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Monthly Archives: February 2012

That’s right, folks, it’s Leap Day, and I’ve returned to the blogosphere. I’ll have a real entry for you tomorrow, but I wanted to say that I have missed you all over the last week and a half. I’ve got some awesome stories for you.

Do you ever fear that, as a blogger or a writer, you’re repeating what you, or worse, what others have said? I do, and unlike other things, I consider this to be a perfectly rational fear. Do you ever fear that, as a blogger or a writer, you’re repeating what you, or worse, what others have said? I do, and unlike other things, I consider this to be a perfectly rational fear. Wait… Anyway, the point is that mindless repetition can be a terrible thing. According to Stephen King’s Storm of the Century, hell is repetition. Imagine the worst thing that you can fear happening to you, and it happens to you over and over again, for eternity. That’s hell. That’s part of why we mix things up at my job, switching everyone from one duty-station to another every hour. For one thing, it means that everyone has to be pretty good at everything. For another, it means that we don’t get bored to death and decide that we have to go medieval on the next patron who asks for the location of the very clearly labeled return desk.

We take your questions very, VERY seriously.

When I’m not considering acting out D&D-based fantasies, I just worry that I’m going to run out of things to say on this blog, and my few readers will leave me, and I’ll be left talking to myself. After all, there’s not really a whole lot of structure to what I write about, other than that it’s sometimes writing and other times stories of library work. Honestly, though, I can’t really expect my blog to maintain any sort of rhyme or reason to topics when I can’t keep focused myself. Other times, I think that maybe going crazy would be the best thing that could happen to me. Repetition could be a form of writer’s block, I suppose. Maybe you can’t come up with any new ideas, and so you end up rehashing something that you wrote months  or years ago.

Don't worry, Stephen. I still love you.

I guess my biggest fear as far as repetition goes is that I want to write novels, and as my good friends at a favorite weekly webcomic like to say, “Sooner or later we’re going to have to stop calling them ‘novels.'” Are all the good ideas taken? Yes. No, seriously. They are. Every story is a retelling of an ancient story, when you get right down to it. The difficult task of crafting originality is based in the presentation. It’s the same with food, really. I mean, you can have ramen noodles every meal for a month, to the point where seeing them would make you physically ill (and likely violently so), but if someone hands you a silver platter with an ornate ceramic bowl filled with ramen that’s been topped with a slice or two of pork, some green onions, and whatnot, and you’re probably going to say “Hey, that looks delicious!” Moreso if you’re hungry. The point is, we’re stuck with repetition, whether we like it or not. The question is how we’re going to handle it.

Think back, oh writing ones. Think about your favorite influences, and what they wrote, and who or what inspired them. It’s a vicious circle, but that’s not really a bad thing. Popular stories resurface regularly. Sure, if you don’t want to work too hard, you can just jump on the bandwagon for whatever’s trendy right now. However, if you want to create at least some semblance of actual writing, you’re going to be better off to come up with something that hasn’t been done to death (hahaha, vampires) in the last ten years. Tell your own story. It might be incredibly similar to something someone else has done. Think of the poor bullfighters who tried to right autobiographies after The Sun Also Rises debuted. I’m not saying that writing The Sun Also Rises will get you anywhere now. Repetition, or at least perceived repetition, isn’t always the best thing you can have going for you. Now a modern story of a man wandering a European city and searching for meaning in his life, well, that could be something special.

Good luck, fellow writers. Off to the grand adventure that is life!

By adventure, this time I don’t mean going grocery shopping at Wal-Mart at 2 AM because I want to drink, but I don’t want to drink without having a frozen pizza to snack on while I do so.

It’s not that those kind of adventures aren’t awesome. They are. They frequently involve NERF guns too, for whatever reason.

No, this is going to be a bigger adventure. I’m going to be going on a trip in a few days. I can’t say exactly where I’m going to be going, but I’ll be away for about a week and a half. I’ll have one hell of a story for you when I get back, too, I can promise you that. I’ll be able to share more details after my return. Until then, you’ll just have to be patient.

California has cut state funding to libraries. It’s an incredibly disheartening sign of the times. Libraries and other similar institutions are the unfortunate first victims of an economic downturn, despite the far too wise words of Eleanor Crumblehulme. She was absolutely right when she said that “Cutting libraries during a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.”

