Tips for Wanna Be Writers……

Write.

Thank you for attending my TED talk…….

But seriously, that is all there is to it.  I could sit here and toss out advice, but it’s really worthless.  Far better writers and academics have done more than I ever could to help those aspiring to be narrative monoliths.

There is one thing I can say though, and it really won’t help, but maybe it will.  Read all the advice you can, then toss a bunch of it out.  The thing about writing, as I have found out, is that there is a lot of advice out there, but some of it won’t apply to you.  Some of it will be spot on, and some will work for you if adapted.

Like I don’t need outlines.  I have tried, they aren’t bad and can usually help for a little while but my stories like to wander off and write themselves after a while and my outlines are worthless soon after I start.  But that is for me, maybe you can use them and it helps.  Unto each their own.

Writing prompts I do occasionally when I just want to spit out words.  I can come up with ideas a bit too easily, thus me having like 5 things in the works at once. Again, some people need these to get started or to keep their chops up.

The few things I can say that will help anybody is, write almost everyday.  Even if just a few hundred words, it helps.  Use it or lose it.  Also become a pro at your chosen method of writing.  The ability to type fast, speak into your recorder with the words you want, or even handwrite as fast as you can think will make it easier when you do the deed.

If i couldn’t type as fast as I thought when I am in the zone, i don’t know I could do what i do.  I need to get the ideas out and on paper (screen) as I am thinking, because my way of writing is very fluid.  Again, it might be for you.  you might be slower and more methodical.  But even with that, you have to do what works and the last thing you need is your finger hitting the wrong key.  So familiarity with your chosen tool(s) is key.

And love it.  The one piece of advice or view of writing that pisses me off the most is when people say it’s “work” and “hard”.  There are parts of it that are.  I think editing, re-writing, and all of the after its written stuff is a pain.  But the actual process while you are creating the first draft should be enjoyable.  I couldn’t see myself writing if I didn’t love it.

And that last part is my one piece of disposable advice, because you might not love it.  But as long as you don’t hate it or dread it, then you might be fine.

Now that is actually the end of my TED talk…….

Yeah I am a slacker!

It’s been about a month right?  I need to get back into this thing.  So, here I am to try at least.  I mean it is national Write a novel month, and I blame them for getting me on this path.

Back in 2016 I sat down with the simple goal of trying to write a simple tale of a dystopian future.  After not having written in over 20 years I thought I would have a hard time doing anything, let alone anything solid.  Now, I have one book out in the real world, and apparently it isn’t total trash.  5 more have followed and I am on track to finish number 9 this month.

Thing is that first NanoWritmo had me crap out 3 books….  Then I went back to school for a writing degree, now I write on a regular basis.  but there are times I slack, cause the motivation just isn’t there.  I always take a break after I finish anything substantial, which I feel I deserve, but  sometimes I take too long a break…..

I am still in search of a solid (and cheap) editor, because I have a lot of things to throw out there.  I also have been doing a lot of reading and research on style, etc and an idea I have about something kind of sweet.  One thing I will promise though fall all 5 of my readers, probably more like 2 after the long breaks, I will do a Tues Thurs update at least the rest of the month.  I know?  Regular updates?  WTF am I thinking?

I am going to cheat though.  Most of them will be stuff I have written recently and even what i am working on now, cause why not?  I mean I’m pretty sure most people don’t come here to see me ramble on about my thoughts.  but then again my thoughts are pretty amazing, a legend in my own mind and all.

The memoir might be coming to an Amazon near you soon.  Everyone that’s read it seems to like it, so why not let it out into the wild?  Also I didn’t win the contest that I entered it into, so might as well.  I don’t mind losing, the thing is it was for veterans of book length work.  The 2 that did win had like 8 years in the service total……..

Not that I’m saying their work was bad or anything, but I dunno I just have a different view of vets that never went to the shit zones.  Not that we’re overly special, just that we know more, beyond the violence.  It’s about the bonds and the actual mindset of those that go through the things we did, but I digress.

So, that’s it for this ramble…….

Make America Great Again…….. Suck start a Shotgun

MAGA20Hat

I am going political, so sue me.

History, have you heard of it?

I just have to say from the get-go in this piece that if you are a Trump supporter, then go fuck yourself.  You are an ignorant piece of shit and should be put down.  The President is a fucking moron and should be impeached for his stupidity alone.  He makes W look like the best thing ever.  And by extension any fan of the new Republican party is an asshole too.

