My name is Charlie, but if your looking for my work, I go by C. E. Dorsett. I write scifi, fantasy, and a touch of horror. I like to play with gothic, steampunk, decopunk, epic fantasy, and wuxia. I love to tell stories and talk about books, movies, series, and music.
Wicked Little Town (Why am I here?)
Usually, we I get into the place I find myself today, people think I am putting down the physical location I am in. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I find myself living in a place as foreign to me as a fish exploring outer space. I don't just mean this actual town. I mean my personal, professional, spiritual, and imaginal lives. I have entered a domain that is no longer governed by my five senses and everything I have ever learned, thought or believed is useless.
I swore to myself that I would never move back to Poplar Bluff, but here I am. There are many versions of the story.
- In one, I am victim of circumstance. Not entirely, but this was not in the plan.
- In two, I am a good Samaritan. Not really, I am a little too selfish for that to be true.
- In three, I am afraid to move. I lost nearly everything once, now I am afraid to loose my family too.
- In four, I am afraid I don't know who and what I want anymore. This one is probably closest to being true.
A couple years ago, when my grandfather died, my sister (who I trust, admire, and love more than anything) sat me down and gave me an ultimatum: "You have tried to be a writer for a long time now. How much longer are you going to do this before you give it up and get a real job."
It broke my heart, and in many ways my soul. All I have ever wanted to be was a writer... well storyteller. She was right, up until that time, I had not found anyone who liked anything I ever wrote. My prospects as a writer were slim to none.
I remember that day clearly. That was the day I sacrificed my personal life to make my dreams come true. I started worked 12 to 18 hour days writing and learning:
- how to blog
- the ins and outs of the software
- how to podcast
- how to pretend not to be the shy, sensitive artist, and how to be an entrepreneur.
As my former life lay bleeding at my feet, I turned my back, hoping to achieve my dreams and make my family proud.
My professional life is a juggling act.
I blog for three sites.
I record 9 podcasts a week in 5 series.
I am planning out a new novel in a new setting.
I promote 3 already published works.
I run a Blog and Podcast Network.
I am developing a Table Top role playing game based in the settings I created.
I am a community manager.
I am dashPunk Media's tech support and code monkey.
I am not looking for sympathy. I enjoy most of what I do for work, and not a day goes by when a reader/listener doesn't remind me why I do what I do. The problem is, I am having trouble remembering why I do it.
I can definitely say:
- I am not in this for the money (though it would be nice).
- I am not in this for the fame (frankly the little that I have freaks me out).
- I am not in this for my ego (I get too much hate mail for that)
I love to tell stories because I like to connect with others. There is a certain magic that happens when I discuss one of my stories with a fan, or talk about someone else's story. Stories are the way we share those unspeakable things with each other. They are the way we connect on a deep level. That is what is missing:
Where are the connections?
I am fortunate to have made connections with a few of you, but not nearly to the level I would like, and not nearly in the way I would like.
The Internet is by its very nature impersonal. It is hard to meet and connect to new people in a real way.
We talk on twitter, email, every now and again through IM, but these are all dry and empty communications platforms, not community platforms. What I am wanting to make is an honest to God community on the web. Facebook is great for the people I already know, and twitter is great for sharing ideas and links, but what I want is an interconnected hub where we can meet greet, and share. Getting to know each other, and helping each other out.
Laconi.ca, Reddit, Drupal, and Ning
I looked at every social tool I can find, and I have yet to find the one that will do what I am looking for. They all have their pros and cons, but the hard truth is, I really don't have the time and energy to learn all of these systems. What I want is a one stop shop.
I am not sure what happened to Chris Pirillo's idea for a simple community version of Drupal, every time I go to the site it is down. I suppose he abandoned it.
This might be a problem that is not solvable.
