Monday, November 30, 2009

Author Aaron Kuykendall Shares Excerpt from Future Novel! Writer's Block: The Possession

Look around. Here we are, in a tastefully glamorous home in the plush outskirts of Michigan within the domain of a novelist’s office, where author Gregory Stillingsworth taps away at his typewriter. Look at him--immersed in some fable, eyes far away, staring past his own rapid-fire fingers and through the paper and into another world.

Gregory’s office is his home away from home, the place where his thoughts unite--the place where personal comfort encourages the drive to push every one of Gregory’s poor, over-stressed brain cells to put in hour after hour of creative work. Because work it is, as we can see from the drops of sweat rolling down his forehead to poise ever so artfully at the tip of his nose, unnoticed or ignored in the heat of creation.

Take this moment and look at Gregory, here in his most private moments where he believes himself to be unobserved. Look at the solitary artist pushing his fingers to strike words onto his canvas, creating a world that right now exists only within the mind of this storyteller. There will be others later; in fact, Gregory is already receiving impatient fan letters through his agent, but for now, this world belongs solely to him, and Gregory is jealously possessive of his creation.

Is it a control issue? Perhaps. But this magical machine upon which Gregory works so diligently allows him to do as he pleases. In this setting, at this task, Gregory is no lesser than God.

But he’s driven by what is in his heart: the love and affection toward his works, the passion for his characters, the admiration of places to which he would journey, the honesty and truth that can be so effectively spoken through fiction. If his love for his work occasionally reveals the jealous heart of a dragon, both loving and fiercely protective, well, we can excuse him that.

Have you noticed that Gregory uses a typewriter? Interesting, isn’t it, in this new world of computers and files and electronic transmission. Let’s take a closer look, as Gregory rushes toward the conclusion of another masterpiece. If you’re quiet, we can look over his shoulder and he won’t even notice.

How quickly the words fly onto that page! Yet when Gregory looks over his work later, every letter will be crisp and stark against the whiteness of the paper. Because paper is important to Gregory. Paper is not something Gregory fucks around with. He needs paper upon which no ink will smear, no matter how many times he shuffles through to admire a phrase here, a sentence there, a character as it evolves through the pages. Quality is of the essence, and Gregory can work on no less.

Before these same pages are allowed to leave Gregory’s hands, he will check every one, praying there are no errors, however minor, before placing his John Hancock upon the delivery form. This paper, so insignificant without the words that currently race across the page, represents Gregory’s livelihood in an astronomical manner. Can we blame him if he is a little obsessed, checking and rechecking to be sure not a single flaw mars the snowy perfection of the stock and the crisp blackness of his words?

But again, why is Gregory, a grossly successful author of seventy-three books who certainly must have the money to spare, still cranking out his words on a typewriter named Buford, which looks as though it’s been through hell and back?

While he’s busy, let’s take a peek into Gregory’s younger years and see if we can solve this mystery, shall we?
#

Diary entry #465
As I write, my whispery gabble leads the pencil in my hand as the motoring muscles that rope around my carpals, metacarpals and phalanges which draw their strength from the brachioradialis, forearm flexors, and the brachialis, struggle to keep up with my thoughts. This race is forever humorous! I feel a burning sensation as my fingers grip at the pencil with zeal. I drown myself in my thoughts regularly, for my thoughts hum through me like the soothing sounds of the bulbul.

The smell of crushed lead bleeds from the number two pencil as my hand grasps at it, guided by my angelic developing literary mind. Its remnants glide upon the unorthodox--medieval by comparison--recycled paper within my diary, affectionately known as my “morbid book.” Writing seems to come easily for me. I'm what some would call a thinker; a heavy one at that, as labeled by my parents. But let’s not talk of my relations and their forever harsh opinions of me. Thoughts and story ideas seem to bounce through my mind like cotton balls dancing around within a windy tunnel. Fascinating, these thoughts! Fascinating and utterly marvelous!

