Friday, June 29, 2012

This is want a near perfect day looks like in my world

Today was a good day. I think I need to acknowledge it and breath it in a little more. Today started out with me stepping up my psychological warfare against my roommate. He isn't a bad guy, but he is a horrible roommate for me. So for the past 3 weeks I've been trying to help him understand that he would be happier somewhere else. Today was a ramping up of the efforts. Today was me walking around the apartment naked.

When I came up with the idea I mostly thought about how much it would creep him out. I'm not sure how successful I was. He's a very liberal, but an uptight guy. I have to assume that he found it off-putting to see me sitting in the living room naked watching tennis the first thing in morning. How could he not.

But there was something else that happened that I didn't expect. It was freeing. I'm not a particularly uptight guy, but I'm well aware of the social norms and I adhere to them. I adhere to them even more than I have to. So just being butt-ass naked saying, 'look, this is what I'm doing', felt extremely comfortable. In fact, I liked it. It wasn't a sexual thing. It was just about feeling very comfortable with who I am. And if I got the bonus of making him squirm, then it was a perfect experience.

The big thing for me now is to figure out how to do it enough so that he can't get comfortable with it. In theory, I want my roommate to think every morning, "Oh god, am I going to be confronted with a naked black man again this morning." That is the goal.

Later, after he left and I got dressed, I finished audiobook #7 of 7. It feels like I have been working on these 7 books for a month. I haven't really, but it feels like it. I have spent a lot of time with earbuds in trying to create natural speech patterns out of what amounts to a series of phrases. And finishing that I feel a real sense of fulfillment. It is a sense that I don't often get because in what I do, there is no end, simply another story.

After that I hopped on the internet and found out that the healthcare bill was upheld. As a self employed person, I have been watching this very closely. Without it upheld, I will finally be able to get health insurance. And if it get enacted soon enough I may actually live longer than 2 years. That might be nice, but it would have the unfortunate side effect of me having to fill in a whole lot more time that I haven't been planing for. Hmm... so maybe that one isn't completely a good thing.

Another thing is that, all during the day I have been doing what I always do when there is a major tennis tournament on; I have been watching tennis. And because I was editing audio, I have watched every minute of the 10 hour broadcasts. The last match tonight was Nadal playing the 100 ranked player in the world. I don't particularly like Nadal, but I accept that he will be in the finals. He wasn't playing well in round 1, but he is Nadal, so no matter how he plays he will be in the finals.

So as I watched this match, his opponent was playing better than I have ever seen anyone one else play in years. But there is a reason why this guy is #100 and Nadal has 11 grand slam titles. I was very impressed with this new guy's play, but there was no way he could keep it up. I mean, the guy was playing near lights out. No one in the world could beat him the way he was playing.

So after he took the second set off of Nadal I kept thinking, "well, that was fun to watch, but here is where it ends." And I kept thinking that. Even after it got into the 5th set and the guy immediately broke Nadal I thought, "fun, but here is where it ends." The man was even serving for the match and I kept thinking the same thing.

The man beat Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon. I was shocked! It was one of the most impressive performances I have ever witnessed. I have never seen someone destroy such a great player before. It was a great match. And the added bonus of it is that Roger Federer will at least be #2 in the world once Wimbledon is complete. Go Federer!

And then finally today, I was watching Charlie Rose where he was talking with the director and stars of Spiderman. The director mentioned that at the heart of the story, it is about a boy who, because his parents have abandoned him, has a hole inside of him that he is always trying to fill.

As he talked about it, I realized that my YA story was screaming out for another side to it. My lead will be a victim of sexual abuse. She will never have felt loved or cared for. That is such a psychological rich story device. People who have massive holes to fill have motivation to make decisions about who they trust and will follow. With my lead having such a huge hole, I know exactly where the heart wrenching drama will come from in each of the stories.

Because she has this hole she will be easily swayed and when she is betrayed time and again, it will not only be painful for the audience to see, but she will seek vengence for it like a mad woman, creating even more situations that she must repent for. This might be hard to understand without knowing what the stories are, but let's just say that the story just got a level of emotional depth to go along with its intricately woven plot and insightful ponderances. I think that I have finally hit that point when all of the pillars of the story is there and I can start working on the details. With only a few things still in front of it, it's not long now. T

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The 14-Year-Old Female Protagonist of My Next Novel will be Sexual Abused... and Other Observations

I have mentioned a few times before that I belong to a forum of writers. When I switched to erotica there was a writer in particular that I watched. She wrote in the same sub-genre as I did and she had 3 stories released. She is a very slow writer and It took me less than a month to overtake her in terms of my number of releases and revenue. I felt a little uncomfortable about it because she published months before me and I was doing better than her.

About 2 months after our forum started she disappeared for a few weeks. When she came back she admitted that she had become depressed over her lack of success and I couldn't help but think that it had to do with me. There were only 3 of us writing in that sub-genre and I was the one most succeeding.

