Tag Archives: Republican

Bad Day

Sorry for the late post. I’ve had a rough day.

First off, I just barely started writing my new story today. I got 61 words in before work. I planned on writing more during lunch, but I checked my Facebook page while I was eating and the stories I saw there got me so angry that I couldn’t bring myself to write anything.

What pissed me off is that my Tea Party poster boy governor is “considering” getting rid of the Wisconsin income tax and replacing it by raising the state sales tax from 5% to 13%. There isn’t a single state in America with sales tax that high. Not even the ones that already don’t have income tax. And while his corporate masters love this idea, it is a really bad idea for 80% of Wisconsin residents. It puts all the burden of the state’s civil programs on the lower and middle class, while the top 5% will end up with more money that they can stash in the off-shore bank accounts.

Another problem with this plan is that it will actually discourage people from spending money in Wisconsin. Anyone who wants to buy something of any value will either order it online or leave the state to buy it. We already have people who do this, so Walker is insane to think that by more than doubling the sales tax it will help the economy. Yet another moronic idea brought to you by the people who still haven’t figured out that “trickle-down economics” doesn’t work, despite thirty years of proof.

So anyway, I’ve had a bad day. I’m going to bed now, and I am hoping that I will be able to get some writing done tomorrow. With luck I’ll still be able to finish a story by Saturday. I’ll be back on Sunday to let you know how it went. 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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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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Still Writing

As you can see by my nifty NaNoWriMo word count meter, I’m still writing. As of Wednesday evening I have over 56,000 words written for this novel. I also think I might have an idea on how I can end the book. Or at the very least a good cliffhanger.

When I was planning this story, I simply could not comprehend how the Republican party had turned so fully against common sense. It seemed that everything they were doing was an attack on the American people. And so, like any good Christian, I assumed that they had been possessed by demons. That was a basic premise of my idea.

However, after I started writing it, I found it more focused on my heroes and less on the demons. Even with all of these words written, the demons are only mentioned a few times and never actually seen. There is no proof of any kind of demonic influence, only a statement by one of the Norns (from the Norse mythology, a little like the classic Greek Fates).

Today I was working on planning a raid by the rebel forces. I decided to attack the Dane County Coliseum, and I had to decide why. What I came up with was that the wealthy people in power have converted into something like the ancient Roman Coliseum, where gladiatorial and sexual events are held on a regular basis to entertain the elite. After the recent laws regarding the Castle Doctrine and the Republican war on women, I figured that kind of perversion would be something that many of them approve of if they had the power to enact it.

The rebels want to attack for two reasons. First, to take out some of the sick idiots running the place. They expect the Governor (who I hope will be indicted soon in real life) to be there along with several other political figures. Secondly, they want to film the depravities being conducted there and broadcast them to the public, hoping to incite outrage in the people and get more of them on their side.

My idea is that when they attack they will find more than they bargained for. They will find that after the fights and orgies are over, the demons come in to “clean up” by eating any surviving prisoners. No witnesses, right?

I think that might be a good way to end this book. I would have the big reveal of the truth behind the devastation of America, and the promise of more battles to come in the next book.

The other option, of course, is to do the reveal and then just keep writing. I could just keep going until the whole story is done, then break it up into sections for publishing, like Tolkien did with the Lord of the Rings.

I guess I’ll have to keep thinking about that. In the meantime, I’m going to try to keep up my pace until Friday, the end of November. Then I’ll verify my word count on the NaNoWriMo website to become an official winner. What comes after that, I’m not sure. I’ll probably need a break, because I’m running out of my pre-planned outline, and the story has changed so much from that anyway that I should probably take at least a few days to plan out the next phase of the story.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo I hope you have either finished or are almost done. And if you didn’t join me in this month-long adventure in writing, there’s always next year!

See you again on Sunday. Good night!

PS: Now go write!

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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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Mix and Match

Before you ask, no, I’m not done with my summary yet. I have been working on it, honest! I’m up to over 3,400 words as I write this, but I hit a snag. It’s not a problem with the story so much as that I had a new idea that has got me thinking about a different, and hopefully better, way to bring some conflict into this tale. And that brings me to the topic for today.

