We won our #dignity and #freedom as #LGBT in America

I am still in shock. My body is shaking, unsure whether I should laugh or cry, dance or scream. Maybe there is a way to do it all at the same time. 

Honestly, I never thought this day would come.  I remember how I felt the day my state banned my rights by constitutional amendment. It hurt, but I knew that my state and country default to hate and denial of dignity. We have never been good at respecting basic human rights.  

I want to feel like this is a victory, because it is, but I still don't feel like I am awake.  Reality has merged with my dreams in a way that I can't believe happened.

This feeling, smiling while on the verge of tears, is one of the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced.  Today, I am finally a full citizen in my country.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” Kennedy wrote in the 34-page opinion. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.
Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Gay Marriage - US News

The tide of progress marches forward, and our understanding of liberty and oppression grow over time.  As science continues to offer us a better understanding of the world as it is, we see the foolishness of past generations in the clear light of wisdom.  All humans are equal.  All humans.

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality … Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.
Justice Kennedy, “The Ideals Of Love,” And Other Key Quotes From The Huge Supreme Court Victory / Queerty

To read the court calling the discrimination I have lived with my entire life "unjustified infringement" is one of those moments beyond words.  I have been married to the person I love for almost two decades.  Married in the eyes of God, but not in the state I live in.  To be told that our relationship was a danger to the country hurt.  Now, we can start planning a wedding...

These words now cover my community too:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
— Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

It is hard to express my joy.  I am sure this post makes me sound like a rambling idiot, but I had to say something, and I had to say it now.  I am an equal citizen in my country.  After 37 years of second class citizenship, I am now equal. We are now equal.

Many dark dreams for the Crow reboot

Round and round goes the planned Crow reboot film.  New names added, Old names fall away.  I could go on and on like others about the no name director and the actor I have never heard of, but that combination is what made the first one great, so I will hold my tongue.

Normally, when a great movie is getting a reboot, I am the first one to sigh, roll my eyes, and ask why the movie needed to be made.  This is different.

While the original is a gothic masterpiece that I still watch every year, there is so much in source material that was left out of it.  I would love to see some of that brought into a new movie.

The comics are a stunning meditation on love, death, hatred, justice, and revenge.  It paints a sweet yet violent picture of a man who lost his love and his life in a random act of violence.  In return, he returns to the land of the living to destroy those who killed them.

The Crow is a visionary masterpiece (I know I have already used that word before, bur it is the only one that fits).  A hypnagogic nightmare of love, loss, and agony, the books paint visions of inner pain and turmoil that I have not see the like of since Blade Runner.

I can only hope that whoever makes this movie, they will make the wise choice and include some of this scenes.  From the valentine with hollow eyes to the stampede into barbed wire.  If the director can create the same hallucinogenic terror from the book, the new film will be different and spectacular.

The biggest danger is that they will simplify the story down to an action film or a horror film.  It needs to be both, or it will not work.

Why I need a new working way to go and know

Imagine my surprise when I loaded my Thinkup and saw this insight.

@cedorsett said the word “need” more than any other on Twitter last month, followed by “new,” “working,” “Going,” and “know.”
My ThinkUp

If you follow my Twitter, you might not be surprised, but I was.

A lot has changed over the last year, and I am really not comfortable with the state of my life right now.  We bought a restaurant, and I thought that things wouldn't change all that much since Brian had been running it for several years.  Everything changed.

Not just in Brian's life, but in mine.  I am probably thinking about this a bit more than I should since today is our 18th Anniversary, and we spent most of the day dealing with the restaurant.  I am not bitter about, but it does show how much things have changed.

Days off have disappeared, and we spend most if not all of our time working on that business.  That is part of the price for owning a business, but part of it is a result of the breakdown of our culture.

I am not saying what you might think I am.

I am a writer deep down in my soul, and I believe that artists of every kind are the trustees of culture.  We present our images and words to the culture and the culture in turn reinterprets them and incorporates them.  Our images and words are important, and they have an effect on the state of the culture.

So, I find myself thinking a lot about where my work, as small of an impact as it may have, is either contributing to the problem or the solution.

The problem is that I am not sure how exactly to perform this self-evaluation.  I hope I am doing well, but this is one of those situations where my intentions are only a tiny fraction, the rest is up to my readers.

My Readers are the Greatest People I Know!

I am not just saying that because they give me money, but because I have met many of them, and they are kind, compassionate, and bright people.  That say far more about them than it does about me.

