Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What am I working on?

Greeting, gentle readers!
Welcome to another installment of the blog!
Have I used enough exclamation points?
Recently, a friend asked me, "What have you been writing, George?"
My reply? "Everything except what I need to be writing."
I feel like I need to finish the sequel to Dawnwind: Last Man Standing, even though I'm two years late with it already. And I have been poking at it, but my enthusiasm for the project is pretty much nil these days.
Instead, I've found myself working on another story.  It's not a direct sequel to The Marvelous Land of Ap, but it's set in that same world. I keep rewriting the opening scene, much to my irritation.
About two months ago, I returned to the world of tabletop gaming and that has been a source of surprising inspiration for me. Five years ago, my first foray into publishing was a generic source book for a superhero-ish setting called Winter City: City of Marvels.  It was the first thing I ever put out online and the first thing that I ever really sold.
Since I started gaming again, I have the urge to produce another generic sourcebook.  Something fantastic, but not so generic as Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder.  I was think of a post-apocalyptic fantasy.  Something in the vein of Thundarr the Barbarian, only darker.  Or maybe something more akin to Michael Moorecock's Elric books, a high fantasy setting with gods of chaos and order duking it out through mortal agents. That could be interesting.
And that's where I'm at right now.
What's next?
Who knows? :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Inside Out

Good evening, gentle readers.
How's your day going?
Mine's been kind of blah.
It's hot here, where I live; the high was about 101 fahrenheit today, so to escape the heat I went to the movies and saw Inside Out.
Now, I'm not the demographic this movie is targeting. To be perfectly frank, these days I feel like I'm never going to be that demographic again, not that most mainstream movies really light up my Christmas tree in the first place.  However, that's another blog post.
Today, I'm going to talk about Inside Out.
The premise of the movie is that we get a glimpse into the emotions controlling an 11-year-old girl's mind: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear.  They're all having a pretty good time until Riley has to up and move from Minnesota to San Francisco and, well, hijinx ensue.
The first thing I have to say about this movie is that the character of Joy is seriously irritating. Also domineering and pushy and a generally unpleasant person. I think part of my dislike might have been from the voice acting; I'm not a big fan of Amy Poehler.  Her voice is akin to nails on a blackboard to me.
The second thing you need to know is that I've seen this sort of thing before. Way back in the 1990s there was a sit-com on Fox called Herman's Head, where we were given glimpses inside the mind of a fact checker named Herman.  Amazingly, the series lasted three seasons. Go figure!
The third thing you should know, ladies, is that if you want to see this movie, don't take your gentlemen with you.  This is, very definitely, a woman's movie.  Most guys are gonna be bored stupid by it.
Dads who are taking your little ones to see this movie: I salute you!
The animation in the movie is all right; Pixar has done it's usual good job on that front.  And, overall, the voice talents were fine.  The story? I thought it was bleh. Too pat. Too predictable.
Overall, Inside Out is an okay film.  It's family friendly.  It's nice and safe.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give it a three.
Personally, though, I'd rather go back and rewatch old episodes of Herman's Head.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Elsa of Arendelle was right.

Good afternoon, gentle readers!

I hope, wherever you are, that it's reasonably comfortable, because it's hot as blazes here. 

As I write this, I'm sitting on my living room floor, with a box fan blowing on me.  Outside, it's about a hundred degrees.  The rest of this week is supposed to be just as hot. 

But I'm not here to talk about the weather.

No, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to talk about writing.  And the fact that, the other night, I spent about THREE HOURS rewriting the same scene.

Now, gentle readers, I'm all for perseverance.  However, there comes a point where you just have to throw up your hands and admit defeat.  You just have to write the scene, let it be, and move on to the next one.

Because if you don't?  You'll make yourself crazy.

Don't go crazy, gentle readers.  We have enough reality television stars and politicians already.  The world doesn't need any more.

To quote a certain Disney movie: "Let it go."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Why Susan Cooper Pisses Me Off

Good afternoon, gentle readers.

I just got in from the movies, where I watched the new Melissa McCarthy comedy, Spy.

I really wanted to like this movie.

I did.

However, not long after starting, the film just touched one of my trigger buttons. Not a trauma-trigger or anything like that, but my I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Still-Doing-This-Shit trigger.