The Dream App
I like Ning, and the features they offer, they have all of the basics:
- Branding & Visual Design Freedom
- Unique Member Profiles
- Moderation & Privacy
- Invitations & Search Engine Optimization
- Latest Activity
- Custom Text & Widgets
- RSS Feeds In and RSS Out
- Photos Feature & Branded Photo Slideshows
- Video Feature & Branded Video Players
- Discussion Forum
- Blogs for Every Member
That is the bare minimum for a network, but it really should have a few more things.
- Twitter integration: (Using the Existing API)
- Group Tweet-like functionality that would allow members see each other's updates in one place, as well as post to the feature, and have the feature post on to Twitter. Members would also be able to start new groups with a quick and easy set up process.
- Tweetizen-like functionality that would allow for topic communities, and a great example of group tweeting, but it is limited to 10 people in a group, that limit would have to be removed, and members would have to be able to join without having to be added.
- Last.fm intergation: The ability to display and share information to and from Last.fm in the network.
- GoodReads integration: The ability to display and share information to and from GoodReads in the network.
- Blip.fm integration: The ability to display and share information to and from Blip.fm, including a network playlist, and individual ones for the groups.
- Social Bookmarking integration: I really have no favorites here, but it would be great to share, collect, rate, and organize links.
- Full integration with other photo sharing sites.
- Bookmarklet to easily share videos, pictures and links into the network
- Groups should have the option of having their own blogs.
- Member blog posts should have the option of which groups they are posted to.
- Easy Zine creation and distribution.
- Members should be able to start, accept submissions, edit, and publish their own zines individually or in groups.
- A desktop app that makes all of these features little more than a click away for those members who are interested in it. Something like TweetDeck.
I know I am probably forgetting a lot of things. If you can think of anything that your dream network should have, please leave a comment. Maybe we can find a couple developers who can help us take BuddyPress, Ning, or Drupal to this level of functionality.
Costumes, Role Playing, and Unity
One of my absolute favorite aspects of fandom is the costuming and roleplaying, and I would have to say they are the two most maligned and stigmatized things that we do. Let's start with the most accepted by the popular culture and proceed to the least understood.
Computer Roleplaying Games
Mass appeal of video games have normalized RPGs on the computer, and why not. Final Fantasy, Mass Effect, and Knights of the Old Republic were all such brilliant games, it is hard to see how they couldn't have had a mass market appeal, but in the one place where Roleplaying should flourish, it is all but extinct.
There was once a type of game known as the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG). The problem is that these too entered the popular culture, and they spawned a new bane: badge collectors. A sizable number of the MMORPG players became obsessed with their statistics, what badges they earned, and what loot they could get. The software companies saw these players as their core audience and in some cases, there only audience.
The games were increasingly designed for these players and not for the fans of story. Coinidentally, the acronym was shortened from MMORPG to simply MMO. Players have done what they can to keep roleplaying alive, but they are generally isolated to a specific server or guild, and they are not aided by the software designers who more and more are crafting games that challenge your prowess with a keyboard and mouse and don't require any thought whatsoever.
This is one of the reasons I am so excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic and Stargate Worlds. They are trying to bring story into the games and make it front and center. I wish them the best of luck.
Table Top Role Playing Games
Table top RPG fans are the geeks that geeks love to hate. Don't believe me? Listen carefully to a lot of the podcasts out there. It won't take you too long to find people having a geeky conversation about their favorite tech and occationally mocking TTRPG players.
Table Top games are not as easy to play as their computerized bretheren, but they are a lot more fun. There are more requirements to play:
- The Rule Books
- Friends who have free time to come over
I didn't stutter at the end, and no, I am not padding the list. Creativity is the ability to think originally, and imagination is the ability to see with the minds eye events as they are described to you.
I think those last two more than anything else makes people not like tabel top games. Personally, I love them. I run an Earthdawn game at the house every Sunday. Nothing brings friends together for a good time like a shared adventure built from the collective imaginations of everyone there.
