Poem 4: Dickensian Wounds

These delicate wounds have humbled me.

They’ve made me stand, so proud and keen.

All those fears you told me to frame

inside my meek heart

have broken down inside of each beat.

 

These steady delusions that I’ve stumbled upon

have made me fight a mirror of mirages.

There’s a weeping rush of broken sweat

that emanates from what was once

a blistering doubt.

 

I’m no longer the striking erosion you

thought I’d become,

an acute sensation of what they

all thought was to come.

Lying here,

with hopes and dreams

and still beliefs

is a future that you had once believed.

 

These mounting murmurs that come from your mouths

will falter freely with every lost journey that you took.

You can’t reproach me anymore,

nothing will stop me now.

 

These final days I’ll stand by you

our hands clasped

together

one wound to another.

 

 

Poem 3: Charlottenburg 1986

Do you remember the days when we were friends…

 

when that fertile field felt funny under my feet

with stones that ricocheted razor-sharp

against the pillars of Reichstag and grazed

against my swollen back.

 

New napalmed Nazi signs blazed

and branded onto the timid tender

arms of you, a Catholic girl that shaded and shifted your

arms with pulsing childlike blended skin.

 

Chilling and chastising accounts of open canopies

marred the city’s blooming clouds that were

floating over the crafty graffiti on the wall and

floating by a breeze that blazed over the rumbling S-Bahn.

 

Your hasty heaving screams pierced near my body

blocking my bloodshot bursting eyes

shifted once by the steel-glazed guns and

shifted by broken daisies left dangling and deserted.

 

For now, you and I will still remain under close watch

under their piercing, tranquil stares

praying that the gloom of the city will swallow us

praying that the memories of our mind will vanish

forever.

 

Unless otherwise noted, everything on this website, including all text, photos, and recipes, are copyrighted (c) by the author himself.

Flash Fiction: The Encounter

The boy looked down into the water, his eyes fixing onto the large gray boulder-shaped object at the bottom of the lake.  He didn’t want to believe that it could be him.  It was impossible.  Hadn’t he just spoken with him twenty minutes ago at the guiding posts by the entrance of the park?  He remembered….he had taken hold of the leather jacket as he had brushed by him and for a minute, their eyes had met and a sense of an awkward feeling had kicked in – his heart beating rapidly as a past memory flashed in his mind.

“Wait!” the boy had called out.

The man in the leather jacket had disappeared, though.  Among the throng of all these people, he would be hard to spot again.  I am not running, the boy thought to himself.  But what if….

“No, forget it,” he said to himself.

He quickly put the thought out of his mind and continued walking, hands in his pocket.  He saw other kids his age, some running towards the water spouts in the middle of the park.  He could see the joy on the faces of these kids, a sensation he had been missing for years, but one he was hoping would be reborn again soon.  Some of the parents were laughing with others, marveling at the  bliss of the summer day’s thrills.

He could see the paint on some of the kids’ faces, visages of tigers and rabbits, superheroes and supervillains.  In the midst of all the masked expressions, the boy saw one that was darker than the others, bones and skulls painted on his cheeks and forehead, a look that frightened him.  Behind it, their eyes locked again.  This time, the boy ran after the man.  Scampering as quick as possible, he tried to keep up with the man’s elongated strides.

“Stop!” the boy shouted.  But the man kept moving forward, swiftly zig-zagging around the crowds.  Many people began to move to the side, their eyes fastened onto the scene in front of them.  Some were quickly pulling their children close to their bodies, embracing them from the dangerous peril in front of their eyes.

The boy was growing tired – he could feel it.  Soon, the man would once again be free.  With his breathing struggling to open up, the boy stopped.  He heard murmurs growing from the left side of him and saw a crowd beginning to gather.  The boy stared over and wondered what was hidden beyond the wall of the onlookers.  Slowly, he gathered himself and walked over.  He brushed people slightly apart, his heart beginning to rise in beats.

