Enjoying that Bend Life

Still working on making time. In the meantime, I thought I’d reblog a post from my recently revived travel blog: Four Traveling Macs. Let me know what you think.

Four Traveling Macs

Dark starry nights offset by bright sunny days are what I remember most about growing up in Bend, Oregon. Of course, now-a-days Bend is known as a vacation destination for outdoor enthusiats and so much more. If you’re thinking about visiting Bend, here are 8 great activities to include during your stay.

  1. Float the Deschutes: There’s no better way to cool off on a hot Central Oregon summer day than to float down the crisp, cool water of the Deschutes River. Rivervend Park is a great place to put in. Continue floating down the river to the man-made rapids just below the Colorado Avenue Bridge. More advanced users may want to try out the whitewater channel.
  2. Traverse the Bend Ale Trail: The Oregon equivalent to “When in Rome…” would be: When in Oregon, drink craft beer. The Bend Ale Trail allows you to do just that. The trail includes…

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Making Time

     It is something that Chronos and Janus never had any problem doing, so why is it that making time proves to be so difficult for so many of us? I suppose it could have to do with the fact that we are mere mortals. That being said, time is the one thing that we all have and the one constant that follows us no matter where we go. That being the case, making it shouldn’t be that difficult.

     For writers, time is both a blessing and a curse. Lately, it has felt like the latter to me. I imagine it has to do with the fact that I recently moved. Just a few months ago, it seemed like I was only mere hours away from ironing out the final draft of A New Beginning. Then the moving process and all the packing, document signing, unpacking, organizing, re-organizing, etc… that comes with it shattered my routine. Now, I’m just trying to make time again.

     To make matters worse, I’ve always been a midnight writer. Hence my fondness for novels like The Sun Also Rises. Instead of enjoying the quiet and calming nature of night writing, though, I’ve been completely exhausted just about every night lately.

     There comes a time, however, when everyone, writer or not, must examine themselves and determine what works best for them. For me, I know that soon things will be back to normal, and I’ll be ready to get back into my routine.

     When it comes to my routine for making time, I know that I need one special ingredient: privacy. When I was a newspaper writer, I could punch out a story with all sorts of commotion taking place around me. Now that I’m writing for myself, however, I can’t write with someone looking over my shoulder or causing distractions. Once I have my privacy, making time just comes naturally.

     Well, that’s how I’ve been managing to make time lately. I’d love to know how Chronos and Janus do it. Something tells me, though, that is a secret lost to the ages. That just leaves you, the reader. How do you go about making time?

assorted silver colored pocket watch lot selective focus photo

The Influence of Stanley Kubrick

     Sometimes I feel like Icarus flying higher and higher as I seek to grasp that which I desire most before realizing somethings will always be out of reach. Such is the nature of life. Way back when I discussed my film influences, I somehow manged to leave Stanley Kubrick out of the mix. With films like Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and, of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s hard to imagine a world where Kubrick hasn’t influenced aspiring filmmakers and writers alike.

     To me, Kubrick is Icarus. He wasn’t afraid to spread his wings and fly high. You can definitely see his willingness to push the limits of filmmaking in his film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s one of those films that makes you think. Nowadays that’s quite a rarity. 2001: A Space Odyssey also seems to be something of a prerequisite for watching Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The references and allusions just make more sense if you go into Interstellar with a working knowledge of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

     Then of course, you have A Clockwork Orange which pushes more than just the limits of filmmaking. For me, though, Kubrick’s best works are some of his older films like Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and The Killing. It was fun to watch Kubrick take on satire in Dr. Strangelove. And who can forget the iconic scene where Major Kong rides the bomb? The Killing, on the other hand, strikes a more serious tone and helped to pave the way for so many other “one last heist” films. Then there’s that memorable last line: “What’s the difference?”.