Live Action Role Playing
Live Action Role Playing (LARPing) is penultimate expression of role playing. There are numerous systems for LARPing and they all generally involve renting a location, playing in a park, or the storyteller's home. Most LARPers dress up in elaborate costumes and carry props to aid in game play.
I used to play Vampire: The Masquerade both as a table top game and as a LARP, and I have to say, the LARPs were always more fun. We played at local conventions and I ran a chronicle that spanned various players homes, parks, and a few businesses who allowed us to use their establishment.
Who doesn't enjoy getting dressed up and spending a night as someone else?
One aspect of the LARPs I've played that made them so fun was that they were locked to the locations they took place. The story was handled through notes given to the players to explain what happened between sessions, and a couple players who agreed to play according to the scripted motives I provided for them. To this day, some of my favorite memories took place at LARPs.
We were a part of a LARP network where storytellers coordinated large scale events between cities, and at conventions our players would play through pivitol stories. The largest LARP event we threw had 500 players in attendence. 3,00o players made up the network. We coordinated through a email list.
LARPs are emense fun, and I miss them terribly. I had hoped that MMOs would provide a platform for virtual LARPs, but so far, they haven't.
Some people just love dressing up. They don't roleplay at all, they just wear the costume for enjoyment. For some, it is an uniform. For others, it is an expression of their identification with the character or race they are recreating. And others do it for the challenge of recreating the costume.
Steampunk is an entire movement built around costuming for the sheer fun of it.
Fans who Play together Stay together
Most of the deep, personal relationships I have developed with fans over the years has been between fans I have roleplayed with. We share an experience that is truly unique to the players who were there. Memories of events that are not replecatable in real life.
All these years later, I still run into people at the conventions who remeber the night my Taleison should have seen his reflection in the mirror and went mad. We talk about it like a moment from a movie or series that we loved, but our connection to the event is so much more personal because we were there when it happened.
So if you haven't before. I hightly recommend to gather up your friends and play a game with them. Feel free to choose the type, but make sure it is one that will build those memories that will last a lifetime.
Review: The Day the Earth Stood Still
This is a group review of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Brian, Emerian, and I each watched the movie and developed separate opinions about the film. As Progressive Speculative Fiction movie:
Overall Rating: 10
I am a huge fan of the original, in fact, it is my favorite SF movie. I was surprised how well they pulled off the remake.
Brian: It’s not very often that I get a chance to write a review of a remake movie where I can give my praises for a job well done. As the final credits began to roll I knew with great joy in my heart they gave me this opportunity with The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008). This movie was a brilliant remake of the classic film, an excellent example of what speculative fiction should be, and poorly promoted film that will unfortunately get it many bad reviews.
I must give my kudos! to Director Scott Derrikson when I read about how he tried to update the movie yet stay true to it’s core message I was very skeptical but he nailed this one and deserves our accolades for a job well done! You can read about his approach in Exploring: The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).
Emerian: I have never seen the original 1951 version of this movie. I have to assume it had a better ending than this one. When seeing the title The Day The Earth Stood Still I have to wonder if it meant the moment that the credits rolled and everyone in the theater stared motionless at the screen thinking, "Huh?"
Even Roger Ebert, who I usually agree with about SF movies didn’t like the movie. He like many of the reviewers missed the point of the movie. He like most reviewers took the movie as little more than a film with an environmental message, when it is so much more.
The Day The Earth Stood still is an “Idea as Hero” story. The idea behind the story is evolution, and whether or not humankind is capable of evolving before we destroy the all life on earth.
Throughout the film, Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) witnesses the senseless violence humans perpetrate on each other. The vehicle for the idea is Jacob Benson (Jaden Smith) who through out the movie is engrossed in violent video games and who constantly argues that the aliens need to be killed.
Our violence to ourselves, the other animals, and to the world itself is why Klaatu has been sent to earth to preserve a life sustaining world from us.
