Tag Archives: current-events

Another Lousy Story

Dirty Little Freaks #13 is tentatively titled “Another Door Opens”. As you can guess, it’s about finding new opportunities after dealing with a disaster. Unfortunately, the story sucks. But remember:

It’s okay to suck.

The reason that it is okay that this story sucks is because it has the makings of a pretty good story. It just needs a lot of work to bring it out. Let me lay it out for you.

The story is about a sixteen year old girl whose father was injured in a mass shooting. As a result of the trauma, he uprooted his family and moved into the country. The girl goes for a jog, mainly just to get out of the house, and spots a dog wearing roller skates. She follows this funny pooch and discovers a five-year old boy who has been left all alone. She spends some time playing games with him and getting to know him, but when she asks where his parents are he gets upset. She calms him down and he eventually falls asleep, then she gets up and checks out the house. She finds family photos, and recognizes the mom and dad as two previously unidentified victims of the shooting. At that point the boys slightly older brother (about twelve years old) comes back from the grocery store, where he has picked up some simple food to help them get by. He is afraid that the foster system will tear him away from his little brother, but she reassured him that somehow they will work it out so that won’t happen.

I want this story to be about a girl who is trying to rebuild a life, both for herself and her traumatized father. When she meets these two boys who no longer have any parents, she decides that helping them will also fix her own problems. This is a complicated thing to pull off, and my first draft failed miserably. But that’s okay, because the fumbling steps that I took to get the first draft done have helped me discover my characters, as well as their story. Now all I have to do is write it again.

But that’s for another day. This year is all about getting the stories out. Revisions won’t start until next year.

I think that for my next story I’m going to go back to Trevor, the Alchemist. I’m anxious to hear all about the next step on his journey toward becoming a superhero.

I’ll be back on Wednesday. See you then!

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Build-Your-Own Apocalypse!

Well, it’s December 23rd, and most of us are still here, so I guess the guys who thought the Mayans were predicting the end of the world were wrong.

Or were they?

I saw something online on the 21st that caught my attention. It said that the Mayans weren’t saying that the physical world was going to end. Instead, it said that it was more of a spiritual ending. It said that the world was going to change from viewing things from a selfish perspective, and start focusing more on love and harmony. So more like the end of an age than the end of everything.

I don’t know about you, but from everything that has been happening in the last couple of years, that is the sort of apocalypse I can support!

So that’s why I am writing this post today. It fits right in with the whole New Year’s Resolutions thing, too. I have a question for all of you, and I want you to be brutally honest with yourself (and with me if you feel like sharing) when you answer it.

The world you grew up in is gone.

What kind of world are YOU going to build to replace it?

There are so many opportunities for change in this world. There is a political upheaval going on RIGHT NOW in this country, and we have the chance to show the world what kind of people we are. I would like the chance to show them that the citizens of America are still good and decent people, and not brainless corporate zombies the way the Tea Party Republicans would have us be. It’s up to us to make a difference and be the change that will shape this nation for the next hundred years. I hope you are with me.

I am going to go to church more often. I am going to do more to help my fellow man. I am going to think more about others than of myself. And I am going to share everything that is meaningful to me with anyone who will listen.

Peace, harmony, and all of my love to each and every one of you in this new year.

“Be excellent to each other!” – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

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Filed under About Me, Politics

Are You Ready for the Apocalypse?

The word on the street is that nine days from now, on December 21st, the world is going to end. They say this because the Mayan calendar ends on that day. This seems a little bit extreme, considering that our calendar ends every year on December 31 and people don’t consider that a portent of doom.

However you feel about the Mayans, I have to admit that there are plenty of signs of bad things to come for all of us. The political upheavals of the last few years have got me thinking that our society is on the brink, and despite the re-election of Barack Obama, they don’t seem to be getting any better.

Most generations think that things have gotten worse over the course of their years, and I am no exception. I look back fondly on many of the years of my youth. But even though I am an adult now, and have a fairly decent job, I am still living in a rough neighborhood for the simple reason that I can’t afford a better place. I am still paying rent because I can’t manage to save enough for even a down payment on a house. I am driving a sixteen year old car that is literally falling apart because even though I have no outstanding debts, my credit score is still too low for me to get a decent loan.

And everywhere on the news, I see politicians helping the richest people in the country get richer, while the majority of their constituents end up homeless and unemployed, living off what is left of the government’s social programs.

This isn’t the America I grew up in. This is certainly not the America I thought my kids would inherit.

When did America stop being a democracy and start being a fascist regime? When did the people stop caring and let the corporations take over?

I’m sorry that this post has turned into something so depressing. But if nobody does anything about the problem, then I can only see one outcome. America will either have another civil war, with the 1% on one side and the 99% on the other. Those may seem like good odds, but you have to remember that they are the only ones that will be able to afford the weapons in this war. Take a look back at history to see what happens when the downtrodden workers go up against the wealthy elite. It never ends well.

