Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recovery: Mental and Physical.

Earlier this year, my right lung collapsed 4 times. Yes, it sucked. It started back in June and kept on collapsing for the next two mounts. I underwent a barrage of procedures. They told me, "It's fortunate you're in such good shape. If you weren't, we'd be brinin' you here in an ambulance." So, after the first chest tube procedure, and massive surgery, and another chest tube, my lung collapsed for the third time; but this time it was 100% deflated. They doctor said, "If you would have waited one more day, you probably would have gone into cardiac arrest at your house." So began the insertion of another chest tube, and the beginning of what became my last surgery--they cut out two pieces of my right lung, stapled them shut, and hoped for the best.

Well, I can assure you all, like the six million dollar man, I have not only recovered, I have returned stronger and more determined then ever. I spent most of the time in the hospital working on my manuscript. When your stuck in the hospital for over a month, or on bed-rest, it provides someone great spans of time to fill with either TV or anything else--my choice was editing my work.

That time allowed me to be where I'm at today. Finished with the novel and seeking representation by an Agent or Publisher. But in the process of searching, I realized I needed to get back to my roots. I needed to get back to the place that inspired me to write in the first place--nature.

So I have begun the process of exercising my lungs, my body and my mind. Over the last few weeks, I have hiked nearly 100 miles through the Mountains of North Carolina. I'd like to think I', kicking ass. Considering it was just six months ago that I was hospitalized, I'm pretty stoked about my recovery. Just earlier this week, I hammered out nine miles in two hours and twenty minutes. Not to bad for a guy who's recovering.

While I'm in the process of seeking representation for my work, I plan on advancing my plans of physical and mental discipline. Before the year is out, I plan to hike to the top of Cold Mountain. That will be, roughly, a sixteen mile trek round trip. I plan to go solo on this one. It will also qualify as the longest hike I have ever done solo, or the longest hike achieved in a single day. To all of you out there, wish me luck. I am back and better then ever.

Searching for an Agent: Parallel Earth

So it is now that time--the time when I must begin the search for a Literary Agent. For all of you out there, know that the search has begun. If any of you out there know any Literary Agents, I look froward to pitching them my project. I am ready. It is ready.

I have created a world unlike any other. I have created my epic--the first part to what I hope becomes a seven novel series. If any agents stumble across this blog, feel free to contact me. I am ready on so many levels.

My Query Letter:

Dear Agents of the World,

I have completed my epic Dark Spiritual Fantasy, PARALLEL EARTH: "ADVENT OF EVIL," at 138,000 words. It is, "A New Mythology for a New Millennia." As we watch the world being torn apart each and every day, and we witness the cumulative soul of humanity being purged by the privileged few, Know that I have written the mythology which tells how it all began. 

Raised in the ancient tradition of the Buhman–a peaceful nature-loving people–Drakamear commits the ultimate sin and is cursed by the Earthly Gods to endure a torturous death within a horrid nightmare. Resurrected through the womb of his past lover to uncover the dark forces stirring his soul, Drakamear chooses revenge over revelation. Empowered by mystic forces, secluded, he creates the ultimate weapon—a Holy Doctrine.

Emerging from isolation as a self-proclaimed Messiah, Drakamear promises to deliver the Buhman from the harsh realities of a nature-based existence. Through his new religion, he uses his sardonic message of Love and Compassion to contort the spiritual perspective of the Buhman, and convinces many to abandon their mystic heritage. Deceived, families are ripped apart and the world hurtles into religious descent. As tensions mount, Drakamear leads his twelve disciples and their Sects in all out war against the remaining Buhman to arise as the Daemon Messiah.
Born a Minister’s son in a Christian Fundamentalist household, haunted by nightmares most of my youth, I needed resolution regarding my conflicted spiritual dilemmas. After years of creating Fantastic Realist paintings, I dove into my nightmares and art, studied world mythology, and emerged with, “PARALLEL EARTH: ADVENT OF EVIL,” the first installment of a 2300 year, seven novel series.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Scott Clark

92 Creekside Drive
Brevard, N.C. 28712

(828) 884-6574 (828) 553-8297

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Opeth: Heritage

So I've been a fan of Opeth for a good long while, ever since their "Ghost Reveries," album. I have anticipated every Opeth album since with great anticipation, so to say I was expecting great things from Heritage is an understatement. To say the least, I wasn't disappointed. Yes, those fans of Growl Vocals will be let down. There are no such vocals on this album. But for me, maybe since I'm getting a little older, and that I come form the older days of metal, before the full-throttle onset of death metal vocal overload, I was a great fan of Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio, and others.