Now that the shitheads have stopped reading except those that want to get madder at being called out on their bullshit, I will take the chance to point out that I said supporters.  I don’t think those that voted for him are bad people.  I get it, everyone was sick of Clinton and all that and Trump was an unknown.  He said a lot of centrist things and might have appealed to a lot of people.  Even those just looking for a change.  Well now anyone with a brain knows better.

If you don’t know any better, then do us all a favor and go for a swim with cement blocks tied to your feet.   This goes for the new emboldened conservative party.  The days of respectable Republicans like McCain, Dole, and dare I say Bush are over.  Now they are the party of hate and oppression.  They want to reclaim the days of the Christian straight rich white man’s supremacy.  It is just that simple, and if you can’t see that then you have been brain washed by the propaganda.

I mean I hate to tell you white people, but you have lost all of the battles in the past where you tried to stay in control.  You still hold a lot of sway and you might prevail still, but history has shown you that you will lose.  Instead of trying to cut your losses and try to find a way to coexist and be peaceful, you continue to try and reclaim what you took by force.

Just to point out a few things, since you seem to have forgotten them.

Native Americans, the genocide wasn’t quite complete and now they have more rights than you.  Of course, you are still to oppress them and make their lives difficult.  Shame on them for living here first.  You killed them, you broke treaties with them, and tried to “civilize” them, but they are still here and fighting back.  History has shown that you are wrong and assholes.  Have they won?  Maybe not in the way most would hope, but the character they have shown compared to you makes them winners in the eyes of history.

https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/native-american-timeline

The Chinese Exclusion Act.  They come here and help build this country and they you ban them.  Eventually it gets overturned and you rack up another loss.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/chinese-immigration

This goes directly along with the Japanese internment camps.  Years after you had to pay reparations and issue an apology.  What is your problem with Asians?  Oh yeah, they aren’t white. Piss off then.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/51e.asp

Don’t have a dick?  Then you get no rights.  Remember that?  You lost that fight too.  They are no longer your property and can not only vote but hold office.  The thing is you aren’t trying to take the vote from them or force their genocide, no you need them to make more white people.  Out breed them, the tactic of the Catholic church.  If they aren’t going to be the rich ones though then they can be the ignorant masses that vote for you.  No, you just want women to be property again, forcing them to be your brood mares.

I think that all of the anti-abortion laws show the true colors of those passing them. They don’t care. If they cared these laws would have additional measures to help. What about adoption?  Do you know how expensive it is? Why are there no provisions to help offset costs for people? If you are a middle-class family who could easily afford to raise a kid or two, you won’t after paying all the fees.  Those things could cost from $10k up. Make it less expensive and it would help.

Full on Sex education. Want less abortions? Teach real, comprehensive sex ed. Abstinence only has been proven not to work. This with cheap and easy access to birth control would lower accidental pregnancies by the boatload, ask Colorado about the success of this and look as Mississippi at the failure of the lack of.

The point being, I can’t believe that legislatures who are “pro-life” actually care when they don’t address the other things that would help lower unwanted pregnancies to even start with. And of course, once the baby is born, they could care less as well. If they were truly “pro” then they would help the whole way as well as try to make sure that abortions were never needed in the first place.  This is basically a way to relegate women back to being owned.  If not outright, then their bodies.

https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/resources/womens-rights-movement/detailed-timeline/

I would go on about the African American population, but we all know how you have treated them.  Slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and everything else you can think of.  Now you just allow open season on them and keep pardoning the hunters.  Yes, their communities might not be what you think they should be.  But former presidential aides have gone on record stating that those communities were targeted with drugs and then police in order to oppress them.

https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-milestones

I could sit here and tell you all about the things you’ve done to groups that are different than you, but you wouldn’t listen.  I have provided links to reputable sources for you to read, but that would require more than skimming a headline or listen to the Bigot News Network, yes I mean Fox.  So, you mouth breathing piece of shit I will continue on, to point out your small dicked concepts of being better than everyone one, even though you are nothing but a toxic piece of shit.

So, what if someone likes the same sex as them?  Do you?  No?  Then why give a fuck?  What consenting adults do in private is none of your damn business.  Most people are just like you.  They partake in intimate relations in their homes. Well, maybe not like you, you see they actually respect their partner(s) and see them as equal.  And they don’t care what you are, because in their minds you are free to love as you choose.  You are the one hung up on what other people’s genitals are up to. But if someone that is one of you is a pedophile or a rapist, then that’s fine, sorry I meant accused but you only allowed 1 week for vetting if any at all..  Yeah, Roy Moore and Brett Kavanaugh.

