Tag Archives: Rambling

Realizations on Writing

I teased this a couple of posts ago, and I suppose its time to pay it off.  I’m not getting any sleep tonight either with a pack of teenage hooligans roaming the neighborhood on foot for since 1:30am

So long story short, I’ve spent my down time trying to figure out why I was feeling so frustrated, (and thus burnt out) with my writing before my long break.  I came to a couple of conclusions:  I wasn’t writing for me, I was overly concerned about offending people, and I’m still trying to find my exact niche on writing.

The not writing for me thing is ironic, since during my time on twitter, I was constantly encouraging people and telling them that if THEY don’t enjoy what they’re writing, it will show through in their writing and it won’t be their best work.  I’ve studied public speaking and communication, and let myself get too wrapped up in the admonitions to tailor your communication to your audience.  That’s fine if you have a specific audience you’re reaching out to.  When you’re trying to write something that will appeal to wider demographics though, you have to set those admonitions aside to a degree and be true to yourself.  Otherwise your writing or words won’t be genuine.  People pick up on that too, at least on a subconscious level.

Twitter was a horrible experience for me in terms of creating that worry about offending people.  Despite all the talk about how great the writing community is, I saw alot of clique behavior.  Erotica authors aren’t real writers.  If you do this in your erotica (such as mentioning bra sizes), you’re a crappy writer and I won’t read you, etc…

The main gaggle of female erotica authors would even ghost you if you didn’t support their beliefs that women shouldn’t be held to any conduct, dress, etc… standards and similar extreme SJW ideas.  heaven help you if you supported a male erotica author also.  Kind of sad really.

I could (and maybe will do) a whole separate post on my thoughts there.  It does impact my writing after all.  LONG story short however, suffice it to say I do believe in women’s sexual empowerment, but I also believe in common sense limits on everything.  Wear a short, tight dress and flaunt what you’ve got for example.  Just don’t get mad if you’re dressing sexy and guys (or other women) flirt with you or check you out.  You have EVERY right to be completely safe dressed like that.  No should always mean no as well.  How you dress does nothing to change that.  Getting bitchy when you get harmless attention when you’re dressing to get attention is immature at best though.

As much as I love sex and sensuality, I also believe some things belong behind closed doors.  That’s another thing that seems to set me apart at least from some of the younger erotica authors.  I’m libertarian enough to believe anything kinky you want to do behind closed doors is fine.  Common decency and general self respect dictate some things should stay private, not flaunted in public though.  Bottom line, I’ve learned to stop caring what the twitter crowd thinks.  Shame since Twitter could be a good marketing tool.

Then there’s the whole finding my niche thing.  My Witchfire stories have been an attempt to see if I could combine superheroes and erotica in a real way.  The trouble with that specific genre is that the internet is loaded with sites catering to pubescent boys and outright misogynists, that glorify raping superheroines and “putting them in their place”.   They completely dehumanize woman, and mock strong, capable women.  That’s the last thing I want to contribute to.

At the same time, you have women fighting the worst elements of humanity in these stories, so there’s a question realism with never having it happen.  My original thinking was to keep it rare, not glorify it, and also have the heroine(s) escape / turn the tables, or at least get back at their attackers later.  Avoiding it entirely would be easy if I was only writing a sexy story.  I have been trying to spin a real, ongoing story between the sex scenes though.  Intrigue, personality conflicts, human problems, etc…

Part of the problem with Witchfire was that I was rushing the content also.  I think it made the story chapters far more sloppy than they should have been, and took a few aspects of the stories in directions I didn’t intend to go also.  If I pick up work there again, I’m likely to start over from scratch and treat the existing content thus far as rough drafts.

I admit, I’ve also felt dirty at times writing erotica.  My sexy, passionate side is balanced by a fairly strong religious and spiritual side as well.  To thine own self be true however.  I can’t pretend the sexy side doesn’t exist.  I have a real talent for smut also, lol.  I know ultimately I’d like to evolve into more of a mainstream fiction writer who includes some very racy scenes.  Yes, the unicorn known as porn with a plot for you cynical people, LOL.  Getting there means accepting all of me though, and seeing what that allows me to grow into.

And there you have it.  My continuing path to self-realization thus far as a would be author.

Struggling

Wow…  Two and a half days off and I had over 500 notification emails.  That was insane.  It took almost 4 hours to go through them, and that was deleting a quarter of them without reading the associated post.

I made a post weeks back about needing to limit the number of posts per person per day that I respond to.  I haven’t followed through on it thus far because I don’t want to miss good content, and I want to support the bloggers I’m following.  I *do* actually read, not just flip through posts hitting like.  I know some people do that too.  I see it when I get 10 likes from the same person in two minutes, LOL.  Getting back on track, I think I’m going to have to start following through on that though.