I grew up around Tampa Florida, which at the time was the Death Metal capital of the world. I was there when this style of vocals emerged. I grew to like it, but as time has passed, I think it's become a detriment to the musicality of some such band (to me) is Isis. I purchased their, "Wavering Radiant," cd and loved the music, but any time that dude harps on with his death vocals, it destroys the beauty of what's lying beneath the layer of harsh vocals.

Ok, enough said there, now back to Opeth. One of my most favorite albums of their is, "Damnation," which as most of us know is nearly all acoustic and possesses such mood that it nearly claims your soul. The same can be said for, "Heritage."

To me, "Heritage," is nothing short of a masterpiece that not only appeals to those fans of metal, but it can appeal across the board to multiple genre's of music for it's shear brilliance of musicallity. The silence in between the notes is almost as potent as the notes being played. So I'm not going to go down a track listing, all I can say is this album breath's life into the listener from the opening brevity of the solo piano piece to the end, with the slow melodic guitar as it fades out. It has it's slightly heavier moments, but nothing really metal'ish. To me, it's more like Jethro Tull or Deep Purple with it's classic sound.

Seeing how they recorded this album almost raw, without a ton of processors, the sound is really rooted to the true Heritage of what great, magical music once sounded like--Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Zappa. The musicality in this new offering is equally dynamic, with almost jazzy drums in certain spaces, combined with a haunting flute, in combination with the primal percussion. I can't help but recommend this album to anyone who loves great music--not metal, but great, true, honest music, that stirs your soul.

Also, I was fortunate enough to be able to see them on this tour, at Amos Southend, in Charlotte N.C. It was a great evening. They refrained from any Growl Vocals and really concentrated on playing their more chill, ambient, and acoustic material from past to present. Yes, there were a few moments when they rocked out hard, but for the most part, it was a very chill evening. And very worth while. Katatonia was a great opener; I have since purchased two of their CD's, and am very glad I did.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil


So you might be wondering where the hell I've been. Well, aside from the near death experience, I had my lung collapsed four time this past summer, I have been diligently working away on multiple edits of the Novel as well as working on the Graphic Novel.

It has taken a good long while to get this Manuscript to a presentable format, but after a long go of it, I'm finally ready to begin work on preparing to find and Literary Agent. My buddy, Rob E. Brown and I have started some basic work on the design concepts for the Graphic Novel as well as deciding which direction to take the imagery for this world. There are a lot of things to consider, so stay posted.

If you want to stay abreast of what's going on a little more please check out my Parallel Earth Facebook Page or follow me on Parallel Earth at Twitter.

Vexus - Dark Lord
"Resurrected an outcast of his ancient society, Drakamear rises up to exact revenge against his friends and family. A self-proclaimed Messiah, his following begins to swell. As religious ideologies clash, he’s forced to come face to face with the cryptic daemons of his past life while the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Parallel Earth: Log Line

So I read the Log Line on the back of a recent movie and all of the sudden mine came to me. So I hope you like it. Just so you all know, I am steadily working away on editing. That's why the blog posts have slowed down a little.

"Resurrected an outcast of his ancient society, Drakamear rises up against friends and family, professing to be a self-proclaimed Messiah. As his following begins to swell and religious ideologies clash, he is forced to come face to face with cryptic daemons of his past life while the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parallel Earth: Momentous Occasions on Earth

The Long Dark Road of Solitude
Here I sit. A lull in my sense of accomplishment. I know that the road is much longer. I have walked a great long while down this way with few onlookers. And now I stand upon a crossroad that marks a new horizon in this long process.