Well, she got back to writing and switched sub-genres. After that she did a little better but still is not doing that well. And she was still a slow writer so I started thinking of her as one of the writers that wouldn't go anywhere. It takes devotion to earn big numbers in erotica and 1 release every 3 weeks won't cut it.

Six weeks ago she released a story. It didn't seem very special but it made it to the Hot New Release list for erotica. I always wonder how that happens because I have yet to make it to that list and I have a mailing list of 300 people. I know that she doesn't have a mailing list or a strong fan base yet there she was.

I continue to watch her book and it keeps climbing the list until it is # 2 behind a recent release of 50 Shades of Grey. After that it enters the Erotica top 100 list. Eventually it made it to # 1 in Erotica and started climbing the Romance list.

Today it did something special. It entered the overall top 100 books list on Amazon. That's quite a feat. I would love to say that I'm proud of her but I'm not really. I know I should be happy for her because she's someone from my group but I don't really feel it. Everyone on the group is thrilled for her. They are very supportive over there, but I guess I assume success. People succeed over there and she is just the latest one. We had someone get to #25 on Amazon. This is what happens. After the previous person made it to #25 she dropped off all of the list. People go up and they go down. This current person sold 15,000 books in the last 2 months, but I keep thinking, what will her book count be at the end of the year?

I'm wondering if my lack of enthusiasm has anything to do with the increased amount of oxytocin in my body. It's almost like a numbing feeling going on. But it's not like the numbing that comes with depression. I kind of feel like how androids in movies look like they feel. I feel unaffected. In fact, today someone I know completely made up something about me that has no basis in reality and posted it on facebook. And where as usually I would do something extreme like attack back or plot revenge, today I pretty much just dismissed it. There's no doubt about it, I feel different.

I was also watching a special on Pixar today. It was extremely interesting. The director of Toy Story is one hell of a story teller. He has a knack for humor and pulling the heart strings which is unparalleled. I think that I will add an element of heart to my YA story. I have never gone for emotionalism before. The first 4 times that I read the ending of my book 'The First Day After Life' I cried. I didn't write it to evoke tears and I'm not sure if it did it for anyone else. But I am going to make pulling heartstrings a goal in the YA story.

I was also giving thinking about something else pertaining to the YA book. At one point I was debating the idea of having the female 14 year old main character be the victim of sexual abuse. My thought was that I would have her escape to a different world to escape the abuse only to realize that she has left her little sister there to suffer the same fate. I wanted to use that to give the character something real to want to get back for. And I wanted her to have a reason for getting back that was so strong that no matter how glorious her new lives are and how much she loves the boys that she meets, she will still have a no-explanation reason for wanting to get back home. That is what I call true conflict and true obstacle for love.

Everyone minus 1 or 2 people said that I shouldn't do it. I have thought about it for about 6 months now. I'm doing it. If people don't want to read it, that's fine. I'm not writing Harry Potter. In almost all of my stories I deal with sex. And just because someone is sexually abused doesn't mean that they can't go on to laugh and love and live. And what's more, it will make what happens in the end of the last book, very substantial.

This is the book that I'm writing and I'm writing about life. What I have learned in the 20 years since I started my journey of discovery is that in life, horrible things happen to people, but that doesn't define them. This overweight, unattractive, sexually abused girl that no one loves accept the one person that she abandons, is not only going to survive her horrible beginning, but she is going to go on to be the most important human to ever live. That is the journey that I'm going to tell. And having thought about it for so long now, I am very confident that this is the story that I was meant to write.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Think I Know How Yoda Felt

I watched the movie Prometheus today. It was good. But during it I came up with a key feature for the Young Adult book that I will be writing. I figured out what the twist to the story in Book 1 will be. This won't be twist like a mystery would have. This twist is what will make the story unique. I would say that I've never read a book like it, but who would I be kidding, I don't read so of course I haven't. Oh, but I will also say that I've never seen it in a movie or a TV show and that should account for something.

Today I was also editing one of my erotic audio books. It was a unique experience. I really liked the way that the words flowed together. It was almost melodic. It reminds me that a building number of my reviews involved the reviewer referring to me as a talented writer. Since I don't read, I'm not sure what that means. What would qualify someone as being talented. Is it the way the author combines the words to make it seem like poetry? Is it that the story is so sophisticated that it exceeds what others are doing? I don't get it? What is it about my work that makes others refer to me as talented?

In either case, I wish I were talented. It would be nice. If I were talented, I would do justice to this YA book. It is a unique concept and I will say big things in it. If I could combine the words in a melodic way while the story is bread and butter "stable girl becomes a knight under the tutelage of a master"... you know the Star Wars/Generic Fantasy structure, I would have something. Alas, I can only do what I can do and no more. If my other books are any indication, no one will read this new one no matter how good it is, but I'm trying to write something that will transcend time. And it would be very helpful when I did it if I were actually talented. I guess we can't have it all though.

