Tag Archives: blogging

A Quest for Vision!

Visionary.

It’s a word that we’ve all heard bandied about from time to time, usually attached to some famous figure in history known for inventing something important that has changed the nation—or the world—in ways modern generations could not contemplate living without. Take Steve Jobs for example. Mr. Jobs is considered a true visionary. He’s the father of the modern personal computer, a device with which a life without would seem unimaginable in this modern world. Or consider Henry Ford, automotive tycoon. Mr. Ford certainly didn’t invent the automobile, but he did perfect the assembly line, bringing costs down, allowing for the common people to afford their very own car—and through employment in Ford’s factories, a stronger middle class arose.

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The Oxford American College Dictionary contains multiple definitions for this complex yet simple word. The definition I like best reads as stated: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.

The Oxford could be very well be describing a writer. Writers, by nature, are visionaries. Writers, in the name of creativity, must envision worlds that do not exist, populated with people that are not real. But the above definition mentions only the future. What about the past? Can a writer be a visionary in regards to a time that has already faded? The answer is most certainly yes. We construct alternate accounts of real events—like making Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter. A program on an internet site’s streaming service poses a world in the 21 century seen through the lens of a Nazi victory in World War Two.

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But being a visionary, it runs deeper than merely being a creative writer—or musician or artist. In a sense, everybody is a writer. If you write emails or texts, you are a writer. Here’s where the differences come into play. Not everybody is an author. Writers are not all authors. There are those who write down their personal thoughts and experiences in the pages of diaries or journals, never intending any other living soul to pry. Authors, they have to be bold and brave. They write to be read. If the words we seek to share with others are not visionary, you can bet you’ll hear from those who invested the time in sentences we’ve strung together.

Diaries, texts, personal correspondences; these are not meant to entertain the reader.  These are merely there to convey a message or to act as reminder to the future self that, on this particular day, so-and-so made me angry or happy or sad.

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Authors, writing to be read, must envision their story from beginning to end—before the writing process begins. We must see what does not, at this juncture, exist anywhere in this world. This will almost certainly require research of some sort—unless you’re creating your own Middle Earth setting. Research itself requires vision.

In beginning my work on Jazz Baby, I needed a road map through the 1920s. I am just past the half-century mark, having drawn my first breath of life in 1967. I had nothing by way of personal experience to shade my notions of the America of 1925. And we can’t just assume, either. Assumption is an enemy of the visionary.

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As I started to dig into my research, scenes from my story began to construct themselves behind my eyes. Scraps of paper quickly filled with ideas found within the pages of an old U.S. history book; situations came to life while watching documentaries on PBS or The History Channel. They didn’t have radio in their cars until 1932—so scrap the scene where the characters are driving to New Orleans singing along to jazz tunes on the radio. So how do we fill that void? Dialogue! These characters are now forced to speak to one another, sharing hopes and fears, and in the process, introducing their deeper selves to those who would come to read the finished product. A visionary finds ways to stay on point when something like reality cuts in and says, um, that can’t be. We make it work. And we don’t just make it work; we use it for the profound or the poignant. Statements are made in those quiet moments between Emily Ann and Tanyon—statements that wouldn’t exist had I stuck a radio in that car.

Being visionary is about seeing what’s not there, seeing it in multiple views, and possessing the ability to determine the best view. It doesn’t work very well to write about characters of which we know little or nothing. Vision allows us to see these characters, to meet them, to discover the personalities behind mere words on a page. To the visionary writer, his or her characters truly come alive before they ever occupy space on the page.

The fact is anybody can write a story. But the visionary writes the sort of stories people will want to read. The really good ones build a following of readers just waiting for the next story to unfold. The best storytellers throughout history possessed vision. And it’s that vision that gives both the writer and the story life eternal. Those without vision, well, nobody recalls the stories they’ve told. Nobody remembers their names.

 

 

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Why in the World?

Have you ever pondered life’s deepest questions? Author J. Ajlouny has, and the results are hilarious!