I completed rewriting the novel. It took nearly a year. Come August I should be finished with the editing, which will mark the third passage through tis strange land of Parallel Earth.  One thing remains sure, the story is unrelenting and epic on all accounts. I truly believe that this story, this alternate world, will defy what anyone could have ever expected from a novel in these current times.

I don't know when your reading this post or what has led you to this little niche of cyberspace, but if you are reading this, look around you. Stop what ever you are doing? Look at yourself and ask, "What is my purpose?"

Are you happy? Alone? Sad? Are you in a crowd of strangers or among friends, or even a crowd of strangers who profess to be your friends? As you analyze your situation, your condition, are you not driven to know what the lesson is in this given moment? What is your purpose?

Next Phase of Editing
Now, I am typing this entry in hopes that it will reach you, in hopes that it will make you ask a question which may challenge your sense of accomplishment or lack-there-of. I am not yet accomplished enough. The strange thing that I have come to experience is that accomplishment can never be full, for the vision of the artist and writer becomes ever-reaching, for every new step we ascend, so another come into view and still trails off into darkened oblivion of unknowing.

So this lull goes on. And now I move ahead into the next few months of editing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parallel Earth: Spring Gardening

How does my garden grow? Well for now, it's looking pretty good. It's not as large as I would like, but that's ok. Aside from working out around the property, my constant effort of trying to make it a magical place, I have managed to amend my soil and get all of the seeds in the ground that I can for my allotted space.

Spring is perhaps the most magical time of year for me. It's like watching a newborn take its first breath. It's the time of year when I get to see the fruits of my labor from the previous years efforts. When the bulbs come up and the tulips blossom alongside daffodils, I know that the hostas aren't far behind.

I currently working on trying to clear out all of the invasive exotic plants from one area and re-establish native species in it's place. This is not a very easy task. It requires constant diligence on my behalf to make sure I am keeping up on the weeding (I don't use chemicals, I use my two hands and a shovel).

This spring has been a busy time for me. I've built a rock wall around the Garden area. I've created a trail that goes along the back of the property and along the creek. But the most amazing thing to me is when I get to see others enjoy the fruits of my labor. Most people don't understand how amazing a landscape can bee, and how it can free the soul, provide a place of sanctuary, and a safe habitat for wild life. These are all things I strive to create when influencing the landscape. I try to provide a open, beautiful, and welcoming sanctuary not for just people, but for wild life.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Parallel Earth: Creature & Monster Creations

So what do you do when you have to create and populate an entire world? You just have to let go and allow the ideas come to you. What dictates the formation of any particular creature? Environment -- the vary same thing that determines a persons cosmology which informs their system of belief. If you believe in evolution (Also mysteriously known as CHANGE or ADAPTATION), you begin to understand the forms of any creature, of nature, of life, are the end result of years of trial and error. In art we call them Happy Accidents-- you know, like when a blob of paint winds up on the canvas in a random or haphazard fashion and it forces you to see the image anew or adapt to the situation. Think of nature in this way, there are billions, zillions of countless Happy Accidents that occur every instant of everyday, so it is with my writing, so it is with my art.

So what are we to do with Happy Accidents? Trust in them. Trust in your own intuition to make sense out of that for which there existed no previous rational for. These creatures, beasts, monsters, Daemons, must all be rooted to some form which we can relate to in this life, this reality. We can only create variations of what we have alternately experienced, not just in life, but within our Dreams. Our experience must convey the deeper message of the image we are trying to communicate through our ability to render any given being into form, be it through sculpture, paint, or Digital media.

Also, when creating these unseen beings, we must revert back to the basics of form, of what makes a living being function within int's environment. Where is it in the Web of Life. Is it at the top? The bottom? How far does it's physical form go back historically? And last but not least, what is the purpose of the creature within the construct of the story or world you have created? All of these things and more should provide a ruff bearing for how you create your new beings.

