The Golden Sands

We just pre-released our latest poetry book “The Golden Sands” to friends and writer colleagues for initial reviews and feedback!

Please contact us if you’d like to receive an exclusive (and free) beta-version on PDF now.

From the blurb: “The Golden Sands is a journey through seven worlds, symbolic of life’s struggles, virtues and timeless challenges.

As the story and poems proceed, the main person discovers new things about himself and the world, and grows as a person, getting closer to what he sees as his final goal – the distant mountain top.

A modern Odyssey of the deeper life within us.”

 

Here are the opening poems:

APPROACH

the blinking seas
of deep blue
and shimmers
of sunshine

a hat
light shirt
arm resting
on the chair
a mild breeze

islands
gliding
along the horizon
in timeless beauty
and peace

a touch
a smile
in silence

slowly emerging
the splendor
of paradise
and the
beach
of golden
sands

 

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Missing the writings..

Summer is almost into August, and we miss the writings..

After a super productive spring with two short novels (150-160 pages) and a poetry book, there has been a long break now. Partly because of the bright and energetic days, but also to absorb the feedback and new professional contact with Brooklyn.

We wrote three short pieces/moments in June for submission to a magazine, but we long for more.

As soon as the darkness falls earlier, the muses will return.

Summer Readings

Enjoying the summer holidays in beautiful nature surroundings we’ve embarked on an old classic – “War & Peace” by Tolstoy! A bit confusing at first, but then with some sparkling passages and interesting philosophical conversations. And some truly stunning and poetic scenes with Napoleon on the battle field.

Currently at page 495 – middle of book II.

Italy-book finished!

Four weeks, and we have about 150 pages!

It’s been a fantastic journey through the 18 hundreds and the two old friends, the artist and the family father, and their friendship since boyhood and long into old age.

We ended up with three distinct parts, first with their 30s and 40s as a period of a young adult life with a growing family and authorship, and then about a decade with the artist/writer in Venice, and the family man/adventurer in America. In the last part they’re back in their home town, in a more sunny and tranquil part of their lives, but still full of life and energy.

We’ll let the finished draft rest now for a few weeks, the edit and revise.

Immediate thoughts about the project:

The Venice part is one of the most pleasant we’ve written, ever. Pure bliss, beauty, and a more visual and auditive part of the book. Experimenting with similes of sounds, and the repeating theme of a string quartet in part to symbolize the timelessness of music, and to some extent life in older, beautiful cities.

The old part of their lives ended up a lot more bright and energetic than planned. In the opening of the book, when they meet each other in a square as eighty year olds, it might seem like their life is “over” and they are only reminiscing a lived life, but in the last chapter, the framing has changed. This is one of the beauties of the writing process. After 150 pages you know their story and have lived through their lives, and know the people in your book a lot better. And the adjusted ending leaves the book on more of a high note.

Having a backdrop of real history is both a great help for a natural progression and drive in the book, but it could be tricky to find the right balance. In this case there is a gradual argument that the good life is more in the world that you create for yourself, as time goes on. Exemplified in this book as an artist’s life work, or a family man with his children and grand children.

Some chapters are more artistic than others. Sometimes there are things to be explained and described for the progress of the story, other chapters become pure poetic bubbles for their own value, but also to illustrate contrasts in life.

More thoughts later, thanks for reading!

:))

First chap done.

Another 1200 words today – as the morning session ended, and the first chapter draft is finished.

With the added dimension of the streams of culture, literaure and history in a country, effecting the lifetimes of the two old friends, many things are falling into place by themselves. One can alternate between the close and the big view of things.

As a bonus, one can also examine one’s own writing as a writer at the same time. The ideas and concepts, and the creativity, will to some extent always be part of or perhaps contrast some bigger movements in our current times. And some of these reflections will be channeled through the thinking of one of the two friends in the book, as his creative life unfolds in his early thirties.

Updates

It’s been a few weeks since the last post, filled with more great inputs and feedback on the novel draft for “Twelve Months” and a little poetry project with working title “The Odyssey”.