The crowd’s eyes followed him as he slowly made his way towards the bank of the lake, a leather jacket sitting on top.  An awkward silence followed the sounds of the waves of the lake hitting the embankment.  The boy’s eyes looked down.  The boy’s eyes rested on his father’s facial features, ignoring the harpoon that had struck the shark that suffocated the man to his final resting place in the depths of the shallow water.

(Today’s story was based on the Daily Prompt:  Click Here! )

 

Poem 1: Paranoia

Eyes redact from all corners

descending upon my clammy hands.

 

Shadows emerge

from their shells

shallow under my feet

swallowing my body

swift and stern

my body shifts

shaking

side to side, frolicking

and rocking

a tormented fray

inside the cocoon of the corpse.

 

Salient stripes and strings

of black on white

their soft reaches on

my slow groans

begin to grow.

 

My legs are cracking

from underneath.

 

My head is lifting

from grainy spurts

that lose their flow.

 

Visions trickle around my mind,

whispering whines that finally

arise from inside this

walled wearing willow of my worries.

Writing with a Tide

waves

When some people describe life, they go with the old cliché of life being a roller coaster ride or in many cases “like a tidal wave”.  A tide is described aptly as “a rising and falling in sea level”.  And for most of us, that’s how life really is.  I can recall many times in my own life where a bad moment in my life is immediately followed by a good moment, where tragedy is triumphed by hope and jubilation.  Plots in writing take the same form and is probably why we can use another cliché in “art imitates life”.

If you take a classic film like 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, the plot point shifts quickly from good to bad to good to bad.  Dorothy is at home on her farm in Kansas, bemoaning the fact that Mrs. Gulch is a mean-spirited witch that angers her and her dog, Toto.  Like most teenagers, the world is falling apart around them and all they look for is some attention and appreciation.  And so, Dorothy decides to run away.  Then, the weather changes from dreary to stormy and a tornado leads to Dorothy’s bedroom window ripping apart and knocking her silly.

This is where the tide of the film and the plot (and if Dorothy Gale was a real person, also her life) changes.  The world around Dorothy becomes more enhanced with jolly munchkins, beautiful witches, and a sparkling yellow brick road.  (On a side note, does anyone ever wonder what the RED brick road next to it led to?  I always thought that it would have been cool to let the viewer decide which road she takes and have the movie split in two depending on….you know what…it’s 1939…never you mind that…)  Moving on, for a few minutes, there’s a happy song with munchkins celebrating the death of the “Wicked Witch of the East” until her sister shows up and warns Dorothy that she’s coming for her.

oz

 

One of the things I always notice in the film is that the mood is mimicked by the setting.  When the film starts, the skies become darker and when Dorothy is “somewhere over the rainbow”, the colorful scene also brings out joy and happiness.  There’s a vivacious feeling when Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow, but it gets darker and windier as they meet the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.  All this goes along with the plot shifting up and down, from light to dark moments.

Plot points in writing and scripts should take the same form, in my eyes, leaving the audience always guessing what’s going to happen next.  Are we supposed to feel happy, sad, anguished, shocked?  When the main characters achieve triumph, we achieve it with them and when they feel at their lowest point, so do we.

In my own writing, I always try to give the audience a sense of the lowest points of each character’s life and a struggle to maintain a normal journey.  Just like us, the characters I portray go through heartbreak, loss, and affliction, but they’re balanced with triumph and a sense of a road that will lead to optimism in their future.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy needed a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Lion to complete her journey.  She needed to gain knowledge, a heart and a loss of her own fear to keep her on a journey of hope and so that she could hopefully return home.

“Tidal” writing is what allows the audience to identify with each character.  If each character goes through their own ups and downs, the audience will identify with them as well.  Plot structure and characterization leads to realism and allows audience expectations to rise and fall with the characters.  And that’s where the writer’s next journey begins.

detector

What other films or books illustrate “tidal writing”?  Have you used it in your writing as well?  Reach out and comment on what you think.  For more on the daily prompt, visit here: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tide/.