Writing is destined for me! I'm going to become a great writer! I'm going to shock the world with a story that will capture the true essence of fear and horror! I will bend the fabric of time and force another dimension of reality to rear its ugly head, to the utter amazement and heavily concentrated fascinations of civilized minds! I will fascinate with my approach! I will have a following to rival that of great leaders and fearless generals, in a time when one who lived by the sword fell also by that sharp edge cast by an opposing warrior! My thoughts will prove themselves worthy with every letter, phrase, sentence, and paragraph! My thoughts will prove themselves worthy!

Worthy, I say!

Worthy indeed!

From what fathoms do these thoughts come? That question I cannot answer, yet speculation is not beyond me--I was but three years of age when these thoughts began to dance through my head, and with great clarity I comprehended every facet. Strangely, as far back as my birth, the darkness never frightened me. There were times I could have sworn that throughout the night my room, as well as the outskirts of our home, was consumed by shadowy figures whispering my name. As they looked over me with seeming vengeance, I felt a calming comfort in the darkness around these shadowy things.
Odd! I found it soothing and enriching. I found it compelling, with a pull that opened my mind to a world in the form of a large lock with I the only key.

Writing was destined for me!

Writing is my destiny!

#

Diary entry #466

Literature of the twentieth century had its share of ups and downs.

Twenty-three publishers rejected Dr. Seuss; Richard Hooker's Mash was rejected by twenty-one; KonTiki by Thor Heyerdahl, twenty; Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, eighteen; and Patrick Dennis's Auntie Mame, seventeen.

I feel that what these storytellers experienced, I never will, for I was born an artist of the written word, not a developing pawn in literature. I was conceived as this Messiah of the literary tapestry! My painstaking study in this field is unerring! I will surpass all in my path, and I will topple my would-be peers.

Writing was destined for me!
Writing is my destiny!

#

Gregory looks up as his bedroom door swings open.

“Can’t you put that pencil down for a minute, boy? Your mother and I got you something we know you’ll like.”

Gregory tries to protest. “You guys, I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t need anything but your love and affection.”

The masculine voice rumbles again from the doorway. “You smartass, take this before I break my foot off in your tail. You might be fourteen now but you’re still under our roof.”

Gregory sighs. “Okay, okay, enough with the lectures. What is it?”

He accepts the offered package. It’s as if the room suddenly slows down as he rips the gift wrap away. Without warning, Gregory can’t seem to catch his breath.

“Breathe, boy, breathe! Baby, I think he likes it!”

“I think you’re right--Gregory, breathe, knucklehead!”

Gregory manages to stammer a few words. “I just--I can’t--I can’t believe this, you guys! It’s just what I wanted! I love you guys!”

“We love you, too, sweetheart. We’ll let you two be alone to get acquainted. Happy birthday, baby!”

“Yeah, happy birthday, knucklehead.”

“Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!”

Gregory’s jaw hangs nearly on the ground, tears pooling in his eyes. Without looking away from the amazing thing before him, he rips a sheet of paper from his diary, runs it in, and begins . . .

#

Diary entry #467

Hot damn, a typewriter! Happy birthday indeed, Mom and Dad! Happy birthday indeed! You’re beautiful! A little tattered and beaten, but a thing of sheer pulchritude! Hypnotizing you are! You’re the key to my self-chosen future! You’re my friend! Now what should I call you? What would be your name? Later for that! First I must care for you with the hands of a feather. Alluring you are! Stimulating! Unquestionable pulchritude! What thought-yanking motivation you are! I now shall use my bleeding number two pencils as a guide for organizing my thoughts, and not as a necessity. I'm now heavily armed to the tee! I'm ready to venture deep into my chosen shtick! I'm armed with an arsenal in comparison to none!

Writing was destined for me!

Writing is my destiny!