J. Ajlouny, Author

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This variety of question have delighted and puzzled people for ages. They really have no answers, which is what makes them fun. So I thought it would be a good idea to jot the best of them down for anybody’s and everybody’s use. These are not copy-rightable, at least not in my opinion. Copyright law serves its purpose but in the age of the Internet it has lost its efficacy. And the difficulty o policing it has proven vey difficult indeed. Having said this, most of these “questions that have no answers” are original.  But I lay no claim to them. Back in the day I also invited some of my writer friends to contribute to this list and it was a bit of a mistake: once started they wouldn’t quit! I always intended to collect the best of these (I have far more than are listed here) but I…

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Scrap Irony

Some interesting tidbits here from the blog of Joseph Ajlouny.

J. Ajlouny, Author

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These items can be described as “things I discovered while looking up other things.” I have tons of them and I will continue to supplement this compilation from time to time. They are in no particular order but each is a great conversation starter. The only thing they have in common is that they are not commonly known, and that’s what makes them fascinating. I have many more such items so I will continue to supplement this compilation when the spirit moves me. So read on and you will learn things you never knew or thought you would.

Giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as do human beings: six.

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Jackie Robinson is well-known as the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, beginning in the 1947 season as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But what is almost completely unknown is the…

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A New Release From Andrew Boyd

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Facebook|Twitter|Andrew Boyd, Poet

 

Andrew Boyd is a student of poetry, blogging, and story telling. Andrew became a self-published author on February 27, 2013. He is one who is honest to where he made people mad, yet they respect and respected what he had, have, and has to say.

A two-time kidney transplant recipient, Andrew is one who looks at the world in a way that gives and gave him perspective as to how his life would be shaped due to his medical experiences, as well as helping others by exuding inspiration and compassion to those around him.

He is a graduate of the Class of 1996 from Germantown-Lankenau Motivational Program Annex, where his writing prowess was born in the 10th Grade, and continued on while attending Arcadia University in 1996. After a writing hiatus in 1997, a trip to New York City in March 2010 reignited his passion for writing. While posting several of his writings on social media outlets, he also performs and performed spoken word poetry in the Philadelphia and New York areas. He is currently performing on Black Poetry Cafe’s (BPC) internet radio show “FEVER FRIDAYS”.

 

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Blurb

When the world needs your light, the supply is unlimited. When you need the world’s light, the service is disconnected. Shrouded in darkness, with not even a candle’s flicker to show the way, how does one heal?

Andrew Boyd’s result is to conduct his own Therapy Session. This fifth book in the WORDPLAY poetry series is a chronicle of crepuscules that Andrew has faced throughout his life, some unbeknownst to those who believed knew him best. What he hopes to accomplish through this psychoanalysis is the prescription to understanding, development and sustainable peace.

 

 

Excerpt

 

 

Hate

Sitting on the floor in front of a crowd,
My legs are crossed Indian Style,
Elbows on the knees.
Head bowed down and temperament apparent,
My microphone will melt with what I will say.

Hate is a strong word: never to be taken lightly.
There are many who do not use the word when
Expressing the feelings they have for others.

I Hate the fact that there is suffering,
I Hate the fact that there are immoral people.
I Hate that those who do the most harm are
The ones worshipping under the steeple.

I Hate how they lie to innocent parties.
I Hate that they rage on another.
I Hate how they do not hold themselves accountable
As they break the heart of their mother.

I Hate how people turned their backs to me.
I Hate that they feel they are seen as priority one.
I Hate that patience to them is a waste of time
Yet they look to me to jump the gun.

I Hate how people say that they are by my side,
Yet their actions speak louder than their words.
I Hate the fact that they lied to me that way
To the point where I show them my flock of birds.

I Hate that I trust some people early:
I Hate that part about myself.
There should be many people walking with shirts
That read “Trusting me is bad for your health.”

I Hate this life that I live:
I can only blame myself.
I Hate that I placed myself in these situations:
I Hate that I cannot see my worth and wealth.

To acknowledge that I Hate myself
Tells me personally that I see more than I care to see.
I need to stop hating the reflection in my mirror,
If I am to change things around and about me.

 

 

Thank you

*Special Thanks to Monica F. Brown and Yasmin Correa for helping me with all things “WORDPLAY: Therapy Session”, from the inside of the covers to the cover itself*