I Am Me

Nov 18

I Am Me

One of the greatest dilemmas of my life has always been–What am I? Who Am I? I know my name obviously, but figuring out my grand purpose in life has always eluded me. I had the “I want to be an astronaught,” or the “I want to be a vet” phases of my childhood, much like everyone else. The difference is that while others that I grew up with were able to just latch onto a career goal, I have spent my life trying everything and always coming back to the creative side of my life, even though I was constantly told that I’d never make a living out of it. I had the curse of being able to pick things up quickly. If I set my mind to research and setting aside the time to actually learning something, I could become pretty damn good at it. My uncle gave us our first computer when I was 10. Because he was in California, any problems that needed to be solved were over the phone and I picked up quickly how to do them myself. I learned basic programming with a few books and it gave me the confidence to become proficient in all things computers at a very young age. I call it a curse–because as children often do–anytime I had a whim of wanting to try something new, I was able to learn it and do it well. Photoshop? Self taught and proficient. That led to creating websites, designing ads, photo editing, etc.. All of which required dealing with people–which is where my weakness lied. I could talk to people, but hated small talk. I never got networking. The entire “Who you know” BS didn’t satisfy the wanting to earn what I got. I wanted to be appreciated for what I did, and I didn’t like the phony or empty achievements that were gained only by knowing someone. I started working at 14, so from McDonalds, to various tech jobs, to landscaping, to the military, to retail–I fit in where necessary, but was never happy. Sure the money was usually always good, but I was just going through the motions. How I looked at what happiness was, was...

Read More

The New Breed : The Prologue Chapter of my Nano Project..

Nov 04

The New Breed : The Prologue Chapter of my Nano Project..

He was panting as he ran through the dark pine tree filled forest. Each heavy stride he took slammed into the ground but the sound was quieted by the moist pine needles covering the ground. Each deep breath was erratic as he looked back in fear of what was hiding in the dark. He occasionally tripped over small rocks that littered the woods, or fallen limbs of dead trees. He caught sight of the white shirt tied to a tree. He knew now he was only a mile out from town. He had setup the shirt system himself. Perimeter markers were laid out to guide scavengers through the pine lands. White was the mile perimeter, green was for two miles out, blue for three and red for five. He knew he was almost home and that gave him an inner drive to run a little harder. Much harder and faster than a man of his size would be assumed to be capable of. He couldn’t see more than 10 feet in the darkness, but he knew they were out there. Occasional glimpses of bright red eyes appeared before vanishing again. The snap of a twig or rustle of leaves the only noises that rose above his panicked breath. The red eyes appeared on all sides of him except directly in front when they were visible. Each time the eyes appeared he adjusted to avoid running directly into them. Whatever they were, he had to keep them at a distance. And it was working. They weren’t  able to catch up to him yet and he judged himself to only be a few hundred yards out. He should have been able to see the lights. But they weren’t there. Instead he saw the tree with the shirt tied to it, except it was facing the other direction. “That’s impossible,” he said. They had completely turned him around with their maneuvering. It was so slight that he hadn’t noticed until he saw the marker. Now they were between him and the town. And worse, he was now tired. “What are you?” he shouted. In return for his question, he got a chorus of a deep and gurgling laughter. Five pair of the...

Read More

The “Write What You Know” Myth

Oct 28

The “Write What You Know” Myth

 MYTH – noun \ˈmith\ : an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true : a story that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence : such stories as a group   The motto of “Write what you know” is probably the most misunderstood and misused sayings in all of writing. It is true that you will write a stronger piece with knowledge and confidence in a subject if you personally have experience in it. The myth though is that you have to have that knowledge prior to you writing about it. I’m not sure if the myth came about by it being misinterpreted by so many and passed on, or just an ignorance of those listening to it using it as an excuse to stay “safe.” If there’s anything I learned while getting my journalism degree, it was that ALL writing is only as good as the research put into the writing. It didn’t matter how strong the sources were or how eloquent the quotes were, the writer had to know the background behind the story in order to put it all together perfectly. When I wrote a piece on the school union vs. administration, I had never worked in either. I had to look up the history, as well as the personnel involved to get a deeper perspective of what the current issues were. I had to learn in order to inform my readers. It translates no differently with fiction. You do need to know about what you write. But you can very easily with time and effort, learn enough to be in the know. At that point, you will know what you write. With today’s technology, there isn’t any excuse in the world for people to shy away from story ideas that they think they don’t know enough about. You can learn the lifestyles of a pirate or ninja, even though it would be almost impossible for you to become one. Ok, not impossible, but I’m trying to keep my readers out of jail. Don’t ever fear the topic. Attack it with confidence, because research is the road to knowledge. Writing takes time, but...

Read More

For You

Oct 23

For You

One look in your eyes And the world around me disappears My heart is in your hands But there’s an absence of fear   Fingers intertwined Day after day Just a whisper of your voice Carries me away   Two hearts Yearning to be one I’ll take rainy days with you Over a lifetime in the sun   Simply amazing The way you make me want to be A better man For the only woman for...

