The Well is Dry (Or Nice Guys Finish Last)

dry-well

Nothing in the well to write about.  I hate this feeling.  I hate trying to force my writing to come out.

I haven’t written creatively since 2/15/16 and no matter what I try, I can’t seem to put pen to paper.  This happens periodically, but this time it is life that is intruding on the writing.

NICE GUYS

I think I understand why people enjoy the “hooligans” so much these days.  Being the “hero” hurts.  It is painful and it is no fun.  Better to decimate, conquer, and have fun no matter the cost.

Trying to write is hard.  Trying to write about a hero that is suffering, but somehow pulls through despite it all is hard.

We (Americans, of which I am one) seem to want the “Easy Button.”  If it isn’t easy, then (our) society says we’re doing something wrong.

FINISH LAST

What we’ve done in the postmodern world is that both our fiction and our society has begun to coalesce around the idea that “Nice Guys Finish Last.”  IF you’re nice, then you’re never going to achieve or get anything.  So be a “hooligan.”

I refuse.  I refuse to be a hooligan in real life and refuse to write about them in fiction.

As a child of Star Wars, I can put it plainly, I want to read/write/watch/play things about the “Jedi,” not the “Sith.”

UBI SUNT? (“Where are They?”)

Why are mainstream publishers chasing the success things like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead to exclusion of all else.  I can go to the bookstore and find a million clones of Game of Thrones, but nothing like David Eddings’ Belgariad or Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow, Thorn.

Brandon Sanderson once remarked on his podcast “Writing Excuses” that he almost got out of the Fantasy genre in the mid-90s because all they were producing was “Quest” books.

Well, now I’m where he was back then because all I see are Game of Thrones/Walking Dead “nihilism” books.  This is pushing me out of the genre.  I have no desire to read those books and I’m losing the desire to write because I know my stories won’t be accepted because they don’t fit the current “trends.”

What is a writer to do?

Color me discouraged.

sickface1

Apologies for not posting for the most of September, but as you can probably tell by the image above, I’ve been under the weather for most of the month.  I started to feel ill the Saturday before Labor Day and I finally got over whatever I had only to get hit by some sort of sinus infection.  Essentially, I’ve been either sick or recovering from being sick for the past 3 weeks.

Writing while sick is a drag.  I kept thinking about writing this post to give an update, but I was so listless from both the illness and the medicines that the post never got written.

One good goal is that I was forced to get a LOT of rest.  So even though I haven’t done much writing this month, I’ve done a lot of thinking about writing (aka “Brainstorming”), so hopefully, as I try to transition back into my normal routine, I can write more and be more focused during my (limited) writing time.

traffic light

Sometimes life puts out stop signs and in this case, this was a pretty big one.  Teaching is stressful, writing (which should be fun) is also stressful, trying to reorder my time so that I can start filling out Applications for PhD programs is stressful.  Trying to get everything done that school and life demand from me is stressful.  I think this is my body’s way of saying, “hey, you’re doing it wrong.”

So, I will try to “destress” as much of my life as possible.  Still going to apply to PhD programs, still going to try to study for the GRE, still going try to write, still going to grade papers and do lesson plans, but I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on “homework” (by getting up an hour early and going to bed an hour later among other things) and my body is having none of it.

PROJECT MONSTER UPDATE

I was able to complete the 1st section of the story before I fell ill.  Since I’m only doing 3 sections, the story is 33.33 percent complete 🙂 .  I managed to rough draft the other 2 sections while sick, so I just need to sit down and write them (Tues. & Thurs. for the next 2 weeks if I don’t get sick again).  I know the setting, I know the plot, I know the emotions–now I just have to do the hard part and get it all down on paper.  Wish me luck (& good health!)  If I can stay well, I’ll have an update next week!

Trials and Tribulations

This will be a super short blog entry: just wanted to check into to say that the past 3 weeks have been extremely trying for me both personally and professionally.  I won’t go into the specifics (or the “horrifics”–if you’ll allow me the horrible pun), but it hasn’t been a fun few weeks.  I even managed to miss the deadline for the Far Orbit Anthology that I posted here a couple of months ago.  (Boo!)

That being said, I wanted to quickly note that I’ve both finished and submitted HawkeMoon to a short-story market.  I sent it off via email attachment literally minutes ago.  (Yay!)

Hopefully, I can get things turned around and get back to a more regular schedule–but I make no promises.  Gotta’ run.  More later (hopefully!)

Oscar Night

Super short post today. Didn’t write a post because I wanted to spend most of the day WRITING.  I managed to get most of HawkeMoon done.  Just missing the climatic scene & epilogue.  Want to finish HM in Feb. & start a new story for March.