A good trick for many authors is to mix and match things that may, at first glance, not seem to fit together. My idea does this.

My NaNoWriMo story this year is about civil war, as the ramifications of the Republican political platform have been weighing heavily on my mind lately. The backwards thinking of the right-wing extremists that have taken control of the GOP have convinced me that this election is the most important vote of my life. And I couldn’t help but to (literally) demonize the crazies by including a supernatural influence in my story. I also thought that this would be a good way to rewrite the first NaNoWriMo book and include the Valkyries I have been writing about since then.

So since I have tossed all these ideas into the melting pot, you can guess that the resulting plot summary is all over the map. As I was working on it tonight I think that I may have come up with a way to bring all this stuff together into a single, cohesive whole. Either that or I have lost it completely and my story will end up even more of a mess than before.

Before I explain my idea, I need to tell you a little bit about myself. First, I am half Norwegian (on my mother’s side). That heritage is why I chose to write about Valkyries in the first place. I had a basic knowledge of the Norse mythology, and over the last couple of years I have amassed a small collection of books that have helped me expand that understanding into something that I can use in my books.

Second, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. That’s right, the Mormons. The same church that Mitt Romney says he belongs to, although I don’t think that he is living any of the principles that the church believes in. But I won’t go into that now. If you watched the debates over the last few weeks you should know by now that he is not now, and probably never will be ready to be a good President. And if you disagree with me then you obviously haven’t been paying attention and I probably wouldn’t be able to convince you otherwise, so we’ll leave it at that.

So taking those two things into account, while I have a great respect for my Norwegian heritage, my faith in the LDS church is also very important to me. My first NaNoWriMo effort included some heavy references to my church, and I do want to include that in this book as well. But that brings me to a problem, as well as a possible solution.

The problem is that if the Valkyries and the related mythology are such a big part of this book, how does my main character resolve the conflict between his introduction to the supernatural world and his faith in the Christian God? (No matter what you may have heard, the LDS faith worships the same God as the Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, etc., etc., etc. We just don’t think they are doing it right.)

My solution was that the Christian God is superior to the Norse gods. If you read the Norse mythologies, deities such as Odin, Thor, Loki, and the others are all represented more as super-powered humans than actual gods. As a matter of fact, I think that there are some experts on this mythology that think that the Norse pantheon is actually a tale of a group of actual people that has been exaggerated way out of proportion over the course of history. They think that these adventurers simply had a really good bard to tell their stories, making them into the stuff of legends.

What this means for my hero is that he can keep his faith while fighting side by side with Thor. He can take comfort in the prospect of going to heaven while he is battling the demons of Loki’s army.

Working with one of the Einherjar (the warriors of Valhalla) may be a little harder to explain, but I’ll figure that out when I get to it.

So here is where we come to the idea that could bring this all together. As I was thinking about the Norse mythology, I started thinking about Ragnarök. The Norse Armageddon was something that I had thought about including before, but now I think that their version of the end of the world could be the one thing that pulls this all together.

I think I can plan the book so that my hero is thrown into one scenario after another from the prophecy of Ragnarök. The parts would have to be changed in order to more include more demons than giants, but I think that this could help to focus the plot into a recognizable pattern. Not too recognizable, as I want it to be a surprise when I pull out the reveal that this s all a lead-up to Armageddon, but I think it could definitely work.

So that’s where I’m going to have to focus my efforts. I’m going to try to finish the summary with that end goal in mind, and then when I break it up into a usable outline I can interweave the Ragnarök theme into it as appropriate.

Please let me know what you think of this plan. Is this a workable idea, or am I way off base? Any input would be appreciated.

I’ll check in again on Sunday. See you then!

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Filling in Some Holes

Things are still moving, although they are still mostly in my head. This week I have been considering the problem of the holes in my story idea. This is a common problem, so don’t be discouraged if it happens to you. If you’ve got a few minutes, I’ll tell you some more.

My idea is that the country has gone to hell, literally. The nefarious forces behind the recent Republican atrocities were actually demons. The politicians had made pacts with the darkness to get elected, and the weak-minded citizens allowed them to do it. Now the country is nothing like the powerful nation of freedom that it used to be, and things are heating up toward a new civil war.

