Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Through the Slog

Write. It all starts with a word. You put one word onto the page and then another. You follow that word with one more, and then one more, and one more. Soon enough there's a sentence. Then another sentence. A paragraph. A page. A scene. A chapter. And the more you write the more the characters come to life. The more the plot is revealed and the setting explored.

At first you are driven by sheer inspiration and force of the initial story. Then suddenly your running off of wisps of energy left by that inspiration and more of a desire for the characters to make it to the end. Eventually you're left with fumes of that desire, and the only fuel you've got left is pure force of will to finish that damn story. But even that doesn't last. That will, indeed, run out too.

Now you have, what? An unfinished story with no will or desire to really finish it? Oh, but what about that one scene? You know, that one that comes later in the story. The one you were really excited about writing before. You aren't there yet, and there's a good amount of slog to... well, to slog your way through. (Slog is a fun word.) And that just doesn't sound exciting. In fact, it seems irritating, boring, and you generally just don't want to.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Burn Out

"Yeah, I only got three-hundred words today. I write really slow."

"Dude, you act like you never get burned out."

"What do you mean?"

"You participate in, like, three NaNoWriMo events a year."

This is an actual conversation someone had with me. And it's true, I've participated in every NaNo event since my first one in 2011. But, even through that, my answer really should have been, "No, not really." Because that's something about me that's maybe confusing to some people. Allow me to explain.

I don't burn out. I can't. Sure, I can get tired. I can hit writer's block. It happens. But burning out? I'm honestly curious as to how that happens. See, my problem is that I have so many ideas churning about in my head. There is too much to be done, and very little time to do so. At the speed which I write (not very fast at all), every story that I decide to actually put down will take immeasurable amounts of time. If I sustained the capability to burn out, then I would never finish anything. In fact, that may quite be the reason I have yet to finish anything to this point.

There is too much to say, too many stories to tell, to let myself burn out. And if I am to make the career that I wish to make out of writing, then assuredly this will come in handy.

Friday, July 19, 2013

RWBY: Episode the First

For those who are uninformed, I'd like to inform you that Rooster Teeth's RWBY released yesterday. The first episode was put up on their website, and after a good few months of waiting I am satisfied with the result.

Four trailers were released before the show officially came out. One for each of the main character's (and labeled by the color of that character). Red first, which featured kickass action from my favorite character of the four (Ruby). White released next, Weiss showed off her musical talent and her magical capabilities (along with some interesting yet elegant swordplay). I discovered and jumped onboard just before the Black trailer was released. It was the first with actual dialogue, and Blake robs a train (or something like that). Finally, the most epic (and longest) of the trailers was Yellow, featuring Yang and her beast as hell fighting style.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Seesaw

I have an analogy for you today. It's an analogy you probably won't understand until you get to the end of this post, but that's okay. I just want you to imagine this with me.

There is a seesaw. It's this really giant, awesome seesaw (cause seesaws are awesome). For all intents and purposes, the seesaw is in the middle of the ocean, okay? And when I say it's giant, I mean it. There's a dragon on one side. And there's a pirate ship on the other side. Now, on that pirate ship there is (obviously) a pirate crew. But that pirate crew is fighting for control of the ship with a group of ninjas. The dragon is at a stalemate with the pirate-ninja ship on the seesaw. Neither of them are going up or down.

Following? Good. Cause it gets better.

Suddenly, a wizard appears in the center of the seesaw. He's a little guy; you wouldn't really expect much from him. But that little bastard whips out his staff and ZAP! The pirates and ninjas are allies. They've formed a pirate-ninja alliance that will last through the centuries. Another ZAP! and the dragon shrinks. Smaller and smaller until... SPLASH! The pirate-ninja ship is in the water again! They unfurl the sails and (with a gust of wind from the wizard) they're on their way to treasures untold!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Oddly enough, this is actually a bit of a touchy subject for me. (Sometimes I marvel at how weird I am about some things.) A sequel (that includes third, fourth, etc. installments) can be very good or very bad. It depends on a lot of things. And the sequels also say a few things about the people behind them. (If you aren't catching on, I'll be talking pretty much on writing here.) 

I like sequels. I love reading them; they're a return to familiar settings and characters with new twists. It reminds you why you loved the story in the first place (or the author, too). Sequels show you more of a world that you already were interested in, and series give the opportunity to tell many stories inside of an overarching main story, which can be used to glorious effect. (Keep all this in mind as you read on.)

I'm picky about sequels. Especially for myself. I plan to write stand alone fiction. (Okay, except for this one idea for a series, but that spans four different genres and plentifully diverse characters. So it doesn't count.) my reasoning for this is complicated, or at least I think it is. You see, first off, I don't get how authors write these seven to fifteen book series. My mind flits through hundreds of ideas, and no matter how many I mash together, there are still to many. If I focused on one series for that long, I would never get that many ideas out. It simply could not happen. Stand alone fiction gives me the opportunity to put down an idea and then check it off the list. Move to the next one. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Better Late Than Never

Today, we woke up early. The last morning in Idaho. We spent it working. Laid sod. Did I want to? Course not. (Why the hell would I really want to work?) Eventually I found a groove. Plugged some music in and started cutting and slamming down sod. I liked it. Felt like a giant puzzle we were creating and solving simultaneously. I got a lot of time to think (tasks like that tend to give you that), and I realize there was a point where my work began to seem a lot more efficient and meaningful. Like I was getting something done and I love that feeling.

