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Friday, March 30, 2012

Something that's not a book review

I hardly ever laugh while reading a book. Even then, it's really more of a giggle or a chuckle, not a true laugh. A sentence in ink doesn't compare to an actor on a screen. There's just something to be said for comedic timing -- something you can't fit on a page. This being said, you should have heard me laugh while reading Elisabeth Sladen's autobiography. Really? Nonfiction made you laugh? you may ask. Yes. Yes, it did. In fact, I laughed for quite a few minutes, and the memory is making me smile right now.

Who is Elisabeth Sladen, you ask? Shame on you! Lis was a superb actress, who played one of the most memorable characters of Doctor Who EVER. She even got her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sadly, she died last year, but her memory lives on, showing up in odd little places like my blog here and some random Internet meme.*

So I bet you're wondering what had me laughing so hard at this book. I've giggled and smiled all the way through it, but page 89 had me rolling. Here's what was said:

[This is a scene where Lis has just started working for Doctor Who, and another actor is playing a Sontaran, a type of warlike alien.]
"With one hand on his hip, he announced, 'I am a Sontaran.'
Kevin's lazy Aussie vowels really made the word sing: 'Son-TAR-run.'
Bromly was puffing away on his pipe, not saying much as usual. Then he beetled over, script in hand, and said, 'Kevin, I think it's "Son-terran", emphasis on the first syllable.'
'Well, I think it's "Son-TAR-run",' Kevin snorted. 'And I come from the fucking place, so I should know!'"

I laughed so hard when I read this. I could just see this man in my head, telling off his director because he bloody well knew what he was doing, thank you very much.

I adore this book. I never can figure out how to write a review, so this will just have to do as my recommendation: Read this book. Read it.

*If this in any way seemed disrespectful, please note that I admire Mrs. Miller (Sladen's married name) and would never intentionally disrespect her memory.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Puppy post!

Isn't he the cutest thing you've EVER seen?

This is Rory. Rory is my dog.

I adopted him the day before yesterday (March 10th), and he was born back in December. He's a mutt -- bull terrier, pit bull, labrador, maybe some boxer, bull dog, and probably more (in my opinion, he's mostly bull terrier and pit bull). He is so smart! He's already learning his basic commands and how to "go" outside.

His full name is Rory Adric Cocodrie Newman. (It's long but awesome.) I'm going to post more pictures in this post over time, so my whole blog isn't spammed with adorable puppy face.

In the car just outside the place where we got him. (March 10th, 2012)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A writer's best friends

Let's discuss the "tools of the trade." Honestly, they vary for everyone, but in my perfect writing world, this is what I need...

  1. A laptop. I have that, and it's perfect; it has two word processors (neither of which are Word) and WordPad, for my notes, outlines, random things to remember, character outlines, etc. I am very happy with my laptop situation. (One of my best friends uses an actual Word Processor -- just a keyboard and a screen, I guess, like the real writers use. I love the idea, but I have no money.)
  2. Coffee. Any type of caffeinated beverage. Really. I drink coffee with a half of a cup of sugar in it and a splash of half-n-half or cream (right now, I have the powdered creamer, and it's peppermint mocha. Mmmmmmm). It keeps me awake at first, and then it puts me in the perfect writing daze; basically, it's like Ritalin. It makes me focus on my writing and nothing else, which is nice. I'm caffeinated now.
  3. Internet access. Or no Internet access. On the one hand, I use it for research and perfect background music; on the other hand, I use it for webcomics and blogs (like How To Be A Dad, one of my favorites). It's a love/hate relationship.
  4. Books. When I can't think of something to write, the best thing to do is read. If I get on the Internet, I can be there for hours, and my brain is completely distracted by the tons of information pouring into it. A book is a good, wholesome distraction that can allow for half or part of my brain to be thinking about my story.
  5. Like a football fan, I have "lucky" things. If I'm wearing my favorite outfit, my Circle pendant, and some comfy socks, I'm more likely to get things written than if I wear anything else.
  6. The will to avoid my friends. I have the best friends ever. They're mostly writers, and we talk on Facebook about non-important things, very important things, or anything random that pops into our strange writer brains. Seriously, we can be very weird, and logging into Facebook is like logging out of life for a while (30 minutes to 7 hours). I love them all to pieces, but I have to avoid them sometimes if I ever want to put another word into my story. (Now, I should note that I can't write alone; if no one reads my work and supports, I get bored or discouraged. Beth is my very biggest fan, even if I don't talk to her quite as much as some of my other friends, and I would call myself her biggest fan. She's an amazing writer, a really good friend, and a very supportive reader.)
  7. Last but certainly not least is... MUSIC! Now, some people like the instrumental stuff, soundtracks from popular movies and all that jazz. I like stuff with words. Do you want to guess how many times I've listened to "Our Time is Running Out" by Muse while writing Redemption? Guess away because I lost count; I've put it on repeat for hours before (especially during NaNoWriMo).
So there it is. I may think of some more later, but I probably won't add them. When I started writing this, my brain was clear, but I've had almost a full cup of coffee since then, and I'm all spacey now. So... Love ya, readers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Something Called Writer's Block

I wanted to write something that had to do with writing -- this is a writer's blog, after all -- but it just isn't working. I tried, really! I wrote this obnoxiously long post about writer's block, but you know what? It sucked. So here's something that I wrote a long time ago, on a day when I was really feeling it. Someday soon, I'll have something new for this page; for now, I hope you enjoy this.