I have created many Creature's, some might call them monsters, for my world of Parallel Earth. But how do you live in an alternate world without having alternate beings? My don't. There are many more creatures that shall grace the Pages of Parallel Earth, but for now, allow me to introduce you to a few. For Copyright purposes I will not reveal the specifics of each particular creature or their part in the total scheme of things. But fortunately for me, I am an artist. I do trust my own bearing. And I'm lucky enough to possess the talent to see certain aspects of my project realized that few authors have the ability to achieve. The unfortunate thing-- I don't have as much time as I would like to flesh out every aspect of the world visually. I believe it is a great strength to understand my weaknesses, for which there are many. But I also find it an equal strength to know the limits of my ability and to trust in myself. So with this being said, enjoy the images. Most are quick (not to quick) mock-up images that helped me understand the world I was creating as well as laying down visual cues for the future of Parallel Earth.

Enjoy, thanks for checking in.

Scott Clark

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Parallel Earth: Life Intervenes

So it's been a while since I posted anything here at Parallel Earth Central. Why? Well... life intervened. And sometimes when life checks in, or ups the ante, it reeks havoc on my creative MOJO. Just in case you all didn't know, I have two little girls, a wife, am very busy around my community, all while trying to complete my epic, "Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil."

A Good Time to Write
Just to let you all know where I'm at on this, I'm currently on chapter 38 of 40. Yes, I'm almost done with the rewrite. If all goes well and the planets align, I should finish in the next three weeks. Wow! Amazing right? Yeah, sorta. But, I still have to finish the edit, for which I am only up to chapter 20. What does this mean? It means I probably won't complete the edit until mid-summer some time.

Odds of reaching this goal? I'm not sure. You know when it's all crappy outside, and it's cold, and the nights are long, it's very easy to stay inside and write, rewrite, edit and all of those other brilliant inspiring things. But when it's spring and it's time to garden, and you've been cooped up for damn near five months, it's really hard to stay inside and write, edit, and all other such inspiring things.

Time Passes
I'm going to do my best to stay on task while my girls are out for the summer. I know I have to get as much editing done before they get out, because I know when they do, I would much rather be outside catching fire-flies with them or taking the time to enjoy the evening with my wife outside along the creek. Of coarse gardening is always a distraction. Actually, anything outside is a distraction for me. I love being outside and working around the property; it's my form of meditation, of giving back to the land, the earth, and everyone else around me. It also helps create lasting magical memories for my two little girls (They're only little once, right?) I'll post some cool photos of the garden soon, as well as the surrounding property. I think you'll all dig it.

Glorious Spring - a Good time for Delinquency
Just to let you all know, I should be full-steam-ahead again come Sunday evening. Wish me luck. Leave a comment. Happy spring to all of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and to those of you in the south, well, I hope you're enjoying fall.

Thanks for checking in, stay inspired,

Scott Clark

Friday, March 11, 2011

Scott Clark Vision: Lost Love

All Copyrights Reserved: Scott Clark Vision

This image took approximately 160 hours to airbrush. This is one of my best selling and most recognizable images. I was inspired to paint this epic beauty because of I'd finally bean endowed with deep knowledge regarding the future of Parallel Earth, and I wanted to capture the essence of the moment in a painting. As with most of my paintings, I laid out a basic structure and let my imagination run wild.

Visit my web-sight at: Scott Clark Vision

Included below is a ruff written concept of the future of the world in which this image takes place:

Awakened as if from a horrid dream, he cast his eyes downward and gazed upon his transformed body.

“What is this from that enslaves me? What has my skin been sacrificed for? What is this demon I have become? My soul... it’s all I have that even feels true. These pipes and tubes entangle me in a labyrinth of pain. A mystery to me, this twisted engineering has become my physical reality.”

Something wriggled down by his feet. He couldn't make it out. Snakes? He leaned down. The connector tubes along his back, stretching and straining, reminded him that he was connected to the fleshy walls surrounding him. He reached down his hands, now more like tentacles, to grasp the object hidden in the shadows. Clutching it tight, wiping worms away, he viewed the morbid treasure. A cracked, blood stained skull, the spine attached, lay in his grasp.

A spark of light emerged from the black recessed of the eye-sockets of the skull. The light, as if some flower growing from the darkest of soil, blossomed into angelic blue eyes.

Transfixed by this solitary vision, a luminous spirit in the depths of hell, he felt something near and dear. His heart was warmed if only for a single beat. He knew her. Two faint memories, as if from the depths of some former life, emerged.

