To Define a Voice

As a writer who has been looking for opportunities to market himself better, I often come upon the need to define myself as an author. For a while, I liked to use the label of ‘Adventure Novelist’ because although my books were not exactly made for one single demographic, they all typically would fall under the heading of adventure stories. This changed a bit when I started working on a few new stories that are in different levels of pre-publication, as I now have a bunch of books and plays and stories of different types which definitely do not fall under that heading.

Continue reading “To Define a Voice”

Our Corporate Overlords

As someone who spent his formative years during the 90s, I still find myself feeling a bit of the urge to stick it to ‘The Man’. To avoid the big dogs and find the underdogs that no one really seems to appreciate nearly as much as they should.

Continue reading “Our Corporate Overlords”

100 Posts!

Hey, you know what this is? This is my 100th post since the return of the blog. Since July 16th, 2021, you’ve come out here 100 times to read about whatever random thing I may have decided to grace your eyes with over your lunch break. And that’s pretty awesome.

I mean, it’s also pretty awesome that I’ve made it so far in such a short period, not to toot my own horn or anything, but here we are, 100 posts in, and things don’t appear to be slowing down.

In fact, I’ve got a few new ideas for things to do with this space that I’m hoping to be able to start enacting as soon as this crazy holiday season wraps up.

I feel like I should mark this special occasion somehow, but I don’t really have any good ideas. In fact, I almost completely missed this milestone, having a post that’s now been rescheduled to next Tuesday in this place until the very last second.

So, instead, I figure I’ll give you a little holiday treat. Something you may have seen before if you’ve been paying extra special close attention, but, well, since it’s been removed from the blog during the last purge of creative battles with myself, I figure it could go back here again.

It’s a little flash fiction story I wrote a while back about the troubles of being an author when it’s so darn easy to distract yourself today. Enjoy…

He sits behind his keyboard, staring at the screen.

“I’ve got nothing,” he says to himself as he decides to glance over at his Facebook feed.  He claims it’s for inspiration, but even he knows that it’s just to avoid the empty slate in front of him.

Three minutes later, he switches back to the white page of blankness, his mind again nagging at him to come up with something brilliant to put to the page.

His phone buzzes, causing him to jump to attention as he fishes it out of his pocket.  He presses the button on the side, to be alerted to a text message stating that his cell phone bill is due.

He briefly considers paying it before he remembers that pay day isn’t until tomorrow, and his balance is woefully low for such superfluous items.  No one calls him anyways.

He taps his fingers across the keyboard, just lightly enough to make the sound of typing, but not enough to actually press any of the buttons and make something appear on the screen.  At least he sounds productive.

DING!

Facebook!  Someone must have comment–nope, just letting him know it’s someone’s birthday today.

It’s always someone’s birthday.

“Maybe I should become one of those people who wish everyone a happy birthday when Facebook reminds me to do so.  But then I’d just be one of those sheep following what Facebook tells me and–” he realizes that he’s going through the same line of thinking he goes through every time he gets one of those notifications.

He returns to his open document window.

“I did have the interesting idea about a guy who could shoot paint out of his hands,” the writer thought.  “Not that I had any idea of what that would actually do, or, you know, anything other than that he shot paint out of his hands.”

“There once was a boy who could shoot paint out of his hands,” he typed.

He stared at the words on the screen.

“Am I writing a limerick?” he mused before deleting the words.

Again his moved his fingers across the keyboard to make a the noise of productivity, without causing any letters to appear.  It was how he thought.  Not that it often came up with anything useful.

“I am Painticus!” he typed, a smile crossing his face before he again deleted the words.

“I hate first sentences,” he growled inwardly.

“It was a dark and stormy night,” he typed, knowing it was an utterly stupid phrase to type.

He left it there.

“Why can’t it be a dark and stormy night?”

“And that’s when our hero arrived.  He wasn’t an ordinary hero.  He was PAINTMAN!”

Now the writer laughed out loud at his own ridiculousness.  And then he stopped.  His brain kicked into gear, and his fingers started flying across the keyboard.

“I was only fourteen the first time it happened, but I’ll never forget the look on my mom’s face when she came into my room that morning and found me laying in bed completely covered in red paint.  I don’t know who was more scared.”

“Not bad,” the writer thought to himself.  He sat back in his chair and put his hands behind his head.  “Not bad at all.”

He leaned forward again and his fingers disappeared into a flurry of activity.  He’d found his muse, and everything else had melted away.

Video Game Review: Hollow Knight

As someone who spent countless hours getting lost and absolutely frustrated before dying and losing every sense of place in the original Metroid video game for the NES, I’ve typically taken a rather hesitant stance toward games of that ilk, typically referred to as Metroid-vania. While I can appreciate games that don’t hold a linear path, I also like to have a bit more of a clue of what I’m supposed to do next, a mission, anything that lets me know that I’m going the right way.

Continue reading “Video Game Review: Hollow Knight”

A Tale of Two Vaccinations

After years and years of knowing how I should really get a flu shot, I finally got my first one ever! And I did it on the same day I got my third COVID shot.

And holy crap was that a mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, being vaccinated is not a mistake. After living out the reality of a global pandemic, it should be more apparent than ever how important it is for us to protect ourselves from these terrible viruses so we don’t pass them on to others and cause massive outbreaks which cause things to shut down entirely. And there’s the whole not wanting other people to die thing, I suppose. Or even wanting to keep yourself from dying.

