As The Clock Approaches Midnight

2013-Participant-Twitter-Header

Soon, it will be midnight, and the beginning of NaNoWriMo 2013 will commence. The title of my novel is, THE AWAKENING. I have a grandiose plan that this will be the first of seven novels in a series of books known as, THE SURREAL REVELATIONS.  Like my other novel efforts, it’s in the horror/supernatural genre. I feel very confident about it because I’ve had some intense dreams about the premise of this idea over the course of the last few weeks. My hope is that my need to write this and the series as a whole will keep me in a positive state of mind. There have been times lately, that I’ve found myself at the precipice of a vast abyss. The only thing that keeps me going is my writing.

Within my notes, I’ve already broken down the series into titles of the other novels with a brief commentary for each. This will give me a tentative road map to follow. Now, I know what I can put into each novel without worrying about putting too much within any particular one. While, at the same time, not letting the cat out of the bag before its time. I’ll try and post updates as the month goes on.

By the way, Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!

Hunter’s Moon

I just wanted to share with everyone a photograph I took a few days ago during the previous full moon, known as the Hunter’s Moon. It’s appropriate since I had recently finished reading, THE LAST WEREWOLF, by Glen Duncan. The time left for me to use my photographic gear is limited, so I’ll make the most of it. I hope everyone enjoys the image.

Hunter's Moon,  2013 by Jeffrey Gershom

Hunter’s Moon, 2013 by Jeffrey Gershom

The Clock Is Ticking…

I’m another year older now, and at 52, there’s a time when you have to face facts. For me, it’s a little more severe.

My journey to become a writer has been long and difficult. The only two items that I’ve had published are a poem and a newspaper article. These were some years ago, and all that while, I thought if I kept trying, someday…maybe someday, I could break through. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened, but I realize that my experience isn’t unique. For every published author, there’s a vast number of unpublished ones that seek the same fruits from their labors. My fruit, I’ve come to realize isn’t actually a fruit at all – it’s a rock (my close association with Charlie Brown, esp. with his Halloween special coming up.) Yes, I look into my bag, and I got another rock. For everyone who believes in the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” my take should be, “When life gives you rocks, start a rock collection.”

My depression is getting more intense. Without health insurance, it’s hard to keep in check. I’ve lost my last two jobs in a month’s time due to it raising its raging head. The jobs themselves weren’t all that great, just two part-time minimum wage ones. I’m afraid with the holiday season coming up, all it’s going to do is get worse. It looks like I’m going to have to sell all my photographic gear just to have some money to survive on, and hopefully find some other employment. In the meantime, I’ll lose myself in my writing, and put to use all the pain I’m feeling. It’s a good thing I have my characters to keep me company, otherwise I’m alone.

For my swan song, I’m doing NaNoWriMo next month. All my prior writing projects will be put on indefinite hold while I write my one last novel. The idea came to me while laying on my cot. It’ll stay in the same genre that I’ve been writing in, horror/supernatural. Though there are countless books out in the publishing world that flood this genre, I believe I have an idea that might be somewhat original, just maybe. My optimism comes from the hope that my twist could make people think that it may have some validity. We’ll see. Hopefully, I’ll last that long. The one thing that the last four years have taught me is that there will be no divine intervention, no cavalry riding over the hill, no Trinity to tell me it’s only the Matrix. It’s just plain, cold reality. I’ll find out soon enough, but for now, I’ve got some planning to do for my novel.

Finding Renewal From Past Writings

I haven’t been as vigilant as my fellow bloggers about posting.

This summer, it seems that my muse took a vacation without letting me know. The result has been a rather lackluster three months. I have no idea when she’ll return, so I decided to go through some of my past writings, at least what I still have. Here’s a poem I wrote over two years ago when I first became homeless. I was in my van (not by the river…) but at a rest stop off I-80 outside of Grand Island, Nebraska. That evening I experienced something incredible in a dream, but was made real by some unique occurrences happening outside. A fusion of the dreamworld and real world. Recent events have brought me to realize that this , in fact, was only a dream. I though I’d share it with those who may like to read it.

A DREAM BUT NOT A DREAM

By Jeffrey Gershom

 

A breeze caresses the boughs

With gentle force.

Slowly they move with

Rhythm from Nature’s overture.

 

Watching up above,

Luna fills the night

In radiant light.

Her soft glow blankets

The ground and trees

As they nestle together,

Embraced…entwined.

 

The wind rustles the tall

Prairie grass. Seductively,

This invisible touch

Moves across the lay of the land,

Finally reaching the hem of a

Small wooded patch.

 

Ever so carefully, the fragrant air

Moves up the trunks

Of the trees…the delicate legs

Which Gaia stands with

Leafy elegance.

 

Far within the muted darkness,

A lone wolf howls with

Powerful ecstasy, stirring the

Calm with primal satisfaction.

All the while, Luna glides gracefully overhead

Enjoying the reoccurring play of

Light, air and earth.

 

Over and over again,

These visions sow themselves

In my mind as if wanting

To take root and grow in

My secluded hope of being

Needed.

 

Can such a crop ever be planted?

Can such a crop ever be reaped?

Can such a hope ever be dreamt?

Can such a hope ever be realized?

Life Is Story and Story Is Life

It has been over a month since my last post. It was my thought that if I didn’t have anything positive to say, then it was better not to say anything at all. I’m still recuperating from the nearly devastating failure of late July (as per my last post.) As you can imagine, I suffer from depression, but that’s another story for another time…maybe. The pain I feel in my professional life along with my private life are incredible, but I’m attempting to use this to fuel my creative endeavors.

