Lose Your Voice

  As a writer we lose our voice sometimes. How do we get it back? 

Losing your voice is natural. This is normal. For years we take our time to find our voices. We write. We read. We search. We try and find our voice in all manner of places and then, out of the coldness of a dark night, when dreaming and wrestling with the idea of a story, we finally have found it–in that lonesome struggle we’ve found our voice. 

I’ve found my voice. And I write and this voice is good, it’s strong and its wholly my own. 
But there will be a time when you, as a writer, will lose your voice. Where you can’t find what you do value; your ability at expressing your thoughts, your ideas, it’s lost. You still think (obviously). But that voice you have used, the dry wit, the sardonic banter, the serious tone–it has gone. 

Where has it gone?

There’s a cross section, a point that you reach where you’ve changed; where you have grown. Nothing stays the same forever. Your perspective. Your values. Dreams. Goals. Height. Weight. These all change. As you get older so too does your view of the world and you must retire that voice of yours before your strain it to oblivion… It is no longer yours anymore. 

So you lost your voice? 

No. 

You have a new one, but you have to find it first–you have to find the story that would fit best with your new self, that new voice of yours. 

It isn’t writer’s block; you have to take the time to find out what best suits you, what story will help unmask the new voice you have created, that time has helped you create. It isn’t writer’s block, it’s finder’s block; so start searching and start writing. 

Doctor Who: What Show Are You?

Doctor-Who-logo

Doctor Who used to be my favorite show. It used to be something I would look forward to. But I’m not really looking forward to this season. Something happened last season, something that casted the show in a pale light. I miss Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor. I have to keep telling myself that Doctor Who isn’t fixed. It isn’t constant. Like time, Doctor Who will change, be reimagined—and that’s one of the reasons why it has done so well.

But I feel like something has been lost with the series. Something has vanished. The greatest part of the show is that it can literally do anything, go anywhere, be anything. You have all of time and space, all of history, past, present and future:

“All of time and space. Everything that ever was or will be. Where would you like to go?”

But something is missing. The magic to the series has been lost. My favorite part of the show was its positive attitude towards the characters within it. People could be strong. People could prove their worth. And, as Matt Smith’s Doctor always said:

“You’re important…”

“Did you know, that is 900 years time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important before.” 

That’s a strong message. A message that was lost when the new Doctor took over. He doesn’t say things like this anymore. In fact, in the first episode of season 8, he says the opposite. He doesn’t think everyone is important.

Why such a dramatic change?

The head writer, Steven Moffat, is trying to create a darker feel to the series. He wants to bring it back to the days where it was terrifying, when people were on the edge of their seats. But I think this darkness has created a divide—a great gulf between the last Doctor and this Doctor.

I have grown to like the 12th Doctor, don’t get me wrong, but the show has lost its core value. It has lost it’s adventurous, positive spirit—all for a darker, confined show. The universe of Doctor Who has become smaller. And that’s not good.

But I will be watching this season in hopes of finding that spark again. In hopes of seeing the Doctor become something more than a grouchy old man. Doctor Who has always done well at pushing the boundaries of social issues and like all great Science Fiction series and all great art, it tries to put a mirror to it’s audience, to show them who they are and who they can be—I hope it continues to do this, to show people that they are important, that there is more to this world, and more to you and yourself than you could imagine.

To like this show you have to be willing to accept change. You have to understand that the show isn’t just about the 9th Doctor—it’s about the Doctor—and whether he’s played by David Tennant, Matt Smith, William Hartnell, or Peter Capaldi—the show is more than just a single face, more than just 11 faces; it is about acceptance and change.

A Book is “Never” Completed 

“A book is never complete,” the ancient dictum says; a saying that probably stretches all the way back to the great story-tellers of the ages passed. You could see the blind, old Homer, after telling the Iliad to his scribe saying with a deep bassoon like sigh: “A story is never complete.”

But I don’t think that’s right.

Once it is written, once it is told, the story is no longer the author’s; it is the reader’s. A story, it is not complete until it has mingled; until it meets new eyes. A book is completed. It is completed when a reader reads it. When you read it.

The first step to completing a book is to finish writing it. The second is to have someone else read it—someone else experience it. Every book is only half a book. It is only whole when you, with wandering eyes, stumble upon it—when it calls to you and you, resting on your chair; in the waiting room before the doctor’s; or at a friend’s house while they get ready for the night out; when you, before bed, are laying down and reading—that is when it is done—when the book is completed; it is when you read it.

A book needs a soul mate to make it whole. And that soul mate is you. So pick up a book, and feel complete.

There’s nothing like completing a book, especially a long, tedious book with too many pages and too few pictures—a book that uses every space to it’s advantage and to the reader’s disadvantage—so when you hear someone say to you in that all-knowing way some people like to say things in: “A book is never complete;” remember this—because a book is complete when it finds you—and maybe, in some way, for a short time, the book completes you, too.

America: We Can Be Better

  Betsy Ross presenting her flag to Washington

Today is America’s birthday.

We shouldn’t say that we are greater than any other country, but what we can say–what we can ask, is: “Are we better than we were? Will we will be better than we are? Was 1777 better than 1776? Was 2015 better than 2014? What progress have we made in equality, in rights, in our humanitarian efforts?” We should judge this country by the road we’ve taken, the progress we’ve had, from 1776 to 2015. In some ways we’ve progressed, taken steps forward; and in other ways we’ve fallen behind, taken steps backwards.

Not everything we have done has been easy, good, right, or judicious, but not everything we have done has been hard, bad, wrong, or immoral. There have been many strides forward. We are a country, after all, built on the idealism of freedom of belief; and of freedom of choice; and of freedom of being who we want to be–a country built on the idealism that everyone has rights. However, beliefs are not actions and it has taken us a long time to affirm and be true to these idealisms. We have made progress, from the abolishing of slavery, to women’s rights, to legalizing gay marriage. It is true that much of this progress began as wrongs, only righted because we’ve realized our mistakes: slavery should never have been, women should always have had rights, marriage should have always been a right for everyone, whether they’re of the opposite sex or the same sex. Through our own misguided ways, through our ignorance and intolerance, we have found the light, sometimes later, much later than we should have–but through this adversity, these mistakes, we have learned to be better.

This year what we need to learn is to be accepting, be aware that just because of our divided beliefs, just because we, each of us, are different–skin color, gender orientation, religious beliefs–that we are all people, and each of us, man or woman, have equal rights: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It all comes down to the American Dream. The dream of prosperity. But prosperity isn’t a destination, it is the road. And the only way to stay on the road of prosperity is by working together, by being accepting of ourselves and of others–and knowing that we are not all the same (because how dull and boring a world it would be if we were).

So how do we make this country better?

Let us challenge ourselves to be accepting, to be understanding, to daily be good, decent people–knowing that we aren’t just Americans, but people of the world.

We can be better.

We can do better.

Happy Fourth of July!