May 27, 2017

A Nap and a Movie

'Tis relatively late, and I have had a relatively unproductive day—and it was so worth it. I even took a brief nap, and it wasn't one of those naps where you wake up in a different time-zone feeling like everything went wrong. Rather, it felt like a brief but much-needed rest. Boom.

In other news, a recent Terminator came out: Genisys. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a fine unstoppable death machine. I don't know exactly what the implications are, but it seems like his career has peaked at making commercials for Mobile Strike, a cheap app. Anthony Hopkins did the same sort of thing. So many actors slide into making commercials. Again, I don't know what it really means, but it always feels like they're selling out as they say. Of course, they're making extra money and whatnot, but I can't get over the feeling that quality craft is being crippled into some kind of roadside attraction.

In other other news, never mind.

In other^3 news, that's about all I have to say for now.

Peace out, homeslice.

May 25, 2017

Nature and a Bit of Druids

I slept extra poorly and had a late, grimy start. I am thankful for God's nature though.

We have a side porch that is covered and looks out into a small grove of trees. It has rained most of today, so it's clean and cool outside. Birds are tweeting, and raindrops are pattering; it's the best kind of quiet. Thankfully, the neighbors are not blasting their misplaced music across the neighborhood, so I have a cocoon of nature and focus.

I might even have my Skype tutoring session out here! I hope the birds won't be too distracting. We'll see.

Dexter keeps trotting back and forth, eternally searching for something very important.

Have I told you my dream of having a sun-room office of sorts? Sitting near nature has always been such a great facilitator for work in general and writing in particular. Some of my best scenes were inspired by sitting out here. Even now, I'm feeling so much smoother than I have these past few days—even despite the crummy start to my day. There's something magical about nature, about trees, about birds, about the stars, about wind and rain, thunder and lightning.

I am always thinking about my elementals. I feel like the waters should be magical, perhaps druidic. And not literal druids obviously but more of a Baldur's Gate kind of druid. I tell you very sincerely that I grew up on video games. Just as well as with books, I have been filled with a sense of wonder because of video games.

I couldn't stomach the common games like Fifa or NFL? games. The sports games. I couldn't do OH SCHEISSE. The TV has been turned on. Maybe I just favor a different sedative, but I've always found television to be some kind of mind-numbing irritant. Video games may numb the mind to be sure, but there's a level of engagement necessary: you make choices and employ tactics. You follow a story and level abilities. Television is—what I call in my heart—a noise box. I can't hear it, so I may be ok.

So my waters may be like druids: communing with the animals and sensing the movement of the stars, for alignments will affect the waters just as the moon affects the tide. The only sadness I have is that I can't quite find a way to include raw magic, like Harry Potter magic. We shall see. I have time.

What's super awesome though is that the winds will be steampunk techno-geniuses! Booyeah! Like robots and laser cannons and spaceships and stuff. Everything I could dream. Jeepers, I have to get to that story soon before my need for it bursts my brain! Thus, I'm off to Michael to hone up some skills, and then tomorrow I may devote some time to plotting out Meadowvale to wrap it up finally once and for all.


May 24, 2017

A Needless Blurb

Google Drive, kids: it's not that hard.

I can understand the computer illiterate disliking switching from a normal PC to Google stuff, but I'm talking about full-grown, under-40 adults struggling with Google Drive. There is no excuse.

In other news, I think I may have made Michael worse. I threw out some comment about his parents, and Stophro has all suddenly become warm and mentor-y. I'm overthinking it. Moving on.

Admittedly, this morning, I had the quick notion of killing off Michael or setting him in some trap or something crazy that just ends the story. I'm tired of him—or tired of his stuffiness anyway. He's been a good exercise in writing scenery, but he's a dull little dotard.

Although, I can't do him the disservice of casting him aside. I should give him a proper end at least.

Bleh. Let me go see what comes out.

May 23, 2017

Just Literature Thoughts

I don't feel like writing again.

Well, I do, but I don't feel like making sense. In other words, I want to write for Michael the Traveler, but I got him stuck on an island, and the plot seems too sticky. I don't know why I keep trying to turn him into something sensible. Nobody needs that kind of shenanigan. I like that he has a sensible core, an approachable theme, but I never wanted him to abide by the laws of physics or logic or any such gobbledegook.

Do you ever type a words expecting the autocorrect red-line to show up, but, when it doesn't, you doubt that you could actually have spelled it correctly? That just happened with gobbledegook.

Poor Michael: he's just a wandering boy with no convictions. The worlds surge around him as he struggles just to keep up—barely.

Don't ask me about Meadowvale, but I have been jotting down charming thoughts for my elementals. They become realer and realer; I want to meet them. I mean that quite literally: I'm fashioning the different facets of my elementals after different people or cultures or customs—but I sometimes only have faint glimpses of these cultures in my mind, and I need to get to know them so I can know my elementals.

Don't ask about Meadowvale. It needs a whole new beginning, maybe one of those preface/foreword thingies. It's definitely going to have an appendix or two in the back, which will definitely include the lizards. I kind of like the discomfort their names cause, but I want readers to be able to keep track of them somehow. I should also learn how to draw. I'd like to draw the characters if only for my own sake, if only to understand them better. I also need to write little bios for each of the characters.

I might have a new student, but he's pretty far away. We shall see.

In any case, I'm going to try and pull Michael out of his boring rut.

Pip pip, cheerio.

May 22, 2017

You Should Journal

Smoothies are amazing.

I don't feel like writing.

