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In Today’s episode I’ll be answering three questions I have been asked most often since publishing the first novel in 2019. Hard to believe that it’s almost been four years! Time is relative to one’s state of mind I guess. Think I can safely say the past three years have been a bit crazy to say the least. But we are still here and it is up to us to find out why.
My current why, is this very podcast, so let’s jump in and Go Further Together.
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The first question, and most common among the three, is What does Bleace Mean?
Potential energy stored inside the chemical makeup of every living creature in the universe, that, once recognized and harnessed, can be kinetically unleashed through passionately positive creative acts that do not directly or indirectly harm others.
i.e. Writing, Photography, Painting, Directing, Acting, Designing, Cooking or being a Flaneur.
Ex. After the boy learned to harness his Bleace he was able to unleash it through writing.
That’s the definition I came up with. Time on the free-floating planet of Consumptia is in reference to the fact that the planet floats through the x,y, and z planes in space.
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The second most common question I am asked, where did you get the idea for Bleace?
As far as where I came up with the idea for Bleace, is a night I will always remember.
I can still remember that dream in the middle of the night back in 2009. I woke up sweating profusely and breathing heavy. At the time I kept a little yellow notepad next to my bed, so that I could write down any dreams I remembered. This night, the word, Bleace came to me from some otherworldly place. Like it was transmitted to me from another dimension.
That is why I stress so much to other artists the importance of sleep. As you are consciously thinking, so too is your unconscious self. As you are working out problems with your story, as the story is developing, dreams and your subconscious, can see the story as well, feel it in different ways.
I still have that yellow sheet of notebook paper of when I first wrote down the word Bleace. Frantically writing in the middle of the night.
All the poems I had been writing were starting to take the shape of characters, and scenes.
Yes, a free-floating planet, that runs into other planets. There is this huge mass floating through space with a wide variety of creatures living on it.
Leading up to this dream, I had become obsessed with learning, which was something rather new. In high school I had rebelled against school and had no intention of going to college. But the more I started to read, and the more words I started to study.
Now with this dream of Bleace, coming to me in my sleep, I knew I had to do something. The year before, I had graduated from high school in 2008, ranking 82nd out of 88 students. I had to take summer classes to receive my diploma. Now, it wasn’t because I was lacking intelligence, I was lacking motivation and a willingness to apply myself. I don’t remember doing any homework in high school at all, I wanted nothing to do with it. If someone told me to do something, even if it sounded fun, or something I would actually like, I would rebel against it out of spite.
Oh, how life, smacked me right in the mouth after going on my own. After high school, I packed up my car and drove down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Renting a room from my Uncle who had a house down there.
My first job was at a cemetery. Working in the hot Florida sun, doing over a 1,000 funerals in the year that I worked there. Most of the funerals were in Spanish or Haitian, so I didn’t understand what they were saying, but sadness and that stinging pain of loss transcends language.
Some of the funerals were hard to do, especially the ones with the little casket, where a little boy had fallen into a pool and drowned. Just 3 years old. I will never forget that funeral, was the only one I actually teared up at. Watching the grief of the parents, only taking 2 of us to life the casket and put it in the mausoleum. Sealing up the hole with caulk.
I don’t know why but I pictured my self as a three year old. The house I was living in at the time had a pool, so I had dreams of myself at 3 years old falling into that pool.
That white casket still occupies my mind to this day. I wrote about some of these experiences in the book as Orbie works at the cemetery in the beginning of the first book, Bleace.
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The story of having to take a dead body out of the casket to be cremated so that her husband could then use the same casket was a real story. To my surprise, this kind of arrangement happened all the time as funerals are that expensive, and getting more expensive each and every year. It’s the only property that goes up in value no matter what, like the owner says, people are just dying to get into the cemetery.
Working at this job, really put a lot of things into perspective, about life in general, but also, what my life could be like if I didn’t have any drive to do more with myself. After a year, I got into some trouble at the cemetery and started to get frustrated with the lack of pay, plus I was rebelling against the house rules my uncle had set.