We also have a little start on a new novel draft, more of the unplanned “grower” type of a book with very little frame and planning, where every day of writing is a little journey of discovery as we take one paragraph or page at a time.

So far the frame is two old men sitting down on a bench in a piazza on a beautiful autumn morning, about to have a very long chat about life. One is the open outward “living life” type, and the other one is a thoughtful and sensitive man who has lived a life and experienced life perhaps more inside of himself than what is actually happening around him.

With this super tiny frame, we can talk about everything in the world and every topic conceivable spread out over the life time of two people, filled with little stories and thoughts, and using both the joyful outward perspective or the introverted nuanced inner world experience. And everything in between.

We’ll try to work some more on the two old men story next week, but how the dynamics and contrasts will play out is too early to tell. Maybe there will be a recurring point about how different people are, maybe the person with the endlessly rich inner life will be portrayed as the more interesting one (it will likely be the most interesting to write, anyhow), or maybe the friendship and dynamics between the two will be a leading theme. It will find its shape and grow, chapter to chapter.

Sentences.

While waiting for more feedback on the novel draft we did a little exercise today, trying to use three different styles on the same substance. A couple is entering an adventure on an island. First short, then medium, then (very) long sentences:

Short ones.

He looked. Fresh water. The boat gliding. He saw the islands.
“Look.” he said.
She turned around. In the deck chair.
There, far ahead. They were getting closer.
“I love you.” she whispered.
A slight breeze passed.
The beach was appearing. Slowly.
They both smiled.
It was about to begin.

Then medium:

As they entered the beach, they could feel the soft and golden sands under their feet. He felt an incredible joy inside. Finally they were here, and the adventure could begin.
He looked at her, as she had closed her eyes and turned her head up towards the skies. She was adjusting and absorbing the air and the feeling of the island. All around them was blinking seas with shimmers of sunlight. And in the middle of the island they could see a distant mountain top.
Around the beach in a half open circle, there were big palms with coconuts. They both felt like they were entering a new world. “This is it,” he smiled to her. “We finally made it.”

Then long ones:

For him there was a subtle feeling of the sand grains on the beach carefully amassing in little formations underneath his feet, that was like a little stroke of a landscape taking shape in the earlier stages of the continents in their infancy and the early fragile years on the planet, at first untouched but slowly and through the forces of nature gradually being molded into their kaleidoscope of terrains and scars after movements and fractures, and then with the passing of times and shifting climates of deep frost, intense heat, the growth of green nature onto the surfaces, until one day seeing the grace of a tiny flower in yellow and pink, blossoming under the sun.
He turned around and smiled at her. She looked back with her eyes shimmering like the seas around them, softly and loving. She then looked down at her feet, and at the golden sands with some new footsteps in them behind her, the markings of a new arrival that would soon be vanished by the winds, as an instant that never seemed to have happened in the long remembrance of the beach, with no deeper impressions but merely just a fleeting touch, and then a soft wind of oblivion and nothingness.
“I’ve dreamt about this,” she said slowly with a voice of contrast and expectation, as the scene of the beach as an element of her imagination and now the reality of the senses were merging into one single sensation of experience, and one of a growing delight and sensitivity that soon would disentangle a withdrawn tension within her, and liberate a new feeling of awareness of the lightness around her.

..

Reflections: It’s very hard to compare such different styles in terms of reading. In part it would be a stylistic choice of the writer, and maybe the style should follow the content, or the mood. But somehow in the longer term, the longer sentences might be more interesting to read several times, as they contain so much more depth, feeling and emotion, and reflection, and hidden substance in the layers of the language. But it is very demanding to read.

As for writing, the longer ones takes so much more time, and energy. The quicker ones are more exciting. And maybe the medium ones are the practical choice to tell a story with some deeper parts to it, but keeping a certain momentum.

But still, it’s probably just the long ones.. that bears repeating many times, and still gives a new experience.