Some of you make a dozen or more posts a day.  As I mentioned that last time, I won’t discourage it.  It’s therapy for some of you.  I understand that.  It’s just alot to keep up with for the average human being.

 

I’ve also realized the last couple of days that my writer’s block and other issues really have their core at my fear of success.  I’ve always hated that label, it’s really a fear of failing after you start to succeed, making the crashing failure that much more traumatic in the person’s imagination.

It’s been REALLY frustrating too.  I’ve thought I’ve at least started to work past this garbage a few times in the past.  It keeps rearing its ugly head every time I start to get something good going.  Self doubt is the worst.

It’s amazing how many ways it’ll find to mess with me also.  Erotica is immoral and I should be writing something different.  Nobody takes superheroes seriously.  You can’t write anything else.  You don’t have the money for professional editing and cover design.  You can’t do show don’t tell worth a damned.  You’ve failed at everything else you’ve done and now you’re just broken down, stuck at home and fooling yourself…

Yeah…  I’ve got some work to do, heh.  The crazy(?) thing is the only real, lasting fix is success.  Years ago, I read practically everything out there on self improvement.  Need an answer to a personal problem, I likely know the theoretical answer.  For example, I know that in NLP or hypnosis, the common answer to my specific issue would be to anchor a point in the person’s past where they did feel successful and powerful.  Then they focus on that state and moment, making it easier to move forward.  Everything I’ve tried in life, I’ve either been mediocre at best at, or had the rug pulled out from me and been sabotaged.  I have no happy thought so the pixie dust will let me fly.  :\

So… yeah.  I’ve got an uphill fight ahead…

Unplanned Break Over

Back among  the living yet again. 🙂   MOST of my absence was just that my schedule got crazy all of the sudden.

I did find myself having to work through a few old issues from popping back into Champions Online.  I’ve talked a little bit about my past gaming experiences.  Long story short when you play online games in-character with others, it’s alot like collaborating on writing a book with several other people, or having a whole improv troop on stage all trying to do their own thing at the same time.  At best, it can get dramatic.

The trouble is, MMO games tend to attract people with low self esteem and other psychological issues.  LONG LONG story, they can get hurtful and manipulative when they don’t get their way (putting it kindly).  Last time I was playing, I got caught in a shitstorm of that drama also.  The thing is, decent people tend to wonder what they could have done different & how they added to a problem.

So, I did reach out and try to talk to a couple of former acquaintances there.  It went about as well as expected, LOL.  It was good though, because it helped weep away any doubt in my mind that these people are indeed toxic.  I got some closure.

 

So, I’m back.  I still have a bit of a crazy schedule for the immediate future, so I’m not sure how much I’ll have to post each day, but I’ll do my best.  As for all the notifications I’ve gotten the last few days.  Well 354 in the last two days is just too much to deal with.  I had to just delete them.  I’ll keep up with new ones as best I can.

The Grand Reveal

A few weeks back, I chickened out of revealing the plot for my first planned novel.  I’m going to partially reverse that decision now.  The story will be a revamped version of a hugely popular piece I wrote for my Champions Online gaming group years ago.

The story centers around my character Liberty Gold.  Libby (nickname) was the third incarnation of that character.  The first version was in City of Heroes, the second in DC Universe Online, and then Champions.  A more detailed description is on the story page, but suffice it to say here, that the current one discovers she’s descended from Greek myth, and that a prophecy surrounding her birth threatens the entire world.  It was a Halloween challenge story, so things got dark, and it took three Liberty Golds to set everything right.

Here’s a peek at the first three chapters of the original version that the book will be based on:

The Dark Prophecy

Beyond that, I’m going to give the rest of you a treat that only ComixFana has gotten thus far; access to all my City of Heroes characters and all my surviving stories.  Maybe some of you will read them where he wouldn’t, LOL.  My best story was as epic as the Liberty Gold story but destroyed by a jealous guild mate who had access to the guild website.

City of Heroes

That’s an OLD OLD blog that I used strictly to have an archive on the cloud.  Keep in mind also that this is 20 year old work in some cases.  The stories and biographies aren’t as polished.  Miss Thornbird in particular screams Mary Sue, but was a fun character to play.  The stories were also influenced strongly by people that trolled me.  Miss Deadshot’s stories you’ll notice go from nice, to me constantly trying to work around drama and BS from other players.  At one point I literally pulled a Dallas on one and made them nothing but a bad dream.

It’s amazing how interacting with other players and their characters can have some strange impacts on a character though.  Oh well, I was young.  Enjoy.

giphy

A Few More Creations

So since I’m officially post whoring now…  Here’s a few more pictures of characters put together from the Champions character creator:

 

First…  An OLD character that was actually part of the inspiration for Witchfire.  Her name is Eldrictch, AKA Becky Carsen.  She’s a half elf mage and used to tend bar at Club Caprice in Champions Online.  It was a fun way to get to talk to other players without committing to major projects.