This message is made clearer when Klaatu and Professor Barnhardt (John Cleese) are talking. Barnhardt argues that people can change, but Klaatu is unmoved. He believes that humankind is too lazy and mired in its ways to even try to change. That is the real question. What would it take for people to be willing to change?
Brian: Speculative Fiction is supposed to ask a “what if.” To be even better it should also maintain the tradition of making a social commentary of some sort and aspire to humankind’s better nature. Star Wars and Star Trek do this brilliantly it is why those franchises inspire it’s fans to be better then what they originally are. The Day The Earth Stood Still classic also did this with it’s warning about humans violent cold war nature in the 50’s. With great pleasure the 2008 remake also does this by asking what if we are not alone in the universe and how would advanced alien societies see humankind’s behavior. The social commentary is that they would view us as a violent, delinquent child who treats each other as poorly as we treat our surrounding environment.
Unfortunately this movie was promoted poorly. Their promotion lead the public to expect an action packed, aliens invade earth and attack us. Kind of like the modern War of the Worlds movie. The actual movie is a much more thoughtful exploration of human nature, with most of the tension occurring in the mind rather than visually. There are some great effects and action sequences but not nearly as much as what should have been. If only they had described the movie like this:
The Day The Earth Stood Still is about how human society lives in a solipsistic state of mind where they treat each other as poorly as they treat their environment and give into their terrible and violent nature. The collection of other alien societies decide that they must save the earth from the humans since there are so few planets in the galaxy that can support complex life forms. Now Helen Benson and her son Jacob must convince Klaatu that humans do have the will to change but only after they are brought to the precipice by a tragedy.
Minor Spoilers between the lines:
Emerian: This film was well cast and I think the majority of the film was worth seeing, but the ending was flat and made little sense. Keanu played a good alien with his emotionless responses. We also get to see him naked and covered with mucus again, which is always a strange but somehow addictive thing to watch. Jennifer Connelly played an adequate smart lady. Jaden Smith showed his ability to stand with his adult counterparts and not be overshadowed in the least. It was also a pleasant surprise to see John Cleese and Kathy Bates.
As far as visuals, the orbs are rather interesting and the fly shaped nanobots that go about devouring the land are worth the price of your theater ticket. However, I would advise waiting to see it on DVD.
The ending was a big let down and not just to me. As we sat, wondering what had gone wrong, I heard comments from exiting audience members that ranged from unconvincing to anticlimactic.
The end of the movie was a call to action. A challenge to the audience. I will deal with the ending of the movie more in a separate post.
So who is right about this movie?
Was it good or anticlimactic? Honestly, we post are. This film is like music in a particular genre. If you like this sort of movie, you will love it. If you don’t, this movie is not for you.
I have read many reviews, and in the majority of them, the reviewers either rejected the message, missed the message, or thought the film should not have been updated.
Roger Ebert approached the movie with certain preconceptions that kept him from seeing the message of the movie. It is clear from his review that he did not want to like the movie, and mocked Klaatu for having to learn the lesson of the film.
I would not recommend this movie to everyone, but I would say that there is a couple simple tests to see if you will like this movie:
- Did you understand and enjoy the ending of Hedwig and the Angry Inch?
- Did you enjoy Grave of the Fireflies?
- Did you enjoy the work of Akira Kurosawa?
- Have you ever enjoyed a book by James Joyce?
The fourth one is most important. Joyce believed that a good story should just hold up its object to be beheld by the audience neither pushing them towards or away from anything, and Kurosawa said that a film should have an immaculate reality, allowing the story to just happen without and over abundance of exposition.
For more info on The Day The Earth Stood Still: Theater or Renter: December 2008
- Brilliant remake of the original movie:
- Maintains Immaculate Reality
- It’s true art where they bring us to static arrest and hold us there.
- the message was not so much about ecological concerns but about societies solipsistic attitude (behaving like a spoiled little child with a me me me attitude) leading them to treat their environment as badly as they treat each other.
- The great balance between the warning about societies current state and the hope of our capability of change.
