• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Acuity Mark

MLP:FIM (If you don’t know what it is, Google it) posed an interesting trope concerning destiny. When someone came of age, they grew a ‘mark’ that served as a metaphorical representation of their personality and/or special talents. Simple examples include apples for an apple farmer to a clef for someone attuned to music, while a more cryptic example is blooming flowers for a kindergarten teacher who excels at brining about the best in her young students.

Now imagine if we had that, and all the blessings/horrors that would spawn from its existence. Imagine…

…if we all knew what activities our brains and bodies were born to be best at

…if we all knew what we would be happiest doing

…if we were forced, merely for the sake of efficiency, to do what we were created to do

…if we ended up hating what we were destined to be

You really have to pity the poor soul who ends up hating what they should love most. Or worry about society looking down on you for not being ‘the best you can be’ just because you like gardening over piano. Or marvel at the massive burden lifted from young people’s shoulders as they worry day and night what they should be when they grow up or which degree to pursue. Think of the money businesses would save training people, when that specific activity comes naturally to the employee.

And think of those lost and left behind because there wasn’t any money in what they were ‘destined’ to do, and they’re down to scrubbing toilets for the rest of their days. Because hey, someone’s got to clean the can. And I doubt anyone was born to be the best at doing that.

Just something to think about.

ADD

I had a lot of problems with people growing up. I think in part it was all the outburst talking, or my inability to keep my pencil still in my hands, or how I always seemed to have just one more question for my teacher. I had ADD pretty bad for most of my childhood I think, so much so that I made about just as many enemies as I lost friends (which didn’t leave me a lot to work with sadly).

Now that I’m older and wiser, I find myself calmer, cooler, and very much more collected. Call it maturity. Call it a God-send (I do!). But recently a friend of mine put it into perspective. He said to me, “Kyle, you’re a smart guy, and you’ve probably been a smart guy ever since you learned to count to two. But by God, after twenty-five years you finally learned when to shut your mouth and when to open it. Now shut up and let me buy you a drink.”

He did. And it tasted damn good.

Tops and Bottoms

Someday I’m going to write a story with this as a central theme, but for now, I’ll settle with a simple post.

Humans are like animals… which is what everyone and your priest wants to tell you. What is really true is that humans are animals, and we’re all guilty of trying to think otherwise. Putting ourselves on the level of mere dogs is insulting. Just look at them. Rolling around in the mud, tongues lolling about, their blatant disregard for cleanliness. But when you scold them, and if they respect you, they all do the same thing. They lower their eyes.

What does a child do when his mother catches him with his hand in the cookie jar? Lower his eyes. What does a man do when the woman he loves catches him doing something she told him not to? Drop that gaze to the floor.

“Sorry sweetie, I didn’t mean it…”

Likely story.

But look at the similarities. Look how instinctive it is to show submission to another. As animals, we know when to act humbly and when to act strong. When that bad guy in a ski-mask comes snatching your special lady’s purse and you chase him down, that’s just you being dominant. And that’s great, especially if you were the same guy who just apologized to his wife for taking a huge scoop out of her freshly-made blueberry pie when she explicitly told you not to.

Humans can be both.

It’s just more interesting when you figure out which one you are more inclined toward.

And that my friends, is a whole other post.

1st and 3rd person

Totally unrelated to this post, I’m going to throw a shout out to my friends who are cool accepting me for who I am.

No that’s not me coming out of the closet. There is no closet. Do not assume.

But really, I let on about one of my stranger quirks and they were ok with that, which is cool. It’s what you expect, but not always get, from the people close to you.

Ok so onto this post!

I’ve been debating the pros and cons about writing in first person and 3rd person. I bet there’s a billion discussions about them and which is better and yada yada. All I’ve got to say is that it’s a lot more fun to write in first. You get all those sappy and fun and intense ideas and thoughts and personal motivations right from the source. It’s like candy for our tastes today; high octane, in-your-face action and gushing emotions. I also find it easier to write in, which, as a writer, is a huge plus.

Yeah first person is fun, and yeah people like fun so they read fun, but 3rd person is a lot more, I don’t know, worldly? Pragmatic? You get a lot of different thoughts and ideas from a lot of different places. I like comparing it to a big spider web. Over here you get character A’s thoughts on world peace while character B’s got some emotional stigma against the thought. While a war is happening on one side of the world, peace can exist within a small community. Sure you probably stick to tracking two character’s movements, but two is better than one, especially when one, IE first person, can be biased, misinformed, or a downright liar.

So yeah writing in first is easier, but that doesn’t always make it better.

Words and… stuff

I’ve been listening to Tyr lately but that has nothing to do with this post. Just wanted to share because it’s one of heavy metal Nordic bands that does NOT scream gutturally at me.

Anyway, onto my take, or rather at this point, problem, with “words and… stuff.”

Vague I know. Just try to follow along.

Words don’t come to me as easily as they used to. I attribute that to my being a more attentive writer who is aware of factors such as audience reading level, genre, POV, and individual character personality at the same time.

Audience and genre can be sorted out in the beginning pretty easy I’ve found, just know where you’re coming from and the readers will catch on. If it’s sci-fi, add lots of slang and acronyms, if it’s medieval fantasy, lots of analogies pertaining to nature. It’s what the characters know, so it makes sense to add it into the book.

But doing that ON TOP OF digging deep into each individual character personality is a little tougher, and I think it’s these layers which trip some writers up. Say for instance the writer grew up in a big city. How the hell will they know the saying ‘until the cows come home?’ Or whatever (city-born, right here). Point is, you have to get colorful and creative to pull out the cool-sounding analogies that really make sense (or do a lot of research). You also have to change your voice. Peeps back in “Game of Thrones” didn’t say shit like, “well, um, yeah, so what of it pops?” No. They say shit like this: “Are they dead? What proof have we?” Have we? I’d say what proof do we have! But it’s different, you see, because it’s a different place, a different time, and a different world.