Eldritch

Her costume displays some of my dislike for the costume creator.  Pieces like her magical bracers were sized to fit male characters and never scaled down for women.  The belt and necklace are huge also.

 

Next up is a failed attempt at recreating Witchfire herself.  I much prefer the Morrigan statue that I have pictured in her story section.  It’s a near perfect representation.  This…  Well I thought people would find it interesting if nothing else:

Witchfire

 

Next, I actually did get a good representation of my tongue in cheek Dr Strange clone in the Witchfire stories.  I give you the infamous Dr Steven Weird:

Dr Weird Front

 

Last but hardly least, a special treat.  Jennifer Saunders, AKA Liberty Gold in the game.  She will actually be the star of the first non-erotica book I’m writing.  Probably with a hero name change though.

Liberty Gold

 

Now for Some Good News

I’ll wait in the other thing I wanted complain about.  There’s enough negativity out there already, AND I do my best to limit myself to just a few posts a day.  I think that’s easier on followers.

While I was away, I passed the 100 follower mark.  In fact, with some help from my guest post at LittleFears, I now am sitting at 114 followers. 🙂   Here’s a quick peek at my WP traffic map:

WP Map

Not bad for a blog that’s only been active since October of last year.  😀

India has been a pleasant surprise in both the number of followers I’ve picked up and the quality of their thoughts & writing.

My major stray thought / self doubt is what would happen if I went back to focusing on erotica.  The blog has drifted away from that.  Think it’s helped people see that there’s a real person behind the screen name even if I am otherwise very private.

 

Twitter’s J Lo Controversy

Or more accurately some of the people there do.

There was a tweet I got one of Twitter’s “come look at this and see what you’re missing”. emails that had an article / tweet I wanted to talk about, but first a news story I saw a few minutes ago.  Apparently folks on twitter were up in arms over J Lo doing a Motown tribute (at the Grammys I presume, I don’t watch award shows).  It was just horrible and offensive that they didn’t have a black person do it.

Shouldn’t what matters more be that they had a talented singer who does NOT need auto-tune or bass / techno crap blasting over their “singing” to cover it up?  I can understand being offended if it was Britney Spears chosen because auto tune and back masking are the only ways she gets mistaken for a singer.  Yes, there are plenty of talented black singers out there.  J Lo has a very universal appeal though,  (much like Motown) and that will make more people listen.  It spreads the message more.

I do get what’s called “white washing” when there’s a white performer involved.  I’m usually fairly big on staying true to an original story.  Hence I thought Scarlet Johanson was a poor choice to play the Major in “Ghost in the Shell”.  Great adaptation otherwise, but the character is Asian and should have been played by an Asian.  Occasionally stuff works though and you have to give people a chance.  Samuel L Jackson pulled off Nick Fury so well that Marvel did away with the old white version in the comic books.  Should I be offended, or just admit he nailed the part?

The irony here is that I know without even looking that the people howling over this are the same ones preaching inclusiveness and diversity.  Shouldn’t diversity and inclusiveness include the ability to celebrate and respectfully enjoy / partake in other cultures?

That’s not even getting into the fact that there were a few non-black performers in Motown.  Teena Marie, Chris Clark and Kiki Dee were all white women than sang for the Motown label.

Rant over…  I’m going to go listen to “Get Over It” by the Eagles.

That song came out in 1994, sung by a very liberal band.  God only knows what they’d think about things today.

Me and Mary Sue Return

I am officially back among the living again. 🙂

Nicholson

I never was really totally gone, unless you count the lack of productivity in my own writing.

So I had an interesting realization while taking that time off.  Mary Sue is a HARD woman to kill, LOL.  She shows up in the oddest damned places too.  For those of you not familiar with the term, a “Mary Sue” is an overly perfect character; super popular, smart, good at everything, super model level attractive, etc…  The archetype is often seen as the writer’s idealized version of themself.  The male version is sometimes called a Marty Stu.

My first City of Heroes character was very much a Mary Sue.  As I studied more about writing and character development, I got further away from that over-idealized stereotype and made characters for writing and games that were more balanced.  Not perfect, but much better.  Up till last night, I thought I’d slain the dread Mary Sue.

Then, as I’m killing time playing Champions Online with a friend, I realize that Mary Sue had snuck back into my life.  This time a bit more of the idealized me than the perfect person scenario.  My character “Paladin” is a power armor character much along the lines of Marvel’s Iron Man.  Maybe closer to War Machine actually.  I can honestly say I made her BEFORE Marvel turned Rhodey into a jet jockey though.