So stock up on your emergency rations and make your plans for defending your home. Either rioters or zombies, one of them will be knocking down your door before you know it.

Check in again on Sunday. I’ll be starting my vacation and I’m planning on seeing the new Hobbit movie while I still can. I’ll post a review in an attempt to lighten things up around here. See you then!

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What Happened?

Today I thought I would share some of the political thoughts and feelings that I have been having lately.

Here we are, a month after the election. Barack Obama was re-elected and I was hoping that we would be able to get past all the bullshit that has been at the forefront of the news and media for the last year. Instead, it seems to just be getting worse.

Michigan just rammed through a “Right to Work” law that is anything but. The lame duck Republicans pushed it through in a single day, with no open discussion and after literally locking out their constituents. That is NOT democracy. That is NOT why these people were elected to office. That is why they weren’t re-elected in November.

So why did they do it? It can’t be because they think it is for the good of the people. The only people it serves are the corporations that will now be able to get rid of the unions and hire people at lower pay with no benefits. And that just makes things worse.

I read recently that the state of Wisconsin is one of the top states in corporate giveaways. Michigan is even worse. Every taxpayer in Wisconsin is forced to pay $268 of tax money every year to big business, and there is little or no benefit from doing so. There are no jobs created, and the companies that take the money have no requirements to even stay in the state. And meanwhile, despite having record profits, the corporations continue to demand more.

So even with the billions of dollars of corporate welfare, why is Wisconsin at the bottom when it comes to unemployment? And why, when the “governor” has promised a “laser focus on jobs”, has he done absolutely nothing about the problem?

Instead, the news from Scott Walker’s office is that he is spending half a million dollars on a new kitchen. He has stated that he is touring the state so he can talk to the people, but the stops on his tour are invitation only and not open to the general public. More and more of his associates are being arrested, tried, and convicted, with their fingers pointing directly at him, and yet he laughingly dismisses a serious call for his arrest as a case of sour grapes.

I got the idea for my NaNoWriMo project from my frustrations about the current political situation in Wisconsin and the country. And despite the Democratic wins in November, the Republicans are still pushing the same old crap that lost them their seat at the table.

It’s depressing.

It makes me think that there will be nothing left for our children. It makes me think that the country I grew up in is dead and gone, and I wonder why I am still here. There is no end to the insanity in sight.

It almost makes me hope that the people who say the world is going to end this month are right, because I’m not sure that we as a people still deserve to live.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, think about who is currently in power. The ones that are in charge of the country now are people who grew up in the eighties and nineties. The Yuppies of the “Me” generation. They grew up rich and privileged, thinking of nothing but themselves, so it is no wonder that now that they are in charge they are pushing for laws that benefit nobody but themselves.

And the whole thing is self-destructive. If they would just stop to think about it, they might realize that if they continue to take money away from the people who are supposed to be buying their goods, soon enough there won’t be anybody left that will be able to buy anything. They will end up closing their doors because their only customers will be people as rich as they are, and we all know that they aren’t spending their money. Instead, they stash it in offshore bank accounts, or give it to crooked politicians like Scott Walker and his gang of thieves, so they can continue to feed off the public teat.

So that’s my soap box speech for the day. Maybe someone can be nice and leave a comment to let me know that all isn’t lost. Or at least tell me that I am not alone in these thoughts.

And when you’re shopping this holiday season (if you can still afford it, I know I can’t), try going to a small, independent store where the owner greets you with a smile from behind the counter. Or better yet, buy direct from a local craftsman. Stay away from the big box stores. You know, the ones that pay their workers minimum wage with no benefits. They already have enough of your money, and odds are that it is going to a bank outside of the country.

See you Wednesday! Hopefully I’ll have something less depressing to write about. Does anybody have any suggestions?

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Good New and Bad News

The first thing that I did this morning was check the election results. I felt that this election was one of the most important decisions of my life, and I was anxious to find out what happened. Not enough that I had to stay awake last night for it, but enough that it was the first thing on my mind when I got up.

The good news is that the Tea Party Jihad has failed. The arrogant, lying waffler, Mitt Romney, will NOT be our next President. Thank God! Also, Wisconsin finally managed to realize the Tommy Thompson was only interested in himself and how he can profit from betraying us to his corporate friends in Washington, and he also lost his election to the Senate.

The bad news is that the waffler’s head weasel, Paul Ryan, won his bid for re-election to Congress, despite the fact that at the same time that he told voters a Congressman should be limited to six terms, this will be his seventh. So I guess the people of Janesville and the surrounding areas still have their heads up their asses, and failed to see how Ryan is simply another lying corporate stooge.

And it also appears that the Democrats have lost control of the state legislature as well, which means that Walker, Inc., will be sticking it to the Wisconsin people once again. We can probably expect more protests. We can definitely expect more lies. Personally, I’m still wondering why the John Doe investigation still hasn’t dragged him away in chains. There’s no doubt in my mind that he is an even bigger crook than Tommy Thompson. And the worst part about it is that he’s also too stupid to bother covering his tracks.

