on Writing in the Peace Corps

As the weeks pass, I feel that I may be among the lucky volunteers here in Morocco.  We have all be told a dozen times that we will have long stretches of down time.  This isn’t a Peace Corps thing.  It is a cultural thing.  Our job is to work with kids.  When it’s raining all winter or approaching 130 all summer, it is inevitable that whole communities forgo activities for extended amount of times.  Many of the volunteers that I have met fear this.  I understand their fear, but don’t share it.  There is an incredible feeling of purpose that comes with being busy.  To complement that, however, there is an incredible feeling of uselessness that comes with not having much to do.

I’ve experienced the uselessness before.  For me, however, I have an inexhaustible hobby that can take up hours or fit into the small crevasses of free time.  Currently, during training, my writing has fallen into the latter category considering learning a new language (and culture) comes first.  I’m well aware that this will change.  When the activity level dies down and I am sworn in as a volunteer, there will be days where it’s obvious not much can be done.  For that, I am thankful for my hobby.  I have five writing outlets in place at this moment.  First, I write in my diary everyday.  Secondly, I write a letter several times a week.  Those are the two that I currently fit into the small moments of free time.  Thirdly, I have this blog.  Fourth is a script I’ve been hoping to write (This will be a long term goal that will probably take off in the heat of the Summer).  Lastly, I have a short story I desperately want to write (even though it’s still in the theoretical stage).

With all these outlets, I am not afraid of the free time that comes with two years of service.  Writing is my way of untangling the thoughts in my head.  The more I write while in Morocco, the more I’ll understand about the people and the culture I encounter.  I’ll already spend two weeks realizing that the construction of a culture in sci-fi novels is one of the most fascinating and exciting elements of pre-writing….just because I’ve landed myself in a new culture.  I love the realizations that being in Africa are giving me.  They will make me a stronger volunteer and a stronger writer.

Today’s short story comes from my teenage love for zombies.  After seeing “Land of the Dead,” I was fascinated with the differences between all the zombies movies.  I wanted to give another take on the zombie story.  This story came out as a set of diary entries.  It is quite short.  Enjoy.

Day to Die

Back to Writing

For the first time in quite awhile, I am writing again with a great level of consistency.  Along with this comes the concern of disclosing what I am writing.  It’s difficult to talk about what you are writing about without losing the excitement.  So, in the meantime, I think I am going to work on re-organizing the website so that it can include older works.

I started writing 9 years ago–at the age of 14.  It started with romantic poetry.  It developed into flash fiction.  That quickly turned into short stories.  By the time I was 20, I had written my first novel.  The thing is, I don’t have many of my older writings here.  They may not be as good, but I love the idea of presenting them as a way of seeing my progress.  I will likely start updating them this evening.

It will take awhile.  In the meantime, check out an old Sci-Fi Short story.  A recent discussion with a lovely girl reminded me of it.  I think you will love it.

The Prototype 

Back to Writing

 

I’ve been at a bit of a standstill the last two or three weeks.  I’ve been writing memories, yes, but I do not have an overall project.  I hate not having a project to work on.  Although I love writing memories, poems, and flash fiction, they often feel like filler.  I like have a big project going at all times–whether it is the editing or writing of a large piece or novel.  Now that “The Stagner Chronicle” is in the late editing stages, I need something new.

I found that something yesterday.  I started writing as a reaction to events that occurred yesterday.  A few hours passed and I realized I couldn’t stop writing.  My word count is already at 4,000 and I am showing no signs of slowing down.  Due to the nature of what I am writing about, I cannot share the subject matter.  To be perfectly honest, it may not even be okay to share the final product.  It doesn’t matter.  I still need to write it.

With Love,
Richard

 

Writing on Culture

 

I had trouble sleeping last night.  Some nights my brain just won’t shut up.  I was lucky this time.  This sleepless night translated to creativity.  I’ve always wanted to find a different way to look at culture and the world we grow up in.  By telling stories, I want to be able to explain a  truth I wouldn’t otherwise be able to put into words.  I feel like I have finally done that with the short story below.  I will almost certain be turning this story into something more.  I already have an outline to make this at least a novella.  We shall see.

My Kickstarter campaign to help publish The Stagner Chronicle is ready.  All I am waiting for now is the verification of my account.  It’ll likely take a few more days before I can officially get it up.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for this.  I do believe I can turn it into a success.  I hope you will all join me.  Until then, enjoy the story.

The Assembly Line

 

Kickstarter & Video Storytelling

I’m pretty sure I am going to do a Kickstarter campaign to help my latest novel–The Stagner Chronicle–get off the ground.  The website is set up in a way that makes it a perfect alternative to publishing.  I’ve been looking through campaigns similar to the one that I am creating.  Many people were able to meet their goals and surge past them.  I hope I can pull off the same thing.  I’m going to place my goal low anyway.

In order to make a successful Kickstarter campaign, videos explaining yourself are essential.  I made one for the campaign itself.  Then I decided to try reading one of my short stories aloud to provide an example of my storytelling.  It ended up being really fun.  I may start doing this for everything I put up on the site.  I want everyone to tell me what they think.  Linked below is a short story I uploaded a few months ago.  It now has a video at the top of it where I read it with the emotion it was intended to have.  Let me know!

It’s What You’ll Never Know

Pre-Peace Corp Writing Goals

A lot is changing in my life.  There’s only one problem.  Many of these changes won’t take place until January.  I need to fill the gap between then and now.  I’ve though of a lot of different ideas–from traveling to working.  In the end, the best idea I can come across is to immerse myself in my writing.  So I created a list of writing goals I want to accomplish over the next 200 days or so.  Here they are:

Writing Goals

  1. Finish Editing my fourth novel
  2. Do final editing on Stitch [Novel Three]
  3. Do final editing on The Saints [Novel Two]
  4. Do final editing on The Fire Saviors [Novel One]
  5. Write a fifth novel
  6. Do final editing on fifth novel
  7. Compile a collection of 50-100 poems
  8. Do final editing on Poem Collection
  9. Compile short Stories/Flash Fiction
  10. Do final editing on Story collection
  11. Join Every Writing Club in Northern Colorado/Go to them
  12. Finish Memory Challenge
  13. Do final editing on memory challenge
  14. If money allows, print one set of books “Before Peace Corp Writing”
    1. The Fire Saviors [Novel One]
    2. The Saints [Novel Two]
    3. Stitch [Novel Three
    4. Novel Four
    5. Novel Five
    6. Poetry Collection
    7. Story Collection
    8. Memory Challenge