     When it comes to writing, I’ve aspired to follow what I see to be Kubrick’s approach: Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and fly high. Have I been successful at it, or have I flown too close to the sun and melted my wings? The answer to that question isn’t up to me. That being the case, I don’t worry about it. I just keep writing. In the end, I suppose that is all that I can do. I’ll leave it up to the readers to decide if I have scorched my wings or not.

     So, thank you Stanley Kubrick. You inspired me. Now it’s time for me to get back to writing. I need to stretch out my wings and get ready to spread them wide. Just in case, though, I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab a parachute while I’m at it…

vintage old film

Poem Analysis: now i know

     Author intention and reader interpretation sometimes vary wider than the width of the Milky Way. Fortunately for me, the regular readers of this blog have proven to be very astute in their interpretations of my work. This helps me to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my work hasn’t been misinterpreted.

        When it comes to reader interpretation, I’ve always taken the approach that a poem, or any other type of written work for that matter, has its own unique meaning to each individual reader. Personally, I love to see the different ways that others interpret my writing. Often, I purposefully create double-meanings as a way of both layering my writing and creating avenues for diverging interpretations.

        All that being said, though, I do have specific ideas in mind when writing any given piece. As I transition this blog to the focus of pulling back the curtain on my writing process, I figured it would be a good idea to analyze some of my previous work.

        What better place to start than at the end. “now i know” is the last poem of both the Lost in Time collection and The Past, Present, and Future collection as a whole. As such, I wanted it to be a piece that spoke for itself but also the entirety of the collection.

        One of the messages that I  worked to convey through “now i know” was the power of self reliance. Many of the institutions that surround us in this world want us to shed our own personal judgment and replace it with doctrine. Funny thing, though, I’ve yet to find the institution in this world that has been right all the time. Institutions make mistakes just like people. Their truths are not doctrine, their more metaphorical in nature. Metaphors can be useful and comforting but shouldn’t be relied upon wholly when making judgments.

        When making judgments, I believe that people should rely upon themselves. If you’re going to do this, however, it is 100% imperative that you educate yourself. Education and knowledge are the cornerstones of any self reliant person. After that, life is all about choices. The best way to make the right choices in life is to make educated decisions. Once you’ve figured that out, you can leave the doctrine and dogma of institutions where they belong: in the past. When you do, life becomes about living in the present. A place where educated people have the ability to make choices that will hopefully pave the way toward a brighter future for everyone and this small planet that we live on.

        Well, there you have it. That’s my poem analysis of “now i know”.  I hope this analysis helped to pull back the curtain on this poem and my writing process as a whole. Until next time, keep livin’ in the present people.

pile of covered books

 

now i know

i used to believe
in luck
i used to believe
in superstition
now i know
there’s only metaphor

i used to believe
in politics
i used to believe
in government
now i know
there’s only metaphor

i used to believe
in god
i used to believe
in religion
now i know
there’s only metaphor

i used to believe
in war
i used to believe
in patriotism
now i know
there’s only metaphor

i used to believe
in us
i used to believe
in humanity
now i  know
there’s only me

i used to believe
in the past
i used be believe
in the future
now i know
there’s only the present

abstract alphabet arrangement away

20 Down 3 To Go

        From every ending comes a new beginning. Such is the duality of life and the nature of the Universe. With 20 Lost in Time poems now published here, The Past, Present, and Future is nearly complete. Only three more poems of the Lost in Time collection remain.

        Of the three, however, two have been plucked for inclusion in my novel (that long overdue avocation of mine that is nearly complete). As such those two poems will remain lost in time for now… That just leaves one more poem to publish here, which I plan to do next month on the six year anniversary of this blog.

        After that, a time of transition will be at hand. Instead of publishing my poems, it will be time to unveil information about my novel, my adventures in the pursuit of publication, along with snippets about my writing process and influences.

        If you’re wondering what the novel is about, don’t worry I’ll reveal that part in time. In the meantime, enjoy the new year.

light painting at night