After a less than stellar dinner date with a guy, Melissa McCarthy’s character is having drinks with Miranda Hart. McCarthy’s character bemoans her life situation, complaining about her career path and how she’s single and forty and then I just sort of lost track of the movie behind the veil of red rage that descended over my vision.


Because I’m single and in my forties and I love my fucking life.


Hollywood, buy a goddamn clue already! Hell. Not just Hollywood, but the whole goddamned world needs to buy a clue!

Being a single adult does not automatically make someone miserable. Or even slightly sad.

That dream we’re spoon-feed as children and teenagers, that a marriage and kids with dogs and the white picket fence does not automatically equate happiness. Don’t believe me? Look around you. Take inventory of your friends and family. How many of them are married? How many of them are genuinely happy with their life situation?

It seems to me that I hear married people bemoan their situation all the time. Men in particular. I know too many guys who have said that if they had the option of doing it all over again they would NOT get married.

I worked with a gentleman once who had a string of ex-wives behind him. After the second marriage didn’t work out, I wanted to ask him why he kept going at it? Was he looking for that magic someone? His soul-mate? Was he just a hopeless romantic? Or maybe he just didn’t think it was okay for him to be single.

Because that’s what the world tries to tell us.

That if you’re an adult and you’re single and you’re not making the effort to get married or have children then you have somehow failed. That there is something wrong with you.

It pisses me off.

The other day I was speaking to an acquaintance on the phone. He called me up and we started talking about his brother, who is around my age. My friend, Jason, told me that his brother was working himself into a lather because he was single and unmarried and if he didn’t have children then what sort of legacy would he leave?

Then Jason, who is married with children, just casually said, "You must be feeling the same way."

Ladies and gentlemen, the red veil descended and I kind of exploded.

"Why the hell would I feel like your brother? Your brother is weak. The only reason he wants to get married is to have children to carry on his ‘legacy’ which isn’t a fucking reason to have children in the first place!"

The conversation kind of went downhill from there and I may or may not have accidentally ended a marriage. However, that’s a story for another post.

This post, I guess, is a plea to the world: stop bullying single people. A lot of us are single by choice. We like our solitude. We like not having to come home and deal with irrate spouses or crying children or yappy little rat-dogs that our significant other thinks is wonderful. We genuinely like our lives.

Stop trying to make us like you. What makes you happy, what fulfills you, probably won’t work for everybody else in the world. If you’re in a committed relationship and you’re happy, I’m happy for you. Be happy for us.

Stop trying to fix up your single friends.

Parents, stop saying stuff like, "It would be wonderful if you got married, so your nephews could have some first cousins to play with."

Hollywood, stop telling everyone that singleness equals misery.

It doesn’t.


And for those single people out there who are not happy being single? Take heart. You’ve got Hollywood on your side.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Healthy Writer

Good afternoon, gentle readers.
It's a moist, warm day here at my home and, from the vantage of my living room sofa, I can see the rain starting to fall.
At the moment, I am eating a bag of roasted unsalted peanuts.  Actually, I've been eating this particular bag of peanuts for the last three days.  I just can't seem to finish it, probably because, to me, it tastes a bit bland.
For June, I have decided to get healthy. Or healthier.
So, for the month, I will be making some dietary changes. Mainly, I'm going to be cutting back on my fat intake. I was looking at some of the stuff I've been eating over the last couple of months and I'm really not surprised that I've put on a little weight.  A diet consisting largely of hot dogs and breaded chicken nuggets will do that to a person.
So, for June, I shall be eating healthier.
Actually, I shouldn't be eating these peanuts.  They're not actually on the diet plan I'm following, but I refuse to throw out perfectly good food.  There are, after all, people going hungry all over the world.
In brief, I shall be cutting back on the meats and trying to eat more veggies, fruits and low-fat foods. I thought about giving up soda as well, but, for the sake of innocent lives everywhere, I've decided not even to bother.
Very, very briefly, I considered going vegetarian for the month. However, the sheer volume of food I'd have to consume to maintain a healthy calorie level was daunting.  Also, eating vegetarian is surprisingly expensive if you don't have a garden or something.
So, wish me luck, gentle readers, and, if a lot of posts are food-related this month, now you know why.
What next?
Lunch! ^_^