Where do we go from here?

While waiting patiently for my first book to become available, I was working on a second.  That book will now become my third as I have to put it on the shelf because the content of it hits too close to home.  So I am going into the trove of my past once again.  Fifteen years ago and more, my daughter was taken from me.  To keep my sanity, I began to write books.   I now have a small library of completed but not yet finished books.  So, I am brushing off a book that is a novelized and mostly fictional story about my first days in Fairbanks, in 1973.  I have created a fictional story based on a true tragic event and the characters of the book play out their roles with the personalities of people I knew in those days.  The events of the book are mostly fictional.  Fictional events played out by personalities I knew from the past.  I am going to publish this book on my own with the help of two people from the tri-cities.  For now we will call those people Eldon and Frank.  Eldon created this web site for me and Frank edited my first book,  “Black Witch”  I am going to compare the publishing processes of the two books to see what works best for me.  My first book is being published by Authorhouse.  Please understand that I am paying them to do so.

My second book should be out in about four months.  It is a flying story about an airline I worked with in those days, the pipeline days.  Those days, when I was twenty-three are about a latter day boom town.  They are  a lot about three women who prey on the mind of the main protagonists of this book.  My alter ego from those days.  The flying parts of this book called “Slaughterhouse Beach” will be interesting, I hope, to any pilot anywhere.  The men I flew with in those days have my respect in a way that very few people I have met since have ever approached.  If I can accomplish one small thing in this book, then I will succeed.  If I can get the reader to respect those men, given all their flaws, in the way that I do, then I will succeed.

I mentioned above that my next book,  now to be my third book hits too close to home.  In the coming days I want to broach the subject of the new marijuana culture.  The name of this book is “My time with May Jane.”  Again, this book is written around a tragic true story, a fictional book peopled with  the characters of personalities that I have known.  When I have finished “Slaughterhouse Beach”, sometime in March, I will take up where I left off with “Mary Jane” and invite anyone to join into the debate and the writing of this book that you can follow on this blog if you choose.  Hope to see you later.

Climbing the slippery slope

I will soon be on my way.  I’m going to take a journey through the past.  I am about to embark on a road trip which will take me across the southern states from the Pacific to at least Elvis’s house, maybe all the way to the Atlantic.  Along the way I am going to visit people from my past.  At least eleven people from my past.  The question that I find myself asking is do I give these people the image they have known in the past or do I dump the real person of the present day on their doorstep for them to examine or maybe kick around?

I think that answering that question is a lot like writing a book.  Should you clothe the characters in phony clothes and give them shiny personas that will intrigue and entertain the reader?  Or should you take the hillbilly that lives in your soul and let him smell up the room as he dumps the garbage of real life on the carpet of the reader’s fantasies?  Does art exist in the truths of all the tangled up brain cells of us aging baby boomers?  I’m not a real Hemmingway fan but he said that it is the obligation of an author to “tell one true thing.”   That’s hard to do when that one true thing may be a dart in the ego of a friend.  When you just spray pages with action, clichés and pretty images it’s good for sales and nobody really has to look into the mirror.  Is that a good thing?  Should a guy try to climb the slippery slope of art only to be criticized?  Should he try to set free some sort of the art that his soul holds prisoner?  Does the author really possess art in his soul or just the garbage of living on this planet for sixty years.    Some people call Miley Cyrus an artist.   Not me, I call Maya Angelou an artist.

I think most of us really do possess art in our soul.  I think art is the spirituality some of us pursue, others ignore.  The problem really is that most of us will fall and slide down the slippery slope of trying to set art free from our soul.  Talent is the cleats that keep you upright on that march up the slope.  Discipline is enduring that steady march against overwhelming odds.  If you possess no talent or do not have the discipline to succeed you will fail. Proceed at your own risk, I guess.  The process of changing words on a page into animate, breathing, life is tantamount to sculpting a statue and watching him walk away.  Then you have to throw in imagery and symbolism and infuse that statue’s brain with the devil of life and the magic of that vibrating energy we call God.   I will fail in the quest for art, I think.  My hope is somewhere along the line that some artful young genius will discover just a small germ of truth in my words.  I hope that germ will someday germinate in his brain and then bloom into a word on his page or a color in his painting or a scene in his movie.  And please understand that the word “his”, in the context of the preceding sentence, in my dictionary, is transgender.

We live in complicated times.  I was listening to a disc jokey on a radio station the other day.  He said that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was the top selling movie of the current weekend.  Then he said “You know what the top selling movie last weekend was?  “SpongeBob Square Pants.”  A pretty strange dichotomy of our society.  Anyway, the road trip begins when my book finally becomes available.  Look for it soon.

Job of writing

The job of writing is a study in the art of discipline.  A real job is a task you are required to perform every day so as to get a paycheck.  Writing is a self imposed sentence, testing your resolve and your talent.  Then you must give yourself away, a sentence at a time.  The reward you get for all of this?  Mostly rejection and criticism.  So what sustains you?  If you are financially successful, the answer is obvious.  If you are not then why perservere?  A good question, I can speak only for myself.  No choice.

 

You are sitting at a bar and you see a pretty little vampire with tattoos enough for Van Gogh to take the same ink and create a masterpiece.  Then, through no conscious volition, the vampire girl sparks a conversation in your head where the girl is part of the book you are writing and she is the victim of a perverted psychopath, and she is venting her hatred and her hopes through the symbolism  and  story stained on her skin.  A character you  created three years previous in a short story springs to her rescue and the seed to a new novel is planted in your brain, there to thrive or to die.  None of this has anything to do with you.  You are just sitting, having a beer and wishing you were thirty years younger, so you could find out the part of the tattoo story that lies under the shirt the vampire is wearing.    But now you got this story in your head.

