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Monthly Archives: February 2011

“In my presence you might wake
Through this fiction I must fake
Your death to grace the face of my character
With these lessons he might learn
That all worlds from here must burn
For as God demands in the end we miss.”

I love Coheed and Cambria. I’m greatly saddened that I’ve only listened to one of their albums, now that I realize how deep the story behind the whole discography goes.

Again, I find myself staring down a pair of days off.  It’s very strange. I have only worked one day out of the last five. I know that this is due to asking a coworker to cover a shift so that I could make it home, but still. It’s a little disconcerting to feel so thoroughly unemployed while still having a job. Today should be a day for filling out more job applications, but it’s more likely to see more creative writing than truly productive writing. That is the hope, anyway. In all honesty, I’d be quite happy if either of those plans works out.

As I (think) I have said, I recently returned home for the funeral of my great uncle. He and I shared a name, albeit spelled differently. Apparently, however, this caused no small bit of uproar in my hometown. See, I’m from a LITTLE town. Everyone knows everyone. So when a funeral notice went around town that happened to have my name on it, some people freaked out, thinking that yours truly had gone and kicked the bucket. It was an oddly funny bit of an experience to tack on to the sad circumstance of seeing family at a funeral. I can also now say that reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. 😀

Rime has haunting eyes. They shift from gray to blue to green, depending on the light and his mood. This is going to severely freak Arsus out the first time he sees it happen. They’re going to be a major part of his emotional displays. The man is dedicated to his beliefs, and when he sees something that challenges all that he holds to be good and true, his eyes are going to show the struggle going on within him. In a similar manner, when he’s asked to make a choice for the greater good, any character paying close attention will be able to see an almost wistful look in his eyes. I’m choosing the eyes because of how frequently I’m told that my eyes are incredibly expressive. Rime and I have a great deal in common. I think that this makes him the easiest and yet most difficult character to write. While I can easily write him as me, the question is how much of myself should I allow myself to write into him. Where do I need to draw the line between character and writer? Should he be the narrator? Which is a greater problem, faith without belief, or belief without faith? (Thank you, V).

One last thing before I head off to writing for today. One of my good friends is a musician, putting together a bunch of house/trance music. You can check out his soundcloud page and listen to all of his current tracks here.


I’m writing this in my old bedroom at my parents’ house, sipping on a glass of Glen Livet at 1 AM, thinking about how much has changed since the last time I was home. In the last three weeks, my cat has died, leaving my parents’ house considerably more empty feeling. In addition to this, my bedroom no longer has a bed in it. Granted, this was the case when I was home at Christmas as well, but it’s more obvious now. My bedroom is now officially my dad’s office. It has been repainted for the first time in roughly 15 years, and the carpet that had been in here since I was an infant has been replaced by a hardwood floor. The couch I slept on last time I was home is still in here, but my dad has added a desk, file cabinets, and some more bookshelves. It doesn’t feel like home anymore. It’s a weirdly alienating feeling. I’m trying to convince myself to go to sleep, and to rest up for the big day ahead of me, but quite frankly, I’m not that convincing.

No, I’m not that convincing at all. I’ve already written in my journal for the day, and I don’t feel like reading. Even turning the light off hasn’t really done anything, other than emphasizing how cold it is in here right now. Since I can’t sleep, I should consider how cold it is in the desert at night. Yeah, during the day it is unbearably hot, but once the sun sets and the moons rise (yeah, two moons aren’t quite as iconic as the binary sunset on Tattooine, but they’re also a lot more likely to occur in a system that’s remotely capable of supporting human life), the temperature drops fast. It’s something that my characters are going to have to deal with in their crossing of the Sand Sea. Rime will be prepared. Arsus, however, will be caught quite by surprise. Lots of things will be surprises for Arsus, who has never really taken a good long look at the world until now. This is part of what lands him in the situation which will form most of the plot of the novel. Rime, entertainingly enough if that remains his name, will serve as the voice of reason. He will be an incredible foil to Arsus, and this interaction will be quite entertaining to write. Already their relationship has allowed me to write a couple of fantastic lines of dialogue that will likely make it unedited into the final draft of the book.

I think it’s high time I give credit to my many influences. It really helps to know who has helped to formulate thoughts within my head. Obviously, many of my favorite authors have contributed to my writing style and setting. Chief among these are men and women like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Frank Herbert, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Jacques, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Geoffrey Chaucer, etc. Musicians have always served as motivation to write as well. My Chemical Romance released a new album not long before I began to write this. They’re always in my head. So are bands like Led Zeppelin, Rush, Styx, Muse (fuck off, Twi-tards, they were a good band long before Stephanie Meyer told you to listen to them), Lifehouse (when I’m trying to write something almost romantic), etc.