Oscars inspired me to start a screenplay.  Prob. won’t be great but at least I’m TRYING to “Dream Big!” 😃

Snow Day

Rare snow day here in the The South (USA), so I took the time to read, something I rarely get to do these days.

So I finished a comic book on my backlog-Star Wars 01 (2015) Marvel Comics. The story features the original characters (Luke, Leah, Han & the rest) and is set between Star Wars: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back.

I wrote a short review at http://www.Goodreads.com. I’ve quoted here as well:

As a “child” of Star Wars (Star Wars, Empire, and Return of the Jedi were my “Harry Potter” & “Hunger Games”), I always view new interpretations with both excitement and trepidation. Excitement, to see my favorite characters in new stories and trepidation, hoping that the creators don’t mess it up and get it wrong. The new Star Wars comic by Marvel has been getting good reviews, so I took a chance and bought issue 1 via Amazon. Well, so far, these creators got it RIGHT!

The characters act and sound just like they should. The story setting is interesting and the story itself has that original Star Wars feel (not that slightly nebulous and incongruous feel of the prequel trilogy.) I’ve ordered issue 2 and if it is good then I think that I’m going to try follow it regularly.

I know I’m high on my score (most are giving 4 stars), but I’m really pleased with it. Now, 1 issue does not make (or break) a series, but (just like the upcoming 2015 movie The Force Awakens) I am cautiously optimistic about Star Wars’ future in the near term. The Force is Strong with this one.

Knights

I’ve always been fascinated with knights.  Swords, armor, shields, horses, the medieval timeframe, and the idea of a warrior class has intrigued me since I was a child.  I remember checking out books from the library about knights.  One of the reasons why I like and can play chess is that I found a book that showed the various chess pieces and moves using illustrations that were based on knights.  

Eventually, as I grew older, I expanded my love of knights to a love of heroes in general.  I think that expansion started with Star Wars and the explanation of the Jedi Knights.  It was that movie (along with lesser movies of the time: Krull, Legend, and The Dark Crystal) l where I saw that heroism could apply to more time periods that just the medieval age.  Now, I know that knights as a class of people were not the “heroes” that we often think they were, regardless of the chivalric code.  However, to a child, they seemed to represent the best of both worlds–fighters with a code of ethics.

Perhaps that’s why I’m so fascinated with knights.  They are a class of warriors that (ideally) can be awesome at warfare, but also can respect others (yes, again, I know that this is naive and that “real” knights–from the Templars all the way down to the Crusaders were little better than thugs, but it is the IDEAL of knighthood that I’m discussing).  

Many of my stories revolve around the idea of something or somebody as a hero.  I got tickled by a former co-worker who read my work.  She happened to read two of my stories in which the main character fails.  I think I only have two or three of these so far.  She was saying to me that it looks like I like “sad” endings.  Actually, I think I’ve written 20+ stories so far, and out of all of these 90-95% the hero wins.  I really wanted to tell her this, but patron came up and I never did explain myself.  I’ve never been a fan of the “sad” (aka kill the main character) ending.  I only use it when the main character must sacrifice himself/herself for the greater good.  I’ve read too many stories (“All Things Dark and Deadly,” which I’m pretty sure was published in the RPG Cyberpunk 2020–although I could be mistaken for I no longer have the RPG to fact-check it) is a prime example of this.  Spoilers–the main character dies in that story for NO good reason.  This is the worse type of “ironic” ending, but I see it all too often (especially in short works).  

I seem to have an affinity with knights as several of my published works have some element of knights embedded in them.  Don’t be surprised if you see more “knights” (or heroes) in my fiction.  I really, REALLy like them!

Friday Night Trailers – Dead Island 2

So, I’ve been away from the blog for a while.  Sorry.  There are reasons, but they are too long and boring to talk about.  

I’ve decided to start something new.  I like routines, so I decided that I’d pick some things that I like and build posts around those themes.  My first theme is: Friday Night Trailers (a play on Friday Night Lights).  Every Friday, I’ll post a link to a trailer that I really like.  The trailer can be movies, video games, TV, or some media of some kind.  

This week’s Friday Night Trailer is for an upcoming video game called Dead Island 2.  I loved this trailer!  I don’t like zombie games, but the trailer is great!  The humor is dark and macabre.  I don’t always like this type of humor, but the way it plays out shows great creativity.  It doesn’t hurt that the song is catchy too! 🙂  Full Disclosure: I liked the song so much that I purchased it from iTunes.  

Take a look–but don’t blame me if that song gets stuck in your head!  😉