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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNo update!

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! Well... it starts in five and a half hours. I'll be very busy writing then (I have a setting, characters, and most of a plot) and won't be updating this month. Not that I update much anyway...

I'll be writing a story about what it means to be human. That's really the best I can do in way of synopsis. There's magic, a scary psychopath, romance, a dog, and maybe a few jokes scattered in. We'll see how it goes.

Also, to keep me focused on my writing, I have special incentive.

Firstly, this is what I'll be imagining if I get online:
That smile tells me I should either run or beg forgiveness for whatever I did to deserve it.

Secondly, this is my current desktop background:
Feel free to message me for the full size if you'd like to use it.
And that one is like being sent to the principals office nine times. Adorable principals but terrifying, nonetheless.

So do you have any tricks to keep you focused? Share in the comments.

(So. Was I supposed to be professional here? I don't know. I don't think it matters anymore.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Muslim" is not synonymous with "monster"

Here's something I found online:

And you know what? It makes me angry. It makes my blood boil. "All I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11." That's like saying, "All I need to know about Christianity, I learned from Westboro Baptist Church."

Let me be clear. September 11th, 2001 (and no, I didn't need to look that up) was a very dark day. Not just for America but for the world. It marked a terrible tragedy, a crime that left so many people shocked, terrified, and grieving. There aren't enough words in the English language to describe what happened on that day. But.

It wasn't new. History repeats itself, again and again. 9-11 showed us what monsters we can be, but we've been shown that before and since. The Holocaust? Slavery? Pretty much any war? We have the capacity for great evil and depravity; we should remember that but hope and strive for goodness.

Muslims are not evil. I know, it's shocking, isn't it?* We all need to understand that man is not evil. We have, as I just said, the capacity for evil. We can be horrible and disgusting, but we were originally created for righteousness. Since then, we've allowed ourselves to become... Well, if you've ever read Ted Dekker's book Thr3e, you'll see it. "The Good, the bad, and the beautiful." We are humans; we struggle between good and evil, always having to pick a side. Those of us who have chosen light are still drawn back into darkness. My point is (I just realized how much I'm rambling), Muslims are no more evil than any other religion. In case you've forgotten, we're all human beings.

Now, I'm not compromising my beliefs here. I'm a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, but I don't believe He'd be very pleased with us for the prejudice we're showing our fellow man. He calls us to love them and teach them about Him. It's our job to give others guidance, letting them know that we Christians are not better than anyone else. We are broken and lost and royally screwed up, just like everyone else, but we rely on a perfect God to teach us how to be better.

Everyone chooses his own path. We don't force our beliefs; we don't hate anyone for their beliefs. We only teach, answer questions, and pray that God (not us; remember, it's God who saves, not Christians) gets through to them someday.

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" -- Romans 10:14
*Just a disclaimer. This is sarcasm from my own anger at the ignorance, not condescension aimed at any reader.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Complex

I recently picked up an old story again, one that I stopped writing sometime last year, and reread what I had. It's called The Complex (though I may yet change that), and it's... Well, I can't describe it yet. I like it though, and I'm considering reworking what I have to fit with my new ideas and devoting my time to making it into a full novel.

Now at one point, I created a video trailer for The Complex, but when I had to factory reset my computer, I lost a bit of my stuff. I'm thinking of creating another one, and then I'll post that here, but before I do, a quick warning:

The Complex is nothing at all like Redemption (which will hopefully be finding its way into your hands within the next year). Obviously, my writing style is still intact and my characters are as annoyingly obstinate as ever, but the stories themselves are completely different. I just want to understand that I won't be like Brian Jacques (a writer I idolized as a child); my writings range from science fiction to drama to spiritual fiction to... Well, who knows what? I'm so bad at labeling my own stories.

