I do hope that you all have had chance to work and make some progress on your various WIP’s. I know I have not. Not at all. I’ve been a lazy movie watching, wii playing, procrastinator (on my time off). I’m about to go on vacation, and I’m not seeing much work done over those days either. Maybe some, but I’m not prioritizing it.
I’m giving time to the things that had been falling by the wayside: Playing video games with my kids, lounging around with the wife, and trying to get all Christmassy. I will say that it is hard trying to convince two boys that a cackling old man that should be on weight watchers, whom has the overseeing habits of a peeping Tom, and also enjoys having little children on his lap is the kind of person they need to please. Seriously, all run on sentences aside, how am I supposed to sell THAT? If it were anybody other than Santa, we’d be hearing all about in on Court TV. Forgive me, TRUE TV now.
In any case, enjoy your spiked eggnog and that drunk uncle everybody wants to pretend (and wish) he didn’t keep showing up every year. Have fun seeing all those people that told you “you need to grow up,” and give them money (just because you have more than them now) while affirming that you decided it was best not to grow up. Oh, and above all be Merry, or Mary, or whatever your cross-dressing preferences are.
Ho, ho, ho
PS. I forgot to mention the sign I saw the other day. it read: "Jesus: the reason for the season". Is that who I have to blame? I'd like to have a word with him, please.
Okay, okay. Maybe it wasn't THAT hard. It was nice, however, to give myself a little self-dictated vacation from writing. Alas, the time has come now to give one last read through before I delve into the hell that is query letter writing and synopsis typing.
I hope my eyes are fresh enough to catch all those mistakes that have eluded me already. I'm wearing my hunter eyes. To the common folk they appear as a mere squint, but trust me, they are predatory and menacing. Be afraid ill placed comma and awkward dialogue tag, for I am coming for you, and all your rapscallion friends. I shall try to focus on voice consistency and grammar errors. The story itself will not change. In any case, wish me luck, and tell me of your writing process. What do you find that helps you the most during editing. Besides booze that is.
Chao for now.
Treat your craft with the passion it deserves. Not just when you are crafting, but when you are talking about it. If you are unpublished, (a minority, right?) talk to people about what you do. Tell them about your story, get them excited about YOUR creation. Get them to want to know more. Send them to your blog, to your website, to your facebook. Today, we have advantages that novelists of the past never had. And yes, it’s okay to be called a novelist, even if my grandmother thought that “novelists” were not well thought of in high society. In today’s day and age, we can network faster and easier than ever before. Use the tools that are there at your disposal.
When you get published, keep up the hard work. So you have an agent, an editor and a publisher. You have that little ISBN number assigned to your work, and your paper baby has flown the nest into the neatly stacked shelves of bookstores. Guess what? Your work is far from done. Keep talking; yell to people that YOU have a book that deserves to be read. Hand out business cards like toothbrushes in a dental convention. Go to parties (the hard-life, I know), always keep something that will make people remember your book. It is your job to make the book sell. I know the writing should sell itself, but let’s be honest for a moment, people need to know where and how to find your book first.
I’m tired of seeing people that are desperately passive with their desires, or that feel that what they have created is so fantastic they don’t have to do anything at all to succeed. Look at the most successful brands in the world, and you tell me how much you think they spend on marketing alone. Rant finished.
You should definitely go check it out. Not just my query, but the others that are there. Some are good, some really need help. You decide which is which, and hey, you just might pick up a think or two. You never know.
Let me know what you think. Ciao, for now, kiddies.
On the other side, I did win the contest over at Quixotic’s blog. So, yay for me…. Totally padding myself on the back here. Even though my triumph had nothing to do with skill, but rather luck of the draw. I still win, and the rest didn’t. Nada-nada…
Dear Stellar Agent of superb and unquestionable taste:
I am seeking representation for my novel entitled MEND.
He attacks. He springs upon his victims with hatred and blind fury, slashing their bodies and shredding the peace of the city too busy to remember. He kills. With no evidence left behind, four families have fallen in his wake, and he is not finished. Only now there are two very different men, with two very different motives, hoping to bring an end to the worst killer Atlanta has seen in decades.
The first is Lieutenant Nate Barker. Intelligent and methodical, Barker must solve the case of his career while battling a skeleton that refuses to stay in the closet. The other is Jacob Santos. A man obsessed by the messages the killer sends him after he strikes and haunted by the inscriptions left for him at each crime scene.
Each step Jacob and Barker take bring them closer to unveiling the secret that links them to the killer, and to the dark chasm that lies in its revelation.
MEND is a Crime Fiction novel, complete at 70,000 words.
But I hate to leave West Palm. I hate to leave my mom and sister, and not see them again for a few more months. To see my kids play with the only gramma' or abuelita, they've really known and been able to play with.
That sucks, and it almost makes me want to move here, if I didn't miss Atlanta so much.
Anyway, take out your red pens kiddies, here is your chance to take as many cheap shots at me as you'd like. I'm posting my query letter for you all to criticize the bejesus out of it. So go ahead, please, lemme have it!
Dear Stellar Agent of superb and unquestionable taste:
My name is J.m. Diaz and I am seeking representation for my first novel entitled “Mend”.
GOT ANOTHER FOR YOU.
It was just a simple text message that marked the beginning of the end to Jacob Santos’ life. Like a cockroach running from the light, his legs sprung into action before his brain knew where they were talking him: Toward the worst serial killer Atlanta had seen in recent history.
