Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Little Island That Could

Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

So the forces that keep our planet in a perpetual state of rebirth did it again. Off the coast of Japan, a new island was born yesterday. Granted, it’s a tiny little thing, but the idea of land, reaching from below the ocean waves, cresting the water’s edge and  rising up toward the sky fascinates me. The concept is not new, one only needs to study the Hawaiian Islands to understand just how powerful island building can be. But for me, I like to get lost in the idea of the new island's growth. How big will it become? Will flora and fauna take hold and make it a lush paradise? Will it remain barren and lifeless because of continued volcanic activity? Will it get washed away from the relentless pounding waves against its tiny, fragile infant shores? I find myself wanting to visit that little speck of land, just to see it in person.

In reality, only time will tell what happens to this little island, but imagination brings a whole host of possibilities. That’s the beauty of taking reality as the basis for your ideas. Mother Nature gives us everything we need and all we will ever have. But it doesn’t have to end there. As a writer I use reality as a spring board, a starting point, and a frame of reference. From there I expand and explore the story, creating a new reality. Each story is different and takes on its own unique set of details, characteristics and flaws. Much like real life the unexpected arises, tragedies and triumphs unfold, and lives are lived, people are loved, lessons are learned, and remembered.

It’s impossible to rewrite the past. However, when writing, you can mold the characters, setting, plot, actions, and whatever else you wish to tell the story. Unbound by the limitations of reality, the only thing needed is to remain true to the reality you create in your new universe. You decide if that tiny infant island grows up to be a colossus like Kilauea or gets pummeled and washed away by relentless tides.

Thanks for reading.
Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's Be Positive

by Douglas Clark

You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. ~Epicurus

When things are their hardest, you really need people around you that are of high quality. Positive, honest, and genuinely caring relationships make life so much easier. Forging relationships with even just one person that sees the positive and virtuous elements in life will lift your spirits and change your perspective on life, your outlook, and your demeanor. I count myself fortunate to know several positive, virtuous people. And to be honest, I’m glad they are in my life for the simple fact that they help me to see things clearly. It is especially true when life and the negativity that sometimes clings to it seem to attack you.

There’s an old saying that goes something like “you know your real friends when things go wrong”, and that’s really true. Those that stick around and help you out when you are feeling low, downtrodden, beaten by life, and sad truly deserved respect and admiration. Not everyone you know will stick with you when life gets rough, even if it isn’t your fault. Drawing on their strength and support is invaluable. And those who have such wonderful people in their lives know what I’m talking about. These people are an inspiration in their own right, even if they don’t believe it or are unaware of just how supportive they are.

I’ve made mistakes in my life and said the wrong thing, but I’ve always tried to communicate as effectively as I could. To me, the ability to really listen to what the other person is saying, but also how they are feeling makes a true difference in understanding their perspective. Now, I have also experienced people that care for nothing but churning the hate and stirring up controversy. The key is avoiding that type of negativity and focusing on the positive. Obviously that is easier said than done, but if you continually steer yourself back toward the positive, you might just find that it becomes a habit.

Adversity is a fact of life. It cannot be avoided, but it can be mitigated. If others you know are more successful, more focused, more motivated, or just happier, look to them for inspiration. Ask them what keeps them so positive and try to emulate their style. At least attempting to change your ways is better than submitting to apathy.

Thanks for reading.
Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNo Update

By Douglas Clark

Hello everyone! I hope your week has gone well. Mine has been full of drama and excitement. I wish I could say all of it was contained in my novel, but alas real life must sometimes intrude on every writer's quest. I did however feel it necessary to give an update on my writing progress during the National Novel Writing Month Contest.

The contest started on November 1st and goes to November 30th. So here's a simple breakdown of how I've been doing.

November 1= 1672
November 2 = 0 (ouch, this really hurt me)
November 3 = 1420
November 4 = 1357
November 5 = 1440
November 6 = 905

Not even a week in and I've fallen almost two days behind. That is not insurmountable, but I need to be more diligent in getting to my quota each day. However, I've decided that I will not sacrifice quality for quantity. I look at this contest as an exercise to help build discipline and consistency, not just to spew word vomit on a page to reach a specific number. The way I see it, even if I reach the 50,000 mark or not at the end, I've already won, because hey, I'm writing another novel. 

I'll give updates every week until the end. Next Thursday's post will be back to my weekly attempt to inspire and motive with tales of everyday life and moments of brilliant inspiration. Until then, keep creating.

Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome.

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...