Rivulets of colder climes run down the glass to tickle my fingers. I watch on twisting my arm this way and that as the sunset catches the glass with final bursts of summer. A sip, then I lick my lips. I see nothing beyond the colours running down my throat, taste nothing but memories. This is bliss. Right now. This is bliss.
Floating on our backs downstream smiling.
Lost in time, we wandered happy.
"I hate rainbows, they're miserable."
"No they're not, they're beautiful. All those colours filling the sky makes the world seem better."
"If you like multicoloured frowns. I don't. I want to see it upturned and beaming."
"If it could would you shut up moaning?"
"Stand on your head then."
Genre Writing For You
The Joy of Words
Author’s Note: This is my latest post on Medium. Please feel free to click the link and join me there.
Today, my wife showed me a video clip of a Jack Russell terrier playing with a balloon. The little fellow jumped up and down in sheer unadulterated joy without a care for who watched, who recorded, or who would discuss his outburst. This dog reminded me of why I gave up everything to write: I had to. Just like my canine sensei who had eyes only for that orange balloon drifting through a cerulean sky, I had eyes only for telling stories. A simple reason easily forgotten.
It is easy to lose track of ourselves in a world where we now see everything, know everything — so we think — or, as so many do, follow the crowd. We lose our own identities in the fabric of life that popular thought stitches together. I liken this to Genre Writing; we are stamped with a badge that says author of Fantasy, Horror, Romance or any number of others. In times where companies like Amazon have sub-categories of sub-categories ad infinitum, this is only exacerbated. I say NO!
What can we do about it?
Well, we can buckle to pressure and repeat ourselves for the rest of our writing lives, or, and here’s the thing, we can use the skills we develop every time we tap on that keyboard or write in that pad to twist things to suit. This takes me back to that lively Jack Russell terrier.
Fantasy: If I’d told you I’d seen a dragon jumping up and down trying to catch a ballon, you would have thought very differently about this post — mainly that I was mad, but that’s beside the point.
Humour: If I’d told you I’d seen a Jack Russell jumping up and down in a snazzy pirate’s outfit whilst balancing a bone on his nose and trying to pop a balloon, you would have thought — Aww, little rascal! If you didn’t, what kind of monster are you?
Science Fiction: If I’d told you I’d seen a Jack Russell terrier jump up after a kid’s balloon, vanish, then reappear inside it, you’d have thought — Wow!
Horror: If I’d told you I’d seen a Jack Russell terrier jump up after a ballon that lurched instead for him and swallowed him whole, you might have felt sad or scared.
I could go on, but I think you get the gist.
There are many ways to write up the most mundane of events. It is up to the author to choose what words to use and how to place them to both satisfy himself and in so doing, his readers. A wordsmith should never tire of writing if they’re provided with limitless ways of doing so — YOUR WRITING IS LIMITLESS!
Like that little dog jumping on the grass with eyes only for a balloon, you, too, can play and skip and jump your way to success and be happy doing it. Stay strong. Stay creative.
Thank you for reading
Author of The Eternals Series
Into Eternity (Very Soon!)
There are few things in life that make me reminisce, fewer still with affection. I often envy people who recall a memory plucked from the aether and expound upon it; that just isn’t me. I think that’s why when I do it means more than being one of many such moments in a life lived. Today I had one such moment.
Hungry and tired, I sat on the sofa with a sandwich, turned on the television with no preconceptions of what might be on and there was Dorothy and Toto. Judy Garland was breaking into Somewhere over the Rainbow and for a few seconds in time, I travelled back; back beyond being a writer; back beyond my old job; back even beyond school. I was just Richard the little boy watching one of the four channels we had to choose from. It was Christmas.
There was always something about the Wizard of Oz, not just the music, but the sheer perfection of the casting, the colours, the dreams, innocence and pure unadulterated fantasy of the whole thing. I remembered the wonder, the wishing it was true, the endless possibilities of living in such a world where witches flew around on broomsticks and good conquered evil, always. I remembered the tears when it finished, the hoping above all hope it would be on again the following Christmas and nothing else on the box matching its brilliance. As a person who struggles with memories, I almost didn’t want to return, but of course I did.
Later, after my sandwich had gone, washed down with a cup of coffee and I had time to reflect on my diversion before the headache I have grew too bad to type this out, I had my eureka moment: I want to write a story that does for somebody else what The Wizard of Oz did for me. I know I’m on the way to doing so. I know that little boy with an endless imagination is still in here and I just need to draw him out. I will. It might take a month or it might take a year; it might even be the last thing I ever do, but I WILL do it.
This revelation has made me smile and appreciate just how important it was I left work to write. If I hadn’t there could be another little kid in this world just like the boy I was that will feel as empty inside as I would’ve without it. I’ve been climbing that rainbow for a long, long time and am only now approaching its brow. The view’s going to be spectacular. I hope one day, I can share it with you all.
Richard M. Ankers
Author of The Eternals Series
Into Eternity (Soon)
The comforts of snow were not lost on those who worked in the pits. Darkness, permeated only by the will-o’-the-wisp headlights of our workmates, filled our heads and hearts; several thousand tonnes of rock overhead would do that to you. In between breaths choked with shattered shale and coal dust, we would dig and pray, dig and pray, then pray some more.
The bell to signifying the changing shifts brought little in the way of relief; tiredness had broken us, we were nothing but jet-black ghosts. Seasons meant little down below, deep in the depths, but not so above.
When the lift breached the shaft entrance and flooded us with blinding white light, I for one thought we might have got off in heaven. I was wrong. I was always wrong, and glad to be. White blankets of peace and frigid air purged more than just ragged breaths, they purged our souls. Such was a miner’s lot in the Yorkshire coal fields, and the reason we valued our Christmases so greatly.
Smiles were hard to find. No sooner did the wrinkles at the sides of our eyes twitch, lips curl, the sadness would take hold and drag them back towards the ground. How did we cope! you shout. Simple, we all stood on our heads. We’re happy now until it rains.