Then there is gender.  There are more than two you goddamn Neanderthal.  I am not saying that as an opinion, that is a FACT!! I know facts don’t matter to you, you inbred piece of donkey shit.

https://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html .

Now if we could only get the difference between gender and gender identity across to you, you knuckle dragging feces slinger.  You might say it is mental illness, and I would take your opinion into account since you suffer from some kind of self-delusional complex.  Guess what though, the LBGT+ won, they can marry, but you are looking to take that away too.

Here is the news of the day.  Anyone who still supports Trump is essentially a Nazi.  Sure, get offended (like you already weren’t).  Most of the Nazi members were just everyday citizens like you.  It can be argued that they didn’t know about the camps or the death squads, and that is fair.  But they did know about the party’s beliefs.  The anti-sematic jargon as well as anti-communist and all the other hate politics.  You know Trump is a racist and misogynist, you know he promotes violence against those he hates.  So, like those Nazi party members that were just everyday people, you know what your party stands for.  The difference is that they didn’t know millions were being purged by that party.  You have the past to learn from and know where it can go.

That alone should make anyone that sees the similarities shiver with dread.  But not you, you embrace the hate full force.  I mean really, what does an immigrant (illegal or not) making shit money picking the fruit you eat have to do with you?  I’ll tell you, you get cheaper fruit.  They take the jobs you won’t.  Illegal immigrants are statistically more likely to obey laws than you, because they want to stay here.  None of this makes a difference though, because perfectly legal immigrants are harassed because of the blind hatred.  If they were asked if they were legal before getting harassed, maybe (and that’s a big maybe) you could say you are truly anti-illegal immigration, but since no one does then its just racist.

It’s called deflection, straw man, red herring, take your pick.  You are so dissatisfied with your life or the state of things that you need a scape goat and [insert group] here fits the bill depending on your brand of hatred.

How about another Nazi comparison?  Joseph Goebbels said, “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”   He started the modern version of bullshit politics and the Republican party has mastered it.  Want to see it in action?  Watch Fox News (though CNN can be as bad at times) or listen to Trump.  He lies so much I’m surprised he remembers his own name, then again, he may not, he just has it printed on everything to try and sell and I’m sure the people around him can tell him.

The point is, if you still support him, fuck you.  He’s an idiot, and a fucking despicable human being, and so are you for still following him.  You are immune to the truth (as is he) and believe the shit spewing from his pie hole.

There is no benefit to try and reason with people that support him either.  If you can’t see that hating minorities and women is a bad thing, then you have no reason to you.  Facts are obviously not going to help, so instead I think just calling you names and telling you how fucking stupid you are is the best way to go.  You are already shooting others, hitting them with cars, mailing bombs, so what are you going to do that isn’t already being practiced by the hate mongers?

The true problem is that the other side is failing to do anything of substance.  They see the hate filled rhetoric as a chance to capitalize politically instead of what it truly is, a sign of how divided the country really is.  Being so impotent to the real cause while trying to scrounge for the table scraps of their corporate overlords makes them about as worthless as Trump.  Inaction is the same.

Some are trying, but they are fighting with their “peers” and can’t get to the real problems and even when they do call out the assholes with strong language, they are chastised for it.  Trump can basically tell natural born citizens to “go back to their country” and get away with it, yet when he is called a racist, those that do it get chastised.  That is how fucked up we are.

So, in closing.  If you are a Trump supporter, go suck start a shotgun and do us all a favor.  If you are not, then do something about the others.  Support a politician that isn’t a piece of shit, or run your damn self, or at least let those that are willing do the job they were hired/elected to do.

Took another break, so sue me.

Yeah I have taken a couple of weeks off, sorry about that.  Life does that to me sometimes.  But I swear it was kind of for a good reason.

I just spent the last few days transcribing a book with the 195 stages of the Hero’s journey into spread sheet form so that I can use it as a checklist to aid with some stories I am working on, or more truthfully novels.  I get to that dreaded middle part and just get stuck.

I know where I want to end, and starting them out is easy enough, but the middle is always where it seems to get bogged down.  My hope is to use this new aid to help me get through that part.  It can be a pain in the ass.

The dog thing is being a pain as well.  he had some eye thing, so had to medicate him 2x a day for 10 days.  Needless to say, he was not a fan of it.  Fighting a 50 pound dog multiple times in a day is not the easiest thing to do.

