Seven billion people dead; yet his selfish heart only mourned for one.
The distraught figure dragged his body to the ledge of the mountaintop, as if he alone towed the burdens of a dying planet. He looked down on the futuristic metropolis constructed over the ashes of mankind. The alien city with its pale glass structures resembled a crystal cemetery of broken dreams.
Clutching the last remaining evidence that humans once inhabited the Earth, he groaned.
Through misty eyes, Jake Cross admired a photograph of his wife Lisa. His heart pounded against his ribs like a relentless bill collector at the door. Intolerable emptiness grew inside him like a cancerous black hole, eating away at his brittle psyche, devouring his aching soul.
He pressed the photo against his heaving chest as if her image could wipe away his pain.
Who better to console him? Lisa always neutralized his sorrows with a smile or warm embrace. Wiping the moisture from his eyes, a warm breeze caressed his skin reminding him of her gentle touch. He trembled like a virgin relishing her first kiss. Would he eventually forget the sound of her soft voice?
Jake couldn’t live like this. Earth without Lisa would be as cold and desolate as Pluto. He vowed to search for her. He needed to know if she survived. A horrifying thought crept into his mind like a swarm of stampeding centipedes. What if she suffered the same fate as the seven billion others?
He rubbed the photo against his chest with violent motions like an irritated student hoping to erase an error from a page. He preferred to cling to diminishing hope because the alternative…..
Jake shut his moist brown eyes.
It would be easier to stop breathing than to live another day without her.
- – Jake Cross is the main character of my manuscript/screenplay Paradox.
Ocean waves stroked the tranquil beach as a warm breeze rustled idle palm leaves. Moonlight glistened off of the barrel of his Smith and Wesson radiating its own personal glow. The scene appeared as natural as the shifting tides or setting sun; as normal as the death and betrayal that punctuated his godforsaken life.
Scratching his stubble covered face; Andrew Duran considered his environment and the ungodly events that brought him here. Time may wane the pain of this treason. His memory might fade as years go by, but he would never forgive their treachery. His square jaw moved as he ground his teeth in rage. Unwavering hatred grew like an unholy tumor, consuming the goodness that once resided inside him, eradicating the man that once existed.
No one could see it coming. They framed a true American hero and labeled him a traitor. Duran should have expected it; his eyes had seen the forbidden. Destined to a life on the run, hunted by the very government that made him, he swore he would never trust again. He expected his past to haunt him.
His enemies would eventually come for him. Here on the shores of Communist Cuba, an island condemned to live in shadows, Andrew Duran would wait for them.
- – Andrew Duran is the protagonist of my novel/screenplay thriller The Exterminator’s Diary
There are many support systems a writer can turn to and some of them may be as close as the next room. A few years ago when i wrote my first science fiction screenplay Paradox, I received great motivation and insight from my poetry writing, movie going thirteen year old daughter Catherine. You wouldn’t expect that from a young teen, but her suggestions were invaluable.
After reading my script, Catherine recommended changes in dialogue responses that added conflict and foreshadowing to many scenes. Her observations about my characters helped me build better secondary characters, a delicious antagonist that everyone will love to hate, and kept my protagonist always in character. Later when I adapted Paradox to novel format, she suggested tweaks to dialogue that improved characterization. Her poetry writing habit of always searching for the right word improved my manuscript with a few minor words changes.
My arduous journey to publication may be a lonely one, but at least I had my number one fan in my corner.
As if writers didn’t already have enough obstacles in the way with slush piles, difficulties in finding an agent, and keeping up with the latest demands of the market, we also have to face the difficulty of distractions. Nowadays, with social media taking up more of our precious time, its a miracle anyone gets anything done. (Victor Hugo didn’t have to worry about twitter or updating his Facebook status. If he did, Quasimodo may have suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome instead.)
To avoid the daily distractions of our lives: the noisy kids, quality time with the spouse (Sorry, honey you are never a distraction), the TV, etc. I made it a habit to get up an hour or two earlier than everyone else. Early morning quiet time that I share with my laptop and my favorite coffee mug have provided countless hours of productivity. (If you are a night bird do the opposite go to bed an hour later than everyone else.) It may not seem like much, but if you train your body and mind, you will be productive.
Remember this, while an hour a day may not seem like much, you can only write one page at a time. There have been days where I write five ages in than hour and there are days where I barely complete a single one. If you write one page per day you will have 365 pages at the end of one year (that is roughly 91,000 words).
You need to find a system that works for you and write.
Why did I chose the name the Lonely Author blog? If you are a writer you already know the answer, or should I say you have already lived the answer? Hour upon hour sitting before a laptop, stringing words together to form sentences. Writing paragraphs full of emotion and tension. Filling up blank pages with nouns, verbs, and adjectives in hopes of eliciting a response in our readers. Unaccompanied moments certain we have written prose as sweet as honey, fighting the angry demons inside our skulls who assure us we only created Blasphemy, Bullshit, and Beyond.
My objective is to create an inspirational depot for the weary writer to seek asylum. Hopefully, I can motivate unpublished authors after they receive another rejection note. Maybe my blog will combat the dreaded creature known as writer’s block. At the very least, I expect to make you smile. Perhaps, if nothing else, this blog will allow me to cling to my fragile sanity as I struggle to be heard.