“You were my wife. My love.”

“Your memory fails you not my lost one,” said the spirit. “They killed us. They ripped me apart. Stripped me. Raped me. Left me for dead, but they did not kill me. For I am endless as are you. They stripped me from my vestiges of flesh, but this matters not. For all of their cleansing torture and pain became my enlightenment, my freedom from flesh. Remember, your physical state is merely a reflection of your earthly existence. Fear not that I am no longer of this Earth. For I have transcended. And, above all, fear not that you have lost my love. It is to remain intact in this realm and the next. Farewell.”

“Will we speak again?”

“When you listen to your heart, when you follow your dreams, you shall always hear me.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Parallel Earth: The Fantastic Art of Scott Clark

Friends, Romans and Countrymen lend me your ears. Ok, now that I have your attention, I can continue.
U . N . I . O . N
Art...what is it? Well, it is many things to many people. Sometimes it's a pretty picture on the wall that makes you feel all gooey inside. Other times it is a wrecked piece of canvas which coveys little meaning what so ever. And on those rare occasions, it becomes a spiritually transcendent moment, that great occasion when the artist gets out of their way and allows the work to become what it was intended to be, and thus conveys the revelation to the viewer.

Ok, so what does this have to do with me? Just in case you didn't know, I'm an artist too. What I paint, draw, or render in some medium are energies that emerge through my perception. I have experimented with many forms of application, oils, acrylics, airbrush, digital, photography. You get the picture. I've discovered that each medium offers its own unique way of effecting the outcome of any particular piece, as well as what can be visually  achieved.

Fortunate and unfortunate, my concentrations have centered on the creation of the epic world that unfolds within the realm of Parallel Earth. Actually, I owe a great debt to my art and how it transformed the story I was writing. As I often sketched bizarre creatures for my Earth, I had to understand how they came into being. The same thing happened with the characters.

I drew this one guy and I thought he looked super bad-ass; he looked so bad-ass, I didn't want him to be a villain (if I dare call any of my characters villains), I wanted him to be a good guy. But he looked so strange. How had he become what he was?

This led me to uncover his back-story, which sent me further down the path to understand how such conditions were created, which then led me further back into the history of my writings to comprehend how he could have even come into being, thus his story rooted back more years than I dare say... a very long time.

Lost Love
As for my creative process of art, it is very spontaneous. I try to lay out basic compositional elements. Once this is done, I think of a color scheme and go with it. I'm never really sure what I'm going to end up with. I just let the image present itself. I am a horrible Illustrator. I have very difficult time trying to set, formulate, and execute a image as a commercial artist. This is not my strong-point.

What is my strength? Letting go and letting it be. I do not paint images as much as I allow them to be seen, and I am the eyes and force through which they come into manifestation. My mother hates my art. She always asked me, "Scott, why can't you paint something pretty?" I responded, "For every one of me, there are a thousand people painting pretty things that make other's feel good."

 I have since learned I can paint pretty things, and it takes about the same amount of effort. But I sing in the shadows. I love to exercise the deeper energies of my perception through creating things I, nor anyone, has never seen. I follow no format. I rarely even have a plan aside from a few key notes. And typically, I just let it flow. This, to me, is the only honest way I can both express and experience the deep feelings that lie deep within me in hopes of being exhumed from the depths of my soul to be awakened into this age.

One last thing, you can catch me facebook and on twitter.

See, I can paint pretty.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Myth: Common Modern Day Misuse

Myth, the word today is used in many ways and most of them are inaccurate. I can't stand the misuse of the word Myth. I guess it's one of my pet-peeves. But the misuse of the word can only convey the wrong message, and discredits the many historical stories that exist to convey a deeper truth that cannot be conveyed through standard social means.

Today the word Myth is used in the context of saying something is not true; That is a Myth (Better interpreted as that is a Lie; that is an un-truth). Standard cliche remarks Regarding Myth go as follows:
1: It's an enduring myth that money brings happiness.
2: I don't believe the myths and legends about this forest.

If you look at the context of each of the examples you could easily replace the word Myth with Lie, and each sentence would maintain the same meaning. But Myths are not lies. They are symbolic concepts expressed through stories and art that convey the deeper nature of human experience. 