Whew. That feels better. Politics is a nasty business, isn’t it. I feel like I should go get the mouthwash to clean the filth out of my mouth for having to say those names.

In other news, my NaNoWriMo story is progressing well. I have over 12,000 words, so I’m ahead of schedule. If there’s one thing that this election season has done for me, it has been to provide a huge amount of inspiration for a dystopian novel. And despite the fact that I now have hope for the future, I also know that those Republican idiots are still out there, and will probably be back. It’s up to us to protect our democracy, and guard our right to vote, or it will be taken away from us. It doesn’t look good to the rest of the world when we send our troops out “to fight for democracy,” when we don’t have it at home.

That’s the end of my rant for the day. Time to get back to writing, so I can stay ahead of the game. I’ll check in again on Sunday. See you then.

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics

Planning for the Future

I am still working on my YA story, and last night I hit 42,000 words. But today I thought I should start getting some thoughts down for my next project, which needs to be ready in time for NaNoWriMo.

In case you missed it, my next story is going to be about a civil war or revolution (what is the difference?) here in America. The things that the Republican Taliban Tea Party have been trying to push through are disgusting and wrong, and have me seriously concerned about the direction my country is headed. So, like any author worth his salt, I decided I need to write a story about it.

Of course, the story is going to be anything but normal. I’m partial to writing urban fantasy, so my story is going to be about how the evil Republicans have made a pact with the dark forces in order to win the election, and now the monsters and demons are starting to come out to play. I’m going to bring in my Valkyrie forces from my earlier books, as well as the wizard and his dragon from my first NaNoWriMo story. They will have to fight the demons and bring the country back to the side of good.

Sounds good, right? The question is, how to make it great?

I thought that the first thing I should do is start making a list of all the funny business the Tea Party has on the Republican platform and how it would affect the country if they win and start pushing it through. Things like the cuts to education, which would put most of our kids into a position where they won’t be able to get a decent job. Or the union busting, which opens the way for the elimination of the minimum wage and child labor laws. These things together would likely result in most of America becoming nothing but slaves to the big corporations. Think of history, and the “company store” that coal miners had to put up with. They would work all day for a company and come home owing more back to the company than they brought home. It was a vicious cycle that took the combined efforts of unions and the government to end. I don’t want to end up like that.

So today I am going to try to get my writing done as usual, but I am also going to work on starting my list (I have a little list, they’ll never be missed). For now I’m just going to compile the atrocities on their platform, later I’ll work on putting my thoughts down on what will happen if they get enacted.

Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts on the matter. The issues that concern me the most are the war on women and the destruction of our public education system. What are yours? Do the plans of the Tea Party give you nightmares like mine?

As usual, I’ll be back on Sunday with another update. See you then!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, ROW80, The Writing Experience

Short update

I’m not feeling up to a long post today, so I’ll just hit some highlights:

I hit 40,000 words yesterday, which was my goal for August. That means that any more writing I do this month will just be getting me that much farther ahead for September. I’m not sure if the story is going to make it to 60,000 words, but at least it will definitely be finished by the end of this ROW80 round.

I’m also starting to think of what to do for NaNoWriMo. I have a couple of co-workers that I discuss politics with each morning, and I have been telling them that if the Republicans get their way, either the country will fall apart, or we will have another civil war. I am firmly in the Obama camp for the upcoming election, because everything that I know about the Republican platform shows me that they are only out to serve their corporate masters and they will screw the rest of the country to get it done.

Regardless of whatever your political leanings are, the reason I mention it is that I made a comment a week or so back to one of my co-workers that I thought maybe the next story I write should be about the next American civil war/revolution. So that thought has been percolating in the back of my head for a while and I had an idea of how I could take the idea from my first NaNoWriMo story along  with the characters from my Valkyrie series and use them to write something that puts all of it into one place. So here’s a short blurb about the plan:

The country is going to hell. Literally. The Republicans won the election through demonology, and now that they are in power, the demons are getting restless. They break free of their masters and start wreaking havoc. The Valkyries have to step in and try to stop them, but they find that they can’t do it alone. They find a man who has discovered an ancient race of dragons and managed to learn some of their magic and is now teaching it to others. Together, the dragon wizards and the Valkyries take back the country by destroying the demons and the evil men that initially summoned them.

There’s not a whole lot there right now, just a premise and an ending. Now I have to start plotting out all the fine points that go in between. I also want to do a lot of work on the character arcs before I start writing as well. Since I have already written these characters, I have a pretty good idea of what they are like, so there won’t be any discovery writing for this story.

The last thing I wanted to say was THANK YOU to everyone that commented on my last post regarding editing ideas for my superpower story. Feel free to comment on my new idea as well.

That’s about it for today. Not as short as it could have been, but shorter than normal for me. See you again on Wednesday!

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Filed under NaNoWriMo, Politics, ROW80, The Writing Experience