the named and un-named. 

We owe them our deepest gratitude and our duty holds us to see this sacred task through. So while doubt asks, "why me?" destiny asks ,"why not me?" 

It is ours to take and run free.

A Movie Review: NOAH

So, I wanted to try something different and announce  a series of articles reviewing a recent movie I was able to catch in the cinema. Without giving any spoilers away, I'll go over my initial thoughts, my recommendation, and anything else that can be thought of as brain fodder. As I have already posted on this blog, I am a big movie fanatic and that i have a consistent desire to relate every aspect of life to some movie, somewhere. But I think any movie goer can relate to me when I say that its all about getting lost in the story and hoping to walk away thinking differently because of it. 

With that being stated, it would only be appropriate to discuss the film that really brings into focus  the central meaning of what is our reality. Noah puts into scope of what it Is to be human and how they are tasked to exist on this earth. I remember some of the early promo for this film and my thoughts were that it was a bit darker than a traditional Bible-based film would have taken it. Even with the recent release of the Bible miniseries on History channel, that version was a bit more on the optimistic side (as optimistic as the whole world drowning in a flood can be) and reinforced the entire theme of hope through out the duration Of the series.

Now of course, as soon as I heard that Darren Aronofsky was directing this bad boy, I knew well that he wasn't going to retell this epic tale straight forward. Leave it to him to take a different edge to the famed Noah story. Darren never deals with characters in the black or white of moralistic integrity. He is an expert at really engaging characters in questionable lights and forces the audience to make judgment calls on our central character and Noah (Russell Crowe) is no different. He is constantly trapped within the gray as far has having to make a choice between life and death. 

Without giving too much away, the ending could perhaps stir some controversy but could definitely spark some interesting discussions. I didn't really read into too much of the back story behind the production of this movie, so I am not quite certain how close to the source the finer details are (I know, growing up in a catholic school and I can't seem to recall some of the major components to the story) but I wouldn't put it past Mr. Aronofsky to make some key changes. 

But of course, controversy or not, it is a great film with awesome visuals. Some aspects of the film may have ruffled some feathers, but in no way near the level of say The Passion of The Christ Or The Last Temptation of Christ (I think there is something about Jesus that ruffles people's feathers,) The acting is great and solid, of course having the reunion of Beautiful Mind's Academy award winning duo, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. 

One Reason to Not Die Nameless

I think most people want to say that they had a meaningful life. Most people want to say that they lived life to the fullest, that we stopped at nothing to really go after what we always wanted. Plastering self help quotes and motivational speeches all over our dresser drawers and computer screens, ever keeping our focus on the end game. But where is the gut check? How many will continue to stand after life gives them one good punch in the mouth?

Most cases we live in denial, settling for the road easiest traveled. I find myself asking that very same question, praying that I have the right answer to give. But my actions will always speak louder than words.

I want to live a happy and fulfilling life, but what are the sacrifices to get there? I'm looking at the end goal but when faced with the long and treacherous staircase up a jagged mountain, I can't help but find myself leaning on doubt, second guessing my own purpose and ambition.

Maybe they are right.

Its not often when you come across an article that can really grab you by the throat and give you a good wake up call. Today I read 7 Reasons Why You Will Never Do Anything Amazing With Your Life and really couldn't find a better time to read such a piece. The brilliance of hearing the cold blooded truth about so many other people's shortcomings and how the acceptance of that truth is possibly the greatest failure as a society.

How do you define an utter lack of passion, an apathy that exists as your greatest characteristic, and apply that within an environment that only rewards the strongest with survival?

History dictates that those who are dominant do not remain as such for long.

A challenge, an opportunity, an opposition, a war. 
When faced with the greatest moment of ones life, what are the emotions that exist within that moment: happiness, fear, hope, sadness? 
Sadness for all those who couldn't make it before and for all those who never had the opportunity to take the shot; for all those who died nameless. 
As humans, that is what we all ultimately want ito acheive in life, manifesting into the search for true meaning.