Back to the writing though.  The vampire thing is moving along, just hit 40,000 words, so at least that has been getting some progress.  My other two are languishing in limbo though.  Which is sad because one of them is book two in a trilogy.  I know where the third book is going to end, but the only thing worse than the middle of a book, is the middle of the middle book.  It’s like I had the huge idea and knew that 2 wouldn’t fit it all, and there was material there for a third book, but the ideas were not as fleshed out as the first and the third.

So I know what I want to do in the book, but it has been hard trying to organize it, let alone write it.  I am stuck at 90 pages and the group has only been running around attacking bandits and increasing the party size.  It that a thing?  I guess it’s how it’s written.  I see it as a good place to world build, but finding a way to do it that is entertaining, yet not taking away from the overall story and trilogy, is not as easy as one might think.

Of course I have no idea how others think about this kind of thing.  I really need to do a better job of plotting.  To date I outline the first half of a book at most, then I kind of wing it.  But that needs to change.

In other news, I think I might have found a home for some of my other trash writing.  But that is still being worked out.  Stay tuned for that.

I promise I’ll toss up another chapter of the vampire book for Monday.  I am also thinking of moving to a Tue/thurs posting schedule.  Less content to write and less chance of me forgetting, as I usually do.

The Spark

I don’t know how many creatives ever have it.  That idea, that inspiration, that spark, that just ignites in them a true moment of creativity that sees something come forth that manifested in their mind and becomes a real, tangible thing.  I have had it a couple of times, usually in the form of a short story or an essay.  Something just gets me riled up and I do it.  Most of mine have been a one day thing.

It has happened to lesser degrees as well.  I just have an idea that seems cool and I start, then it just spews out and there it is.  Again mostly short stories.  Like the Battle of Golden Hills I put up a few weeks ago.  That was just an idea from a conversation that i sat down and knocked out in a couple of hours.  Nothing amazing, though with some actual effort after the fact I know it could be polished to be fairly good.

But what I mean is the kind of spark that borders on epiphany.  I had that happen once so far.  In fact it ‘s what got me back into writing.  To be fair there was some build up and preparation, like most serious works.  The thing was though that when the time came for me to actually sit down and do it, BAM.  The spark.

What resulted was 60,000 words in five days.  It was by no means amazing, but that is what we all have when we finish the initial draft.  There has been polish since then, but the point being was that it happened and I would love for it to happen again.  The thing was after that initial spark, at least for me, it carried over, to a slightly lesser degree or it might have been the pure excitement of the original spark that just motivated me.  10 days after the first one I had a second.  Then 14 days later I had the third.

I had managed over 160,000 words, over 700 pages in 29 days.  The third volume being the longest.  I had an idea I wanted to write and with a combination of adrenaline, caffeine, and nicotine I was able to pop out a trilogy in less than a month, unless you count February in a non leap year.  I haven’t had that since, almost three years at the time of this writing.  But I yearn for it again.

Sure, I have tossed out stories since.  I think the closest I have come is my Emporium of Awesome which took about two months.  But I came to terms with the spark being a rarity and have since settled into a more consistent process for writing.  But in the back of my head that desire to just go on a tear and create to such a degree as fast as I did once is there.  Almost like an addiction, but one that can’t be satisfied with anything else.

It is good and bad, bad in that I want it so much, but also good in that I keep pecking away at the keyboard hoping that one day it will just kick in.  So, I keep writing down ideas.  Thinking of new things and drudging along waiting for the next spark, which might never come.  I have tried to force myself to go above the 1k to 2k I do everyday, but to no avail.  I have to have that urge to plop down more words.

Maybe someday it will hit me again, but if not, that’s okay too.

Averaging one a week?

This is post 68, at least from what my stats tell me.  So just over one a week.  I would have loved to keep up at least 2 a week, but hey all that real life stuff gets in the way.  I am actually writing this one a say early, cause apparently I forget to do it in time normally.  The downside is that they can’t be as timely as I would like.

One thing I have been able to do regularly that I am happy about is a chapter a day in the Vampire story.  It isn’t amazing, IMO, but still better than twilight.  As of 11 days I have manged 10 chapters, 52 pages and like 16000 words.  So not too bad.  I didn’t technically miss a day, I wrote something else.  As long as I am averaging the five pages a day I am good.  Though I wan to get to a point where I am doing 10 a day, but not all just one project.

I have literally stalled out on the other two bigger things I want to do, but have spawned two essays and two short stories in the meantime in addition to the vampire book.  I do wonder how much farther along I would be though.