- Gort was really well done including a little joke about how he got his name.
- The Ending: it shows the solution but does not show nor tell the audience that the solution happened it just ends leaving that conclusion up to the audience.
- The acting was well done.
- John Cleese was brilliant in his role, I wish they would have advertised this fact.
- Keanu Reeves did a good job playing Klaatu
Dislikes / Concerns
- the ending: I would have liked to hear Klatu give the ultimatum “It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.” Unfortunately if he had given this then there would have been complaints about it being cliché
- The intro could have done without the first five minutes and just started with the present day. problems of the well written story.
- The promotion of this film was poorly done, they advertised an action aliens bringing about the end of the world film when in reality this was a thoughtful Science Fiction social commentary film where a lot of the tension is cerebral instead of visual.
- I could not hear the other classic line “Klaatu barada nikto!” They left the background noise too loud only Keanu Reeves’ mouth moves.
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Fandom, Porn, and a Culture of Dreamers.
When I stumbled across trobadora's The Internet is for Porn? I was initially uncomfortable with the discussion. The frank discussion of fannish sexuality is not something I am used to seeing in writing... but it is all too familiar a topic around the table over the weekends and at the cons. I am not sure why I was so uncomfortable with the subject. It is not like I have not mentioned in on the show or in conversations with others, but this direct approach, insightful comments, and probing questions made me squirm a little in my seat.
In our fannish circles, porn is very much ... normalised, for lack of a better word. It's part of the everyday landscape, and writing it or posting it is not in any way, shape or form remarkable. (Except for the "oooh, shiny!" factor, of course.) It's even an ordinary social gesture – the "bake you cookies and write you porn" aspect (The Internet is for Porn?).
That is the moment that I started squirming. Why is it normal to talk about slash without a thought about what it is we are really talking about? It is not uncommon for the conversation to get started and in the right fan circles, the participants are open about their favorites. Is this because our fan culture is more coarse, crass, or jaded than the mainstream culture?
I don't think so. While I have been accused of having an overly bright view of the fan culture, I think it is a result of the very nature of Speculative Fiction Fandom.
- Fans are generally liberal. It is easier to look forward when you are not tied to the past
- Fans truly love. They do not simply like the characters, settings, and series, they have a deep love for them.
- Fans are dreamers. We are not satisfied with merely watching or reading, we dream up other stories. We are constantly asking, "What if?"
- Fans share. We are not content with these ideas living in our head, we share them with each other
As a result of these things, it is not surprising that we ask ourselves what it would be like if two of our favorite characters hooked up, we write the story and share it with the community.
Why are we not ashamed of the sometime sexually explicit stories we tell? I am not sure. For me, it is probably because I am gay. I am used to people looking down on me for who I love. Why would I care if they found about anything else? They already think I am a pervert. I have no where else to go from there.
Now, many of you are probably going to say, "I don't even know what your talking about."
Say you're participating in one of those other fannish spaces as well, and you're (for whatever reason) writing porn in that fandom. What do you do with it? What would you feel comfortable with?
Would you feel comfortable posting it in its own fandom, even though it would not be a normal fannish activity there?
First of all I would say there is a difference between porn and erotica. I am not parsing words, there is a very real difference. I apologize for the crass language here, but it is better to be blunt than verbose:
- Porn is fiction that contains a lot of sex for the sake of getting you off.
- Erotica is fiction that contains a lot of sex but the story and characterizations "cannot be summed up in diagrams" to quote Stephen Moffat.
Most of the fanfiction I am talking about is erotic because it does the latter and not the former. On that note, to answer the question, I am not sure what fan communities are being discussed where the conversation of slash does not pop up from time to time.
The only time I would not feel comfortable is if there were minors in the conversation. It is not my place to introduce these kids to a discussion of sexuality they may or may not be ready for. Other than that, I am not sure what would prevent me.
What if that fandom were mostly populated by fanboys?