It has been hard to focus on anything productive for fear that I’ll let someone down. I don’t mind letting myself down. Hell, that’s gone on for most of my life, but to let others down who are my friends and colleagues. Well, that’s really hard to swallow. So I’ve been keeping a low profile in hope to finding an answer to my despair. What did I find? There are no answers. You just have to keep doing what you think is right and give it the best chance for success. There are no 100% guarantees in this world, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least try. That’s what I was guilty of the last month…not even trying.

Now, I’m going to try.

Though photography is very important to me, it’s also very expensive to continue doing on a constant basis, along with my very limited mobility. So for the time being, I’ve elected to set aside my photographic urges. I’ll continue to make notes of possible projects and take occasional “snapshots,” but nothing too grandiose.

You might be wondering what I’m going to do? The answer is that I’m working on a new screenplay. I’ve been thinking about it for along while, and now, I think this is the perfect time to write it. I’ve even gone so far to peruse the actor/actress database in my IMDbPro account for possible casting. No, no, no…this is only for fun, so I can have an image of the character as I write the script. Also, I’m doing Google searches for possible shooting locations. Pre-production is fun to do, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I have to finish the script first.

“So what’s it about?” you might be thinking.

First, my WIP (work-in-progress) is tentatively titled: WORDS IN CRIMSON. It a period piece set in WWII England during the buildup for the D-Day invasion. It’s a mix of drama, comedy, political commentary and of course, romance. Much is still being worked out as I’m getting the outline for the script complete, and I don’t want to give too much away…especially, if I decide to cut it and replace it with something else. I will however, supply you with the logline that I’m using to focus my writing:

“A disillusioned WWII US Army officer finds a home for his pacifist views with a female teacher of literature in London, England during the buildup for D-Day.”

Some of you might be thinking, “How can an Army officer have pacifist view? Especially, during WWII?” Well, that’s part of the drama, and many may not realize that most Americans didn’t want to enter the war. That is, not until Pearl Harbor.

Secondly, I’m using my photographic experience to workout certain cinematic shots that will be visually stunning. If this script would actually ever be optioned, I would like to work with the Cinematographer for the film.

Well, that’s it for now. Time for more writing, visualizing, writing, visualizing, writing…

FADE IN:

INT. LONDON BOOKSTORE  EARLY AFTERNOON

And So It Goes

What was to be a very productive weekend has turned out to be quite the opposite.

I was able to get this weekend off from work to go to a science fiction convention in Omaha, Nebraska as I described in my previous post. It’s called OSFest VI, and I had a few writers lined up to be interviewed and photographed. They were to be the first writers I would be documenting for my photographic project – Open Skies, Open Words: A Visual Quest Of Nebraska Writers. I was also able to secure a press pass for the event through the hard work from the convention’s registration department. Additionally, I was planning to do a freelance news article for one of the newspapers. Everything was going as planned, until…

Until I went to pick up my rental car. Though my reservation was confirmed two weeks prior, I wasn’t able to to get it because I was blindsided to the fact that my particular VISA pay card wasn’t honored by Hertz. Even though there was more than enough funds to cover my rental, they said sorry, but no. WTF!?! Thanks, Hertz, for nothing!

So, I messaged the writers to let them know I wouldn’t be able to make it. It felt like I let a lot of wonderful people down, but there wasn’t anything else I could do. I had no ulterior means of transportation. Then the severity of the situation settled in. If I couldn’t rent a car, then everything I was working for would be “dead in the water.” My documentary is essentially…SOL (Shit Out of Luck.)

This is the greatest disadvantage of living my Bohemian lifestyle in Grand Island, Nebraska. It literally is an island, surrounded by a sea of endless cornfields. I can’t wait for the day that I can leave this place with so many bad memories, top-offed by this current one.

So you might be wondering what I did with myself for the weekend? Well, something I hadn’t done in a very long time. I bought a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey and drank it. Now, it’s a day and a half later, and my moments of drunken bliss are gone. I’m typing this post at the local McDonalds using their free wifi. As I drink my coffee, I nursing a McHeadache…supersized. Oh well, it serves me right for being stupid.

Now, as I become more in sync with reality, I need to make some really important decisions. The most important one is to remain true to my art (my photography, my writing) and not let anything, including this current setback, deviate my vision in creating beauty out of the ugliness of fate. Fate…I don’t like thinking about this concept of life, but sometimes it’s the only explanation to the events I’m going through.

To relieve myself from these feelings of despair, I think I’ll go out and take some photographs, maybe even write a poem.

In the words of one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, “And so it goes.”

Have Camera, Tell A Story

Tomorrow, if all goes well, I’ll be on my way to Omaha to take part in OSFest VI. This is the sixth year for this Nebraska science fiction convention. I’ll be photographing some of the local authors during their book signings or readings. Some have agreed to participate in my documentary photographic project OPEN SKIES, OPEN WORDS: A Visual Quest Of Nebraska Writers.

A week ago, I was confirmed to be a guest speaker for one of a series of events of Humanities Nebraska Sponsored Writers and Speakers Clinics, 2014. My presentation will be about my aforementioned project. Some of the state’s science fiction/fantasy writers that I’ll be photographing will be featured within it. As time goes on, I’ll also be involved with other Nebraska writers, including playwrights, screenwriters, songwriters, fiction and non-fiction authors. Not everyone will be shown in this upcoming talk because many won’t be photographed yet. This documentary is going to take months, many months to complete. This weekend’s sf/f convention is only the first step of many more to follow.

Writers are known for the words on the pages of their creations. My hope is to tell a visual story about them that shows the physical world they live in.