If No One is Singing, Sing Your Own Praise; and Know Your Song Inspires Others

cover art Sing by pieter musterd


To improve is to change;

to be perfect is to change often. 
– Winston Churchill

Emmett Wheatfall, Sunday Morning

A funny thing happened yesterday….

But first and foremost, I offer my sincere gratitude to Pecan Frost, Charles Gossett, Shirley Newman, Nicole Jones, Martina Right, Delano Thomas Sr. Termina Ashton, Robert Robinson, Greg Shine, Swift Slay IvySoul Robinson, David Russell, Andrea Harris and Mattie Person. A rambled list, some may say, but the value of – some vociferous, most quiet – their participation in a study, their contribution toward the literary world,via fascination or support of the written works of Kendall F. Person, has elevated the short story genre, to a level I had yet to reach or understand. Quietly, and perhaps unknowingly,each of you offered a reminder to always live in humility (even a master of their craft is still learning) and for taking part in a personal  – and perhaps a community – celebration in reaching a new plateau, in the progress of becoming one of the great writers, should that indeed be by my contribution to society and legacy.

The size of our contribution does not matter, only that it is made.- KP

From this point forward, if we accomplish a goal, or have a hand in the stroke of genius, and if no one has heard or understands or recognizes or is singing,- for whatever reason, it does not matter -we will not allow our thoughts to carry haunting chants to our minds, evolving into an unearned untruthful, failure. We will sing our own praise, and invite others to understand why we sing, and give thanks in knowing, that someone has heard it and may benefit from it too..

In the nearly 300 editorials, essays, short stories, poems, songs, performances, collaborations and novels I have created, never before did silence prevail as loudly, as it did with the series finale of Kendall F. Person’s The Exorcist. No comments toward the story in any forum, by any one. (not omitting words by  Max T. Furr, but in context the number of comments do not change). No voices where heard from personal friends or relatives, no long term fans, nor staunch supporters – in neither praise nor condemnation, just a silence, that only the writer could hear.A rare occasion, but no arrows to my pride, nor sense of despair: My siblings and I have been groomed for these moments:

in my mother’s voice: “Not everyone is going to like everything you do” these simple yet wise words, allowed me to notice: a window of opportunity. The purpose: to further understand and  perfect my knowledge and delivery of the craft I have been gifted. What started as a learning experience, has evolved into a teachable moment.

singSomething I have never done.

Reached out to readers, with the specific purpose of discovering how  they interpreted The Exorcist’s ending. My thoughts were two-fold: either I delivered a finale that had crashed and burned, making a mess of a promising beginning OR with the assistance of a brilliant assembly of artists, produced  a perfect short story. Each character, firmly established; plot line remained on course and steady, even though it was written in a 3-part serial, cliffhanger style of art, within the original presentation of a ‘The Neighborhood Performance (writing each episode directly before publication). But short stories can be more difficult than longer ones or novels, because the exact same elements must exist without cheating the audience (thank you David P. Jones and Crystal Fairrington).

Why do I sing?
I sing because Kendall F. Person’s The Exorcist may have reached perfection in the short story genre.The small, but nonetheless critical. study,revealed, (played out in real time on Facebook,Twitter and in person). that while the excitement and adrenaline rush of a thriller/horror was felt, and the overall premise of good versus evil was understood; the intricate dynamics, the abbreviated word count usage, and the enormity of what was happening within the final three paragraphs of a finale, delivering on said word, the exact details of the ending,,the bombshell of the moment, in fact, flew passed, but important to note, without detracting from its enjoyment. Only after prompting, clarifying exactly what was being asked,and a deliberate elapse of time, I provided,details and clues. The moment of understanding arrived at once and for all, as indicated by the arrival of OMG! and likes.

The interaction between author and readers so engaged, that the statistic counter for Facebook viewer referrals for The Exorcist, continued to rise, (on a relative scale). And it was at that moment, I began to sing.. But as it turned out, it was not just my song; it belonged to all, that understood or respected or loved being a part of a moment, for reasons only they knew why.