Never give up, never surrender

"When you are going through hell, keep going."
             -winston churchill
It has always been a question of what is your limit. I think the pursuit for anything worth while has always been laid out in terms of whether I can endure the pain necessary to achieving success. Every aspect of life is measured within this concept of survival and struggling with an opposition. 
The idea of a comfort zone is what everyone seeks, but what should always be questioned, especially when it is unearned. I can only imagine the countless people who have grown stagnant and stale with this false notion of safety within their lives. Constantly attached to these standard comforts of living that have done nothing but dulled their senses to whats truly important. Running from the first sign of adversity.
I am one who has become numb and blunt. Unable to cut swiftly against any tough surface. But I am grateful for my senses to become aware of this fact and that my unfortunate circumstances have taught me up to this point on what is real.
Nothing comes easy without a fight and sometimes we must learn to crawl through the mud in order for us to learn to use our legs to stand.
Standing at an edge
Seeing the darkness but I will not fall
I will not falter
I will not let go
You had me at an end but I did not stop
You had me at a depth but I did not gasp for air
You had me at my most broken 
but I did not ask to be placed back together


Her Love

Okay,  to kind of start this off, I'm not particularly an emotional guy. I think the first impression people read off of me is that I don't take too many things seriously and brush a lot of things off.  And for the most part, they're right about every single thing. I just can't help but take everything with a grain of salt. 
With that said, I am not completely heartless or cold. I do have feelings and sometimes the heart strings do get plucked every once and a while.  So its all a matter of perspective. 
By no means am I some romance laureate--I couldn't be further from it--but its more of an expression to flex my range. 
And maybe a female shoulder or two to cry on.... (wink wink)
If that didn't sound creepy, I don't know what does:

Her love was hard to remember
Her love will be hard to forget
Her love was one that asked you to become better
Her love was one you would yearn to become greater
I wanted the best for myself, and that love was my reminder for that
I wanted the world and that love kept me striving for that
So forever I will be greatful of the lessons I've learned
Because with her in my life, I never would have never grown

Another One-on-One

This is perhaps a bit of a trial period. I know as aspiring writers, we use various different exercises and techniques to help us develop as craftsman. I suppose this is my first crack at it. I really don't know what are my primary intentions for this blog will be in the coming weeks, hopefully in the coming months, but I am not going to try and define it just yet.

I know many of times I seem to have the innate ability to just ramble a stream of thoughts when no one really asked a question. So in a way, I am sparing the people in my immediate proximity the pain of having endure my trivial conversations on how last nights episode of Walking Dead possessed strange and haunting parallels to today's modern day society.

"Calm down Mr. IMDB, no one wants to hear that crap."

I quietly laugh to myself in those moments, seeing myself get excited about a particular topic and to only have my conversation be met with a glazed look and a polite smile. They don't get what I'm saying and I quietly turn my office chair back to my computer screen and answer the next phone call.

It's harder for some to really understand why people don't connect in ways that are more meaningful. I don't pride myself in being able to talk to others. I think most of the time I just sit back and observe, as most people just sit and wait for their own turn to speak. Maybe I stutter my words, or maybe I just don't speak fast enough. For whatever reason, I'm not apologizing for who I am and what I've learned.

I've learned to accept who I am and how my mind works.

Sometimes I can be weird and a bit of a loner, but I think its necessary. The ability to slow things down and contemplate our situations and surroundings is a bit of a cleansing of the soul. Our day and age of instant gratification and this rush-rush mentality has almost gotten to the point of being a bit overwhelming. Taking the time to just sit the fuck down and chill out is a bit of an understatement and I think people will benefit from that fact aplenty.

Anyway, yes, I'm a movie guy and sometimes I talk to myself WAY too much, but you know what, that's alright. Our character is only defined by the flaws, talents, joys, and memories of our lives, who is to say what is acceptable or not. In the end, it is what ultimately makes us human.

Crap, there I go rambling again....

I'll end with a shameless plug of a favorite website of mine that really got me excited to talk cinema and screenplay again. WhatCulture!

A Chain Reaction

A new chapter.

A new beginning.

A new age.

The pages continue to turn and I no longer wonder where this story will take us. To some doomed existence, where our lust for power and fortune will continue to consume us, or perhaps a higher form of enlightenment. To what ever end that may be, it is my hope that it will be where all of humanity can unite in one common cause.

