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.