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Creating New Worlds – The Golden Thread

There is something about writing that makes my entire body restlessly ruffled up. Like a feather stuck in the ground, immovable and yet unable to prevent itself from swaying against the billowing wind. Somewhat of an oxymoron isn’t it? Immovable yet swaying? Picture that why don’t you.

Recently I’ve been going through a horrible spat of events that both inspire and dissuade me to write. At times I sit in front of the computer, begin to etch characters into the fabric of a fictional reality and feel goosebumps ooze over my arms as worlds unfold in front of my eyes then suddenly; Nothing. Just nothing. Who ARE these characters? I ask myself. This is followed by a torrent of related questions: where are they headed and why? What is their purpose? What am I trying to get to with this? What is this story actually about? And the conclusion I come to each time is; I have no idea.

Yesterday I touched on a burden of mine that has been troubling me for…well since my conversation, and the desire I have to present God in every aspect of my life including my writing has been my source of inspiration since. I find that without God, life is painfully meaningless and void; we endure life, pain, death, love and all other aspects of humanity in vain. What good is morality if in the end we as dust return to it without consequence;  let the lions endure the pain of regret and the hardship of prison for the death of the zebra. Let them contemplate their purpose in life and lament over their murderous, sinful hearts. Ridiculous isn’t it? Well then ask yourself this question; What is the difference between them and us? Is it our minds? Our ability to talk? Is it because we are highly evolved animals that no longer conform to our bestial nature? No! It is because we are made in the image (likeness) of God (Gen1:26).

Creating New Worlds

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Although there haven’t been any  new posts on this blog for a while, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t written anything good enough that it is worth sharing here. In fact my WordPress “Posts” page has a few unpublished drafts  that I have been working on. Unfortunately they all are missing the Golden Thread that weaves them together, binding them to the crux of my convictions or thoughts; they are hanging on a bare thread that is as brittle as dry twigs.

Thankfully, writing for Gamecca (a Gaming magazine) has helped keep my sword sharp and I do feel less guilty about my lack of publishing any posts. However during this continuous search for the Golden Thread and with all that I have written so far, things have began to roll into place like solving a Rubik’s cube. Previously written stories and currently drafted ideas, pieced together like a well written detective story that has started dotting its i’s and crossing its t’s. I mean this has come together so well that I’m laying out a foundation for a “new” world in which my characters will live, incorporating previously unrelated characters and events into a single environment. Just writing this and the ideas formulating in my mind as to how I’m going to go about it has me intensely excited. I already have a plausible idea for what my Golden Thread will be!

The Golden Thread

sunrise1 What then is the Golden Thread? It is the glue that holds everything together; the cause that drives the hero forward, the intention hidden within the villain, the inspiration that holds the village together. It is the hinge on which everything hangs; without it, all becomes naught. Love may be the Golden Thread of a romantic novel but who is the author of love? Where does the conviction that drives the actions of the “good guy” stem from? Morality? Good works? Love? Justice? Righteousness? Vengeance? Anger? They all stem from one Being who displays all these characteristics perfectly and without sin!

Where does all this lead me? Well keep on visiting the blog and you shall find out! In the mean time, may you have a glorious time worshipping the One true God…Who is One in Three persons.

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Junk Yard Angel

JunkYard Angel: courtesy of Jason Chan: www.jasonchanart.com

JunkYard Angel: courtesy of Jason Chan: http://www.jasonchanart.com

The Outer Edges

A dreary, grey sky draped over the metallic hulks that lined the outer edges of Chatarra City. Dark looming shapes that etched the sky in jagged patterns; husks of old cars, machinery and all things scrap. I stood outside the junk yard,  in front of its rusted entrance gate that was now nothing more than a bent frame. I let out a puff of smoke from the cigarette between my lips, watching the tendrils of smoke dissipate into the air.

Cool. Calm. Collected.

I let the words play over in my mind as I walked into the yard, aware of the silence that emanated within the compound. No junk yard dogs. No junk yard owner yelling inquisitions at me. Just the silence of rusted metal. I walked through the alleyways of the compound, looking at the familiar junk piled together haphazardly. Apart from the nervousness caused by the eerie silence, there was a rising belligerence from irritation; this isn’t what I wanted. With one final puff of smoke I threw the stub of my smoke  down and crushed it with the heel of my shoe.

Cool. Calm. Collected.

Why I was here was simple.  I’m an inventor of sorts. I love to tinker with all kinds of machinery; building contraptions and gizmos. A rather fulfilling and exciting hobby I took up at a young age, when I realized that banking wasn’t for me like it was for my dad. No. I found my joy in dismantling toys, calculators, toasters and radios, and once, my dad’s old computer. It sure didn’t end well but it awoke in me a desire for more. Not merely dismantling…but building from scratch.