Well, I find popular heterosexual male sexuality to be abrasive and overly crude. It is something that should be discussed. The flirtation present in the stories is something I think most heterosexual males would be bored by. I hope I am wrong.
The types of fanfic we are talking about are:
- slash: male/male erotic fanfic
- femslash: female/female erotic fanfic
- hetslash: male/female erotic fanfic
- PWP: porn without plot
Does it really matter who you're writing for? How much, how does it matter?
I think it does. I know I am not the only one who has wondered about the relationship between Ivanova and Talia or Sirius and Lupin. These questions are unanswered in the canon, so we are left to fill in the blanks with fanfiction.
The audience matters because well written fanfic is about the characters. Whether it is slash or not, if the story is bad, then why would I take time to read it? There are some audiences that just want PWP, and I am not in that crowd.
How much of a difference would it make whether it was an explicit sex scene in a longer fic or an all-out PWP?
Just as the audience matters, so does the content. If the story is good, and the sex is integral to the plot, the better the story will be.
Would it bother you more if the porn in question were slash or het?
A lot of the slash and het I have seen is more of an odd fantasy of the writer than a story worth spending any time with.
What if it were, say, het with a dominant male character?
This is where the problem comes in. A lot of the male dominant fiction, fanfic or not, is little more than a dose of male bravado with a side order of nudity. I prefer stories about equals.
What makes Smut
I read a lot of Speculative fiction, and sex is not absent from the "mainstream" fiction. It is hard to miss it in Anne Rice, Christopher Golden, Clive Barker, Anne McCaffrey... most SF not written or inspired by Tolkien.
I think we work ourselves into fits because, as with everything, there are some people who take it too far. Nothing can be down about these people except to ignore them.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about when we are talking about sexuality or erotica. Honestly, I think this has more to do with our popular culture and its perception of us.
In Pop Culture, sex is inherently smutty. It is a tool used to sell a product. Many movie trailers have become little more than "Watch this film and see these people naked." Under those conditions, we tend to allow ourselves to see all sex as smutty. What we have to do is establish certain personal rules:
- Sex is natural.
- Sex is not a game or a contest. It is not about collecting trophies.
- Respect is a prerequisite. If we do not respect ourselves or our characters, it shows and it degrades everyone.
- Sexually explicit stories or scenes without a grounding in character and plot are porn.
Did I make you uncomfortable? I hope not. I think it is time for some frank conversation. Now let's all sing Slash Wallow.
2004- Year in Review
Poplar Bluff, MO... in the 21st Century
In early January, we moved back to the city of my birth: Poplar Bluff Mo. Neither Brian nor I were too excited about the prospect, but we were unable to secure work in California, and my mother was having a lot of health problems. The move was meant to be advantageous for all of us: we would help out around the house, and the odds of finding work increased.
Not long after we arrived, my father fell, and hurt himself at work. The hand of Providence had indeed brought us here. We had to pick up the slack. Brian found work, and I helped out around the house.
Editing "Liquid Sky"
By march, I had some free time, so I polished "Liquid Sky" into what I thought was a good book. It wasn't easy. The interruptions and agitations were constant. I can't tell you how many started: "Since you're not doing anything..."
My folks just don't see what I do as work. Probably because I enjoy it. That appears to be their real problem. With a great deal of perseverance, I finished my rewrites...
That wasn't the only thing I gave up. On June 1st, I quit smoking. Not because I wanted to, not because I felt like it, but because I thought I would slit my wrist if I had to hear what a disappointment it was, and "how did we go so wrong." I decided to quit because their words were killing me faster than the cigarettes.
I find it laughable that I started smoking because I wanted to, and I quit smoking because of "peer pressure." For someone as prone to depression as I am, I had to make the attacks on my character stop before they drove me over the edge.