Speaking of romance, there’s still a question of how much of that will be in the book. Many of the characters will be male. That’s not to say there won’t be at least one strong female lead role to help round out the roster. It’s just that the two main characters are both male, and there may or may not be some chemistry between them as the story develops. It’s not yet clear in my own head to what extent this relationship will be taken. Arsus and Rime are already closer than anyone might suspect, but not in a way that many readers would predict. To take their link in that direction might upset some, but it might please others. I’m still not certain how I feel about it. I think that by the end of the novel, they will be willing to openly say “I love you,” but the circumstances surrounding this are still in development.

As are many secondary characters. Chaucer had LOTS of pilgrims on his journey in the Canterbury tales. I only have two protagonists at this point (really one hero and one sort of anti-hero, depending on how readers view the goals and aspirations of both Rime and Arsus, respectively). I’m working on some details regarding other people who will join them on their journey across the great desert. Some of these people may start on the journey with them but not make it all the way. Others may join partway across the burning ocean. Oooo, that could be a good description of a massive body of sand… Regardless, there will be characters of varying alignments and goals. This will add a great bit of flavor to the story, but they will, again, not be pointless. Almost nothing in this will be pointless, or so I hope. I want every major character to serve some purpose.

As some of you may or not have guessed, I’m quite fond of the new My Chemical Romance album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. That’s where today’s title come from. “Bulletproof Heart” is an incredible track on a phenomenal album. It’s been on my mind a lot lately. Listen to it if you haven’t yet. If you’re an MCR fan, it’s a great new direction of them. If you’re not, now’s the time to start listening.

Additionally, I’m back from my great uncle Phil’s funeral. It went well.

I’m really grateful to the years I spent working in a university library. It was great experience for me on many levels. Not only do I have amazing customer service skills (hint hint, all you potential employers out there), but I also gained a great understanding of the processes necessary to conduct beneficial research. It’s really nice to know what I need to look for in order to find the information I need. I’ve actually found some great references in my old home that I can utilize for the book I’m working on.

You see, not everything in a book like this can be purely out of my own head. There needs to be some sort of effort put into it so people see realism, not pure trippy fantasy. I want people to know that the facts that are presented in this book, despite being put to use in a sci-fi/fantasy setting, are actually somewhat accurate. For example, if one of the characters has a certain condition, I want to be certain that any symptoms of said condition are within standard realms of possibility and probability. Though one of these would always come in handy. It’s a plot-contrivance machine!

As a side note here, I’d like to point out that I absolutely love the work of Douglas Adams. I don’t know where my life would be right now if I’d not stumbled upon a copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in my uncle’s room. The book and its subsequent companions remain one of my top series, and are something I consistently reread, just for the outlandish humor contained within. I have every intention of keeping a towel with me all day on May 25th this year, celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Towel Day.” I can’t believe it’s already been ten years since Mr. Adams passed away. The point of this little side note, though, is to point out that my book, while being potentially at least PART satire, will not be humorous on the level of the Guide. It wasn’t conceived as comedy, and so it will not grow up to be comedy. It’s intended to be a somewhat dark and thought provoking (not pro-viking, like I nearly wrote) piece of literature that takes readers on a journey of self-discovery. It’s not the Guide. It’s not anywhere close to that, and it never will be. I would never dare to fly that close to the sun.

But as for the researching bit, it’s fun and awkward at the same time. While I can say that I’m doing research for a novel in the event that anyone asks me why I am reading articles about cancer and alcoholism and deviant behavior, I’m still not certain that I’ll get the most positive looks from people who see me reading them in public. I mean, honestly, I really don’t want to be classified as any more of a weirdo than I already am. Hence why I do most of my research online, but there is still something to be said for the sheer joy of digging through a stack of books on a rainy/cold/snowy day hunting for one elusive detail you can find in about 5 seconds on google. I miss the old ways. Call me old fashioned. I don’t care. I’ll walk the line between technology and nostalgia for the rest of my life, using netflix to stream Greer Garson movies.

Oh, joy. A car alarm at one AM. I’m so glad to know that it’s not mine.

Yes, it’s one AM here. In about 15 hours, I’m going to be getting in a car to drive home to my parents’ house. My great uncle’s funeral is Friday morning, and we’re going to be gathering to celebrate his life. Personally, I plan to toast him with a glass of 15 year old scotch. I’ll be out of internet range for a couple of days, but fear not, dear readers. I’ll return to you quickly enough. It’s not as though your lives hinge upon my next post (but if they do, please let me know, and I’ll try to write something brief to tide you over 😀 ).


Being a grown-up is far more stressful than it needs to be. Though I suppose the real lesson for today is that I still need to learn to shut up once in a while and keep my thoughts to myself. That’s what blogs are for, right? Angry rants? Hahahaha. I don’t think so. If I wanted to be an emo kid, I’d go whine on my deviantART account.