Entire families are being slaughtered by a murderer that leaves little to no evidence behind, and he has chosen one person to be his captor. Jacob Santos. A man with an inexplicable compulsion to decipher the killer’s messages. While feeling responsible for the lives the killer has and will take, Jacob finds his obsession further fueled by the macabre inscriptions left for him at each of the crime scenes. The handwriting that inked the bloody messages echo from Jacob’s past, rustling memories of a boy he saw buried over fifteen years ago. Each step Jacob takes brings him closer to unveiling the secret that links him to the killer, and to the dark chasm that lies in its revelation.
Unbeknownst to Jacob, Lieutenant Nate Barker of Fulton County Criminal Investigations Division is assigned to the Atlanta slasher killings. With nothing but his analytical mind, a prescription drug addiction and a rookie partner, he too must find this killer, while attempting to keep the reins on his disintegrating marriage. Walking a tight rope between duty and family, Lieutenant Barker has a gnawing feeling that the killings go deeper than just ritualistic serial murder. After four families have been slaughtered inside of six weeks, Detective Barker is racing against time to find this killer, before his or another family is lost, along with his last shred of purpose, his faith or his life.
Mend is a 70,000 word, completed novel.
Thank you for your time and all that Jazz. Please let me know where you think I can improve this.
Thank you all.
That said, I confess I am watching the new ABC show “V” through nostalgia goggles. They are like beer goggles, only filled with salty liquid, I think you gal’s call ‘em tears. (Please forward all hate correspondence to my email). Anyway, so yeah… V, right? It’s not bad. It has offered me 180 minutes of entertainment, but you are not here to read me rambling about how I like the show. I know you want to hear my bitching, so let’s dive right into that.
Bailey? I mean, really? Actour extraordinaire Scott Wolf portrays the daring and dashing Chad Decker. A reporter that apparently gets in “the know” early on with the V’s, sacrificing a slice of his soul for a few exclusives. Now, as realistic as that last bit may be (no sarcasm here) I’m having a hard time with the actor whose previous credits include the edgy “Party of Five” show, which lasted about 4 season’s too many. Any show that spat at us Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Neve Campbell and the other little whiny bitch that played the little sister, must be a creation of Satan himself. Mathew Fox gets a free pass for being in Lost and Speed Racer, but I digress. Marc Singer was Bailey’s predecessor in the original series. Marc the-beastmaster- Singer. The man wrestled tigers, and carried ferrets uncomfortable close to his crotch, while trotting around in a loin cloth.
I shit you not.
For his role on V, Singer graced us with white sneakers, jeans so tight they had to be a risk to his testicular health, a bomber jacket and a shirt (or several) that had evidently lost - at least - the five topmost buttons. How can ABC expect to have Bailey fit in those shoes? At least they had sense of not trying to have him fit in those pants. Nobody could. Really, I tried. I’m a uniballer now.
Moving on. Anna: The new leader of the V’s. I don’t know and don’t care about the actress playing her. Here’s all I care about it: The slope of her eyebrows is a snow skier’s wet dream. She is the most corporate, generic person I have ever seen and I cannot stop from comparing her to the womannequins in the opening credits of Nip\Tuck. However, I think she has a secret, and no, it’s not that the V’s are really a reptilian race that have come to earth to steal our water and turn humanity into their own personal Golden Corral. Well, maybe, but that’s not all. She’s got a stache. A well plucked, waxed, and shaved mustache. But you can see the green of it growing when the light hits just right. And with those phantom whiskers, she is supposed to be the new Diana, so deliciously played by Jane Badler in the original series. Wow. Anybody who saw V, in real time, had the same thing to say: “Diana is hot! I don’t care if she is lizard.” Hotness that transcends species: We should all strive for that. She was hot, in an evil stepmother, leather-bound dominatrix, with crunchy hair, kind of way. You should really check them out. Both the old and the new series, for a few laughs, if for no other reason.
That’s it. I’m done. Let me know if you agree, disagree, or have no idea what in the world I am talking about.
He is my younger brother, six and a half years my junior. Growing up as children, the gap was too big for us to really share, except for the games boys play at home when nobody is looking. Hide and go seek in a twelve by thirteen bedroom, fort building from sheets and pillows and the infallible Millennium Falcon. Things like that.
However, it was not until he hit his teens that we really started seeing eye to eye. It was during these crucial years that our father passed away, sending the boy into a spiral that scared the shit out of me. He had some rough patches, traveled some seedy roads, until it all came to an abrupt stop. Our entire family spun out of control during this time before the gravity of genetics reeled us back into stable orbits. In that time, my brother went from being that troublesome teen and metamorphed into an outstanding man. He is a person with enough personality and character to fill a novel. A whole series.
Just last night, as my wife and I were strolling the streets of a Cabbage Town (will blog about this place later), I suddenly burst into laughter.
“What?” she asked.
“Nothing, just remembering,”
“Must been funny,”
“Remember when brother was over at the house, talking about that girl?”
“The short one, that nobody knew was short?”
“Yeah, that one.”
“What about her?”
“Well, I just remembered him saying that she wore those giant heels, that she couldn’t even walk in, and she looked like…”
At this point, brother put down his beer, and stood up, curling his hands into his chest to make them smaller. He then inclined his body forward and took one exaggerated step in front of the other, before he turned to us and said [about the girl] “She fuckin’ walks like a T-Rex, in those shoes.”
Tell me, how could you not laugh your ass off at that. He is plagued with things like that, which enliven any situation.