So when someone say's, "That is a Myth." They are essentially saying, "that is a lie," a falsehood.
When it comes to Myth, you cannot address any one Myth for any one reason. When we confront the concepts that appear in Myth's, we come to find that they serve a greater, over-all mythology. Therefor, we cannot talk about Myth unless we address an entire Mythology. Then, and only then, when we look at the multilayered architecture of an entire mythology can we begin to understand what any one myth addressees in relationship to all of the other myth's is exists as a part of. 

A proper analogy might go like this: If we wish to speak about our entire body, and understand the total function and purpose of all of it's parts, we cannot just focus on the hand; the hand is nothing without the entire body, and thus serves no purpose. Sever the hand from the body and it possesses no life. The same goes for Myth and Mythology. If you extract any one Myth from it's body of Mythology, it serves little purpose; but when they are whole and complete, one part working with the other, the purpose and power of the Myth flows with life again.

So to use the word... Myth... as it is so wrongly and widely used today, stands as a reflection of the ignorance of the individual or institution misusing it. Do not be fooled, Mythology is alive and well today... Most people call it Religion. The only misfortune is that there is no, "ONE" unifying mythology. Where do you think all of the religious intolerance comes from... Misinterpretation of what myth actually is and how it works. Not only do the main religious institutions of the worlds misuse it to their advantage today, so do huge conglomerate companies, both of whom are putting forth their best efforts to stop you from thinking for yourself.

For a better explanation I suggest you refer to Joseph Campbell, the Master of Mythology. Watch him explain a little below. I also located a cool one by Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gardening: Giving back to the Earth & Creating lasting Family

Gardening, as Wikipedia defines is: The practice of growing plantsOrnamental plants are normally grown for their flowersfoliage, overall appearance, or for their dyes. Useful plants are grown for consumption (vegetablesfruitsherbs, and leaf vegetables) or for medicinal use. A gardener is someone who practices gardening.

Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubstrees and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to large or small containers grown inside or outside. Gardening may be very specialized, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants, and tends to be labor intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.
I am a Gardener, not really a good one, but one always in the pursuit of learning. Fortunately, I do have a green thumb, which is helpful. I also have a keen eye for the flow of the landscape. I love nature. And I love participating in the act of trying to take something not so beautiful and turn it into a wonderland. I love birds, butterflies, and bunnies...yes, I know this is horrible. But I equally love bats, snakes, and the other creepy-crawly, critters that invade our nightmares and fears... I like to stay balanced.
So for all of you out there, all over the world from France to India, from the Ukraine to Canada, I'll be leaving posts of my garden. It's not as large as I would like. I don't have acres of land. What I do have though is an entire landscape as my canvas, with certain approval that is.
Why do I garden? Why should we garden? Well, why not. What's more amazing then watching a single seed turn into a plant that grows, flowers, and produces fruits and vegetables to sustain our body? Gardening to me is the highest form of practical-magic. When I look at the world around me, I see magic everywhere. I believe true honest magic, like gardening, is alive and well. It is real. I explain to my Girls that everyone has magic, that everything is magical. This teaches them to appreciate the environment they are growing up in; it also teaches them to appreciate others around them for their own unique abilities.
Back to what I was saying, Why? As I see it, it's the best possible way to stick it to our governing rulers along with ensuring a healthy food source. They want us to eat useless, non-nutritious foods, that are subsidized by our government (keeping cost low through taxpayer dollars, i.e. we are still paying for it) to huge conglomerate companies that are seeking total global domination of food sources through the use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism). Farmers have lost entire parcels of land due to cross contamination of Genetic Strains of crops created by Monsanto, a wicked organization that is well on it's way to ruling the world by controlling the genetic patents on seed. To join in the fight, stop this demonic entity, and bring power back to the people, check out Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.