It’s come to my attention during my time as a library clerk that very few people realize the extent of the services that are offered, for free, by their public libraries. Yes, we have books. We’re so much more, though. Need information on homeschooling? We’v got that. Need help finding a job? We’ve got that. Tax info? Yup. Literacy? Why are you even asking if we offer that? Seriously. And that’s just within the Pikes Peak region. Imagine what the bigger libraries around the country are able to provide. We are the heart of learning, the core of self-improvement. If we can’t afford to spend money to buy new books (or if we’re stopping the heartless corporate machines that create mindless entertainment for the sake of money), where can we go? The library. If we want to see the latest DVD releases, but don’t want to spend the dollar for RedBox, where can we go? The library. Need a computer? Wi-fi? Learn a foreign language! Have someone proofread your résumé (help you spell résumé, or learn how to type é on your computer!). Need a study room? A conference room? We have those. Libraries provide resources to help the economy move again, and when the economy falters, we cut library funding. What the hell?

Do you want future generations to be able to read? Do you want them to understand what’s going on in the world around them? Do you want them to have access to important historical and cultural information so that they don’t make the same mistakes that we’ve made? I sure as hell do. Invest in America’s future. Invest in your local library.


I hit the ground running this morning, if getting out of bed at 10 AM can really count as a running start. You see, this is going to be a big week. After missing two days of work because of an amazing snow storm (and actually being snowed in for the first time in YEARS), I finally got things moving again. It seems that my repeated attempts to get a slight boost in hours at work have been noticed, and I’m getting a new schedule with more hours (okay, one more per week), and it’s enough to get me partial benefits and a work week that’s not completely insane.

Not pictured: the 45 minutes it took to dig her out.

Now that the weather has cleared up, though, and the creativity is going. And going strong. Maybe I’m just fueled by the Irish Car Bomb cake that I made the other day, but I woke up this morning after dreaming of Lovecraftian things. This means that I’ve now hit upon my next idea for a novel. Yes, the first one is still a work in progress, with around 32,000 words at present, but it’s not often that I’ve come up with ideas for something that I feel could be more than just a short story. In fact, if memory serves, this makes, well…two. So this is big. I’ve never had that feeling of “HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED AND WRITE THIS ALL DOWN RIGHT NOW!” until this morning. It was glorious. Cue me running down the stairs, grabbing a Java Monster from the fridge, and hurling myself onto the couch to scribble out two full pages of random notes, details, and actual bits of dialogue that came out of something reminiscent of Rose Red meets Call of Cthulhu. Yeah. No more details at present. I’ve got characters to come up with soon.

So yeah, off to a good start, like I said. Jot down some notes, chug some coffee, eat some candy for breakfast, and jump on twitter to find this. That’s three major book retailers refusing flat-out to sell books published via amazon, which has been attempting to cut the middle man out of publishing in addition to book sales. This boycott started with independent booksellers, so bravo to those little guys who were brave enough to stand up to amazon in the first place. The online retailer seems to be in some danger now anyway, mostly due to rapid over-expansion. I’m intrigued to see how this plays out. Now, I’ve had it pointed out that some writers who had published through amazon would now be in trouble, but, well, “you dance with the devil…” I’m just glad that I didn’t go that route. I’m determined to stick by traditional publishing, despite the fact that it’s a long, difficult road. Maybe this whole situation just goes to prove that the easier path isn’t necessarily the best.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of tasks to accomplish about the house today, and then I’ll delve back into the madness that is building in the back of my mind. Cheers!

A few days ago, I found something spectacular on one of my favorite sites, and I had to share it with you, particularly after my earlier post on SOPA/PIPA. Here it is.

If this actually works, we can change the world drastically.

A few years back, I took an advanced grammar course at my school. Being who I am, I absolutely loved it, and I found myself digging through old assignments on my computer this morning, and came across this. We were instructed to create a single, grammatically correct sentence that contained at least one hundred words, and I responded with a little character introduction.

“His elegant, beaklike nose and dark black oilskin raincoat dripping furiously, the large man drew the gazes of many as he burst suddenly through the heavy oaken door of the inn; out of the fiercely piercing rain and whipping wind and into the welcoming embrace that was the main dining hall; out of the inky blackness of the night and into the warm glow of the roaring fire; safe at last from the threat of the lurkers in the shadows and secure in the familiar confines of Georg’s tavern; free of the frantic chaos that enveloped the outside world and comforted by the sight of Georg pouring him a foaming tankard of ale.”