I feel like my job needs to be not only to write more, but to make space for them to meet each other so we can do so much more together.

need, new, working, going, know

When I saw that collection of words, it did something to me.  I would like to say that it focused me, but in reality, it made me wonder what it has to say about me.

I need- I need to confront the issues in my life the way I always have, through stories and images so I can dig into the deep issues before me.

New- I need something new.  I have become obsessed with new, and while I know that there are no new stories under the sun to tell, new is about excitement.  That is why I am so thrilled with the stories I am working on.  They are exciting to me, and I hope they will be exciting to you.

Working- Like many, if not most, of you, I am working all the time.  My mind never stops racing, except during meditation.  I have started reading more comics, and find places to recharge.

Going- I feel like I am going no where, but I am really am.  We all are.  The trick is learning to see it.

Know- I know who I am, and I know what I like and what I want to see in the world.  I have to make it a priority to bring them into reality.

Do those words resonate with you?  If not, what are your words?  Let's start a conversation and make change starting today.

A Look forward to 2015: There and Never Going Back

2014 was a crazy year, and I mean that literally.  I spent most of the last quarter in deep depression, and I am glad to say that I am doing a lot better now.

I started out the year working on a Zine, technically a micropub magazine (dashPunk).  I wish things would have gone that way.  I was really excited about the project, even though I knew it would have been a lot of work. 

On January 29, I brought Project: Shadow back and started working on changing the nature of my work.  I wish I would have stuck with it, but more about that in a minute.

I didn't go ahead with the Zine because I felt like it wasn't a good fit for what I was trying to do.  It cost so much to do something that should be a lot easier, and I wasn't willing to charge people enough money to make it profitable.  I didn't want to loose money on the project, so I abandoned it.

I should have seen what was coming before I did.  On July 14, I noted in my journal that certain things were starting to freak me out.  On September 22, the depression hit.  It held on like nothing I have ever experienced before.  It smothered me in its embrace until December 16. 

I learned a lot while living under those shadows, important things.  I learned who my real friends are, and just how many people included me in their life as someone who could be useful to them.  My friends weathered the storm with me.  I am grateful to them.

As you know, I like to give names to important parts of my life.  I think I will remember this period as The Pruning.  I learned what was really important to me, and I cut away everything else.

On my Social Media life and Business

I want to start looking back by looking at the numbers starting with those from ThinkUp.

Number of Posts

  • In 2014, @cedorsett posted a total of 829 tweets. At 15 seconds per tweet, that amounts to 3 hours and 27 minutes. @cedorsett's followers probably appreciated it (ThinkUp).
  • This year, I posted a grand total of 963 times on Facebook. If each status update and comment took about 15 seconds, that's over 4 hours dedicated to keeping in touch with friends (ThinkUp).

I feel like I haven't been social and open enough about what is going on and what I have been up to.  While it sounds like I spent a lot of time posting, that came in fits and spurts. 

  • My longest tweeting streak lasted for 26 days, from August 4th to August 29th (ThinkUp).
  • I posted at least one status update or comment to Facebook for 57 days in a row, from January 1st to February 26th (ThinkUp).

Words per Month on Twitter

Words per Month on Facebook

As you can see from the graph, I started out the year strong, and had a increase around Shore Leave, but the general trend line was down.

Part of that was my disillusionment with social media, and part of that was the depression that crept up on me throughout the year.  I need to be more open, and I am looking for ways to share more and to be more helpful to you all.  If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

  • I entered a grand total of 10,071 words into the Twitter data entry box, reaching peak wordage in January, with 2,650 words. If @cedorsett were writing a book, that would be about 37 pages (ThinkUp).
  • I tapped 17,031 words into Facebook's status update or comment box, topping out with 5,520 words in January. If Eric Dorsett were writing a book, that would be about 62 pages (ThinkUp).

The most interesting thing to me is that I talked more about writing on twitter and my books and books in general on Facebook.  I also talked more about movies on Twitter.

Moving forward

I need to go back to what I had originally intended to do.  I need to "think out loud" on the blogs and through my social posts.

On that front, I set up a Known site and I plan on making that my social hub, but I will repost from their to my other accounts.  I don't enjoy Facebook, and I really never have.  After 8 years on Twitter, I don't feel like I am getting out of it what I used to.  I am not leaving those services, but I feel like I need to build out a site has the social qualities I want it to have.  That is what I hope the Known site will become.