The Song
“For a writer, who believed, he had mastered the craft, pulling off the perfect story,is paramount to a wide receiver catching a Hail Mary, as the clock ticks its final seconds…. in a Super Bowl.”

We long, and we hope, and we wish and we pray, that we are recognized someday. While it would be untrue if I said that I no longer have those aspirations, The Neighborhood and its artists and its mission and its place in history is what is important and has become my focus. But knowing, that I am making a  contribution – every man, every woman and every boy and girl has a contribution  – and even though I have fallen down so many times and continue to make many mistakes, my hopes are the legacy of the work of Kendall F. Person writer, creator, blogger, editor, collaborator within The Neighborhood,  will stand on its own merit.

Sing your song. Not in a sense of bravado or self-importance, but sing it so that it is heard. The melody reaches out to our communities, and one by one or in groups of hundreds or thousands, inspiring other individuals to sing their songs, and one day they will all rise in unison, in an imaginative story of us.

*****

Please make a donation of any size to The Neighborhood and contribute to growth and teaching and learning and sharing and inspiring and to an original source of arts & entertainment. You are appreciated so very much.A more structured behind the scenes can only allow for bigger and better creations.

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The Exorcist Part I, Part II & the Series Finale, are now playing in The Neghborhood and only @ thepublicblogger.com

– KP {big smile}

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25 comments

  1. […] A blockbuster premise, an international assemble of underground stars, two months of promoting throughout social media and not just the closing act of an all day, non-stop bill of quality entertainment, but a cliffhanger, no less. With so much on the line, and with the writer doubling as the producer of all 14 shows and the host of The Neighborhood itself: Renan, Gabor, Danijel and yours truly would not disappoint, delivering what I believe to be the perfect short story. […]

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. Hope you enjoy reading it – I love writing my blog! And what a fascinating blog YOU have… I’m going to enjoy following yours too.

  3. Okay, maybe the third time is a charm… I’ve tried responding to this twice but the technical devil follows me everywhere! Love the post, your attitude is the mark of a true artist that captures the gut- level prose of disappointment and perseverance in writing. I lost years of my best poetry two months back due to external hard drive failure. Yet, we shake off the dust because… we can, because we are writers meant to forge ahead through every terrain. Best of luck and once again, a beautiful post.

    • The third time is a charm. Thank you for being persistent. So nice to receive your words. Losing our work can be so devastating at the time, but you are so right, we just shake it off and keep going. Thank you so much for adding your voice and welcome to The Neighborhood. so glad you are here.

  4. You are soooo right! I love the writings of Winston Churchill too! Thank you for sharing this; it is encouraging. Sometimes our cultures dictate that we do not sing our own praises, but we can’t help but share what is good from our own lives with others and that is usually done or seen through good works we do. That’s all the world needs anyways, a small kind deed of one to another. I’m going to keep singing and hope to inspire someone.

  5. I found the quality of the Exorcist finale up to par, but like quiall I was simply rushed at the time. I follow your writing hit-and-miss so I’m not the best critic, but I found this piece interesting and thought-provoking as usual — and I responded a little differently than quiall in that I found in the prose a kind of turbulence with forces of hope as well as darker forces.

    • Thank you for adding your voice and honest critic of The Exorcist. Even within a story of darkness, without hope what would be the use. I am glad that you found hope in a place that we do not often look or feel. So good to have you in The Neighborhood.

  6. I did not comment on The Exorcist for a couple of reasons. When I read it I was in a rush and didn’t have the time. And more importantly I found it disturbing. Usually within your work there is a thread (at least) of hope, of something positive. I didn’t find that. I know there is darkness around us but I will always strive for even a hint of goodness. I am still pondering . . .

    • quiall – {big smile} – You know The Neighborhood shows very well, and you know my thread most of all. When time permits, reread and with the knowledge, if you did not consider the first time, that while Silence can be viewed (and has by the sole commenter) as its own essay, it is actually the prologue to the series finale. Your thread can be found in there. Thank you for adding your voice as always, but in particularly in this forum, it carries such honesty and relevance. to ‘our study’ {still smiling}. – KP

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