Author has written 4 stories for Star Wars, and Halo.
A (Brief) Course Correction, or,
My living room.
WELL. Where to begin?
The last time I wrote something here, it was to mention a band whose album I had just fallen in love with. Then, a pretty funny thing happened to me that started a chain of other funny (and wonderful!) things.
First, I started writing more music.
I've always written music, but this time it was a little different. My brother and I met some people and all of a sudden, we were out playing more gigs in more places across the country than I think I've ever been. It's been dope, and now, as the initial excitement wears off, I have realized just how much I learned in the last three years. How many people I've seen in airports, in bars, in stadiums, in concert halls, in theaters, on the street, at the bus stop, and I'm beginning to see what I think God must see. The Web, if you will: the vast interconnectivity between mankind that truly makes us all brothers. Not in that hippy-dippy flower-child sense, but in a genuine, meaningful way. A way that demands action, a way that demands a response.
More on that later.
I also met my wife. Yeah, I did it. I realized that I just... went to sleep after Meg's death. I let so many things - people, opportunities - just go to hell while I slept. As you know, I wrote for a while. For a long while, even. But eventually, I let all of the pressure out of my life, and when that happened, it deflated like a sad, sorry little balloon.
But beautiful things can be made out of dust, and I have finally come to see that. Let the cleaning begin.
An Editorial Sidenote, or,
8:50 AM, October 07, 2009 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
My car. (I love wireless interwebz!)
I just heard something so incredible, so tantalizingly violently beautiful, that I simply had to share it. I swear to you, I have never done anything like this in my entire life, but I absolutely must do it now. My shame is palpable, but I shall force it away just long enough to tell you this:
There's this band. Called 'Brand New.' They have this album that just came out called Daisy. Go. Buy it. Listen to it. Study it. Ponder it. Meditate upon it. It shall change your life.
I do not believe I've ever heard music so convoluted and utterly gorgeous. It's all legitimate artistry, too - none of this synthesized crap. Everything on this brilliant, dark, almost smothering disc has been done with guitars, a drum kit, and a soldering iron. It simply seethes off of the album into your ears. I shit you not.
No, it's not heavy metal. It's not black metal. Or death metal. Or, frankly, any kind of metal at all. It is simply... music. Just wow. Kind of like a cross between alternative rock, shoegaze, classical, punk, ambience, new age, blues, and Pure Awesome.
And, now that I've given away my Man Card, I shall go to work blushing in shame at the fact that I've just ranted about a band on the internet. How... teenager of me. ;-)
A (Longer Rant), or,
8:37 AM, October 05, 2009 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
The studio again.
Ah, FanFiction.net. How you infuriatingly draw me with your siren call. I have a late shift today, and I was eating breakfast. I'd already read the news, so what do I do? I go here. Start reading some fics. Always good to keep the mind oiled when you're writing an extremely difficult passage (which I am doing right now for Je Mourrais, so don't panic!) and a good way to do that is to read others' works. Whether n00bs or seasoned veterans of the craft of writing, it's all got something to teach you. Something to draw out as a lesson for future ventures.
Except for one kind of fiction.
There's one type of fiction that has nothing to teach anybody. It's insidious, because it poses as an actual story when it's really just an excuse for another agenda. It's a dirty rotten liar because it always claims to be a story. And it's not until you've been baited and sucked into the trap that it snaps shut and you realized you got played, dammit!
I am, of course, referring to the Political Screed.
Now, today, I'm going to pick on the Left side of politics, because that was who burned me today. So don't take it personally. I don't ascribe to one side of the aisle or the other, myself (I'm a bit too crazy for both of them) so don't take it personally. Besides, I spent some time picking on the Right in an earlier post, so suck it up. It's not your politics that are pissing me off. It's the way some of your fellow compadres are using those politics to poison fics that are otherwise perfectly good. Gah.
I just got done reading (or, well, stopping the reading of) a fiction that, at first, developed nicely. Good plot, good characters. Not scintillating, but solid. There's a lot to said for that in writing. I was just thinking to myself, I'll leave a review, when out of the mouth of one of the characters came a completely random and unnecessary rant about how "bigoted and homophobic those conservative right-wing Christian Republicans are! Bastards!"
Hmm. I grunted in surprise. I had thought the author was better than this, but oh well. I neglected to see the trap! I'm too trusting, see. ;-) Anyway, I read on for another chapter, when suddenly, gay smut ensued (on a T rated fic, by the way), followed by another rant about how evil those damn Christians are! They probably eat babies! And, as if this wasn't enough, the author went on to insert a token Christian character so that more hatred could be directed at said character. The trap snapped shut.