I also have a sister, thirteen years my junior. But that is another post all together. She is a wonderful girl, with whom I share an uncanny understanding. It’s almost a psychic connection, if I was to go all cheesy on you all, which I am not. I love my brother and sister. I draw inspiration from them both, which only makes me sad when I see or hear about siblings that don’t even speak with one another.
I know it all too well, I do.
I truly understand
What always in the end,
Your passing left me numb
‘twas a stab to the heart,
It cleaved our home in two
And carved our family apart,
Yes, it’s true.
Never told you, I loved you
I looked up to you.
Never said that I’d miss you,
Yes, all this is true.
I think back everyday
To what your face would be today,
The things that you would say,
To your children of today,
It’s still true.
You forgave me all my sins,
Never let me down
Showed me trough your grins,
Why I shouldn’t frown,
This is true.
Never told you, I loved you
I looked up to you.
Never said that I’d miss you,
All of this is still true.
Now I have to wait,
To look upon your face
For the day that I die
To meet you on the other side,
It’ll be true.
Similarly to my peers and colleagues, I more often than not find myself wishing for that trophy day we call “Friday”. We wish for Monday to kiss our collectives asses, and Tuesday through Thursday to hurry on by without any more presence than a deaf\mute in a concert. But Friday, ah Friday arrives, decked in white suite and a walking cane, spreading it’s coolness on us, reminding us why we live.
Friday should be called Soulday.
The time when the collective human spirit is revitalized and once again we revel in our livelihood, wanting to squeeze every drop out life. If life gives us lemons, then on Friday is when we make lemonade.
Sad. We are wishing away our life for the sake of one day, and the promise of a two- day break. I know that for most of us, Monday through Thursday are just other crap routine days, but crap or not, it is our routine. Our days. The kind that will never come again. What happens if we die today, or tomorrow and never make it to Friday? Will we feel cheated because we missed out on your Soulday? Enjoy each day, all of them, even the crap ones; they are the last of their kind.
This thoughtful moment brought to you by espresso-in-my-veins.
Now, go forth and reproduce, or jerk off… whatever.
That reminds me, evidently the Hallows eve par-tea, is a westerner thing. Over the distant mysterious lands if Japan, it is not the norm to gather up all the children in a case of nationwide sugar-rush. Who knew?
Anyway, I haven't had much time in the past two weeks for my literary exploits, but I did do some editing. It feels good to be making progress.
All right peeps, I must get ready to begin the candy overdose (and ensuing tummy aches) that is scheduled for today. Go scare somebody, or get scared, or get candy, or go get some.
Sent from my iPhone
So, the three of us, (J, H, and G) headed to a little area called East Atlanta. A quaint place surrounded by good beer drinking spots and a myriad of personalities that continually add spice to my city. It was three or four bar-hops later that we ran into some folks I haven’t seen in months. It was the perfect finish to a great evening. I saw so many personalities, travelled the city in the company of the folks that I love, and had the opportunity to chat with people which only enrich my life, and the voices of my characters.
It is on nights, weekends, and weeks like these that I find inspiration, true inspiration, to continue my work, and keep writing. I want to write them all into my book, though I know it only make it over crowded. I will, however, write them all in my books. All the ones to come – published or not – I want to capture at least a sliver of the fantastic people I have been so lucky to encounter.
And so I say, with only a small smirk: Thank you Atlanta. Good night.
This is the whole spectacle to which I hope to corrupt my brother with. Not that he needs any more corrupting, but it can't hurt.
Blondie may not be in the spring of her life, but she is definitely of high spirits, or high, on something. Period.
Anyway, I'll follow up with some more later...
Good weekend y'all!
This last weekend a good friend of mine was celebrating another spring under her belt, and what other way to extol the occasion than a strip club? Yes, there was dinner, and a haunted house, but all that is inconsequential and you’ll see just why in a moment.
We made our way into the heart of Atlanta to a little abode named The Clermont Lounge. Stashed in the lobby of the old hotel bearing the same name, The Clermont is a bar unlike anything I, and likely you, have seen. Ever. Ever. At first arrival the place is small, with a permanent cloud of smoke that hovers just above head level. It is loud. And it is packed. This is not your usual strip club attendance though, but rather a gathering of people of all kinds. It’s the cliff notes of Atlanta’s urbanites. You have it all, but that is still not the interesting part.
Upon taking my first step, and being shoved inside by the bouncer saying “Move from the doorway,” I candidly ignored him and turned to the bar to see something that will forever stay with me. A naked woman! (Insert dramatic theme song here).
No, I’m not that prudish. Did I mention that the naked woman, was a naked sixty-something year old, black woman with a blonde wig that would put Rupaul to shame, shaking her humongous ass which could only be balanced on the bar by her keg-like gut, all while slapping titties swindled around the air not unlike a cowboy lasso? (breathe)… Oh, how could I have NOT mentioned that?
I shit you not. The Claremont lounge is known for that. Her name is Blondie. Along with other strippers who have seen much better days, long, long, long ago, they grace the place in short-shorts that are barely visible (marked by mountains of cellulite) and boobs that are competing for attention with their belly buttons. And guess what? We loved it. We loved all of it. Those women, as certifiably insane as they are, are making a killing. The sheer personality it takes to get out there is mind boggling, but the amount of confidence and fun these ladies (yes, they are ladies) are exuding is enough to blow you away. Pun totally intended. It is deliciously awful.
I left, I tried to leave, but part of me stayed. Left behind in those decrepit walls and thighs. And there is only one thing I can do about it. I must return, to get that little bit of myself back, but this time, I must take my brother, and my cousin, and my bud, and his buds, and as many people as I can imagine, because this task is not one that should be taken by one man alone. That would just be creepy.