#

“You and I forever, you and I together . . . ”

Gregory jumps, startled, head snapping around for a look around the room behind him. He’s been immersed for some time now and the voice breaks his focus like a whipcrack.

“What?” he blurts out, heart pounding with the scare the voice has given him. There’s no one in the room.

“You and I forever, you and I together . . . ”

“Who’s saying that?” Gregory snaps, heart beating so quickly his Flash Gordon T-shirt vibrates upon his chest.

“You and I forever, you and I together . . . ”

The voice comes from directly in front of him.

Gregory turns back and looks upon his typewriter with fear and curiosity, but utterly without disbelief.

“My God, is that you?”

#

Diary entry #468

A sudden change of events has just wickedly moved into the surface cortexes of my mind.

Maybe more of my continuously morbid thoughts, I thought at first, but that proved to be a fearfully stimulating revelation.

This gift of mine has spoken to me!

Oh, yes, I will be a great writer! These words I’ve heard from this, my gift! This can be nothing other than the beginning of an unstoppable relationship!

Writing is destined for me!

Writing is my destiny!

#

Look again at Gregory Stillingsworth as he is now. Still he types away, feverish with inspiration. Let’s not make any brash speculations over his state of mind just now. Let’s observe a little longer.

There’s a light knock at the door, but Gregory seems not to hear. Let’s see who it is.

Passing through the wood fibers separating this room from the next, we find the ever-so-beautiful Jamie Stillingsworth standing this side of the closed office door. Frustration is apparent in her features; she’s been attempting to coerce her husband out of his lair for fifteen minutes now. There is a book signing they must attend, yet Gregory remains immersed in the completion of his new novel.

Usually, Jamie wouldn’t disturb Gregory. She prides herself on her accommodation of his work habits. While most authors' wives long to see their husbands look upon them with the same passion they bestow upon each new manuscript, Jamie has adapted to the detachment and frequent eccentricities of this relationship.

For if she hadn’t been able to do so, she suspects, there would be no relationship.

All writers have certain traditions and superstitions that make up the Chi, or energy force, of their work, as one would have in any career. The curse on the family of Bruce Lee created havoc within his father’s, his, and possibly his sons’ lives. In the Lees’ world, one followed ritualistic traditions passed down through the generations. These traditions stayed one’s existence. Actors, who tend to live psychologically split lives in order to do their jobs, are another example of queer tradition through craft. However mentally disturbing this may be, they are usually able to live their lives without a hitch.

Jamie knows Gregory’s traditions, the decades--driven superstitions he indulges every time he closes his office door. In fact, Jamie knows Gregory’s traditions almost too well, for she breathes his work in the same manner he does, if only in a lesser degree. Jamie is more to Gregory than simply his wife, and she is well aware of it. She is the last piece of a highly complex puzzle, the guiding force that keeps him together.

It certainly hasn’t been easy. Jamie is often lonely and has started to consider bringing up the “kid question.” But something always tells her to wait, and the words remain quiet behind the lips that always smile for her husband.

Exemplary of the dedicated wife, Jamie has, in a way, become a second-hand author herself, understanding of all the peculiar writer’s quirks and boundaries. Thus, as she raises her fist to knock on the door once more, she frowns at the taboo. But this is different. Gregory’s latest book, Rapture In Season, is in its fourth reprint. Gregory must go to this signing.

Jamie knocks on the door as the light tapping of a typewriter sounds throughout the house.

copyrighted Aaron Kinte Kuykendall
Writer's Block: The Possession

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Thanks so much to Aaron for allowing us to visit with him this month. This excerpt, from Writer's Block: The Possession is mild...believe me, it is one of the most terrifying books I've enjoyed! LOL I look forward to seeing it in print in the near future!

Aaron, thanks again, for joining me here at Book Reader's Heaven! Click on the title of this article to find and bookmark Aaron's wonderful web site! His first book in the Conspirator's Series has already sold over 150,000... If you haven't read it yet, check it out!