The gaping hole that I found in this idea is that I need to figure out just how far things have progressed, and why nothing was done about the problem before. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and if you have been paying attention to the news, when the villainous Scott Walker was elected and started his term of office by breaking the state laws and ignoring the Constitution the people of Wisconsin got mad. We didn’t just stand for it. Instead, we marched, we protested, we sang, we shouted, we made our voices heard. Unfortunately, the dark forces (and money) behind Walker managed to buy their way through the recall campaign, so we are stuck with two more years of this crook.

On the national stage, we are dealing with the same kinds of issues. There have been massive public outcries about the disastrous policies put forward by the Republican right-wing extremists. So if there is already that much noise about the terrorist acts of these politicians, how can I think that my fellow countrymen would stand for this kind of thing in the first place?

It’s a dilemma, and one that is vital for me to figure out before I start writing. I have to know how we got there before I can tell my story about how we are going to get out of it.

Magic is going to be a big part of this story, so that may be the simplest answer. After all, they are demons. Maybe they simply cast a spell on the voting machines to get their way. I may be able to work with that.

That’s all the time I have for this post. Look for me again on Sunday. See you then!

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Stealing from the Best

I’m still plugging away at my plan for NaNoWriMo in November. I was playing around with some ideas for the plot this morning and had a bit of an epiphany.

My idea has some small parallels with the original Star Wars trilogy. Maybe I should pattern it after the movies. Then I would have not just one, but three books that I could write.

Now before you get all hot and bothered about stealing ideas from other creators, let me remind you of one thing: THAT’S WHAT WRITERS DO!

Seriously, there are only so many plots available to write. Every author takes one (or more) of them and creates his own story from that basic idea. I’m certainly not going to plagiarise George Lucas. There is no way that I can write about my Valkyries fighting a demon incursion and have to worry about George setting his lawyers after me.

What I mean, is that I can write my story in such a way that my characters will be hooking up with a rebel force and at the end they will take down a major demon stronghold. It won’t be the Death Star, but it will be big, nasty, and destroying it will be a huge setback for the demons. After that I can write a second book in which the demons “strike back”, and lastly one in which the rebels, led by my main characters, take down the evil empire.

Although I won’t be copying the movies, I do want to watch them again before I start writing. I’ve got a whole stack of other dystopian films to go through as well, so I will certainly be busy for the next month.

I may end up changing my mind about this idea, but for now that is what I am going with. Let me know what you think. I could use a second (or third, fourth, ninety-eighth) opinion before I make a big mistake. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out who will be the evil emperor behind all the chaos.

Speaking of evil empires, I learned today that the governor of my state (but definitely not MY governor), the weasel Scott Walker, is going to start a national narc campaign. “If you see something, tell somebody.” This whole idea gets under my skin in so many ways.

First off, remember that this is from a man who has to have a legal defense fund, has had several of his political “achievements” turned over because they are illegal and/or unconstitutional, and who has spent most of his term touring the country because he is afraid to show his face in Wisconsin. If this goes into effect, you would think he would realize how many calls they are going to get about him and his cronies. Not a good idea.

Secondly, if I remember my history correctly, the Nazis had a similar program to flush out Jews. I know Joseph McCarthy did at the height of the Red Scare. This is how it started. A seemingly innocent program that sounds like it is only intended to flush out the criminal element, but it quickly turns neighbors and co-workers against each other.

For the last ten years we have been trying to regain our privacy and freedom from the “Homeland Security Agency”. The paranoid extremists took the opportunity given them by the tragedy of 9/11 to get a toe hold into our democracy, and that crack has only widened over the last decade. I really don’t think this country needs another witch hunt. It will bring nothing but pain and injustice to a country that needs, more than ever, to come together.

Whatever happens in the next couple months, I hope and pray that we as a nation will be able to come to our senses and go back to the good and decent country that I grew up in. Please remember to VOTE in November. Do your part to make my dream come true.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with another update. Don’t forget to leave a comment for me!

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Break Time

Sorry for the late post, but I don’t have much to report today.

