Monday, November 16, 2009

Chapter 9: Capo di Tutti Capi

Up there is the name of the ninth chapter.  It's Italian for Boss of Bosses.  But before I go into the chapter title's meaning, I should discuss why my blog was absent last week.  I got hit by the flu, bad.  102.9 fever, officially, plus passing out, and two vomit sessions.  It wasn't a happy week, and I spent most of it at home, stressing about another upcoming midterm.  But I'm better now, and the midterm is somewhat under control, so I have no real worries.  Now on with it then.

Boss of bosses refers to Tory Cross' unerring, insane ambition to unite all of the mafia families in the country of Atlantis under his banner so he can kill his old mentor Howard Crim.  The chapter itself is a hefty one, moving swiftly from one month to another and packing in a lot of information.  I did this mainly to play catch up.  I hadn't addressed any of the mafia's actions since the fifth chapter and that left a lot of room for the reader to ask what's going on and feel dissatisfied.  Hopefully this punch in the gut will satisfy some of them.

Along with this tidbit of info, I figured I should post an excerpt of the book as well.  It's from the eleventh and final chapter of the book.  The scene is Briok heading to a field trip at a museum in Atlantis' capital, Atlantia.  He's sitting next to a girl named Desiree.  I tried my best to depict the awkward first blossoming of a young man trying to get some action.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

And I got schwooped.

Hello Reader!  No, that isn't the title for the next chapter.  It's actually my lament.  Recently, a second-year undergraduate student at UCLA published a book.  That he started writing when he was 14.  I'm befuddled.

That's not to say I'm jealous of the guy.  We live two very different lives.  He dedicated himself to the book in both practice and mind.  I've simply dedicated myself to the book in mind.  If I had in practice, I wouldn't be a part of four different organizations and taking a neuroscience major.  I would be writing on this book everyday for at least two hours.  Too bad other things always take up those two hours.

It's stories like his that both discourage me and get me pumped up to write more.  The discouragement first.  I don't want to be seen as a follower in anyone's footsteps.  For sure, I'll be compared to someone somehow, if I get this thing published.  But I don't want to be the second runner-up in a long line of young authors.  I just want to be me.  Because that's what I've put into this book, me.  To have that be covered up by another person's accomplishments scares me and angers me a little.

Also, I just feel like something was snatched from underneath me.  It was never mine to own, this right to publish, but when you're on this kinda track, you don't hear from too many other people that are also young and writing a book.  So you get this feeling of oneness, that you're a singular individual with this singular dream.  A guy just as young as you, going to the same university as you, publishing a book hella close to your genre, pulls that illusion from right under you and it's disorienting.

I should move on though.  I do feel inspired now.  I try to look past the fact that I'll be #2 in some respects, or that I'm not really alone.  Dwelling on those feelings is a total possiblity, but my story has been nagging my head since as early on as I can remember.  And for that simple fact, I write.  I'm not doing this for money, although that would be nice.  I'm definitely not doing this for recognition, because that's so hard to get and such a random phenomenon.  This book is being written because it's an itch I can't help but scratch.  A really, really powerful itch.  And it grows stronger when I hear stories like this.

I'm a competitive guy.  I always taunt, I always trash-talk, even if I'm not good at something, I goad whoever is into competition so I can get better.  I'm not doing the goading this time, but I am competing.  It's my own little one-sided rivalry, and it spurs me on to scratch that itch.  I've never given up on anything.  It's my Afghan recklessness coming out in me, the belief that I can do anything that anyone else can with perseverance and a hard head.  Can you tell I'm ready to begin writing anew?  To begin writing Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger?

I'm not sure if this was a satisfying post for anyone, even me.  I wanted to post another excerpt of the book.  But this had to be addressed, because ultimately the blog is about my journey in writing and publishing.  My journey's been filled with rocks and clouds, where I trip or rise up.  Hopefully, I'll end up staying on a cloud.  Until next time then.