Something Called Writer’s Block

The limits of my language are driving me insane. There are no words to describe what I see and feel. I can’t make my reader see what is inside my mind, the beautiful world that is tearing to reach the page. How can I describe my passion, my love, my art? How can I send my babies to you without explaining them? I firmly believe that a story should say what it needs to itself, no notes from the author required.

But my characters are my children.

My setting is my home.

My plot is my world.

And my words are my life.

How can I describe that to you? How can I take everything I am and put it down on a page? Do I have to write it with blood to express my feelings in a way that language can’t? Should I include pictures to show the rainbow of colors I see in my mind? Here, there are colors that don’t exist in the “real” world.

I look at this world that my loving God created. The beauty is beyond expression. I feel like I’m going to explode because this body, this mind, cannot hold the emotions that rage through my soul. I feel a pain I can’t quite describe because there are no simple terms for it. It makes my heart cry in frustration, not in grief of anger. It is a constant ache at the back of my mind all through the day, a sharp pain when I sit and stare at the computer screen or notepad.

Words are nothing. Words are useless. Words are my life.

I write and write and type and type, but nothing ever happens. The world I see does not fit on the page. I write what my characters say, but you don’t hear them speaking. You can’t see what I see, and I don’t understand why.

We all see things differently, and some understand me when I try and fail to describe my view. But no one sees it exactly as I do.

I’ll just keep writing those same words until I find the magic order that makes them tell the truth. I will continue to describe beauty, passion, love, honor, truth, pain, glory, and light until my fingers bleed and beyond because I cannot stop. Every word you read here is me. Every time a character cries in grief, writhes in pain, or screams in anger, that is me.

My God, why is Your gift so often my curse?


And here's an apology for not posting anything interesting in a while:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"After-birth" abortion

Abortion. It's something we hear about all the time. We debate and rage and argue on and on and on, but... Do we know what it means? It's a disgusting and horrifying thing, but as I said, we hear about it all the time. Do we ever stop to think about what it really means? Babies are being murdered. We call them "fetuses," sure, but they are and always were tiny babies. Innocents, helpless and vulnerable.

We don't really think about it because we're so used to it. "Desensitized" is the term. At least, that's how it is for me. Don't get me wrong, I know what it is, but I don't always comprehend it. Which is why I was shocked and sickened to read about what they're calling "after birth abortion."

Now, babies and fetuses are, essentially the same. Both are completely innocent and helpless, are totally unaware of their own existence, and are human, above all else. All human life is sacred, which is why the abortion of a "fetus" should be just as shocking as the murder of a newborn. But it isn't.

It's all about what would be easiest for the parents. Like this article says:
Giubilini and Minerva write that, as for the mother putting the child up for adoption, her emotional state should be considered as a trumping right. For instance, if she were to “suffer psychological distress” from giving up her child to someone else — they state that natural mothers can dream their child will return to them — then after-birth abortion should be considered an allowable alternative.
Where does it stop? First what we call "fetuses," then newborns. Are infants next? How about toddlers? When do we start murdering our teenagers because it's "in the best interests of the parents?"

Oh, and let's not forget this (taken from the same article):
The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life. The authors cite Downs Syndrome as an example, stating that while the quality of life of individuals with Downs is often reported as happy, “such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

"Your child has Downs Syndrome, so you can kill him if you want to. It'll be easier on everyone." When does it become, "Your child has Downs Syndrome, so we're going to kill him, and there's nothing you can do about it?" You know what this reminds me of? Hint: it happened in Germany in the '40s.

Now, we don't need to start panicking right now. This is not a law; it's an ethics paper from a medical journal. What we do need to do is start being prepared because it could happen in our future. Maybe not in my lifetime but in my children's (or maybe in my life time; we are going to Hell in a handbasket). In any case, God is still here, and He still loves us. It is my firm belief that every innocent who dies will go straight to Heaven (I don't believe in Purgatory or anything similar to that). That includes murdered babies and "fetuses," very young children who die, and all those with Downs or any other syndrome or disorder that prevents a person from distinguishing between right and wrong.

Don't freak; just prepare yourself and pray. That's all we can do because when it comes down to it, there is only God, man, and Evil, and nothing else matters.