Look, what I’m trying to say is that there are plentiful reasons to get yourself vaccinated against anything we have the shot for. I’m no anti-vaxxer. I’m 100% pro-vax. Not even pro-choice-vax if I’m really being honest here. The only reason I haven’t gotten the flu vaccine before is my regularly mentioned fear of needles, and laziness.

So, when I found out that I could schedule COVID booster online and they would throw in a flu shot with zero extra effort, I decided to do my civic duty and get vaccinated to protect the nation.

And honestly, I’m getting so good at needles (even though they still terrify me) that I really barely noticed them at all. And I went home, finished my work day, hung out with the family, feeling tired from a long weekend, but no other ill effects.

And then, as soon as I put down my book to try to put myself to sleep, I became overwhelmed with the most violent chills I have ever felt in my life. My body convulsed in reaction to how absolutely frozen it felt while I tried to contain it so as to not wake up my wife. For the next hour I sat in bed trying to wrap my blankets as tightly around me as possible while I continued with my spasms, wanting to get into a hot shower or bath, but knowing that outside of my tight cocoon was only additional cold.

Finally, I got up the willpower to drag myself out of bed and into the shower, turning it on a level of magma-esque heat that my skin recognized as far too hot, but still didn’t completely stop the shivering. For a period of time that will be forever unknown, except, perhaps, by my water and electricity providers, I sat in that water, knowing that while this felt better than the previous option, the heat in the water would run out at some point, and I needed a new strategy.

Again, I worked up the willpower to exit the heat of the shower, get dried and dressed, before running to the couch in my office, where I created a new cocoon of multiple layers, lied down, and turned on the space heater which I’m sure was probably too close to me to not be considered a fire hazard, but was almost enough to bring me some peace from the involuntary shaking, while I then drifted in and out of sleep until the early morning.

But about 5am, covered in sweat while also still suffering from the occasional spasm, I finally left my office to head back to the bedroom, where I would get nearly an hour and a half of uninterrupted sleep before the morning began and everyone needed to be sent through the morning routine to get off to their places for the day.

And for the rest of the day, I still was cold and sweaty, while I did the bare minimum to get through the requirements of the day, just feeling all around like I was in a battle with the flu itself, and wishing that I could sleep. But, since I had too much to do at work, and I work from home, I really didn’t feel like I had that as an option.

It was a rough 24 hours of reaction to one or both of the shots I received that day. But, it’s still a heckuva lot better than if I were to get the bad version of either one of those diseases. And even better knowing that throughout all of this unwellness, I wasn’t contagious, because I wasn’t sick, my body was just learning to be stronger.

That being said, I wish I had gotten these shots before it got so cold outside.

The Capstone

I’m getting really close to finishing school, ya’ll. Like, if I can push through a couple extra classes than I usually do, I could actually be done with school by the end of June 2022. And while another 7 months of school sounds exhausting, there’s a part of me who sees that finish line and just wants to sprint to cross it.

Continue reading “The Capstone”

Let’s Talk About Aaron Rodgers

I know I’m a little late to the party here to talk about this Wisconsin favorite who has been a disappointment over the past few weeks, but, well, I write these things well before they get published, and I just wasn’t able to get my thoughts on here cleaned up fast enough.

Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Aaron Rodgers”

Give Thanks!

As today marks the day of America’s giving of thanks, for, well, for the people who originally lived here helping keep us alive while we stole the country out from under them, I guess, I figured I should take a moment of reflection for all the things I’m thankful for.

And while there are plenty of things I could wax poetically about, with regards to how grateful I am, I figured I’d whittle it down to one small thing here, since it’s a national holiday and all that.

I’m thankful for you.

My readers.

After taking over half a decade off from writing, you folks came back like I had never left. Sure, we might not be as noisy of a bunch as we were the last time we hung out together, but you’re here, and I’m so happy you are.

One of the things I missed most while being away from the blog is having that simple knowledge that anyone was reading the stuff I was writing. And now, here you are, reading the stuff I’m writing. And it helps keep me sane. It helps me move forward, knowing that there are actually people who, for reasons I’ll never fully understand, want to invade this space to see whatever thing I’ve got to ramble about today.

And I appreciate it to a level I cannot ever fully express.

So, thank you.

And have an awesome day filled with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Even if your country isn’t celebrating a day that pretends religious zealots hung out peacefully with the people they were invading.

The End of the World has been Updated!

A while back, one of my favorite authors released a book called The Little Book of the End of the World. It was part of a series of books put out by a publisher as part of their series of “Little Books” which were about all sorts of things, from The Little Book of Welsh Culture to The Little Book of Pintfulness (which appears to be about beer. Actually, in looking through this series, it appears that most of these were about locations in the British Isles, which might make it apparent why Ken Mooney’s book about the end of the world didn’t feel like it got nearly enough attention when it came up.

Continue reading “The End of the World has been Updated!”

Video Game Review: Fallout 4

When I was a younger man, I spent far too much time playing RPGs. Games like the SNES Final Fantasies, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana, Daggerfall, and Chrono Trigger were things I would play again and again, seeking out all the secrets they had hiding in the corners of their game worlds. These well-crafted stories with gorgeous music and worlds containing any number of hidden elements were such an integral part of my high school years that I have spent a lot of time trying to relive those days in my adult life with varying results through emulators and the like.

Continue reading “Video Game Review: Fallout 4”