On TV and Writing

Placeholder Image

I recently read a post on TV writing that allowed me to think about whether writing a TV pilot is the right medium or not for my next writing project. (You can read the post here).  A few minutes later, someone emailed me asking if I wanted to partner up on a teleplay and all of a sudden all the stars aligned.  Here are the questions I asked myself before I decided whether to make it a screenplay or a TV script.

Has it been done before?

The answer as far as movies go was definitely a “yes”.  There have been plays on it, movies on it and even foreign films.  For me, I didn’t want to go down the road of making another film, but I saw it as a great vehicle for a streaming service, like Netflix or Hulu, that can push out 13 episodes at once.  If I had decided to go down a screenplay route, I could see it as being unoriginal and honestly, I may have been bored writing it.

How long is the story?

I needed to decide whether the story could be told in a 2 hour movie or a television medium and the answer was both, but the way I envisioned it being told would have been better as a TV show.  With TV shows, you get to know the characters more:   their past, their emotions, their whole demeanor.  You wouldn’t be able to do that with a movie.

Does it have the potential to be multiple seasons?

While I could see it going more than one season, I could also see it being just one season as a limited series.  I actually don’t mind whether it’s a one season deal because the story is fairly self-contained.

Would it have a good cast?

Not that it really matters, but having a shortened 13 episode season would really allow for some actors to have the ability to come out and sign up, but I am not a casting agent or director.  That’s not up to me and to be honest, many TV shows make stars out of a whole new list of actors and/or actresses (see:  Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why).  The cast isn’t a writer’s job…so asking this question to myself really didn’t have much of a point.

The point is…I had to weigh the pros and cons of both.  In the end, I like being challenged and this will definitely challenge me to write a good script for a medium that I’ve never tried before.  The article I liked above definitely asks me to go outside my comfort zone and I really truly am doing that here.  Writing has always been a passion for me and I have been doing it all my life.  Now I get to take on a whole new journey.

THE DREAMER

About 2 years ago, I found myself rummaging through old school papers that included report cards, school pictures, essays I wrote, journals, diaries, newspaper clippings, etc and remember some of the comments my fourth grade teacher made.  Apparently, I looked out the window too much.  Apparently, I was a day dreamer.  Apparently, I had no affinity for any kind of education and if I didn’t improve my conduct I would be held back.

Now I take issue with one thing.  It’s not true that I didn’t care about schooling – I actually loved math and spelling.  I loved things that made me think.  I was usually the first one to turn in the timed multiplication tables and I had an abundance of spelling stickers (which were probably the inspiration for emojis – happy smiley faces!  Stars!  Fireworks!).  For some reason, my teacher thought there was no hope for me.  That wasn’t true at all.

The one thing that was true was that I did dream…a lot!  Even my mother would always laugh at how many different thoughts came into my head.  From wanting to host game shows to stage acting to becoming a police officer to even riding around in a garbage truck, I always seemed to want to have a different dream.

Today, I am no different.  I still dream.  I want to travel the world.  I want to write a book.  I want to write programs for a children’s hospital.  I want to solve a murder case.  I want my kids to look at me as some kind of fantastic superhero.  And that’s why I am here…to share not just my future, but so that others can go along with me as I ride my journey to one (or two…or better yet…multiple) dreams.  And maybe others can be inspired by this journey I am taking.

That’s why I am here…but I should probably introduce myself now, so people understand also who I am.  My name is Mo Anand and I was born in Berlin, Germany.  I lived in Germany for nine years before moving to Michigan.  Michigan has been my home for 30 years now.  I am married to my wife, Rachel and we have four wonderful children, Benjamin, Oliver, Charlie, and Annika.  I am a Christian and I currently work in several different fields:  transportation, health care and education.

As far as my future goes, I have several goals in mind.  Within the year, I want to earn more than the $55,000 I am making now.  I want to learn how to program in Java.  I want to write a TV script pilot.  I want to re-learn German and Spanish.  I want to read a whole slew of Dickens novels.  There’s a lot I want to accomplish.  But that’s me….the dreamer still lives in me.