I closed the fic right there. I pondered leaving a review for a moment just to nicely make my point, but I thought, ah, Hell. That'll do jack squat. So I decided to compain about it here. The crux of this post is to say this:
WE. DO NOT. CARE.
If we wanted to read about how bigoted Christians are, we would be at Democrat Underground. They actually have millions of photoshopped pictures of white-haired, grandfatherly old Christian preachers with baby fingers dangling out of their mouths over there, so if we cared, that is naturally where we would be. Not here.
What you are doing when you post irritating crap like that in your fiction is not persuade those who are on the fence. You simply boil the blood of the few who agree with you - and piss off everyone else who just wanted to read a good fic and get the hell away from politics! (Do I sound bitter? Sorry.)
Seriously, though, when you rant about how bigoted some other group is, then spend half of your fic talking about how much you hate them, the bigotry starts to flow in another direction, catch my drift? Now, for this particular situation, sure. Gays had a rough go of it for a while there, but now it's culturally in vogue. Leaving out the scientific aspect of it, there are a lot of religious folks who take objection to this. They don't want to share their marriage concept with those who are practicing a homosexual lifestyle. That's the debate. Whatever. We can argue all day long about the definitions of particular words and physiology and psychology and whatever-the-hell else. But here's the crucial ingredient:
NOT HERE, DAMMIT.
Oh, and by the way, if somebody has been peeved by anything I have just said, whether Left or Right, send me a note about it if you want to talk intelligently and have a serious discussion. If you send me a note that so much as smells of hate, though... ooh. I'll pull Occam's Golden Razor out of its box and work it over.
You have been warned.
The Politics of XBox Live, or,
2:47 PM, August 01, 2009 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
My (not so new) studio.
You know what I said last time about God? How sometimes He's a disciplinary bastard when you'd really just like Him to let you be and do whatever the heck you want?
I just figured out why He kept punching me in the face since we lasted talked. I can't go into the details, but He had a good reason. A really good reason. Just thought you should know. I have since discovered that God's like a really good Dad. He hangs close when you push Him away. Or when you call Him a bastard. ;-)
A new chapter for Je Mourrais just went up. I hope the hype I've been giving it won't kill it, but then, I could also be rusty. My muse fled me in March, took an extended vacation under FMLA, then came back in the form of Anne Rice. Which was kind of creepy, because I've never really been an Anne Rice fan. Then, one day, somebody tossed a copy of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana in my misbegotten lap.
I don't care if you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, or if you worship the friggin' Flying Spaghetti Monster. Those are seriously good books. They actually make you forget about that retarded image of Christ as a white Scandinavian male with a white mayor's sash, impeccably trimmed blonde hair and beard, square jaw... you know. I feel like I actually know this guy, this Jewish carpenter who got catapulted into greatness.
Regardless of whether you think he's God or not. I know what I believe.
But that's not the point. Point is, I've been playing a lot of Xbox Live lately. Halo 3. Look me up. Gamertag is Colenel John 1 (because I made the mistake of letting my brother set up my account, and he doesn't know how to spell Colonel. Don't hate me because I don't have the money to correct it.) and I am currently open to kick your metal-clad posterior across the map. Or, alternately, be kicked. I don't mind. ;-)
Getting Down to Brass Tacks, or,
4:21 PM, February 02, 2009 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
My (new) studio.
Now this is going to sound weird, so bear with me.
Sometimes God and I don't get along very well. Which is kind of funny, because I've known Him for most of my life, and in general, He's been a pretty good dude. Only time we've ever had any trouble has been my own fault. Because, you know, that bastard has a way of just nailing you to the wall. And the sad thing is, every time, you totally deserve it. It sucks.
Anyway. It's been almost two years since I wrote here, and over a year since I posted more things for Je Mourrais. Yet despite that, my inbox has continued to fill with reviews and notifications that evidently, you guys are still paying attention. For which I'm very grateful. I haven't been very reliable on this front, but, you know. Duty calls.
IVIaedhros probably wants to kill me for dropping off of the scene, and I can't say I blame him, but he can attest to this story. My excuse for being out of the game for so long is one of those you usually only hear about in that really shitty emo music. Long story short, my fiance saw fit to take her own life a while back as I believe I may have mentioned in the lead-up to one of the chapters, and I'm only just now getting out of my self-pitying, whining, selfish funk. There were other things involving my health and money and work and my band, but those were all peripheral to that... previously mentioned debacle.