And good writers need to be conscious of ALL of these subtle alterations to succeed.

Bad Habits

Bad habits die hard, they say. ‘They’ also say it takes a thousand times to make a habit and a million to break it (or something like that).

Maybe that explains why when my sock and underwear drawer changed, I always had to stop myself, turn, and put the socks in the other drawer. Why don’t I just switch drawers? It’s a matter of pride, believe it or not.

But this writing blog isn’t going to be filled with underwear and socks. Rather, the concept of a bad habit and breaking one has always interested me. We’ll use my father as my first example. My father is a smoker. He’s said he’ll quit this bad habit for the past ten years, and constantly mumbles: “Damn, next year, next year I’ll be done with this disgusting bad habit.” But has he quit smoking? No. And he probably never will. Yet somehow he kicked his drinking habit, and he did that right quick. Then again, when you’re faced with the abrupt, dire consequences of one bad habit, it tends to shock you out of it, rather than taking a million or so times.

So my father quit drinking because bad shit went down, yet he smokes because, hey, it’s not killing me now.

Get the picture I’m painting here?

Let’s use another example:

Woman (fiction character actually, read her from a book) takes drugs to dull her pain. Not emotional. In the book she got shot and beat up so often I wondered how she still had all her fingers and toes. But she took the drug because it made her stronger and better able to protect the ones she loved.

But drugs exact their price, and like my father, she was fine now, and, consciously taking this addictive substance, she dealt with the now really well. But when it came high time to pony up to the drug’s nasty effects, well… she had a choice. Protect the ones you love with drug-induced strength, or lose them forever because that drug makes you a mean son of a wench?

Deep shit, I know. Perfect story material. You’re welcome.

Vegas Baby

I’d like to think that I’ve hit yet another milestone of ‘growing up’ now that I’ve been to Vegas and back past the age of 21. And let me just say, besides the terrible air, the poor water, and every casino’s not-so-subtle push to drink every last drop of alcohol they can possibly serve you, it’s not a bad town. The people are nice, the streets safe (despite what some say) and the police ever-vigilant. Sure it’s loud and full of party-goers, but it’s a place to party, so what can I expect?
I know, I’m rambling on about my trip when this is a writing blog, but hey, I’ve got a story idea for ya. A character goes on a great, all expenses paid trip (thanks to their family) and is home for all of twelve hours before some damn stupid flower decides to open up and spread its pollen and get me, er, the character, sick! What a plot twist! Am I right? Fun times ended by allergies and shit. How annoying is that?

Books be expensive yo

            This may come as a shock to all of you, but books, as I’ve recently found out, are pretty damn expensive. Don’t jump on my hide just yet; I’m a writer, wherein a prerequisite is being a good reader, and I’ve frequented Bookmans most of my adult life (for those who aren’t familiar, they’re the king of used and abused whereas Barns&Noble is the king of new and shiny). Bookmans takes not just old books for trade, but all manner of electronics as well, and you’d be surprised how much they’d give me in trade-in credit for an old xbox USB controller extension cable (and as a former employer at a video game store, I had a lot of old knickknacks).

            Congratulations to me, I’ve finally purchased a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s lighter than a book and easy on the thumbs. Yet I find myself tilting my head in confusion when it dawns on me that my usually ‘free books’ all of a sudden require my credit card number.

            I’m not complaining, not one bit. I love books and will continue to read them with vigor.

            Just sayin. I thought video games were expensive.

            P.S. The perfect gift to get any reader is… wait for it…

            MORE BOOKS. I.E. gift cards for books.

500 word story

My good writing friend Eerie (Dave) presented to me a challenge. He didn’t know he presented me a challenge at the time, but I took it as a challenge all the same when he presented his own recent work as such. Write a story in less than five hundred words. Go one over and you fail.

            You have no idea how difficult that is, dear reader.

            From start to finish every single word must serve a purpose. There is no room for fluff or fat, and every paragraph, nay, every sentence must propel the story ever forward.

            Funny how that’s what you’re supposed to do in every story, no matter how long.

            So I challenge you now, if you’re one to be challenged, test your writing skills by setting a scene, develop some characters, and both develop and resolve conflict, all in five hundred words. That’s usually two double-spaced pages, times new roman, 12pt font. Good luck.

The Gun Show

I value all experiences, both big and small. Not only can I use them for cannon fodder in my writing, experiences shape who and what we are as a human being.

Since this is a writing blog, we’re going to stick with the cannon fodder here (incoming pun intended).

I went to the gun show at the Mesa Convention Center last weekend with my parents, more out of curiosity because for most of my life, I’ve avoided guns like a man avoids the common cold (not the plague, that’s the important image here). It’s not that I don’t like deadly firearms, rather I rarely get to practice with them to fully transform whatever nonsense fear I have into proper respect. I went to the gun show to not fire a weapon (I’ll be taking safety classes for that) and not even to buy a weapon, but see the people who use them.

There’s a big controversy over guns going on in our country right now, and I’m sensing some real hostility over ‘violent gun owners with their ways.’

What I saw at that convention wasn’t what I hear or see in the news. I saw everyday people, people you pass by every day on the street, all shivering in the cold of the morning, form a line that started at the door and trailed a whole block down the street. The Mesa Convention Center is a dinky little place, and yet thousands upon thousands of people stood by one another, laughing, talking, buying and selling. All of them were sane, and I got the sense that all of them were well versed in every aspect of the term ‘safe.’

It’s such a strange feeling to hear one thing that the news says and see with my own eyes something completely different.

If that’s not story material, then I don’t know what is.

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