Read More

What Do You Think of When You Hear “Horror?”

Oct 21

What Do You Think of When You Hear “Horror?”

When you think of horror, what is it you think of? Think hard, because what horror is and what people perceive as horror in this generation are often completely wrong. There is really only one word to remember when it comes to horror and that word is fear. Do you think of Jurassic Park as horror? If you watched the movie, you probably don’t. If you read the books, you should. Gore has become linked to horror and because of that trend in movies, that is what the current generation thinks of when it thinks of horror. Horror crosses genders and unlike in the past where Alien was a science fiction horror, it is now usually referred to only as science fiction. Jurassic Park was a science fiction horror as well, that because it didn’t show gore, fell into the science fiction category, stripped of the horror label. Whenever a story is designed or leads to causing fear in its readers, it’s a work of literary horror. Don’t fear it, embrace it. As a writer, you don’t have to feature a lot of gore or graphic scenes of violence. In fact, the less you show the more the reader is forced to imagine it. My main WIP is a murder/mystery that deals with a fetish serial killer. Some have asked me if I was going to show the sexual aspects, and I’ve always said I’d rather have the readers imagine them instead. And while that will probably have some scratching their heads, I just have to remind people what made Alien such a horror classic. You never saw the alien until the end. You were teased and it became a much more mental aspect to the fear as opposed to just being shown everything right away. The mind is the writer’s playground. It’s also where a reader gets hooked into a story. If you really want to scare them, make them think about whatever it is your story is portraying. Get into their heads, and you’ll get into their hearts. Although horror is in a stagnant place right now with it only being associated to gore, it’s up to us as writers to fix that. Don’t be afraid to...

Read More

Phobia

Oct 18

Phobia

A phobia is a fear of something. It can be almost anything, and it’s a perfectly natural thing. Everyone develops a few for one reason or another. But I fear that the term is being used now as something that everyone should fear. A conversation stopper. Much like calling someone a racist, it now is being used to put someone on the defensive. It steers conversation away from any real issues and instead starts a backtracking of explanations about why they’re not and completely derails the discussion. When discussion is needed, it’s stripped away to the basic and left to rot in symbolism instead of dealing with the issues. We’ve needed many adult discussions about a lot of topic in the country, but when it’s dragged down to a simple name-calling exercise, we lose train of thought and the discussions and issues get lost in the turmoil. Want to discuss the real issues with Health Care? We can’t because you’re racist if you don’t agree 100% with an African-American President. Want to discuss the problems with Islam and how terrorism isn’t spoken against by even the large number of moderate followers of Islam? We can’t because you’re suffering from Islamaphobia. The same occurs with Homophobia or Xenophobia, relating to homosexuality and immigration respectively. The new definition of phobia today is being expressed as hatred, not fear. It’s falling into the racist category instead of something that can be explained for reasons in your past. A fear can be explained, a hatred can only be blamed. It’s being used to eliminate any worthwhile discussion. When discussion about any issue is fought against, it’s the discussion we most need to be having. We’re long past due on a real discussion on race. An adult conversation that doesn’t pass blame or seek retribution. How do people expect things to improve if we maintain the current feelings about any topic? And my phobia is that it will never happen. Not with race or any other political phobia that is invented to prevent a conversation. Have a conversation… There’s nothing to be afraid...

Read More

My Thoughts of the Week

Oct 16

My Thoughts of the Week

Here’s a few things that popped into my head this week. It’s Ok to Disagree I think people have forgotten that it’s ok to disagree. We live in a pluralist society where freedom of speech, religion and expression almost guarantee that people will have different ideas. Ideas are a good thing. I don’t need need to agree with everything everyone says. Not even my friends. (wait, do I have friends?) I love to talk to people with different politics, beliefs and ideas about just about anything. Without that interaction, I’d be stuck in a bubble that never allowed my brain to process the possibilities of something that I didn’t think of myself. How boring would that be? The internet has fostered a society where you are you ridiculed or flamed for thinking differently or disagreeing with what the loudest voices say. Even if the loudest are in the minority, they claim that it’s common sense. When someone has to proclaim something  as common sense, they’re full of shit. Common sense isn’t very common anymore, because too often we think of the symptoms of a problem and not the cause. That’s why solutions are never longterm anymore. We just bandaid the issue and kick the can down the road. I will disagree with people on guns. I will disagree with people on politics. And that’s ok. I won’t throw a hissy fit if you don’t agree. But disagreement doesn’t need to be disrespectful. The adults can have a conversation. The children will continue to troll. Media Bias The viewers and readers know it exist. The Media stations themselves know it exist. But they’re the only ones that deny it. If you want to point to what is bringing down journalism, that’s the issue. When you can’t be honest with yourself openly, no one else will respect you. Journalism is supposed to be a watch on those in power. Tell the whole story, and let readers make up their minds. There are a few out there that still do this, but the majority push an agenda and look away when the party they support does something wrong. The story needs to be told, where it’s good or bad for the party...

Read More