That’s it… now back to my regularly scheduled MS editing. G’night.
“You mean, and epiphany, right?”
Yeah. Way to go collegial educational system.
Alas, I had my own – dare I say it? – epiphany later that day as well. And of course, it directly related to my writing. In speaking with my wife about the day-to-day “how was work stuff” it suddenly hit me, like a slap square on my forehead, and I could almost hear the [now] ominous Doh!
She was asking for my opinion on how to approach a certain situation at her job, with her boss and colleagues. And I, being the least qualified to so, proceeded to give her my advice based on the personalities of the people she labors with everyday. I knew which tactic would work best with each one because I knew them. I knew their likes, their pet peeves, and because of that, their possible reactions. Even though I have only met them once, and for like two minutes at best. But I knew them through her. Her stories of her work day and such had been so excellent that I felt like I knew these folks. Hence, the epiphany.
This is how I want my readers to feel about my characters. I don’t want to tell you who my character is; I want you to discover him\her. To figure them out. I’ve spent so much time on crafting clues for the plot, for the reader to figure out the mystery of my novel as they read along, that I have somewhat neglected the people in it. Leave it to a self declared anti-social to forget about the people, right? This has inspired me, not to recreate my characters, but to quit restraining the natural voices I know they each have, and let them play on the page. If my wife, who does not speak English natively, can craft her coworkers in my head so well, surely, surely I can do at least the same. Maybe she should be the writer. And then I can dedicate myself to epitaphs.
Regardless, break is over me. It’s time to get back to work. What about you? How’s your WIP coming along? Oh, and I have to give a shout out to L.T. Host for getting a mention over at Nathan Bransford’s Blog for her first paragraph. It truly is an attention grabber. Great work!
I would like to get some writing done later, but quite frankly, it’s just not in me today. I tried to knock out a few chapters last night but that proved as effective as a three-legged pup in a dog race. My characters would not speak to me. I felt like I needed to apologize to them for something I had no idea I had done, and had no clue why it was wrong, but it was most definitely my fault. It was like being married to them. Not a bad thing, overall I guess, but I need to hear their voices before I start drumming the keyboard and I just can’t.
Maybe I’ll go and buy a box of chocolates and some flowers for
Steven Seagal has a new TV show entitled “Lawman”. Just as my angst for the Zen master was turning to an incisive itch, here comes the man himself, not to the pompous giant silver screen, but to the less pretentious 50 inch, flat screen, High Definition, LCD screens that occupy our humble American homes. For those of you misfortunate souls that have not basked in the greatness that is Seagal (hence forth “The Seag”), he can single handedly disarm a gang of Armani clad Ninja’s, without as much as breaking a sweat, or facial expression. He loves all sentient beings, especially the ones he can judo-chop into peacefulness, and is not afraid to die in movies that advertise him as staring in. What? You don’t remember that you say? I present you “Executive Decision,” where he dies in the first ten minutes. That was enough though. Ten minutes of The Seag is sufficient to permeate his Omni-presence throughout the movie. My only regret is that for the remainder of the movie we were left with John Leguizamo to fill in The Seag’s shoes. How dare they presume to replace Him with Leguizamo? Another lazy Mexican stealing the white-man’s jobs! But I digress. In “Lawman” we will be privy to the revelation of a secret: The Seag has in fact been a cop for twenty years. How cool is that shit?
Evidently, all those years of high brow acting and slightly fictitious plot lines were but a mere cover for what in reality was a man of the people. And by man, I mean superior being, and by people I mean reality TV consumers. There is no other man, alive or dead that embodies the absolute awesomeness of cool macho bravado like The Seag. He doesn’t require a frown, or a grunt to express his disgust. Not him. He simply looks at you, through you, in you. This is the kind of self-discipline that can only be acquired by being a full Japanese-English bilingual, a seventh-level aikido master, and a bonafide enemy of the California branch of the Yakuza.
His new reality show is just that: REAL. It is the culmination of twenty years of a [apparently secret, deep undercover] police career. It could be nothing other than a reality show because this earth has never, ever been walked by any man with the capacity to appropriately portray Deputy Seagal. Except maybe Jean-Claude Van Damme, maybe. Maybe. So go on and get your panty liners ready kiddies, because this show is gonna be so hot, you can do nothing but get wet over it.
Here’s to you Seag: Kampai!
When Luke, a young farmer on the planet Tatooine, receives a message from a droid he recently acquired, he is thrust in the middle of an intergalactic war that has been waging for generations. With a guidance of an old hermit, strong in a force called, the force, Luke embarks in an adventure that will take him from the desolate deserts of his home world, to the desolate nomad spaceships of the interstellar rebellion. In a battle for the freedom of the oppressed people of the empire, Luke must battle an evil dark lord for the salvation of the known galaxy. Darth Vader, the dark lord of the evil galactic empire, maintains a tight grip and control of the multiple planetary systems in his realm, extending his fiendish rule over land and space.
In Han Solo, an intergalactic smuggler, Luke finds an unlikely ally in his fight against the tyrannical forces of Darth Vader and the empire. Together, with Obi-wan, the mystical hermit, they must find a way to destroy the ultimate weapon of submission. The Death Star. A moon size base that wobbles at less than impressive speeds toward unsuspecting planets and possesses enough firepower to destroy an entire world with a scientifically improbable death ray. In his journey Luke forges alliances that can help him become the new master of the unequivocally named “force” or perish in his attempt to destroy the forces of evil. Filled with teenage angst and a hint of incest, Star Wars is a 175,000 words, complete science fiction novel, ready to be submitted for your review.
Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
1.not in a certain place at a given time; away, missing (opposed to present ): absent from class.
2.lacking; nonexistent: Revenge is absent from his mind.
3.not attentive; preoccupied; absent-minded: an absent look on his face.
–verb (used with object)
4.to take or keep (oneself) away: to absent oneself from a meeting.
5.in the absence of; without: Absent some catastrophe, stock-market prices should soon improve.
All those things stated above apply to me and my blogging. I'm sorry dear friends and readers. It's me, not you. I just want you to be happy, and I'm no good for you.
All cliche breakup lines aside, I have been busy. I have a nifty idea for a post I'm working on, that I expect you will like. Think: Star Wars.
I know that we are talking about a two-dimensional medium, but that is no reason for our little imaginary friends and foes to be flat. I read somewhere that flat characters should be abolished, “we only want round characters,” was said. I’m going to have to disagree on that one. I think characters should be shapeless, odd fitting, jagged even. You know, like people.
They should have problems and secrets. Just think of your own, and those around you. Like the time you smoked a joint in your moms mini-van, or when your friend did nothing buy flirt with your boyfriend, or the time your cousin almost overdosed on heroine, or when you masturbated in the school’s bathroom, or when you shoplifted those bra’s from the mall, or when… I can go one all night on this (really, I can and it’s frightening). In any case, I trust you get the idea. Now think, or try to imagine how each and every one of those experiences could have molded that person with the inevitable passage of time. Did being a junkie make them a better counselor? Having an overbearing Christian mother push her to join a satanic cult? Did sleeping around in high school make him a faithful husband or an incurable man-slut? Flaws, problems and how they are overcome: It is these characteristics that make our imaginary friends interesting. You know, like people.
How are your characters? Do you like them? Do they annoy you? Are they like you, or totally imagined, or somewhere in between?
That said, the writing bug has been with me for as long as I can remember.
However, it hovered in dark closets, relegating itself to obscure binders of loose pages containing a myriad of thoughts and random regurgitation of feelings throughout middle and high school. It went into remission for a few years, but it was around age 25 that the bug bit me. It infected me, and it has been deemed to have caused lifelong lasting effects. That was 8 years ago, and the infection continues to spread.
I hope it never stops.
What about you? When did it start, and besides published, what kind of writer do you aspire to be?
I think however, that the probability scale leans closer to a non-God universe (or multiverse as science now proclaims). But that doesn't mean we should stop looking for a creation force, let it be astronomical or quantum. Perhaps Stephen Hawkins is right in trying to hammer out the unified theory, but we will see. In my opinion, it all comes down to doubt. The fear that doubt strings along with it, pulling at our most primitive instincts, is comparable to that unexplained fear of the dark most people are born with. It’s not the dark in itself is frightening, it’s the not knowing what could be there. All belief systems, including Atheism, claim to have the answers. They KNOW that everybody is wrong and use either faith or empirical evidence as their ammunition, throwing around beliefs as an ultimate axiom. I’ll give science one thing though, they are quick to admit they were wrong when a new idea or theory can be proven. Though it is difficult to introduce a new idea in science, it is not impossible to so, as I’ve learned from religion. In my experience, any new idea or thought in religion results in the birth of a whole new theology, rather than a correction to the old one. Correct me if I am wrong. I’d love nothing more than to be mistaken here.
But that was not what I wanted to address with the previous post. The previous post was spawned from my irritation at the not-so-subtle inequality of our country. If Jesus can get a billboard, why can’t Darwin or Dawkins? – And I don’t like Dawkins. He’s just another attention deprived ass hole.
I can’t finish this post without mentioning Amber Tidd Murphy’s suggestions. Those were pretty funny.
To conclude, a rhetorical question: Why, WHY, is it such taboo for an Atheist to promote his/her views? How can we live in a country where not believing in a God is worse than cheating on your wife, committing fraud, molesting children, or even being accused of rape? Why do we allow people like this to be our elected officials, but an Atheist is a just unimaginable? Go HERE to see what I’m talking about.
I’m not about to go all Richard Dawkins on you or anything. That guy is a dick (pun totally intended). I understand and respect the traditions, and don’t think there is a damned thing wrong with “In God we Trust,” or “One nation under God.” That’s all fine and dandy, but to equate not believing in God with Satanism is, simply put, ignorant. Atheists don’t believe in Satan, re-tard. In fact, one can argue that atheists are amongst the most peaceful people around (scratch the above mentioned dick off that list). When was the last time you heard of an Atheist extremist blowing somebody up, or an Atheist crusade to recover the empirical land? Atheists tend to be well read people, informed, and open to discussion. There are always the bad sheep that go around insulting people for their beliefs, but they are a different kind of Atheist, commonly referred to as the Douche bag Atheists.
Speaking of asinine non-believers, I am constantly aggravated by the trendy faithless. When did Atheism become the new gay? When did denouncing beliefs loud and proud turn into a cache currency? Belief in what you hold dearest is sacred, let it be you pray to Jesus, Moses, Ala, Buddha, or Darwin (yes, all atheists pray to Dr. Charles, didn’t you know?). We hold candlelight vigils to little plastic fishies with legs before stamping them on the back of our cars.
But I digress.
But not really. Belief, no matter what it is, should be respected so far as no other person is being harmed for it. If there a people that need a God or a church system to get them to be compassionate toward their neighbor, and help the community, then so be it. More power to you. Some of us do all that, and still don’t need to believe in your theology.