Side note; he was originally an army helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

So, the character is an Air Force pilot that gets into bad dogfight while taking up two rookie pilots for training in the Middle East.  They get jumped by a group of Russian Migs.  She gets the other two away safely and manages to shoot down two of the five Migs, but not before her plane is hit and she takes some shrapnel to her lower spine.

She’s initially told she won’t walk again.  Being a Tony Stark level inventor though, she invents her armor initially as a suit to act as a junction to her legs and let her walk again.  It grows into the Paladin armor over time from there.

Recapping the character’s origin story for an in-game friend, I realized that she was an idealized version (sort of) of me, and that I apparently haven’t come to terms with my physical issues as much as I thought.

I haven’t talked much about my own health problems.  I want to be known for what I do (or at least write or say) rather than my issues.  Some folks whine and milk their problems to death also, to the point that I think most folks are sick of it all.  Just as a another side note, I do differentiate between that and those of you who blog to help others deal with similar situations.  Completely opposite things there.

Anyway, I have stage two spinal degeneration in my entire back.  That means degenerated (herniated) discs, and bone spurs, but the vertebrae haven’t started fusing together yet.  A good portion of the herniation is mild; only a few centimeters.  Other spots, like my lower back (right where I envisioned Paladin getting hit by shrapnel), is pretty bad.  I have a completely torn disc in my neck also, thanks to a crap chiropractor.

The bone spurs are where the real problem is.  I also have a swollen tendon on the left side of my neck, and the bone spurs tend to pinch it when my neck goes out of alignment.  THAT triggers massive Cervogenic headaches.  I also have a tremor in my left arm that the doctors are still debating if it’s related to pinched nerves OR early onset Parkinson’s disease.  So yeah, I’m a mess, LOL.  I’m still mobile though, and there are people out there alot worse off than me.  Being aware of that, I thought I’d kept a pretty good attitude about everything.

Then last night it hits me that Paladin is how I wish I could fix my problems and not feel as useless as I often do.  What makes it hard for me is that I was brought up to believe people should be as self sufficient as possible.  My issues have derailed completely the last couple of jobs I’ve had.  If I’m very sedentary, I do OK.  Activity has everything popping out of joint and me in real pain.  So, I’m OK if I sit around and do nothing.  Blah!

That’s all the more difficult to take because at my peak I was extremely active.  I’ve mentioned my martial arts training a few times.  At my best, I was training 3 hours a day between two different schools, and loving it.  When I was younger, my parents told me I was too much of a wuss to take classes and that I’d only cry and quit.  Doing itfor 3 hours a day was a real sense of empowerment.

So, things are still more of a struggle than I’d like to admit; coming to terms with my condition and feeling like I should somehow be doing more…  It even gnaws at my writing productivity.  Why am I doing this when I should be finding a way to make money, etc…  Even reminding myself that I intend to be published doesn’t help shut up that nagging doubt.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m in a better place than I was even a year ago.  It’s just frustrating realizing how far I still have to go.

There’s also a lesson here that lessons will show up in the darnedest places and ways if you really look for them.

Couple Days Off

Yeah, Huey had it right.  Time to take a break here.  I have real life things that need to get squared away, and I’m spending more and more time trying to keep up with people I’m following who post more and more.

 

I like my job and I don’t mind the work
But eleven out of twelve is bound to hurt
The pay’s pretty good and the benefits are fine
But I got a little girl and I wanna make her mine

Don’t mind telling you i get a little mad
To get a bit ahead takes all the time I have
Don’t misunderstand me
I’m not getting soft
All i want is a couple days off

Can’t wait for the weekend
Ah baby just can’t wait no

I don’t need another high song to sing
I don’t need a shiny new diamond ring
I don’t need to meet nobody else
I just need a little time for myself
’cause I’m only human, I’m no machine
I need a little loving only you know what I mean
Don’t misunderstand me
I’m not getting soft
All i want is a couple days off

Let me catch my breath

 

Thank god for the weekend

Back to the old grind

I don’t need another long coffee break
I’ve had as much coffee as a man can take
I need to change my disposition
Change my point of view
I need time to figure out what i want to do

Believe me when i tell you it gets a little rough
We work a little harder but it never is enough

I’m not afraid to say
I’m a total loss
All I want is a couple days off

Can’t wait for the weekend

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLtgyc5JmE8

 

Back in a day or so after I get caught up AND figure out how to better implement my previous post’s blogging time management plan.

Superbowl Ads

For those who had no real interest in watching the game, here’s a link to the commercials played during the game.

Superbowl Commercials

 

I admit, I passed on the game myself.  Patriots every years is stale, as is the questionable officiating anymore.  We all enjoyed the kitten bowl much more.  In fact it was a hoot watching the Siamese staring intently as the kitties ran back and forth across the screen, LOL