Yeah. I know. I'm a douche. ;-)
Anyway. So I'm going to take another crack at finishing this. I'm writing in another window as I type this... well, hell. You know what I mean. And the point is, just this: keep checking back. I'm going to take this slow this time around instead of going out in a blood-spewing flurry that fizzles into spending a few months moaning in a basement about how much life sucks.
Now leave me alone. I gotta get back to work. ;-)
Concerning The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men, or,
7:31 PM, May 22nd, 2008 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
Funny, isn't it, how you lay a plan for something - like life, for instance - and then when you get down to executing that plan, so many course adjustments are made, or are forced upon you, and when you get to the end of it all, you realize that we aren't in Kansas anymore. You know what I mean. Going into law school at Georgetown turns into Going into gas-pumping at the Quik-e-Mart on the corner of 6th and Metcalf. Well, hot damn.
That just got done happening to me. Not the law school/pumping gas part, but the whole Life in the form of a giant elephant just sat on my head thing. Fortunately for my lungs' sake, the elephant has just risen. Still trying to get past that whole my head smells like shit phase, but you know.
This is all just a really bizarre way of saying that I'm back, ya'll. Deaths and car wrecks and attempted murders notwithstanding. So, from the comfort of my suburban bedroom in the heart of America's breadbasket, I will shortly be going back to the process of writing about a far-flung battle being waged by a ceramic-and-steel clad warrior. Because I know so much about what it's like to be a ceramic-and-steel clad warrior with the strength of ten men and a crazy computer construct in my head.
Anyway, point it, Je Mourrais is coming back! No promises on how long it will take - I'm bound and determined that when it comes back, it'll be worth reading. Not like a pathetic sequel to a well-established story... coughthanksagainGeorgeLucascough. I will do my utmost to deliver to you the quality that you are used to.
Catch you later.
Abstract Thought, or,
1:46 PM, November 26th, 2007 Anno Domini, In the Year of Our Lord
You know, you do things, read things, say things for so long and so often that you get into a rut. I've been sitting and writing on this laptop and in this kitchen for two years now, but before that, I was writing on an old desktop in a basement in Missouri for twelve years. It's easy to get into ruts.
If you've ever read Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, you'll probably remember his amusing foreword to the books, in which he lampoons the idea of an introduction. After all, who turns to the introduction to see if the book will be good or not? No - you go straight to Chapter the First, and take her for a ride. Or maybe you go to the last pages and see if the ending is interesting.
I figure it's the same way with profiles. You don't rush to someone's profile to see if their writing will be good, then go and check out the story. Rather, you read the story, decide whether you like it or not, then go to the profile and either compliment the author, ignore him, criticize him, or insult him. Or, if you're the author, you fill this space with random runs on your occupation, your interests, your favorite movies, pairings, stories, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
That's a rut.
I don't like ruts.
So I'm going to treat this thing more like a blog. Wait, hold on a sec. My spaghetti is done.
You're still here? Great. Anyway. Like I was saying, I think I'm just going to do little blurbs here about whatever pops into my head. Take it or leave it. But after all, if you rllaey tnhik auobt it, tihs mkaes snese...
...sorry. Talking with my mouth full. Rude of me. As I was saying, this makes sense because if you're interesting in a particular author, you'll want to follow their trains of thought, see what makes them tick. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a successful experiment.
Now go away and read what I've already written. My food's getting cold. ;-)
A Short Rant,
I've discovered a new pet peeve in recent weeks. And that is simply fanfic that involves rants on politics - when an author suddenly gets up on his soapbox and spews their political beliefs in your face. I don't care if it's right-or-left wing politics - it is freaking obnoxious, inane, and childish when someone writes something like (A/N: Chimpy McBushHilter is an eeevil munky-faced slave of Darth Cheney and Halliburton!! Deth to AmeriKKKa!) or "And Leon Saggypants cried, 'Gays shood be stooooned!'" or what-have-you. We don't want to know about Michael Moore's latest demented offering, and we have no desire to know that the wack-jobs with Fred Phelps are protesting at yet another location 'and U shuld all be there, or God hates U."
Please don't do that to me, or anyone else. We just want to read your fanfic and be done with it. We don't need you screaming in our faces while we're trying to enjoy a nice, quiet action story. For crying out loud, I get enough politics in my college classes every day. I - and, I think, every rational person here - don't want to have to put up with it on a recreational website.
Oh, and if I write a review for your story saying something to that effect, please don't send a message like the following that I recieved recently from a different website. It went as follows:
UR A JURK.
I HAIT U."
I'm begging you - just leave us all alone. I'd like to enjoy my coffee in peace, thank you.