So tell me, how would you react if you saw advertisements promoting Atheism in your neighborhood, your TV, your radio? And what about Agnostics? Oh, I can write a whole other tirade on the Agnostics, so perhaps I will, later.
Now I'm relegated to stretching my day, and the things I can get accomplished by typing them up on my iPhone, while trying (hoping) to get some sleep.
Maybe I'll hide under this here imaginary rock for a while.
Hasta mañana, amigos.
Ps. Not that long ago, I caught my six year old staring at me through the rear view mirror of my car, while we drove on the highway. I felt his eyes, big giant chestnuts, scanning me until I finally asked, "what's up?". He proceeded to ask me a question which damn near made crash into the car next to me as I whipped my head around in astonishment and utter disbelief.
He said: "Papa, are all old people bald?"
awesome, eh? I just shaved my head a few months ago and now I'm in the old people category.
That's what I deal with.
Today is supposed to be the beer festival in Atlanta. I was looking forward to taking my kids to their mother’s house for the weekend, and proceeding to allow the shitfacedness to ensue. Alas, it is not to be. You see, the festival is in the open streets of East Atlanta, but today the sky weeps. There is even a chance of a thunderstorm or two sweeping by. Bad enough to have drunks on the street, but to have drunks on the wet, rainy road, ehh… no gracias. You have no idea how retarded people get when it rains in this city. You'd think they got gassed or something.
Its' not that I hate the rain, hell, without it most people don’t know how strike up conversation. It’s just that it’s been raining for two weeks already. We are starting to feel and sound a lot like caged tigers: A lot of pacing, roaring, and clawing at one another. Its getting ugly. Wish me luck, but above all, wish me beer.
I am 65,000 words in. I feel pretty good that I can get it done. The story is laid out, I’m just tweaking at this point. So, after I close this laptop tonight, I will get my I.V. drip ready and shove into the trunk of my car. Tomorrow morning as I take some time to write, I will walk into my usual Starbucks and boldly declare: “Plug me in Christie.” And she – having always wanting to inflict some kind of pain on me – will eagerly jab that hypodermic needle in my arm and proceed to pour down espresso shots into my fluids bag, letting it nourish me intravenously. That’s not just a mere high-five moment (it may tear the needle out of my arm causing some pain and excruciating sorrow at the loss of espresso), but rather an absolute “Hell Yeah!” moment. Fierce, creative keyboard pounding ensues.
Can you smell that awesome? I can.
What about you? Have you given your project an end date?
**All names and places mentioned are totally not a work of fiction, and only by coincidence, would somebody think they are.
Go, do it!
Should I plow forward with what I have? Or, stop, drop and roll… To the beginning and make the modifications to the story that invaded my thoughts at dawn? I could hold off the idea for the next novel… Oh, what WWJMD? (What Will JM Do) ;)
Friend request sent, friend request accepted, and now I have a new little face in my “friends” box and a new tick under the number of friends. Which is weird in itself. I don’t recall spending my childhood days keeping account in my brown leather journal of how many friends I had. It’s not like when Javier took my wallet and dunk it in the boys room toilet, I went into my little notebook and crossed him off my “number of friends” list, scratching out
Nevertheless, here we are. And now that I have accepted the friend request, do I go and start commenting on my new friend’s pictures and posts like we are long lost buddies? Notice, I don’t ask if it was acceptable to go through the pictures, because, let’s face it, that’s happening regardless. Those pictures, the personal info wall, and the “likes” are absorbed with such scrutiny it would make the cavity search guy at the airport jealous.
Or better yet, should I initiate with a humble “I Like” on their current status, to warm each other up to our presence in one anothers life? On the hand, one could just dive right in the middle of the action, not unlike Steven Seagal, jumping in the middle of bilingual super-stealth ninjas turned yakuza-mafiosos (with outstanding Armani suits and swords): Kicking ass, not caring about names, and never, ever, losing his cool as much as to flake off his hair gel. Hmmm, I often think about this. I don’t have to worry about gel anymore, but would love to know how you approach your new, never-shook-hands-with, friends.
I’ve been listening to my peers argue about not wanting socialized healthcare, that we don’t want our hospitals run like the DMV, or that death squads (and I really laughed out loud, snorting and all, at this one) will be deciding who lives and who doesn’t.
One the other side, I heard about how the social healthcare works in other “advanced” countries, why not here? Let me stick to that point for a moment. Japan has a national healthcare system, one that covers approximately one-hundred and twenty seven million Japanese citizens. An article from NPR discusses just how cheap the health care is. “Perhaps too cheap” reports the article, stating that Doctor’s incomes are extremely low. I already see a problem with this. A problem that we, here in the states, are starting to suffer from. All the smart people are no longer becoming Doctors. And I don’t know about you, but I want my physicians to be as smart as, well, a doctor!
Never mind that for now. Another issue in Japan is that, while the national healthcare program started as a cover all – for everything, it is no longer the case. Over the last years, the co-payments and deductibles have increased, first by 10%, then to 20% and are currently at 30% patient responsibility. This means that in order to have full coverage in Japan, you have to carry two insurances, a GAP insurance if you will. So, they are partially back on private insurance, while their government tries to reel back in the ballooning costs of their healthcare program. And that with 127mil people! We have more than double the amount of bodies here. And don’t get me started on the weight and general health differences.
I don’t disagree with some government interference here though. Some. The pre-existing condition thing has got to go. That is retarded. And if you are offended because you think that the word retarded is insensitive because of those people that are in fact born with brain damage, well, I got news for you. The pre-existing condition thing is retarded.