For now, I am the only one that can post there, anyone can comment and like.  Early on, I will invite others to post individually.  Hopefully, once it is up and running, I will open up the registration to everyone.  The reason is, when I first set up the site it was open, and it was flooded by spammers.  I locked it down, and am now looking for ways to fix that problem.

I want to get the podcast up and running again, but I need your help with that.  I need to know what you want to talk about, and how it can be of service to you.

This year will hopefully be a turning point in my life and my work.  I hope it is for you too.  I can't wait to see what we can do together.

Don't you know it's gonna be alright

A friend of my shared a story today about a Transgender Kid who left a suicide note on Tumblr asking for the world to change (read it here).

Stories like this trash my spirit. I only hope that we are moving forward in some ways...

What we need more than anything is a cultural revolution that reconnects us to compassion and hope and breaks the chains cynicism, nihilism, and isolationism have wrapped around our necks. Only when we learn to stand up will things change.

One moment, I need a musical break, sing a long if you know it, if not, it has the words.

For years, decades, centuries, people have tried to change the world, and as Joseph Campbell said:

When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.

Every time I quote that, my friends sigh, and tell me that I just don't get it.  We talk for a couple hours until we finally get back around the point.  We cannot change other people, we can only change ourselves.

This is one of the most troubling aspects of modern social movements, our solution is always to pass a law, change a law, or enforce a law.  If history has taught us anything, we have to see that law is only a minor part of the change we need.

Yes, anti-discrimination laws are important, and so are hate crime laws.  They won't accomplish anything if we don't take wise action to change ourselves in such a way that it encourages others to take on the same change.

All of this starts with compassion.  Compassion is simply living by the gold and silver rules:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
— The Golden Rule
Do not do unto other as you would not have them do unto you.
— The Silver Rule

When we act according to these simple rules of compassion that every culture on earth has come to over time, we start building the world that we want to see.  We only have control over our actions.  We have to take responsibility for our own actions.

How can we expect others to treat us with respect if we will not grant them the same courtesy?  How can we expect society to celebrate difference if we demand conformity?  The path forward it to demonstrate through our lives, our jobs, our entertainment, and our businesses that diversity and compassion make us stronger.  If we do not demonstrate the basic interconnectedness of all people, places, and things, we have no hope that others will see it.

In every encounter, be kind, be compassionate, and celebrate the differences between people.  Only through living a life that makes others envious of our joy, hope, and prosperity will others start looking for ways they can have the same thing.

Become a beacon for compassion.  Live compassion in all your words, thoughts, and deeds, and you will be the change that we need.  When others ask you why your life is so different, tell them, but make they want to ask.

One by one, we will realize that we are all interconnected, and that our actions effect everyone and everything.  Eventually, this will change the world.

Planning for National Novel Writing Month with Wattpad and Penflip

It might sound like a strange question, but it is something I think about a lot. Alright, I think about it too much. Since I am a writer it does matter, but there is a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I might not be thinking it enough or in the right way. 

I look at tools like Wattpad and Penflip, and I start wondering how I should be telling stories. Part of me wants to start serializing my fiction, so I can get stories out quicker. 

I make analogies to TV.  The Wattpad release is like the show airing on TV or streaming, and the book is like the boxset.  The difference is that those studios make money off both the airing and the boxset.  It is hard to think about money, but I have to make a living.

So, I started a Patreon account.  I haven't given up on the idea, but the fact that my readers and listeners didn't move to support the project worried me, but I think it will take time and the right project to make it work.

The problem is, we are on the cusp of National Novel Writing Month, and I want to join in.  I love the challenge and the community, but I find myself wondering if I am just falling back into my old habits and working on a traditional novel.

I have an idea, and maybe it will work.  I am going to keep working on the outline for NaNoWriMo, and I will be the first to say that it is neither new or original, but I think this year, I will take part in NaNo, but unlike previous years, I will post each chapter as they are finished on Wattpad.  They will be raw and riddled with errors, but it would enable me to get some feedback quickly.

It would help get me into the habit.

I will post raw stories on Wattpad and run the beta group on Penflip.  I am excited about it.

Disney, do we get ABC's Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion extra scene too?

Hmm... so ABC is going to air Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion... with a new scene featuring the Inquisitor and Darth Vader...

I am of two minds on this one.  It is on my Husband's birthday, October 26th, so that is cool.  When I watched the movie, I wanted them to explore the Inquisitor more than the 2 seconds that they spent on the character.  The problem is, I, like many people bought the movie on iTunes because I am a cord cutter.