I have also decided that although I first decided to write this because I thought that I could write a Harry Potter, it wouldn't be like that. Nor will it be like Hunger Games. If I had to compare it to something, I would say the TV show Quantum Leap. The basic structure of the story will be just like that. But story wise it will be closer to Star Wars maybe. It will be a love story though. Not your conventional type but a love story none the less. And what it will be most of all is a story that through adventure and romance, will explain who we are as human beings. Not in the obvious way, but in the the way that I have discovered over the past two decades. One that involves the intersection of biology and spirituality and how the two interact.

On another topic, when I was walking out of the theater today, for the first time I thought about how lucky I was. That isn't a thought that I have had in years if at all. But it started the other night when I was talking to a movie script writer. He was telling me about how a production company hired him to write something and I just cringed thinking about how he was completely subject to that production company's whims. How awful. And then today walking out of the theater after I finished editing my audiobook, I thought about how I am absolutely free to write anything. I'll repeat that. My life is such that I can write whatever I want, whenever I want to write it. Can you imagine that? And I can make my living while doing it. How crazy is that?

Which I guess brings me to another topic. The meditation I'm doing is effecting me pretty strongly. I am again starting to feel the peace I had a long time ago. It is hard to believe it is happening so quickly, but it is. But there is a side effect that's happening which could have happened when I was 17, but I didn't have the life experience to realize it at the time. I'm starting to feel disconnected from the people around me. I'm going through moments when I lose my will to engage with people. I used to enjoy engaging with people. Now I'm starting to feel content just being and not talking.

When I was a kid, I remember feeling like a complete person, a whole. I wonder if this was what it felt like back then. I have to guess that it was. How could it not be. So, I guess I am slowly regaining my inner peace. It's odd. But I guess that if I were on a spiritual path, a destiny, this is the way that it would work. I knew at 17 that even though I abandoned the path, I would eventually return to it once I've learned what I needed to learn so that I can teach it. But is it actually coming true? Has my life really been so well designed? I find it hard to believe. I did not have a small vision for my destiny when I was 17. I would hate to have to fulfill the rest of what I saw for myself back then. Then again, back then I was incredibly in touch with something I can barely understand now. If I saw it as having a purpose, then I'm sure that there was a good reason for it. I don't think I'll have to worry about that though. But of course, I didn't think that I would end up where I am either. Interesting.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I've Invented a Guaranteed Path to Happiness... Seriously!

After my last post I gave more thought to the meditation idea. I decided to go for it. And lying in my bed the next morning I was trying to figure out what style of meditation I would use. When I was a kid I did Chakra mediation. That is when you picture balls of color on various parts of your body. Thinking back on it now it seems kind of odd. But there is no denying that it worked.There is also things like mantra mediation and thoughtless mediation.

I didn't actually want to do any of those. Instead I remembered something else from my post. I did a google search to make sure that oxytocin was associated with meditation as I had said and it was. Studies have shown that the feel good neurochemical oxytocin can be released during meditation and it could be because during meditation we think of times when oxytocin has been released in the past. According to studies, imagery alone has been shown to release oxytocin.

This fact intrigued me. So what I decided to do was try something that I've never heard of before. Instead of meditating on god or some religious or spiritual thought, I would use science. I would meditate on times when I had received massages. I have always loved massages and massages have been shown to release oxytocin. So what I did was lay in my bed on top of the covers and with my arms and legs apart and I remembered the feeling of someone massaging my hands. After about 10 or 15 minutes of this, I felt almost as good as I did when I was being massaged. It worked! It worked incredibly well. It worked so well that I felt it needed a name. I decided to call it Happiness Meditation.

Since then I have meditated every day. And why not? It takes no time to do it and afterwards I fell like I'm wrapped in a warm blanket on a chilly day. I even feel a little drunk afterwards. How has no one come up with this type of mediation before? And if they have, why aren't the spreading the word about it. It's friggin' awesome and I feel a ton better. Why are people still chanting mantra trying to clear their mind looking for Nirvana? It's so hard with so little reward for most of us.

Since then I have not felt stressed about my sales numbers even though I've been checking them. And I just feel better about everything. This has got to be because of the Happiness Meditation and the best part is that it's based in science. I love that!

Ok, like I said I have been checking my sales numbers. I didn't really want to, but someone who makes a ton more money than I do selling books, told me that my number should be higher and they gave me some tips. After I followed them I had to see if they were working. And it is way too tempting not to check all of the numbers once you've started checking a few.

I would like to go on and complain about something else, but the truth is that I don't feel like it. Nothing quite seems as bad as it once did. Is it the constant stream of oxytocin that I'm getting? Maybe. But let me tell you. If you want to feel happier, try this. Science has proven that this technique works, so it certainly couldn't hurt.