However, we are a capitalist nation still, last time I checked. Forbid the insurance companies from setting negotiated rates with doctors. Let the doctor or hospital set his pricing according to what they see fit. The market will determine the value of the service, and people will go to whichever provider has mentioned best value. Abolish the referral system, so we can see whatever doctor we feel comfortable with. Let American’s get the insurance plan we want, at an affordable price. Not those ridiculous self-pay rates. Make it mandatory for citizens and residents to have healthcare. It seems to work just fine with auto insurance. Competitive rates, no in-network car mechanic nonsense. Grant us discounts for being healthy, and engaging in healthy activities. Slap us on the wrist for smoking (I’m getting slapped), and for letting our cholesterol shoot through the roof. Prevent as much as we can. Money is a great motivator, and as such we should leverage it properly.
Oh, and we should really reform the DMV. Everyone seems to already know it sucks.
Did I miss anything? Or am I totally wrong here? Let me know.
Regrets: I missed Lee Child's appearance.
That's it, nothing else. Oh, except maybe that its only a weekend, and and not a whole week long festival. Then again, that would probably displace the beer festival coming up in a few weeks.
But I digress. The DBF is one of those events, that to the avid reader and writer, provide an unparalleled opportunity to meet with independent booksellers, authors, and acquire large quantities of reading material for damn near nothing. Seriously, where else can you walk away with eight (8) books in exchange for one (1) beer. Huh? Beat that Amazon!
It happens once a year, but if anybody would be interested, I can keep you posted for next year's end of summer event. Are there any other book fairs or writers conferences worth attending out there later this year? I'd love to know.
But I digress, but not really. Even when people do something for the sake of doing it, and have no material, or otherwise apparent gain, it is still not selfless. Those words are usually accompanied by: “It feels right, or I feel good helping, or could stand and do nothing.” Well, that’s grand and all, but you are doing it for selfish reasons still. To make YOU feel good. If one helps without feeling anything, in a true selfless way, it would be closer to apathy, and that would just be sad.
So go ahead, stroke your ego a bit, butter up that hero complex a little, and if somebody gets helped in the process, then you just made two people feel good. In the end, isn’t that really what it’s all about. Let’s not mislabel things. Call them for what they are, and I am confident you will find yourself feeling even better about your selfless *ehm* actions.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Can you give me an example of a non-self rewarding action that is not apathetic?
So, I take no shame when I declare that my approach to the kindle is: "Just say no!"
Maybe time will force my hand, but until then, I refuse.
As far as lending books, I also quit. It easier than quitting smoking, and made me feel good to do so, not antsy like my departing nicotine chum.
A few weeks after parting with my paper bound treasures, I could hear my fathers words echoing in my mind: "I'm not sure who's dumber. The person that lends a book, or the one who returns it." Turns out, I was the dumber-er.
I'd like to hear the other side of the argument though? What is the advantage of an e-reader? Especially if you enjoy book sharing.
It's official, our deficit is not just scary. It's mind boggling. Granted that we are "only" at 1.9 trillion, but they are projecting 9 trillion. NINE! We owe more dollars than there are stars in the known UNIVERSE! And we know of about 100 billion galaxies. Yeah, do the math. if every person on earth "donated" abo...ut $120, it still wouldn't be enough to cover our deficit. that's 7 billion people. I'm giving myself a headache.
"You mean, waking up every two hours to eat, pee and burp?"
Yeeah. It was during those days that I first experienced that mind expanding, life altering, hallucinogenic power of three-hour sleep. Now, now... I know what you are thinking: "Surely, Acid, ecstasy, or even meth will alter your perception of reality more than this, this claim of yours."
Let me assure you (without self-incrimination) that they do not. Only under the influence of three-hour sleep does taking a nap in your car, in August, in Atlanta, in a 100 degree sun beaten parking lot, sound remotely like a good idea.
As I sit here typing this, contemplating my status reports for tomorrow, what I'll make for dinner for my kids after school, and the revisions I need to make on my book, I can tell you with a certain level of certainty: It's all worth it. Even if I do get a small heat rash from sleeping in the car from time to time.
When Jacob Santos receives a message on his phone, he understands all too well the macabre meaning behind the four words: “Got another for you”. A Killer is on the loose in Atlanta, targeting not just single mothers, but their innocent children as well. Without much evidence, or even the law by his side, Jacob sets out to stop this monster. It is a race against time and the Atlanta Police. Jacob knows the blood of the next victims will be on his hands, unless he finds the killer. Unknown to them both, they share a common apparition in their journey, a ghost of their past, guiding their paths closer to one another. An encounter that could shatter everything Jacob Santos ever believed in. Detective Nate Barker, from Fulton County Criminal investigations, is assigned to the case of his career. With nothing but his analytical mind and rookie partner, he must solve the worst serial killing case in Atlanta’s history, while attempting to keep the reins on his disintegrating marriage and estranged daughter. Time is running out. Six weeks, and four murders have taken place, and they are only increasing in frequency. Detective Barker too, must find this killer, before another family is lost, and his faith is annihilated.
Let us not forget that Life does not imitate fiction. Au contraire, fiction makes a damn good effort of imitating life. Yet, seems to always fall short. As inventive as our minds can get, perhaps it is a literary loss that we are not able to anticipate the actual psychosis of the human mind. And when we do, it comes across as campy, or unrealistic. Until, that is, we see the images birthed from the darkest corners of our imaginations broadcasted on CNN; perpetuated some other disturbed soul.
