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The Ode

Ode to the Writer

By Tom Foster

 

We are the lords and ladies of creation, yet we are still just players.
In the beginning we are as in the end.
We do not aspire, we simply do.
There is the dream, tempered by the reality, and given form by the thought.
By our thought, by our dreams, and by the reality we impose.
It’s a madness of the sort that only poets and writers can truly understand, and even among those only a few can comprehend.
Comprehension, that is a truly frightening thing.
We play with words, we are those that can immortalize, and those that can do what must be said and say what must be done.
It is confusion, this comprehension, and in the midst of it all, it is the single word that carries power, the one among all that is ever elusive, ever there, always waiting for us to return to, to remind us what it is that drives us, what keeps the fountain flowing.
Every last soul that has ever put ink to paper, ever put finger to key, every vague idea that swirls inward from the maelstrom we call the world, the universe, and everything in between and without.
For everything that could come, for everything that has and will come, we are there. We are the ones that do not deny the voice that tells us, “this must come to pass”, or “this must be remembered”.
It is who we are, what we do, and through everything, it is the lifeblood of those who cherish this timeless art form, this undeniable urge to say, in their own manner, “I AM”.
We are not gods, we create, and yet in the process, we are created. It is our words, penned and copied throughout the ages that have helped to shape the world, to say that, “WE ARE”, that “WE EXIST”.
Whether tyrant or savior, good or evil, saint or sinner, the words that are put to time’s test are those that will come to define the world we know. Memory is not enough, though it serves.
As do we.
We are the lords of creation, the ones whose words will last and echo into the ages, for all to see, and all to remember.
Is it truth?
The better question is: Does it matter?
We are the lords and ladies of creation, and by our words, the world we know is shaped, molded, and given to the next generation, and so on and so forth until the whole mess ends, only to be rebuilt, and to crumble again.
We are the lords and ladies of Creation, and this is our legacy.

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Why So Negative?

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Anyone ever notice this? People all around the world will praise others and even follow those they idolize when they do something great. It’s natural, it’s easy to see why, and it’s something that many upon many people do. But the moment they find someone whose work they don’t care for and don’t like and possibly loathe, the chance to pass it by as something they don’t want to see versus the chance to bash that individual or group becomes no choice at all since the negative aspect of many people comes boiling to the surface in a rush, sometimes without warning.

I’ve done it too, so without hypocrisy I’ll state that it’s very easy if you’re that invested in something or someone. But as time has passed and something odd called ‘maturity’ has settled in, the negative aspects of one’s personality tend to fade and dull in some people as they realize that they don’t have to waste the energy being negative by vilifying anything or anyone that doesn’t agree with their point of view. Some would call this maturity and some would simply say that they’ve learned how to let things go that don’t mean all that much. People can enjoy things and let the comments or opinions they don’t like slide on by and not affect them in the least.

That’s until people hit social media, which is almost like a drug that, much like alcohol, allows some folks to lose their inhibitions, largely because they’re far enough away from the people they talk about and don’t have any possible consequences to suffer. That’s all well and good, it’s their prerogative and all that, but in retrospect it says a lot more about the character of a person that will try to tear someone that voices their opinion apart than those that will gladly just pass on by if the opinion in question doesn’t mean that much to them. See how that works?

You don’t have to be negative to make your point that you don’t like something. Just don’t read, watch, or pay attention to it, that speaks even louder than words.

Loss (part II)

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Watching the ambulance take her away was more difficult than he’d thought, but it meant that things were progressing the way they needed to. It was regrettable that it had come to this, but her husband had given them no choice but take some kind of action. It was terrible sometimes the things that had to be done in order to settle a debt, and every now and again itw as truly horrible to think that someone had take it this far.

“Are we following?”

His sidekick, a little piece of nothing that he’d been saddled with by the Outfit named Percy, had started riding with him just that week and despite his reputed skill with demolitions and wet work he’d found the younger man a little too overzealous at times for his own good. This current mess for instance, it was a bit sloppy, more than had been needed to get the job done and definitely more than was needed to bring this two-story home down.

“No,” he replied, “The job was to send a message and we did that. Anything else is beyond our current job.”

“That sucker went up like a Roman candle didn’t it?”

He wanted to belt Percy in the mouth as he snickered, but he didn’t. Two men getting into a scrum near the scene of a crime such as this wouldn’t look good and it would definitely alert the cops that were nearby. The trick right now was to look as shocked as everyone else and just go with the flow.

“Did everyone get taken beforehand?” he asked, not bothering to look away for the moment. The inside of the house was a cratered mess, in fact it looked as though the remaining walls might go at any moment. But one thing he couldn’t see were body parts, and that was a plus. There was no red to be seen splattered all over the walls and no limbs that were strewn about. That meant it was a decent day at this point, except for the one blunder.

“Everyone but her,” Percy said with the same snicker.

Goddammit he wanted to hit the man.

(to be continued)

Come At Me

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I’m not a famous writer, I know that. I’m not extraordinarily witty, I know that too. But what I am is determined, and that’s enough to keep me going. Some folks might have backed down by now, might have seen the constant rejection as a sign that they’re not in the right place, or on the right path, or have no business doing what it is they love as more than a hobby.