I frequented junk yards from then on. Collecting all kinds of scrap metal and mechanical components to the point where my backyard became a scrap heap in itself; but I was never satisfied. I then started to travel from city to city, junk yard to junk yard, searching and never satisfied, until finally I found myself in a dilapidated, smoke hazed bar, drowning my dissatisfaction in warm draughts of cheap beer. My companion, whose name I could not recall nor where I’d met him, endured my ceaseless babble with nods and grunts and the occasional “sure”. We sat across from one another on creaky wooden chairs, the bright yellow globes overhead illuminating my companion’s dark wiry hair and thin somber face.  I loathed the look of pity engraved on his face but I endured it as he endured me.

It was as I ordered my next round of warm ale that my companion shooed the attendant away and dragged me up to my feet, pulling me away from the smoke filled room towards the back of the bar. He dragged more than led me out the back door before shoving me out into the cool night. I landed onto the dusty ground on my back, drunkenness rendering me incapacitated.

“I know what you seek…I know where you can find it” He said to me in a thick Spanish accent. From his flannel shirt pocket he pulled out a thinly rolled cigar and from the back pocket of his faded jeans he pulled out a lighter.

“There is a place…in the Outer Edges” he began to say, as he placed his cigar in his mouth, “it is a quiet place…a secret place” He flicked the top of the lighter with his thumb, producing an orange flame that cast an unnatural glow across his face. His eyes flickered with the flame and I felt a chill crawl up my spine.

“This place is…different” he continued, taking a drag from the cigar before blowing a plume of smoke up at the purple sky “…Chatarra City…it is not like the other cities…but no city in the Outer Edges ever is huh?” He chuckled softly to himself.

“…it is there where you will find what you are looking for. It has everything that you could possibly look for. A haven for people like you.”

He looked down at me, giving me a wry smile before turning around and disappearing through the door, heading back into the bar and leaving me to sober up outside. With set mind I headed out towards Chatarra City, hoping that I would finally find what I was looking for.

Now here I was, disappointment and dull anger vying for my emotions as I perused through the familiar junk. There was nothing special about this place; it was like every other scrap heap I’d wasted my time and energy on. I grabbed a loose piece of metal, anger overpowering every other emotion and diverting all of that energy towards my arm.

Cool. Calm. Collec

With a thrust, I bashed the metal husks in front of me. Then again. And again. And again. Still in my fit of rage, I turned around and hurled the rod across the yard as hard as I could.

She caught it.

“Are you calmed down now?” She asked. Her voice drifted across towards me, sinking into my head and echoing melodiously. She nonchalantly pushed the fringing tresses of her white hair behind her ear.

“Who are you?” The words rolled off my tongue yet I was sure I hadn’t said a thing. I could still feel a dull anger radiating through my twitching arm as she walked towards me, the metal pipe in her hand swinging lazily.

“Does it matter?” She asked. I shrugged. She shrugged back, mocking me. With a light chuckle ,she flitted about around me, bouncing on her toes with nails painted black. Her white hair flowed more than bounced with each skip she took, the cuffs of her grey sweat pants dragging across the floor. She smiled a devious smile, standing on the tips of her toes, holding the metal rod out towards me.

“Grab hold” she whispered. I tentatively reached out, grabbing hold of the steel rod. It was cool to the touch, tingling on the nerves; electrifying.

“I know what you seek…I know where you can find it…” she breathed. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end under her mischievous yet ethereal gaze; her eyes were gleaming dark orbs that pulled at me.

“This is the place…here on the Outer Edges. It is here where you will find what you are looking for…” The familiarity of her words struck a cord inside my mind, yet I could not pinpoint where exactly I’d heard them.

“…everything that you could possibly look for…”

Wait!… At the bar! My mind began to piece together the pieces. I tried to say something, but my voice died in my throat, coming out as nothing more than a raspy murmur.

” A haven… for people like you.” She grinned a devilish grin, pulling the metal rod out of my hands in a deliberate fashion. I stood transfixed as I was, watching a brilliant light emanate from behind her dark eyes. A whirring sound filled my ears as the rod slid out of my paralyzed hand.

“You are not hu…”

“No” She interjected, crackling mechanically while raising the metal bar above her head.

“And neither will you be” with a deft flick, she struck me across head. The pain shot through the side of my head, lodged itself right between my eyes in a searing hot flash. The world rotated.

Darkness.

************************************************

Thus begins my journey into a new genre, something different from the normal stuff I write. Sci-fi? Steam Punk? A combination of both? I’m not sure yet but the idea looping itself inside my mind sounds fun. If you have any ideas, see any loop holes or spot something I missed please let me know, comment and stuff I would really appreciate it!