 

Being a writer is not a choice.  Being a good writer is a matter of discipline and talent.  Being a successful writer, in modern times, demands you be a business person as well.  So far, I am just a writer.  I will keep you posted.

 

 

I think I am finally going to get this book in print.  It’s a lot sending your kid off to school on his first day.  You hope you did a good job raising him, know you could have done better, know he’s flawed, but it’s time to turn him loose.  So it is time to turn loose of this project and move on.  I’m hoping it will be available in print and download in the next month or so.  I’m using this blog kind of as a sounding board and a forum.  It is said that conflict is the seed around which a good book is written.  My seed in ‘Black Witch’ is the validity of religion.  Even after the passing of over fifteen years which was consumed during the process of publishing this book, I still have not gotten to the elusive truth of exactly what spirituality is.  I have only recently taken a look at the Bhagavad-Gita.  It is another spin around the same basic supernatural belief of ancient people believing in an after life.  I certainly invite input on all sides of the basic controversy,   Is there a divine being that is directing the orchestra of the reality of life?  I have inserted a passage from the book that kinda encapsulates my view.

 

I am of the opinion that God is not man-like in appearance or essence. I believe that he is the driving force of nature. I believe that He is bound by laws, not of physics, but of cosmic truths. I believe that good and evil do exist, but must exist, as human events are chained to those same cosmic truths. I believe that it is the nature of divinity that all things are created for a purpose. I believe that the drama we are part of is no drama at all; merely the performance of God’s will, the cosmic mandate. Just as a ball that rolls off a desk is mandated to drop to the floor, slave to that force we call gravity, so too are we bound to be born and bound to die. It is necessary. What free will we have and why, is more the mystery.

 

Since time began, human time, untold multitudes of people have lived and they have all died. Every single one, with the possible exception of Jesus Christ. Why do some people kill and maim and love and hate and spend every waking moment in the pursuit of riches when the whole thing is so futile?   Because it is necessary.   We have been programmed genetically to be this way. Some gene somewhere demands it. That gene was planted there, and so we must perform like some programmed robot. A slave to a gene planted in the single-celled seed of our zygote. But somehow, some way, the hydrogen atom we share with the sun is part of it all. A thread we share with the sun and with God is also planted in that single cell. That thing is eternity, it is God and it is the seed to our will, or more accurately, the requirement of this seed, this soul, that our will be forged in such a way as to both drive the Cosmic nature of God, yet stamp it somehow, with our infinitesimal, yet significant imprint. Even though we possess this will, we are still slave to the lusts of mortality, and mortality itself. And it is all necessary.

 

I think the views of other people, particularly if they are authors are invaluable.  I invite you to weigh in.

 

I am of the opinion that God is not man

Moving on

The process of publishing this first book has been cathartic in a sense.  The first step in moving on is to leave the past behind.  The trick is to not bury yourself in the purging process.  All people of a certain age have lost part of their identity when they left their career on a hook in the closet along with their coveralls and gloves.  The world at-large really doesn’t care who you were or what you’ve done.  How you present yourself in your day to day situations is what matters now.  Publishing is like any other industry.  Everybody involved wants to make a buck.  No one really cares about the content except the end users.  Getting from here to there is the hard part.  So it has been for me.  But the process itself has been educational if not inspirational.  I am getting closer to publication, having been sidetracked by a truly unexpected event.  The content of my book was challenged on a moral issue.  So, in the eleventh hour I decided to change horses.  But I will get “Black Witch” published on my own, answering to no one and the intervening time has allowed me to improve it.  And in the process, I learned what cathartic meant.

Something lost……….

I find it strange that I should start my writing career by talking about something lost when this is really a new beginning for me.  My first book is about lost opportunities, lost loves and lost days.  When I think about it, something lost will be a re-occurring theme in my next few books.  But if you choose to examine life in the light of your own personal history, you will find that our lives are really about a succession of the dead days behind us and the dying day at hand.  All else is speculation.  Dead is a descriptive term for that which has passed.  Prose offers us many ways to symbolize or glorify those past days, but the fact is those days are gone, never to be retrieved.  Unless you write them down.  I choose to do that and in that process extract the joy of those days and try to fabricate in my mind and yours, I hope, the blazing of the sun and the heat of the passion that once was and can be again.

For me, this is the carrot and donkey syndrome that will let the sun rise on a new passion before it sets for good on those passions of the past.  My first book “Black Witch” is simply an attempt to exorcise those things in my head that proved to be unacceptable.  The attempt failed but I move on.   Join me, if you will.  Together we can chase the setting sun and maybe stumble on a nugget of gold somewhere as we stumble along our path towards the western 3    horizon.

 

The picture was provided by Jerry Chisum.  It symbolizes for me, the death of four of our co-workers, who died in a plane crash in Alaska many years ago.  And who is to say that the sun is not rising?

Welcome

Welcome to the Steve Elof Scott Author Blog. In the weeks ahead I will be posting many thoughts on a variety of topics meant to encourage input from visitors like you. The subjects will have a broad range including, but not limited to writing, human nature, love, adventure, Alaska, God and maybe even my views on American politics. I am looking forward to hearing your input and hopefully in the process we can all learn more about each other and the things that really matter in life.

Look for my first post in the next few weeks and thanks for visiting.

Steve