I decided that I was determined to get that yard done. And it fucking got done. (In hindsight, I should have gotten pictures. It was a damn fine looking yard.) After that point where the determination set in, I felt more inspired (if that's even the right word for that), and a start dropping pieces into slots and cutting things. Someone called for a break, but I wasn't done with my puzzle yet. I kept going. The music was break enough for me; my puzzle was getting done.

It's taken way to long, but I got it. (Not just laying sod. In life.) I realize life is coming at me. It comes at everyone. Like a freight train. Starts off slow. Picks up. Picks up some more. Picks up so damn much nothing can stop it. Suddenly it slams you. You've gotta ride along on the front; if you don't have the strength or endurance to climb around and into a car then you're in for a hell of a ride. I finally am taking more effort to get my shit together. Everything I can to be ready for the real world.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Taking the Hand

So in the past few days I've done more than I expected to. (Consequently, that is also why I missed my last update.) I have, surprisingly, been white water rafting (crazy shit included), jumped off a big ass rock into a river (scary as hell, but fun), was on a boat (on a lake) for eight hours, went tubing, tried to wakeboard, and played a damn good game of bowling (that I decided to join on a whim).

Unfortunately, I got the biggest and most painful damn sunburn ever despite the layers of sunscreen I had on. A friend of mine helped me soak it in vinegar and god, that hurt worse than the sunburn itself. There were a lot of words said that night... 

But there ya go. A brief rundown of what's been going on for me. There is something in all of this that I do want to say a few words on, however. Opportunity. See, I'm not an outdoors kind of guy (which is immediately noticeable upon meeting me). I like the solitary indoor life. My problem is, I want to do stuff. And should the opportunity arise, I'm gonna fucking take it. I'll shoot for thrill and if I die, I die. I'm like an opportunity guy/adrenaline junkie combo, which is very dangerous. But oh so fun. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fundamentally Different

Sometimes I wonder. Why am I me? Why  did someone else not end up being me and me being somewhere else as someone else. How come I have the name that I do and know the people I do? Why am I who I am?

Yeah yeah, I know, parents, genetics, etc. I got that. That's not really what I'm asking here. Why do I have the parents and the genetics I have? Don't go telling me about how "God ordained it" and "it's His purpose." Yeah. Heard that one before, and it didn't answer any of my questions. 

See, I've gotten to thinking. Maybe there isn't a reason, and we're only different because, hey, that's just the way the world works. Normally an answer like that wouldn't convince a guy like me. (No really, answers like that have radically changed parts of my life. I hate those kind of answers.) But this time... this time it makes sense.

Let me explain; say (just for this example) that everyone is the same. We all look the same, have the same living conditions, etc. We would still be different. (Well, that or the world would collapse. But we'll get to that.) See, inside of everybody, we are all still fundamentally different. We inherently change our beliefs and behaviors because of one major factor that determines who every last one of us is: experience. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Talk to Yourself About Yourself

After an interesting conversation with a friend of mine, I figured I'd share some of the same stuff I shared with her there. Except better, because things always sound better on a blog than a text message (at least in my experience). So here goes, we're going to talk about psychology a little bit.

It's been proven that acting a certain way (regardless of how different it is from what you really feel like) will affect the way feel. For example, smiling and acting as though you're happy even though deep inside you're really flaming with hellish anger will actually help to put you in a better mood. One rather cool thing as well, normally when you're pretending or acting, you're giving yourself mental reminders the whole time to remain that way, intentional or no.

This is called "self talk" and it's what I'd really like to discuss. (Not dismissing the previously mentioned idea, though; that's important too.) Self talk is a key in changing an outlook, an attitude, actions, beliefs, etc. because self talk is the things that you tell yourself on a normal basis. It's the voice in your head that tells you that you're going to screw up so badly right before you give a speech or that you're definitely prepared for the final exam you're about to take. And usually? Well, usually you're self talk is right. Why? Because if you tell yourself something enough, you will believe it. (Seriously.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Living Up

Ever expected something but ended up being not so thrilled with the result? Happens to me all of the time. Happens to other people about me pretty often, too. Because, the thing is, you don't always live up to expectations. Sometimes you're not spectacular. Sometimes you're just different. Sometimes... Well, sometimes it takes some work to find out exactly what you are.

Let's use pirates as an example. Why pirates? Because pirates are fucking cool. That, and they don't live up to their name either. Let me explain.

I've had this craze with pirates as of late. It started with this Wizkids pirate game they stopped making a few years back. Then came Alestorm, the (awesome) pirate metal band. (Check them out at www.alestorm.net.) After that, I rewatched all four of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Which, by the way, are excellent movies. Finally, I began to recall and toy with Captain Viktor and his pirate crew, who are my main characters in a collab project I'm currently working on with my friend Amelia Lynn. So, I did some research (out of pure curiosity, mind you) and very quickly I began to realize that Disney's freedom-fighter pirates only vaguely resembled actual, historical pirates.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (Borderlands 2 DLC)

Tiny Tina is back. And she's brought with her more than any Borderlands player could have expected. This DLC is a game within a game; the vault hunters of Borderlands 1 play a spinoff version of Dungeons and Dragons titled 'Bunkers and Badasses.'  You are their character(s). 
Enter Flame Rock Refuge, where it's eternal night and things have gotten a little out of hand. The queen has gone missing, captured by the Handsome Sorcerer (pleasantly bringing back with him the voice of Handsome Jack). A curse has been placed upon the land, and it's up to you and a few unlikely allies to save the queen and break the curse.