Officially part of the Team

So I am officially writing for Gamecca, which is an amazing online gaming magazine. It was first published in July 2009 and has been going strong since. The editor, Walt Pretorious has been in the magazine industry for a long time and has been referred to as an “industry veteran”, and he was the man to offer me this grand opportunity. Thanks Walt! I feel very privileged to have become part of the team but this couldn’t have happened had it not been for one other integral player in this saga.

Somehow I found myself on the JHBGamers website a while ago as they were affiliated…somehow…to a company that was promoting the launch event of Prototype 2. I found myself at the event and enjoyed an evening of free food, drinks and gaming! I then made a point to add JHBGamers to my Facebook likes (as well as a bookmark on my web browser) and checked regularly for similar events. It took a long time but eventually the Resident Evil Launch Event was promoted with a chance to win a double ticket to the event by way of commenting how big of a Resident Evil fan I was. I of course entered immediately with the following post:

” The stench of flesh hung in the air, unmistakable, even under the cloud of dark smoke from the burning vehicle I’d just crawled out of. The last thing I wanted was to lose my only mode of transportation, let alone have an infested wound crawling up my leg like a dying spider… and yet there was a calm that reverberated through me, putting me in a state of tranquility. I wasn’t sure if it was the virus numbing my senses and hiding my pain and panic behind the delectable smell of flesh or I was in a state of severe shock… or hunger; either way, I knew I had to make it to the Launch Event. Not for the possibility of fresh meat..of course not…no…not at all…but for the thrill of putting my *dying* hands on a controller and sate the desire that the RE6 demo left on my *remaining* brain. Years of playing the game, from that first Resident Evil I laid my hands on – Nemesis – to the excitement of seeing that visual realization brought by the famous Mila Jovovich…ah joy. I must go…must go…must…”

Well that got me a ticket and next thing I know I’m driving to the Microsoft office building with much excitement and anticipation, wondering what was in store for me. Unfortunately I was unable to procure a “Plus one” to this event but that proved vital in my meeting of two brothers; Andrew and Kyle. They introduced themselves to me and became familiar faces in unfamiliar territory. It was these two brothers that also led to my meeting with Walt and the proposal to write for him was made. To be honest I did not think I had what it took to be a Game Reviewer and even with his prompting, I did not send an e-mail to find out more about this offer. It was, however, after I won another double ticket to the rAge Expo courtesy of JHBGamers (these guys are amazing!) that I again met Walt and he again suggested I send him a mail and that was when I thought “Why not” and sent it through. Now here I am, with an amazing opportunity at my hands and I intend to use it!

This post would be incomplete without giving credit where credit is due and of course all of this would not have been possible had it not been for the most integral part to any event that occurs in anybody’s life, and that is God. Indeed it is by His grace that all happened as it did and therefore I give all credit and glory to Him. The Sovereign One! Praise be to You, LORD, for Your provision.

The Challenge!

The Challenge

One of the  great things about knowing other writers, is that when they find something interesting, they send it along to inspire and challenge you. So I want to use this opening paragraph to thank you, Dani, from Of Readers and Writers – http://scribbable.blogspot.com/ – for introducing me to this community of writers, that is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month  http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/dashboard – without you, I may have stumbled late…maybe never…across this website and not become aware of this very interesting challenge they have.

I received an e-mail from the aforementioned website NaNoWriMo, with tantalizing details regarding a writers competition with a fantastic outcome for the winner. The details are:

[ They’ve (Intel, W Hotels, and Vice) also invited Wrimos (those who are part of the NaNoWriMo community) to submit up to ten pages of a script or story by August 30 in a short film series and competition entitled “Four Stories”.  The four winning stories will be filmed by the esteemed Roman Coppola. The contest poses the kind of challenge only Wrimos can tackle with their spirited imaginations: each story has to be set in a W Hotel and feature an Ultrabook computer as a key character. ]

 Progress

Today is the 15th and therefore I have fifteen days to write a ten page story that involves a W Hotel as well as feature an Intel Ultrabook computer as a key character and all I have to say is “Bring it on!” My mind has been abuzz so of course I have already started writing and the story is progressing in a direction that I did not anticipate. The possibilities are just endless! Whooo so excited!

In order to make sure I reach this goal, I am making this Public announcement that I will write and finish the story and also I will post another update next week on the 22nd working towards a finished draft at the least. I will also post a copy of the final work here on my blog so that you can read it and let me know what you think.

As I write this, I have to remember that my glory should be the last reason for doing this challenge and that God should most definitely be first. One of my favourite Proverbs comes to mind:

Proverbs 16:9 – The mind of a man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

May He indeed direct my steps in the right direction.

Rajat Narula

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