So how can you fight back? Grow you own food. Take time with your family, friends and neighbors to create a garden plot where you can begin to rediscover the magic of a seed, dirt, water and sunlight... Life! Not only will your plants grow and your lives and health be improved, your relationship with everyone who participates along with the land will blossom too. Growing food is the most magical thing we can do outside of using our imaginations of corse. One last note, if you're going to do any landscaping, why not use a plant that produces fruit instead of one that doesn't. Plant Nut trees for shade, blueberry bushes for hedges, cranberries for low lying shrubs. Not only does this provide you with food, it helps feed the wildlife around you and ensures the biological diversity for future generations. Happy planting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Parallel Earth: Writing & Editing, Why Does It Take So Long?

What on Earth is taking so long? I mean, your just writing a novel right, just putting words down on paper. Once the story's told your all done...

Well, that's what many who don't write think. Most people I talk to suffer from the delusion that all you have to do is come up with a real cool idea and, well, just write it down. For all of you who think that writing a book is just letters on paper, let me inform you, you are sadly mistaken.

American Masterpiece
Did any of you know it took  Margaret Mitchell about 20 years to write  Gone with the Wind? Today, it is one of my most favorite reads. It's so epic in scope. The characters are so meticulously written they walk off the pages. And her writing style is impeccable, so easy to understand, I am always amazed.

 Now, to move on to another favorite of mine,  Dune by Frank Herbert. It took him Seven years (or there about) to create the world of Dune. Within the pages of Dune we come to know of an entire worlds, each of which posses their own governments, systems of belief, and mythologies, as well as technology. I can attest, this is no easy feat to achieve such imagination. To connect the dots so it can be understood by a broad and accepting audience is the first objective. But, to date, it the most popular Sci-Fi novel and series in the history of the genre.

Sci-Fi Master
Ok, now this brings me to the King-Puba of them all, J.R.R.Tolkien creator of The Lord of the Rings. Did any of you know it took him about forty years just to write the languages for Middle Earth? Forty Years! Then he wrote the  The Hobbit for his son. Asked to do a sequel to the Hobbit, he embarked on the epic journey of writing the Lord of the Rings. It took him twelve years to write the Lord of the Rings, using stories, his Mythology, dating back to his days in the trenches of World War One, with hand-scribbled notes dating back to 1918. He created most of Middle Earth while many of his friends were dying around him daily; it became his way of passing the time and remaining sane.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Grand Master Wizard of Fantasy

So now, this brings me to Parallel Earth. If you've read any of my older posts, you know I've been working on this project now for almost thirteen years. I started it when I was 25 years old. This March, I will be 38. Why has it taken so long? It's a hell of an epic...

I have had to create everything for Parallel Earth from the ground up. Once I realized what I was actually trying to achieve, I had to do a bit more research, studying, etc, etc. As I began to write the back-story I had to make sure all of the principle ideologies and systems of belief could be interpreted and understood by a wide audience. Also, now being seven Novel's long, I had to make sure that everything begins with the first story.... everything! And let me tell you, that's a whole lot-a-stuff. I mean, how do you go from one culture to at least five subcultures? Even though I know the back-story, it was an entire other challenge to put these ideas into motion through character interaction and relationships.

Another large part of the Novel has to due with philosophical and religious ideas that have to translate today as well as speak along the lines of ancient archetypal principles that service a specific link our spiritual heritage as humanity. Within each culture, I have had to develop a social order as well, and how that social order effects the characters and their situations. How, where, and why their thoughts emerged out of the ancient principle concepts of their culture? Well, in order to write them, you must know the culture, know their personality, and the real challenge is to know how they work in the over-all scope of all Seven Novels. This is no easy task.

Still once all of this is complete, and the first novel is written, then I have to go in a chop away the fat. Yes, I explain it like this: If I am looking at patch of woods and want to build a road, I must first understand the lay of the land so I can plot the best coarse to create this Road (This is the initial concept).

Ok, looking at the woods, I now have to start taring out the trees and remove any large trees and boulders in my way. Now I'm left with a very crude path from point A to point B. I know where I begin and where I end, but the path is still treacherous (This is the first Draft, which took three years to write).

My Drawing of the Holy Doctrine within Parallel Earth
With a cleared path before me, my new proposed road, it now becomes time to go in and remove any large debris such as stumps, stones, and begin to level the ground (This is the first edit, which I am in the process of currently; it's taken about a year).

