“A Dinner with Titans” – The Heart of the Matter

In my last post, I talked about my February title, A Dinner with Titans. It’s all a part of the #12Months12Books challenge I’m undertaking. I feel one part inspired, one part insane. And I’m doing my best to stay on the inspired side of things rather than drifting into the insane section of “unachievable goals.”

But, here’s the deal: I’m excited. A Dinner with Titans is a story I’ve been working on for a little over a year, rotating through several drafts, and finally arriving at the one I’m about to let loose. As I’ve stated before, it’s a story about the hearts of people and honestly, I can’t think of a better analogy for the heart than a castle. You’ve got your defenses; you’ve got your high towers of solitude; you’ve got your isolation – the works. But, you’ve also got your beauty, your strength, and your safe haven. All the things that sum up the human experience from a heart perspective.

I’ve tried my best to do the analogy justice. It was no easy task and I’m sure when I read it later, I’ll be wanting to add more. There’s just so much ground to cover and within the context of a single fiction, it’s hard to tackle it all. My main character, “Caretaker,” has to do just that.

However, the big question I’m after is this: what is it about our hearts that make us want to protect and give them away so willingly? That’s where I’m going with this story.

Why and how do make these decisions. Why do we let some people in, but shun others? And how do we deal with the pain when it comes our way. My Caretaker has to make these choices throughout and I’m hoping the reader can relate to each of these in his own way.

 

 

Joy: Friends and Writing

Writers tend to lead a solitary existence (insert crying face).

No secret to anyone who claims to be a writer, but to the ever hopeful and aspiring young scribe, this may come as a harsh truth. Yes, you may need to be with people less if you aspire to be a published author. But, if you’re willing to sacrifice a few social hours for writing hours, you’ll embrace a new understanding of what it takes to be a written warrior. As ridiculous or enlightening as that may sound.

But, what about your social life? How do friends – people you’d hopefully define as “joy-bringers” – how do they fit into your life? Us lonely writers need to seek out friends every now and again, but what about anyone else looking for common ground and a good conversation? Well, we live in an age of identifiable “top 5’s” and “10 reasons to know when…,” but truth is, friendship is literally born out of joy; not fleeting happiness. Here’s some reasons why – from a writer’s perspective, of course:

Friends will build your spirits, not your walls

Hanging around your friends should give you energy, not take it away. Introvert, extrovert – neither distinction really matters. Friends have a unique effect on your psyche and your overall health. And the resulting effect should be a renewed spirit, not a desire to lock yourself away.

Shared experience breeds life

Writers need experience if they are to write about experience. And friends can provide you with this crucial element if you let them. Granted, not all experience can be good, but every experience can be beneficial to a person’s growth in the long run. How does someone deal with heartbreak? By leaning on the shoulder of the one they call “friend” – that’s a start. Or how does someone know what it means to win something together? By winning with someone at your side – that’s how. Despite the circumstances, all experiences can eventually lead to a better outcome. And having a friend by your side is a good way to go about it.

Emotional Intelligence – What’s that?

In the same way you get energy or gain experience, you can also become the recipient of an increased emotional intelligence. What does that even mean? Well, consider how your friends intrigue you. They bring old news and new news with them. It’s not that every moment has to be exciting; however, there’s definitely something about them that’s as comfortable as it is challenging. And having a ‘ying’ to your ‘yang’ is a powerful force when walking life’s journey.

Isolation is not life

I’m not someone who does well with solitary confinement – ironic, considering my line of work. If I’m faced with long periods of alone time, I talk out loud. Just to hear a voice, I’ll talk out loud. Not because I want someone to answer back, but just because I like to know I’m not just trapped inside my head. One of the biggest traps we face today is fighting isolation. For as much as social media has connected us, it’s also distanced our perception of what “life” and community really look like. And no, it’s not about having over 1,000 Facebook friends – it’s having at least one or two people you knowingly can call on to give updates on regular life “status.” You know, real life status. And that’s the opposite of isolation.

It’s also something called joy.