It is time for me to get to work on a query letter that demonstrates just how much I love story telling. Not in a congenial BS kind of way. Those of you who have read Preston\Child, Koontz\Rollins, and such will appreciate it. And if you don't, then its time to get back to the drawing board. This is hardly a mere experiment for me. Not long ago I decided to forgo those books on Network analysis and powershell script to dive into my story. My Story. It truly is magnificent to see my creation come alive in the pages before me (as digital as they may be).
Took a drive alone last night
Memories in my head
Thinking back to early days
Thinking back again.
Your little hands reached up
Aiming for my face
Your little hands reached up
Trapped my heart with grace
Little boy you're sleeping
With your head up on my chest
Disarmed me in a single breath
Son, I'll be your nest
Little eyes are open,
But they sink back once again
Sleep for hours at a time
Peace within you sings
Woke up again last night
Heard you in your bed
You laughed and played so hard
There was no crying left to mend
Tonight I'll see you once again
In this summer night
The spring is in your life
As autumn befalls on mine
Four, almost five hours on a flight is bad enough. But no drink service? I mean, really? I have ten thousand free drink coupons but not a stewardess, I mean, flight attendant, to fetch me a drink. What's even worse is for a chatty person like me, to go this long without talking is torture. I cannot begin to imagine what a flight to japan must be like. When my girlfriend told me that she dreaded flying, THIS is what she meant, raised to the level of 20 some odd hours stuck in a cylindrical tuna can with tuna (and invariably other) smelly people. . All have to say is, for god, Zeus, ra, Orem, or whoveres sake, bring back the concord. Damn you french for taking it away. And damn you world elite for making it so unaffordable. Oh, and nevermind the fact that were supposed have flying cars and transporter tubes. Damn you jetsons, for lying to me in my childhood, making me think I was gonna have a super cool adulthood! I love travelling, I hate flying! There... Bitching concluded. And to top it all off, I have to deal with the clapping dorks when we land... Sheesh! I'm done (I hope)
Four, almost five hours on a flight is bad enough. But no drink service?
I mean, really? I have ten thousand free drink coupons but not a stewardess, I mean, flight attendant, to fetch me a drink. What's even worse is for a chatty person like me, to go this long without talking is torture. I cannot begin to imagine what a flight to japan must be like. When my girlfriend told me that she dreaded flying, THIS is what she meant, raised to the level of 20 some odd hours stuck in a cylindrical tuna can with tuna (and invariably other) smelly people. .
All have to say is, for god, Zeus, ra, Orem, or whoveres sake, bring back the concord. Damn you french for taking it away. And damn you world elite for making it so unaffordable. Oh, and nevermind the fact that were supposed have flying cars and transporter tubes. Damn you jetsons, for lying to me in my childhood, making me think I was gonna have a super cool adulthood!
I love travelling, I hate flying! There... Bitching concluded.
And to top it all off, I have to deal with the clapping dorks when we land... Sheesh! I'm done (I hope)
This is an article that all Americans should read. Though it is a bit a long, it shows the way the world looks upon the US: The arrogant that has fallen, and can't get up.
Granted, it is a point of view by writer who is clearly socialist, but that does not take away the fact that we (yes WE) have given him the fodder for this.
Let's not be coy. The economic fiasco that we find ourselves in is not Bush's fault. I don't like President Bush anymore than you do, but to believe that his administration caused this, is quite frankly, ignorant. Neither is this banking blunder a failure of capitalism, nor should we jump on the European socialist bandwagon at once. This situation has aroused from a something I like to call fiscal socialism: When the government started intervening with the private sector, ignoring the rules of deregulation and telling banks how to run their business. Look no further than the Community Reinvestment act of 1995. It was a way for Washington to force banks into approving mortgage loans for people that otherwise would not have been approved.
In other words, to help "the less fortunate" get a house. The problem with that ideology was that the people that really caused the problem were not the folks that were truly in need. It was another example of the government rewarding (again) laziness and irresponsibility. The unreasonably greedy that got in way over their heads into loans that they knew, they knew, they could not afford. And there you have it: The birth of the infamous real estate bubble. Though admittedly this is much simplified, you get the gist of it. - Feel free to look it up in any search engine. - Do not misunderstand me, I do not think, not for a second, that being greedy is always bad. However, greed without a code of ethics, a set of core business values, is damn near criminal. There is no shame in wanting to benefit from fair trade and the effort of your labor. As long as there is fairness (equivalency) in the trade and it is YOUR labor, not the abuse of another's labor or ideas. It is after all the American way. Wasn't there a dream that we kept hearing about? Where did that go? We are supposed to be the greatest Capitalist nation in the world. We have never been a country of lazy aristocrats, and abhorred the ideals of Communism, but we have become a society that no longer praises hard work and success. We dwell on what [more] we should have, instead of on how we can achieve it. As I write this, I realize that perhaps thanks to the stupidity we have collectively reached, we deserve to be punished. We deserve socialism.
We deserve to be written about and talked about the way that the above mentioned Deutsche reporter has. For today. But I don't intend to keep it that way. I intend to do what little I can do. I intend to continue to do the best job I know how. I intend to continue to invest my money in this country. I intend to pay attention to what happens around me, and I intend to vote according to what I know is best for my country. And I intend to this not help out a Republican nincompoop or an amateur Democrat, but for me, my family and my kids. I want my kids to grow up in a world where they can travel abroad, without fear of foreign umbrage and proudly say: "Yeah, I'm American. How're you doing?"