This post is really pointless. Huh... Well, here's my updated schedule:
  • Working on getting Redemption published
  • Writing The Complex
  • Walking my dog
  • Having adventures
  • Reading more classical novels
  • Practicing driving that metal death machine in my driveway
  • And trying to get a "real" job
Sorry for the pointless rambling, and have a good day!

Do you read webcomics?

Yes, no, maybe so? I read a lot of webcomics, and I'd like to express how amazing they are. So if you are ever bored or feel like reading or whatever, you can come back to this post and pick one from the list. (I'll also be editing in more as I fall in love with them, so check back!)

First, a definition. Webcomic does not mean "comic strip on the web." Most of the ones I read are more like graphic novels, though they usually have jokes in them as well. I've included ratings (both on quality and content).

1. Girls With Slingshots is rated PG-13 or R (according to my ratings) and updates daily (the creator is almost never late). It's hilarious, touching, and pretty kinky. There are several homosexual main characters and one transvestite. But don't listen to me; go check it out. 3 1/2 stars.

2. Player vs. Player (PVP) is a nerd strip that's been running since the 90s. It's rated G and updates daily. There are several main characters, and they all work for a gaming magazine, but it focuses largely on fantasy and science fiction with a lot of cute romance. 4 stars.

3. Sheldon is a cutesy comic strip about a ten-year-old billionaire, his grandfather, a talking duck, and their dog, Oso. It's rated G and updates Mon-Fri; it's also hilarious and nerdy. 3 stars.

4. Unshelved is the story of a library and the people who work there. Rated PG or PG-13 for Ned the Nudist (handled tastefully) and some raunchy jokes. It's very funny and short, updates daily. 4 stars.

5. Surviving the World is less of a webcomic and more of a photocomic. It's rated PG and updates daily, and it's created by the fantastic Dante Shepherd. (He's updating late in the day now because he's busy with the baby and stuff.) It's full of hilarious advice for college students and people just starting out in the world. 5 stars.

6. Doghouse Diaries is rated G. It's funny and cute, updates MWF. 3 stars.

7. Skin Deep is rated PG (mainly for the violence). It's super creative, beautifully drawn, and a lot of fun. It's a fantasy story centered on the magical creatures who hide among us. 5 stars.

8. The Meek is rated PG-13 or R for (tastefully hidden) nudity, sexual innuendo, violence, and disturbing imagery. It's on hiatus currently but will be starting up again soon. Guess what though? It's fantastic. You need to read it. Seriously. 4 1/2 stars.

9. Blank It is the most creative and offbeat comic I have ever read. It's rated PG, and it's also on hiatus right now (but it's been running a while, so there are quite a bit of archives to read through). 5 stars.

10. Unsounded is the story of a girl and her attack-zombie (heh, heh), and it's rated PG-13 for violence. Also, I'm not usually into zombies, but this guy is cool. I haven't been reading it for very long, but it seems to update randomly. 4 1/2 stars.

11. Sorcery 101 is the serious yet funny story of the blood bond Danny, his wizard teacher, Patrick, his best friend, the werewolf (and his wife and child), and a few other random people. It's a lot of fun, and you should definitely read it. Rated PG-13 for violence, cussing, and at certain times, nudity. Usually updating on Mondays, the artist broke his computer, so it's paused for now. 5 stars.

12. Trying Human is about aliens! I don't usually like aliens, but this one is fantastic. It's rated PG or PG-13, mainly for... disturbing material. Don't ask me when it updates because I'm not sure. 4 stars.

13. Monster Pulse is the story of a bunch of children, their pet monsters, and the government agency trying to take them away. It's rated PG until a few chapters in when it turns sharply from cute to disturbing for a few pages. 3 stars.

14. Brentalfloss is just funny nerd humor. PG or PG-13; it's two guys who live alone, so there are sometimes gross jokes. 3 1/2 stars.

15. Life Ain't No Pony Farm is a German comic that has been (near-perfectly) translated into English. It's rated G because it's super cute and fun to read. I love everything about it! 4 stars.