Everything that a writer experiences in his or her life is potential story material. This means that I can/should focus any negative situation into some challenge that my characters can overcome. Hopefully it will help me figure out what it is that I need to do. In today’s situation, this really means that Arsus has potentially SEVERELY alienated one of his companions. This isn’t likely to be Rime, as the two of them are going to be at each others’ throats 90% of the time. Rather, it will be one of the secondary characters, maybe even the one who dies later on. I’m not sure. Again, there’s still a lot of room to maneuver things around. Very little of this story is set in stone. Most of it’s set in a desert. 😀 Yes, lame joke, I know. I’m not really in the mood to be writing golden comedy right now. Tonight might have to involve a trip to the liquor store. We’ll see. I do have rent and bills to pay this week, and I need to watch my spending anyway, due to the fact that hours are limited at work. Though it IS almost Chinese New Year… Sake might be required. After all, it is my zodiac year.

It’s still cold as a post-Broncos-Super-Bowl-Win-hell. I like it, though. I love winter weather. Why I’m writing about something set in a desert, I have no idea. I suppose it may be because I grew up in a place that’s known for its dry weather. Northeastern Colorado can get pretty nasty in the summer heat. Hardly desert conditions, but still…

Back to the story. Arsus and Rime are crossing the desert as part of a pilgrimage, much akin to Chaucer’s cast in the Canterbury Tales. Each of the characters who chooses to join them on their journey will add a unique view of the world. They will be people of different classes and skills (and feats! No. This isn’t D&D). Each one of them will have different ideas about the characters they travel alongside. I’m not sure yet who the narrator will be. That’s something I’d like to decide on fairly quickly. I want to plan out how he or she will interact with the world, and whether or not said narrator will be reliable and trustworthy or if my readers will be questioning the sincerity of everything the narrator says. It’s all part of the journey. Everything that happens in my world will be told through one person’s perspective. Perhaps it will be someone close to Arsus, someone who has watched him for a long time. I’ve got a few possibilities of things that could work for that. Anyway, it’s time to wrap up and call it a night. Peace!

That’s right, folks, it’s character building time!

Today it’s really REALLY cold outside, so I’m taking advantage of the day off and getting some more work done. I’m attempting to come up with physical descriptions of the characters I’m designing, since their personalities are pretty much already intact. It’s part of my OCD, getting all of this stuff planned out in advance of the heavy bits of writing. Knowing what a character looks like enables me to have a great mental image of them, and makes their interaction with other characters far more believable, at least to me.

Characters in this are going to be entertaining. One of them in particular is going to be fun to write. This one is Arsus. He’s got a pretty unique view on life, and his interactions with Rime, his primary traveling companion, are going to be some of the best bits of dialogue in the whole thing. You’ll understand the reason for this soon enough.

Right now, life is pretty good. I’m sitting by a fire in my girlfriend’s parents’ basement, laughing at the -20 weather outside. This blog entry has been a long time coming. I’ve been trying to get some writing done for the last few days, but it hasn’t been going so well. I guess I’ve got a lot on my mind, what with the job hunting and all. There’s also getting travel plans made for this weekend. It’s not a trip I want to have to make, but it will be good to see the family.

It’s hard to believe how much has changed in the last year. I’ve been looking back on where I was a year ago, and remembering some of my writing. A little over a year ago, I was taking a class on Poetry and Social Justice. I have no idea who started that particular one, but one of my favorite professors was involved, and it was three credits I desperately needed for graduation, so I jumped in. Eventually, I was teamed up with a couple of the other students in the class, and we started talking about social situations in town. It turned out that one of our teammates regularly visited the local “tent city” with her husband, providing food, propane, and a friendly attitude to many of the homeless people in town. It was quickly decided that part of our project for the class would involve going out to meet some of these people for ourselves, getting to see the conditions in which they lived. So one afternoon, we got ourselves geared up and went to meet some of the so-called bums that lived alongside the river.

It was eye-opening. The people I met were all willing to talk about how they had ended up in their situation. Most of them openly admitted to having made some wrong decision at some point in their lives, but they wanted a chance to prove to the city (and the world) that they could still make a contribution to society, if someone would just give them the opportunity to try again. Two of them in particular had a profound impact on me. One of them was a man who, when I told him what I was doing, offered me a sandwich from his supply tent and gave me a candle that shared sentiments about being happy despite having no “home.” I found out a couple of weeks later that this man had suffered a heart attack and passed away before he was able to get to a hospital. The other man called himself “Dog,” and provided inspiration critical to one of my favorite poems. Dog was one of the middle-aged men I met that day, and he reminded me very much of my father in his voice, actions, and general attitude towards life. I have no idea what has happened to Dog in the last year. I hope that he’s doing well. It just goes to show you that you never know where you’re going to find inspiration.