The last several days have been spent mostly in reading and watching movies. I haven’t thought much about my next project, other than letting ideas sift through my subconscious.

But sometimes that’s the best thing for you to do. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let your hindbrain figure out what the hell you were thinking when that shining star of an idea popped into your head. The details need to crawl out of the primordial ooze pooling in the dark corners of your mind. Only then can you start writing that once in a lifetime story that only you can tell.

Or maybe it will all turn out to be a piece of crap that isn’t worth the time you will slave over it to get it into print.

Whatever. I’m still thinking, trying to figure out how to start. I’m leaning toward starting with either Miranda (one of the Valkyries) or Kari (Loki’s daughter). Either way, there will be a rape gang involved. Miranda would be fighting them off, while Kari would sit back and enjoy it, like a good Republican woman.

So now the trick is figure out which one works best, and where I would go from there. If I can get that down, then maybe I can work on at least the start of an extended, detailed summary of the entire plot. It would be several pages long, with enough detail in it to let me follow the entire story, but without actually writing the novel.

So that’s what is on the plan for the next few days. I’ll let you know on Sunday how it went.

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Where to Begin?

I have an idea.

I started working out the details of the setting for my story. It’s important to know something about their world so the characters have a background to work in.

I have identified most of the major characters and given them a place in the world.

Now I need to take all of this and plan it out so that my idea, characters, and setting turn into a solid story. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

The first problem is that the setting for my story is a little overwhelming. My last post gave some of the details of that world, and if you read it all the way through you are probably as depressed as I am about the current political situation in the United States. I’m not sure how I am going to be able to make it through the next six weeks before the election on November 6. The only comfort I have is that, based on the polls, Romney really doesn’t stand a chance of winning. But then, elections have been bought before. Just look at the results of Scott Walker’s recall election for proof of that one. I’m also still convinced that George Bush rigged both of his election victories.

Another problem is that I am using characters from stories I have already written. This story is kind of a new spin on my first NaNoWriMo project, with the addition of the main characters from my two Valkyrie novels. The main character from my first book, however, will be a bit different from the way he was originally portrayed, and the story itself will be a lot different.

Since I am using the main characters of three of my previous novels, I want to give each of them a chance to shine in this one. So I will need to figure out how to switch between character viewpoints as I write. The book I just finished used multiple character viewpoints, but I don’t think I did it very well. I’m hoping that with a little more planning I’ll be able to do a better job of it this time. I’m thinking of switching viewpoints between chapters, and with a little preparation I’ll be able to plan each of my chapters in advance and decide which character will be the focus of each point of the story.

The last problem I have is figuring out how to present my idea as a solid story with a plot that people will be able to follow. Right now my idea is solely a civil war to reclaim the country from the dark forces that have taken over the Republican party and stolen the last election. That’s a pretty vague idea. What I really need to do is figure out how my characters fit into this idea. I need to figure out where they are when the story starts, what pulls them into the rebellion, how they manage to win in the end, and most importantly, what vital parts of their personality are revealed and change over the course of the story.

Because it’s really all about the characters, right?

Seriously, while I honestly think that the Republican party has recently become not just a bad idea, but an active evil that needs to be stopped, I don’t want this story to just be my own little political rant. I’m not here to get up on my soapbox and scream my beliefs to the world. I’m here to tell an entertaining story, and hope that my readers learn a little bit about both themselves and the world they live in by the time they reach the end. And hopefully what they learn will help to make this world a better place for all of us.

I don’t have a lot done yet. I think I may need to re-read my previous stories, if only to get some of the names and character details straight. I’m still mulling over how I’m going to start. I’m watching some dystopian movies for ideas. I just finished watching Soylent Green, which was eye-opening for me. It’s actually a fairly good representation of the world I think we are headed for if the Republicans take control. High unemployment, people living in the streets, crime is rampant even among the police, women are treated as “furniture”, and the big corporations can do anything they want because they are in charge of it all.

As always, I appreciate any comments you might have for me. What is your favorite dystopian movie? Leave a note about it and I’ll see if I can find a copy to add to my viewing list before November 1. And check in again on Wednesday for another update.

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