We are all barely awake in time, unable to see all the occurrences of our very existence around us. An infant species to the universe that operates under a single certainty that cannot be denied: we all live and die. Simple in its definition, our own meaning should revolve around how we each choose to impact this lifetime and how our own actions will bestow lasting impressions across time.

Do not hold to the anger, indecencies, or inconsiderations of common people, for they are still lost inside their own darkness--unable to see the light from within. How does a single mind rationalize how it fits into this idea of the "grand scheme of things"? It is my own belief that any one unit has the power to affect the whole, just as a single cell has the ability to change an entire organism. A chain reaction must take place, for we still may very well be the wandering sheep within a wilderness we do not yet fully understand.

A Birth Right

What are my thoughts?
A stream of consciousness?
What makes me happy?
What makes me Sad?

The heart & soul are but concepts that exists within the mind. Those who try and squelch the mind are the opposition. My greatest fear is to be in a position--a crowd of people, a job, a marriage-- in which they would rather see me silent than speak out of turn. Pure freedom is the ability of expression and the opportunity to continue to push those boundaries.

I see that oppression is a very real danger. But it is never a thing that is seen swiftly, but gradually, over decades. Distractions are what allows the guard down. When we appeal to this societal concept of happiness, we lose our notion of what constitutes expression. Perhaps the homeless man screaming on the corner of the block is not so insane after all. Though random are his thoughts, it is his pure expression and he is absolutely free to do so. My pen to paper is freedom. No server or IP address. No history file or digital footprint. Enjoying the freedom that our own private thoughts are as such. And the ability to say those thoughts should be cherished as a natural born birth right.

Another Introduction: The Real Me

Really, at this point I don't know what to say. As you may can already see, this is my very first blog and I am rushing the cobwebs off. Then again, cobwebs implies that I have been writing for some time. In reality this is my first official foray into the realm that is creative writing, especially in the open domain.

Just some background on me. I'm a film geek with the utmost insane amount of drivel information about cinema trivia than a normal person should ever know. I think every philosophy that I've ever interpreted in life has always revolved around movies. I don't suppose that's too bad. I got this far after all.

I'm really just looking to get a conversation going with like minded folks that can really help me grow as a writer. Once again, this is my first, true wing at it for others to see, so please bear with me, as grammar is not my strong suit. L.O.L. (Oh no he didn't!!!)

My own aspirations is to one day write for screen (television or film) and, well, you never know. Look forward to hearing from you all and stay tuned!

Digital Profile: Endgame

As time marches on, we all become real. Our flesh & bone tells a story, through the eyes of the stars. They look down upon their children, with the many moons of the sky, and finally are joined with their sister moon, our moon. 

And in this bond, the sun bursts into flames and launches a great towering wall of blinding light, chasing the few left upon earth. 

But the concrete jungle of humanity protects us all, safe and happy within its catacombs. 

Alone together, in one great wonderful embrace: brothers, sisters, and the higher power.

The Chosen

Many are called, but few are chosen. 

How does one become chosen? I believe from birth, we are all called upon this earth, not knowing the greatest potential that this plane has to offer. Scared of the various dangers and fears that exist just outside the sight of man. Existing within their confinements of comfort. Never truly pushing their limits or breaking the boundaries that were always placed before by society. But to become chosen is a result of a higher power. One that exists far beyond our own understanding. 

Within the minds of many exists the names of only a few. Immortalized as master builders of the past. Cultivating a culture and way of life for us all. To become the chosen few requires a choice of our own: acceptance. The ability to let go of all the fear and doubt and pain that have caused so many before us to crumble and fall. 

It is not up to you to decide such a fate, for turning away this divine responsibility will be a greater dis-service to not just oneself, but to your fellow man. The potential impact on so many lives would be lost from such a retreat, and by that reason should a "why" be cultivated for your own purpose. To touch and inspire the masses and to spread a message that will soon reach the world and can very well change the course of time. It is not up to you to be afraid, for the time has come to let go of all earthly inhibitions and to trust that we are all destined to become the lions that greatness has chosen us to be.