See I did a synopsis of the overall tale as a short story for school.  When I finished school I went through all of the files, etc and purged.  Apparently that synopsis was lost in the purge.  As hard as I’ve looked I couldn’t find it.  So I had to recreate the narrative from scratch and ya know it kind of pissed me off.

I am usually so good about keeping notes on things.  Hell, I have files and stuff for some of the games I designed over 10 years ago, but the book I want to write and did notes on a month ago, gone.   These are the kinds of things that can agitate creative people.  Misplacing and all that, which being messy seems to be the norm for most creatives I know.

Personally I am anal retentively organized.  From my sock drawer to my card collection.  I know where most things are most of the time and not one of those, I put it over by the microwave a coupe of weeks ago ways.  I mean anyone can walk in and quickly figure out how I have my stuff sorted and be able to find anything as well.  I even do the 2x a year purge of anything I haven’t used.  I like to keep things light in case I have to relocate.  Just a habit from my time in the military.  If it couldn’t fit into 2 seabags and a backpack, it wasn’t worth keeping.

Of course I allow myself a bit more space now, but the point still stands.  If I can’t load it into my car and/or a small trailer, it gets left behind.  Furniture is the main thing.  There is a thing called craigs list.  I showed up with a bed and a bookshelf to where I live now, and it has grown into enough stuff for a small apartment.  It’s great when you only look at furniture as stuff to hold your other stuff, including you.

Before this becomes a rant on the finer points of furniture and how people pay WAY too much for the stuff new, I think I will step out and let all four of my readers get on with their day.  I might tease you with another chapter from the Vampire tale on Wed.  Which is also the day I get to (hopefully) get my service puppy……..

Geeky and Writing

I am a huge Nerd.  The biggest one I know.  Not a superfan of any one thing in particular, but the kind of nerd that embraces most of the geek in the world.  And in a way I think this kind of leads back to what makes me able to write about a lot of things.  But I will say that if I had to call out one thing I liked the most it would be a tie between Firefly and Star Trek, nothing against Star Wars, I enjoy that as well (until Last Jedi anyway).

When the new Star Trek came out, or more like before it, I sat down and watched EVERYTHING before it as a refresher.  Including the Animated series…..  And the 10 Prime line movies.  Of course I can’t say the new show has been all that, but then again most of the other series took a season or two to find their footing, well those that lasted more than that.

For a perspective that is The original, Animated, Next Generation, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise.  I think DS9 is the best, story wise, Enterprise is underrated and Voyager could have not been made, but still.

I am a political junkie, a bibliophile, I used to own a game store, also designed board games for a while.  I also love to learn.  I am kind of looking into getting a sixth degree, cause why not….. I have time and like I said I like to learn.

There are the smattering of other things as well.  I do the D&D thing, run it every week.  My board game collection might be considered hoarding, and I used to LARP (shhh on that one).  Then there are the card games…..  My true weakness.  I currently am about 20 cards short from having all the cards in Hearthstone (on online CCG) and play a real one called Force of Will.  Yes I did Magic the Gathering for about 15 years, even made it to Worlds once.  But in my opinion the game has aged poorly and changes have been made to make it not as fun.

So I play my new one.  In fact I am heading out today for a three day event.  I am about 13 cards shy from having everything.  That’s 29 set and a few years… I have no life.  I managed a Nationals top 16 once and a few state titles.  What has all of this got to do with writing?  A lot actually.  The interactions and all of the subtleties when playing a complex game are similar to writing.

One has to know enough about the situation and have the ability to be fluid to maximize their plays.  At the same time being constrained by additional limitations.  In the case of a card game, the cards in your hand, in writing it would be the options that fit within the story as you move forward.  It might sound weird, but if you are writing a crime story you can’t have a dragon fly down and assist.  There are certain limitations you place on yourself when you write.

There might be some crazy tales out there that incorporate different aspects in themselves, but they are either set up to do that or are just bad writing.  When playing a game though you learn to be quick and play off of your opponent though.  In writing you kind of do the same, but in that case the opponent is the story and you are against it, trying to make it the best version of itself that you can.

At least with the way I write.  I like to let the story go its own way, and I am just there to help keep it on the path.  Being a nerd in geek and academics as well as having the ability to think in a variety of situations, I think adds to my ability to create narratives that some people might find entertaining.  Though at the end of the day it doesn’t mean they are really that great.  I mean writers are their own harshest critics.