I’m in the right place. I’m doing the right thing, and my passion, my hobby, my love, is in my writing. It’s not about to be dimmed by anyone that says otherwise, and I’m not about to back down to anyone that tries to keep me down. My work has been criticized by those that know what they’re doing and those that think they have a handle on what’s good, and the truth is I value both since honestly the compliments are a sign that I’m in the right place, while the detractors are a sign that someone’s either jealous or threatened in some way, meaning I’ve done something they can’t match.

Know what though? I don’t care. I’m not here to compete with other writers. I’m not wading into the creativity pool to kick people out or drown them in their own hubris. I’m here to write, to do what I love to do, and I’m here to make sure that those who would try to do the same to me aren’t good enough, aren’t tough enough, and don’t have the stomach to go the distance with me when it comes to tenacity. You want to do your thing, that’s fine and just as it should be, but that should never mean you prevent someone else from doing their thing, no matter if they’re better than you or not.

Real writers don’t look to push each other down, they don’t look to ruin each other’s reputations, and they don’t try to outdo each other. It’s a big world with a lot of stories to tell, and the people will decide whose they want to listen to.

You want to knock me down? Try it. My promise is this, I’ll get back up and keep going. You don’t have what it takes to stop me.

Easy vs. Difficult

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It’s easy to do a lot of things and difficult to do many. It’s easier to simply lie, cheat and steal while working hard and living an honest life is hard and quite taxing sometimes. A lot of people justify the latter by saying that it’s better in the long run since a life a of cheating, stealing, and lying is bound to catch up with a person and make them pay for the things they’ve done in a big way. Some might believe all that, while some won’t since the glaring examples of how liars and thieves get away at times kind of puts the lie to that idea.

It’s also easy to retaliate against people for any number of reasons whether it’s a real or imagined slight, while hard is simply letting it go and moving on with your life. Now depending on the slight it might be that action need to be taken, but moving on will still be difficult. It’s almost always harder to just move on from anything, but in the end it does allow you to open your eyes to a world that might be closed off if you seek to pursue the more negative aspects that could end up ruling your life. In short, taking the harder path yields greater results for those that want to move on and forget the negativity that life tends to come with at times.

It’s not possible to always be positive, but moving forward and learning the hard lessons in life instead of taking the easy way out all the time does offer a much better chance of being completely happy.

Loss (part I)

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A flash, a concussive blast that she felt through the soles of her feet all the way to her forehead, and the sudden sensation of falling were all she recalled. What existed now was noise, commotion, confusion, and pain. There was plenty of the latter, it radiated from every nerve out to every extremity, throbbing in a way that was in time to her heartbeat, slow and painful. Her body felt as though it had been hollowed out and filled with Jello, her limbs wouldn’t work and everything she tried to do simply failed. Lying there looking up at a sky that should have been visible from a different angle only confused her further as she closed her eyes, trying to move her head.

Something wouldn’t let her though, and as she opened them once more she was only dimly aware of hands on either side her face, keeping her head immobile in a gentle but firm embrace. She couldn’t move much anyway, and as she looked down, or up, depending on how one saw it, she could see a smoldering ruin where her second-floor office had once been, a gaping hole existing in the middle of what had only seconds ago (or was it longer?) been her home.

Wait….

Her husband, her children, where were they?

“Do we risk moving her?”

“We don’t have much of a choice. If we don’t she’ll bleed out here.”

What were they talking about? Who were they?

As though telling her that such things were unimportant at the moment her body simply gave out, and darkness took her for the second time that day.

(to be continued)

THE Story

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I don’t want to write the greatest story in the world, I just want to be able to write a part of THE story.

People might say I’m nuts, or egotistical, or even narcissistic (somehow), but I’d like to know that along with each and every person that my own chapter has contributed to THE story that continues from the moment we’re born to the day we pass on. Every story, any story, all stories belong to this one tale that is the continued anthology of existence that we all share, a veritable hodgepodge of different accounts, perceptions, and experiences that are shared or kept separate.

Many people focus on the stories that interest them, that engage them or tell the story of their own life, and that’s fine. I want to know more about this overall story that encapsulates it all, that creates the narrative that splits off into untold numbers of tales that have been told since the dawn of the first self-aware being that reality saw step from the ether.

I want THE story, the one that started them all, the origin, the progenitor, and not just the deus ex machina that so many believe in and follow blindly from beginning to end. I want the story where it began, and where it began to fracture and split off into so many different exciting and interesting tales.

It seems too grand a design for a human to ask for, too much information to grasp in a single lifetime, but looking beyond the world we know to find out just where the edges of said story might exist, is still an intoxicating and heady thought that speaks to the wildest imagination of those that tell one story after another. We might all draw from the same pool of ideas as many authors have said, but where did the pool come from? Where did the ideas originate, and how far back can one take something before the story finally reaches an origin point?

Some might say it never started and will never fully end, that it’s a continual loop that we’re only barely aware of. They might be right, but everything has a beginning, no matter how long it takes to get to the ending. My wish would be to find the beginning of the story, if only to truly understand what drives the passion and desire for the story that I and many others have found over the years.

I dare to ask why and how just as any other, but I want deeper answers that some might not want to know.