Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IWSG - Beside the Dying Fire

IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

Intro. Just the facts. Pertinent and otherwise.

Published author of Wilder Mage and Mage Revealed and hard at work with the third and last in the series, Chimera Mage.

I color not only outside the lines but on another page entirely and worship at the altar of Fantasy. 

All kinds, all flavors. Kinda like pizza.

Beside the Dying Fire.

IWSG. If you are a Walking Dead enthusiast, you'll recognize the above title from one of the episodes. To me, it epitomizes the flame that once blazed bright for some writers and now has died to glowing embers. Or are as cold as long-dead ashes.

So many bloggers and forums that I started out with, so many have faded away, gone.

How completely depressing.

Are you wavering? Is the conflagration that once burned like a lava flow dwindling? Are you worried that you are Pretty Much Dead Already?

It is hard to hold onto the passion that gripped my senses, white-knuckled and fervent. But it is necessary to create a routine, follow it without regard to the shiny objects that distract me.

What Lies ahead for the writer who wanders? The answer is keeping the passion. Hug it close like the Wildfire it once was. 

Because it is Clear that the end you will regret those Days Gone Bye if you give in to the miasma.

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Monday, January 5, 2015

How Did I Miss These?

Call me secluded...or plain clueless, but I tend to miss the trends until they’re over.

It wasn’t until Galaxy Quest came to the network that I came, I saw, I wallowed in it like a cat in catnip. And those lines. Most of the bloggers in my sphere can fill in this quote: “I have one job on this lousy ship. It’s – but I’m gonna do it.”

The Avengers. I didn’t believe the hype and the box office numbers. The Hulk was never one of my favorites and didn’t it have that green critter in it? Blech. Surely it isn’t any good. Boy, Howdy, was I ever wrong. I've watched it on my Amazon Prime more times than I can count. 

And The Hulk? One of the best quotes, “That’s my secret, Captain. I’m always angry.”

Best scene:
Loki: “Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by...”
[Hulk flattens Loki with repeated smashes into the floor]
The Hulk: “Puny god.”

Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, I’d heard about it. Yes, I had the example of The Avengers so why didn’t I believe all the hoopla? Beats me. Rocket the raccoon seemed, er, stupid. All I can say is I Am An Idiot.

How to Train Your Dragon 2. I thought this sounded good but yanno, sequels sometimes disappoint so I was a bit leery. Then I rented the movie and Holy Talking Cats, this is one to watch through the end, rinse and repeat. Several times over.

And speaking of which...The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Yep, this has been around for a while but I didn’t see it until December. Funny, cool, and I love Jay Baruchel. Every time he’d speak, I pictured Hiccup.

In the book arena:
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. It starts with Assassin’s Apprentice and continues through several storylines. Amazing stuff. Can’t wait for book two in the new series by her.

On TV:
It took until January 2013 and a marathon for me to discover The Walking Dead. By then, it was in its third season. Can’t live without it now. Even the hubby is coming around, LOL.

There are other examples that I tried and didn’t quite make the connection. TV shows like Breaking Bad, Homeland, and Game of Thrones. True Blood wandered into the weeds and I lost interest.

Books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. They didn’t trip my trigger.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll come around to Lestat someday. In fact, after seeing the book cover, maybe about right now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don’t Get It...

...or things I don’t understand about our modern day culture. Trends these days are as flighty as a leaf in a hurricane. Why? I don't have a clue.

For instance:

Frozen. I heard all the accolades. Read the headlines about how marvelous it was. I almost bought the DVD on hype alone. Holy Talking Cats, sure glad I didn’t. I saw it recently and, please Lord, wash that song out of my head. Can’t say I hated it by any means. But it sure wasn’t How to Train Your Dragon 2. I watched that animated feature several times and could sit for another showing easy.

Warbling. A beloved song is introduced and you smile in anticipation...until the singer starts in. She or he begins embellishing every other note into what I call warbling. The “artist” supplies ten sounds to a single tone and everyone claps and proclaims he or she a star. Sing it right, the way it was composed. Warbling corrupts the melody.

Taylor Swift. This young lady writes music, gives to charity, doesn’t twerk, do drugs, slut around, and enjoys life. At twenty-five, she is one of the most influential women of the age. She accepts the responsibility and acts on it. According to an interview done for US Weekly, "I put every one of my actions through a filter before I do them because that's the way my life is," Swift continued. "That the reality… If I do something reckless or thoughtless or careless, or I treat someone badly, that doesn't just affect me; it affects that person. Then, if that story gets out, or some 10-year-old sees that I did that in a news article… my actions do have ripples."
So why all the snide remarks, the hate? Beats me. Herd mentality? Jealousy? I don’t get it.

And while I’m on the subject...Books, specifically, Twilight. It was a life-changer for me so the horrible comments about it leaves me appalled. Why the vitriol? Why the nastiness? I Do Not Understand.

Politics. I do have opinions, but I keep them to myself in this regard. But other writers don’t. They spout. They gnash. They invoke Hellfire in the name of Justice. Everyone has an opinion and it’s good to converse on the subject. But Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, don’t take a headline and assume it is unadulterated fact. Do research. Check into stuff. Then have an intelligent discussion. 

But remember, you’ll probably alienate half of your audience.

Do you agree? Disagree? See a trend you don’t understand? Share, share.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG – Losing the Desire

IWSG—Insecure Writers Support Group, coming together on the first Wednesday of every month for a virtual pat on the back. 

It starts with excuses.

  • I’m too busy to write.
  • The passion to finish the ms isn’t there.
  • Rejections, bad or no reviews.
  • Self-flagellation, as in, “I’m not any good so why bother.”
  • Life strikes.

All the above hits every writer/author. So how do you fight through it?

Not looking for sympathy here. Looking for advice.

Insecure Writers Support Group: The Final Frontier.

These are the continuing voyages of the Ninja Captain, AJC. His mission, to explore all new writing venues, to seek out new authors and new blogs. 

To boldly go where no blogateer has gone before.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who's Your Hero Blogfest - Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has a hero, someone they admire. Michelle Wallace and J.L. Campbell know it's true. They're sponsoring a blogfest highlighting our personal heroes. Go here to find out more.

My hero? Easy. Abraham Lincoln. Always and forever.

I admire his ambition to better himself, to learn to read and write when so many of the population did not. To overcome the loss of his mother at an early age and bond so readily with his stepmother. When his ambition led him to run for office and eventually the Presidency, the country could not have picked a better man during the worst time in this country’s history. It was a place in time that required someone exactly like him. 

Providence maybe?

Feb 1861
In four years, from 1861 to 1865, he aged from a hearty, mature man in his best years to a bent scarecrow. Worries ate at him until his bones showed through his skin. Too many decisions, too many against him. Vitriol lashed him from political enemies and sometimes his generals. The deaths of his sons, the loss of so many on the battlefields. How could it not weigh on his mind?
March 1865

In the end, he might have felt the approach of death. Other assassination attempts on his life had failed but Hate can manifest into something almost visceral, an indescribably horrible burden.

Yet, he continued. Only by his will did he stand erect. Because surely the ambition of his younger days was long gone.

Abraham Lincoln gritted his teeth and continued. Prevailed. 

And when he was killed, he truly “...Now belongs to the Ages.”

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