"The side effects have been profound, but the dizziness is subsiding. I can't wait to be off the patches though. I have quit before, and I hope this is the last time I will go through this torment [from the Blog- June 1]." The patches made sicker than I have ever been. It was almost impossible to get anything done... and the nightmares grew worse. Vivid claws and ripping teeth... My nightmares are terrors on their own, but the patches intensified them into horrors beyond all description.
Ending all suffering... well, it's a goal
"My greatest goal in life is to achieve a state of freedom from suffering, attachment, and aversion. My addiction to tobacco is the purest form of attachment and suffering I have in my life. I will walk the path of Liberation to the best of my ability [from the Blog- June 1]." I had vowed to end all of my attachments, to end my grasping mind. I took refuge (privately), and began my practice in secret.
"I ride the waves, but I am no longer tossed about. That may seem confusing for some of you, and if it does, I'm sorry. But right now it is a private struggle... I just wanted to give you all a sneak peek [from the Blog- June 1]."
This is something that took me a while to talk about freely not until 2005: [http://christiansangha.blogspot.com/]
Parents' Health Improves
Mom and dad were feeling so good they went on vacation to visit my sister...
Lights in the Sky (July 4)
This was the first year Brian got to set off firecrackers on the fourth. His eyes light up with every rocket he launched. His joy and laughter were infectious. I hope this is not the last time, he enjoyed it so much.
The Submission Process
None of my submissions for publication were accepted... I am not sure why, exactly, but I have done a lot of studying since, and I think I wrote a poor query letter. I also think I started the story too late.
This will not be the end of "Liquid Sky," but it will have to wait.
Less Human than Human (August 3-4)
For the second time in my life, a state I lived in told me that Brian and I could never be married, because there constitution is stronger that the dictionary, justice, and love. What made things worse was all of the rhetoric, "We love homosexuals, but we just don't think they should be given special rights."
All I can say is, "Your love makes me sick... You and all of the other bigots like you. You can disagree with my politics, and 'tolerate them,' but you cannot be prejudiced against me because of who I am and 'tolerate me.' The KKK is not tolerant because they are only speaking out against minorities, but allows them to exist. They are still bigots!"
One of the brightest points on the year was the exhilaration I felt in the run up to National Novel Writing Month (Nano), in November. All year I had struggled to find time to write, and now I had something to rally around. No one could object to me taking one month for writing... or so I thought, but the dream of finishing another book drew me in. I began to prepare...
My Music Charted!
Just for fun I decided to release some of my music to Amazon.com. I didn't give much thought to it, I just sat down and uploaded it one day. Then around October 1st, I thought it would be fun to see how the songs were doing. To my surprise, they were charting!
In the end, they all did better than I could have Imagined:
- Alternative Chart- 60
- Electric Blues Guitar Chart- 20
- Ghost Dance
- Progressive Rock Chart- 3
- Goth & Industrial Chart- 10
- Mission of Love (Ultimatum)
- Alternative Chart- 194
- Progressive Rock Chart- 26
(From Blog 10-21-2004)
The Thanksgiving from Hell
Your soul can be rubbed raw... to the point where it bleeds and cries out within you. The pain of a thousand and one invisible needle delivering their poison one by one slowly over a life time is more than I can bare. My soul may be shattered and hollow, and I may have become too comfortable with that, but even I have limits.
I hope my optimism may return someday, but I am not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.
Reflections on Nano
One month of justifying why I write instead of actually writing... When I got to pound the keys, it was amazing. I loved the rush, the sheer thrill of naked writing (see blog), This year I will be ready for it. The idea is not flawed, but in my current situation, it is hard to find time to be alone to write. I usually work on the site while cooking, or doing dishes.
The Failed Quest for a New Book...
No new novel... no published novel... but 2004 was not a wash. I learned a lot, and I had to become more hardcore. Writing is in my blood or this year would have beaten it out of me. On the contrary, it made me seek out new out lets for my creativity.
2004 marks the death of naïveté and the birth or guerilla writing. Hardcore short fiction to expel the idea for it expels me. Just wait... you'll see.