Alright, the stumps are gone, the ground is almost level, now it comes time to scrape the road to perfection and lay down the gravel (This is the second edit, where you really begin to cut away the fat, refine you characters and concepts).

After that's all said and done, I can go over the manuscript with much more speed and detect inconsistencies, redundancies, and continuity of character arcs and sub plots, all of which must service the end result, being the climax. And in my world, the climax must serve the advancement and further continuation of the series.

Still, once I've completed the manuscript and it's been taken on by an Literary Agent, further refinement will take place. When it reaches an Acquisitions Editor, the manuscript will again be subject to further discretion and editing to create the strongest possible work.

Once the road is complete, it's a sign that the journey has just begun. Every new bend will require a unique set of tools to service the landscape. Every new landscape will rise as a natural extension of the previous road travelled, until, in the end I (we together) will have reached the top. Hopefully, when we get there, we will be inspired to take the journey again. After all, good books, like good movies, are worth reading more than once.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Industrial Degradation of the Soul

Zdzislaw Beksinski: Dystopian Master
We live in volatile times, but maybe this is a misnomer. As far back as I view history, each age suffered. No one era had ever been exempt. But today a new breed of misery endures. It is the woe we experience in the face of the adversity forced on us through the proliferation of the unseen force, the industrial beast which means to rip the souls from our bodies in effort to make us mindless pawns that serve a hypothetical reality based on numbers, profit-margins, and bottom-lines. Our new systems of belief do not emerge through spiritual revelation, rather they are incubated within the hypothetical, ideological world we strive to create for ourselves in an effort to live a better, more productive life.

Void of Consciousness
Once upon a time, we were informed of our spirit through experience--not some pre-existing, dogmatic document that inhibits one's spiritual growth. That is not to say this doesn't occur on a daily basis everyday all around us, but it is belittled by all of the flashy lights and gray noise produced by the powers that be through the ever-expanding forces of modern media. In being entertained, we are pacified. Our pacification leads us into a state of complacency, which lulls us into a state of spiritual inebriation. As apathy sets in as to what it truly means to experience life, we become confused by the many subversive messages forced upon us each and everyday. Who's doing what? What is the hottest trend, the newest gadget? You see these are all ways we are sidetracked from understanding who we are in this ever-increasingly, mechanized landscape. As a people, we can never be fully integrated into the mechanized world populating itself all around us. Why?

We are human, not machines. Although some clever programmers my design some cool software that integrates simulated human behavior into machines, I'm almost certain they will never be able to love. They will never be able to experience the divine, because we, blinded by technology, created them.

H.R. Giger: Master of Nightmare Dreamscapes
I believe this is the reason many of the stories, art, and music we experience today succumbs to dark themes of our impending dystopian future, harbingers of an undeniable fate. Alive and breathing, it is obvious that we, Humanity as a race, are heading in a horrid direction. Yes, their are glimpses of hope. Yes, we can see amazing possibility that may pave a way into a prosperous future. But I doubt it. All of the darkness that floats to the top through our deep seeded frustration by watching our souls being degraded through the impending doom forced on us by the masters of darkness -- CEO's. When we only service our soul One of Seven days, and accept what is a metaphorical document as a literal truth, we are destined to fail to see the relevance of our soul.

But our frustrations boiled to the surface because they are real. They cannot be denied. Slavery today is larger that it has ever been-- and we do it willingly. We can no longer drink the clean waters of the Earth because they have vanished due to incessant forms of pollution. The future we face is bleak. It will be horrible. And many souls will be sacrificed before the cumulative spirit of Humanity reawakens to a Mythology that genuinely places spirit before machine.

Kris Kuksi: Modern Master of Sculpture
What does this entry have to do with Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil? Everything. It is the beginning. The jumping point from which all other observations take place. Parallel Earth: Advent of Evil is that novel by which I have lived the past, and stand atop the beacon of observation and watch the daemonic clouds of wicked shadow-laden revelation flow over me with graven truths. Through our ignorance and greed, we will be made to suffer. To such a degree that it will one day brings us together amongst the veil of night we, Humanity, have created.