So I once again, packed up my car and left. I packed up my car, which at the time was a little red 1989 Toyota Corolla and moved to Atlanta. I worked at a UPS store, and then at a Kroger, a popular grocery store in Atlanta, where I worked at the meat and seafood department. I can still smell the rotting fish from the meat and seafood department. I, to this day cannot bring myself to eat scallops. The stench when they go bad is rancid. This is where I was working when I had the dream of Bleace.
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Then the want to go back to school. I started looking around and realized I wanted to go back to Florida to pursuit a degree. At the time, what had really peaked my interest was criminal psychology. I was really doing a deep dive into the minds of the most sinister people ever written about. It was really intriguing and I felt like there was so much that we could learn from them. I never believed in the death penalty and now research shows that the death penalty really isn’t a deterrent as many believe it is, in regards to crime.
I feel like there is something to be learned from every single person on this planet. Even when someone does something heinous, people in their emotional state want that person killed. But is killing them going to bring back those he killed? Or could we keep him alive and continue to interview him and learn more about his behavior and why he chose to do that act so hopefully we can make a change to our environment so that it doesn’t cause this thing to happen again.
So, once again, I packed up my car and drove back down to Florida, and enrolled at Broward College, where I earn my associate’s degree in Psychology. Then transferred to Florida Atlantic University, where I at first thought about going for my bachelor’s in psychology, but didn’t like how scientific the classes were, I was more into psychology for the writing.
I did some self reflecting and realized why I was so into psychology in the first place. It was a great resource for writing material, and a tool for analyzing the world and people around me. So I changed my major to Multimedia Film and Video, as this went to the heart of why I went to school in the first place. To follow my Bleace. To bring these characters I started writing in 2009 after that profound dream I had, to life.
This theme of relentlessly pursuing Bleace, would continue for the next 11 years as I wrote the first two novels. Every character in Bleace, is a part of me, and only a part, they have a life of their own, and I feel it’s my job as a creator to respect them of their individuality, I feel like the inspiration that comes from dreams would be the rawest most unique parts of the story.
Moments when a situation in the story would happen and I would get writers block as to what would happen next. Sometimes I would go in one direction, then have the situation literally come into my dreams and take the story in a different direction, like no Orbie would react this way, Myra would act this way in the situation as she is in a place she had never been in before. It is also in this way, why I became so attached to my characters over the years. They were not only apart of my conscious waking self, occupying my thoughts throughout the day, but they were in my dreams as well.
The third questions that I am asked a lot, What’s Bleace about?
Such a hard question to answer. I did my best when writing the two sentence summaries. The hardest two sentences I had to write for either novel.
On the free-floating planet of Consumptia, where the currency is flesh and everyone is high on Zerk, Orbie is at the breaking point. Will he succumb to the madness around him or rise above his environment to follow his Bleace?
Bleace and Bleace Paradox are the first two novels in this ongoing series, A Bleaceful Journey. The planet of Consumptia continues to free float through space, running into other planets. Paradox ends with Etonily reaching out finally reaching someone on Cocombia, the next planet that will crash into the Planet of Consumptia.
But this Podcast and this third book, is me stepping out of that world, to focus on the character that is the author, R. Lannom.
What his life was like before writing the novels, during the writing process, and after until his ultimate untimely death in December 2020 at just 30 years old.
I killed him. I had to kill him in order to grow, in order to Go Further. He was holding me back in so many ways, that his life was no longer suitable for this planet, for this reality, his flaws were too prevalent and were negatively affecting not only myself, my true self, but others around him. I wanted to give some perspective to his life experience that hasn’t been told to anyone, in hopes that others can relate and be inspired to express themselves before it’s too late. I will dive deeper into the flaws in the coming episodes so you will see where I am coming from, in my justified homicide of this poor boy’s life. I had to continue the best way I could through this fickle tormenting gift of life, to have a chance against that wicked Matridean beast Skriller.