Have you ever had the experience where someone's job is a certain skill, but you always see that someone doing almost the exact opposite of that skill, and it's really an easy skill that does indeed require energy but not a whole lot of expertise? What do you do with such individuals?

Like what do you even do? I can't even.

In other news, I don't have much news. I had a lovely hiking trip, and now I'm back to drudgery. It's not really drudgery; I think it's just a rainy day. Deep down, I feel hopeful and happy. On the outside, I feel like taking a nap. I still don't feel like writing. I wonder if my students have been journaling.

You should journal. It helps in quite a lot of ways:

  • Obviously, it hones your comfort with typing/writing.
  • It puts you into the practice of turning your thoughts into words.
    • Have you ever heard a person ramble through some confusing story until they finally came to a clear conclusion?
    • That's because he or she hasn't practiced turning thoughts/feelings into words.
  • It allows you to discover new words and phrases.
    • Technically, they're words and phrases you know, but they'll pop into your head as you're writing, and then you'll be more comfortable using them in conversation.
  • It helps you sort out your emotions.
    • So often, we're all tangled up by our emotions largely because we don't get to express them.
    • And then we express them poorly.
    • Rather, we can write about them and think about them before blasting at innocent bystanders.

The trouble with smoothies, though, is it's hard to tell how much you're eating. Since it's liquid, you can't really tell how much it is. I can't anyway. I feel bloated now, but it's probably healthy or something.

With that being said, I'm going to write something else now.

May 18, 2017

Hiking the AT!

Oh, snap.

Well, I went hiking. It murdered my little, baby calves, but the friends with whom I got to share the adventure are the best friends a man could hope to have. They were definitely very gracious to me since I was the weakest link in the chain.

I learned too many lessons—or at least observed learnable lessons. (I'm not the best learner sometimes.)

  • The human body can endure quite a lot.
    • My calves were in serious pain on the first day of the trip (we hiked for three days), but they survived the entire ordeal.
  • It's good to receive help.
    • My friends helped me by lending equipment, slowing the pace of the march, offering general encouragement, providing remedies for my miserable limbs, as well as other kindnesses.
  • It's not that bad.
    • I kept it to myself for the most part, but I whined a lot inside my head. Sometimes, I was just muttering my way through the next mile, but, sometimes, I really was just whining.
    • Nevertheless, I survived with no scars to show. It wasn't as bad as I tried to make it sound inside my brain.
  • Proper equipment is vital.
    • I brought jeans to the trip. If Greg had not lent me some swooshy pants, I would have been a more miserable, drowned rat.
    • I had boots, but they were not made for hiking. I think that's what killed my calves.
    • Most of the equipment was lent to me anyway: tent, pack, a light raincoat, headlamp, and pretty much just about everything. In the direst of situations, I could have survived without. I am thankful I didn't have to survive without.
The biggest lesson, however, that rang through my mind over and over again was that my life will not destroy me. I often lament to God how hard some trial is, perhaps even saying that it will destroy me. God was telling me over and over again, "Yes, it hurts. No, it will not destroy you. You will endure. You will grow. I love you."

Finally, I got a super-long nap on Sunday, and my mood improved dramatically. I think I was being a party pooper to a large extent, but I really did need rest. After the ultra nap, my legs just hurt; they weren't necessarily trying to kill me.

It was great exercise, but I am even super much more thankful for the friends: Janine, Greg, Lauren, and Franciska. I don't know how to describe them sufficiently. They have such gentle, gracious, generous spirits. They are filled with thankfulness. They are filled with patient understanding and light humor. They are filled with abounding warmth and words of encouragement. They have prayers on their lips and God's kingdom on their hearts and minds.

That's a meager preface, but it will have to do for now.

Well, I'm off to write this and that.

Pip pip, cheerio!

May 10, 2017

I Feel Trapped

Hullabaloo, I tell you. Hullabaloo.

I haven't written in like forever. I haven't blogged anyway. I write a lot, and it almost counts, but it's never enough.

It was strange. I recently realized most of my creative writing exercises are about being trapped:

  • Michael's story is almost entirely about how he's trapped inside a dimensionless world.
  • I wrote about a man in a dream who's actually just in an experiment.
  • One of my stories was simply called The Lock-Chair.
  • Then, I have an ambling story about a man who's stuck in a bureaucratic kingdom and is eventually captured for defying the oligarchy.
  • I even recently wrote a tiny story about some guy strung up by wires.
What's especially freaky is that none of these were planned. These have just been free-form, haphazard sketches. I guess, deep down, I feel trapped.

I'm not sure by what though. Perhaps that's what I've been trying to find through Michael; perhaps I've been searching all the worlds to uncover what's trapping me. I have some theories, but theories only go so far.

What do I do with that? I'm not sure if I should be encouraged. Does recognizing the pattern make it easier to understand? I'm not sure if I should be discouraged. Does sensing the pattern merely show how pervasive the feeling is? Probably the former.

It hasn't been as clear to me—possibly because I'm the one who's painting them—but my instructor, Amy, has recognized some kind of road or path in almost every one of my paintings. I wonder if the paths and the traps coincide. Are they paths searching for freedom?

I don't fear too much. Debt is crappy, but everyone has it. Failure is pretty common, but I'm learning to trust God better each day. Though it's not ideal, pain doesn't scare me. Being trapped is usually what scares me.

Not inside a box mind you—though that wouldn't be fun—but being metaphysically trapped, whatever that means. Maybe being trapped inside others expectations or disappointments. Maybe being trapped inside my own expectations or disappointments. Maybe being trapped inside unmet hopes.

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick" says the proverb.

No idea, but I suppose that's why I ramble.