Disney? You are going to give me the extended cut right?  That is why I spent $7.99 for what turned out to be a 43 minute movie, right?

I have been on the fence about Disney's purchase of Star Wars, and I've kept telling myself, "They own Marvel, and they are doing a great job with that."  But this is starting to push me off the fence...  I hope this is not the first sign of them trying to nickle and dime fans to the point they no longer care about the new series.

Deep breath, hopefully, we will have answers soon.

Arrow Easter Eggs Hidden in a Boxing Ring

DC Comics asked an interesting Question: "Did you catch all those boxing match sponsors (DC Comics)?"  They go on to point out two things I found four.  How many do you see?

11:39 from the end of the episode

The first one is interesting, and they point it out themselves, "Ostrand brand a tribute to John Ostrander(DC Comics)," that is fun, but I think that there are some more interesting ones.

Reuther Rum

Reuther Rum is what Slade called "authentic Australian rum," in Arrow episode 215, The Promise.  This is a subtle reminder that Slade is planning an escape as he promised in the the season finale last year.

The next two excite me a lot more than they probably should.

Ferris Air

from Arrow

From The Flash

Ferris Air has been hidden in previous episodes of Arrow.  In season 1 episodes 22 and 23, Ferris Air is also used as an Easter egg.  If you don't know, Ferris Air is where Green Lantern Hal Jordon worked when he received his power ring.

I don't want to read too much into Ferris Air on these billboards, but...  I am such a huge Green Lantern fan, I want this to become a seed that will grow into a full series.  The last ad is the one that sent me over the edge.

Lightring Bourbon

Now, you are just toying with me.  Lightring?  Really?

I want a Green Lantern TV series so bad, specifically a Lantern Corp show.  I want all the space opera goodness in living color on my tv.  I doubt that is what this is leading to, but it fun to dream. 

Maybe, one day in the not too distant future, they will make a pilot, hopefully for the CW, and my dream will come true, but I realize it is a long shot at best.  Until then, I will keep an eye open for more Easter eggs.

The Difference between a Tailspin and Downward Spiral: A Personal Journey

I had a strange realization today.  I have been in a downward spiral since 1999...

The Year Trust Ended

In 1998, Brian and I went on pilgrimage.  We had a glorious trip, that filled me with so much hope for the future.  When we got back to Maryland, our house looked like it had been through a war.  There were holes in the walls and trash covered everything.

To make a long story short, my best friend and roommate stole my identity and my inheritance.  The family values judge didn't punish him because it would be a shame for his daughter to be deprived of a father. 

We moved to Emmitsburg.  Without a conviction, I was responsible for the debt he accrued in my name.  My faith in law and order was shattered.  Times got hard.

On numerous occasions, I came home to find dead animals on our doorstep.  I will never forget the tears I wept cleaning up their blood.  I would often come home to find our landlord in the house eating food out of our refrigerator.  I lost my sense of security.  Every time I heard a noise in the night, I was sure someone had come to kill me.

One day, the landlord kicked us out of the apartment for having a cat that he knew we had when we moved in.  We were broke, and over burdened with debt that wasn't ours and need a place to stay or we would be homeless.

We begged family for a place to stay, and reluctantly found a place with family that the we hoped would be place for us to get back on our feet.  We were wrong.  We were treated like failures, and they threw away half of my property.

At that point, I had lost everything but Brian.  I entered the one of the deepest depressions of my life.  Everyday was a struggle to get up and allow myself to live.  We knew we needed to start over.

Restarting Life

Brian got a transfer to California, and we packed what little we could into a car, a Ford Probe, and a car topper, and we headed west.  We had so much hope.

I loved California.  We moved there in 1999.  This was one of the happiest times of my life, and that happiness masked the damage I carried with me. 

It took me a long time start making friends.  I thought it was because of my age, or because I was new to area.  I know now that wasn't true.  I held the people I met at arms length, and never really let any of them know me.

This happy state could not last.  Events happened so fast.  Brian lost his job, the energy companies started gouging the state, and there was no work anywhere.  Then, Brian was in a car accident.  He was alright, but the car was totaled.  We felt we had no other choice but to move back east.  We rented the only moving van available and left the place that we loved.

I never dealt with any of wounds I collected in Maryland, and I added a new one.  I truly believed that everything I every loved would soon be taken away from me.  So in early 2004, we left California.

I couldn't stand up

My emotional wounds had taken a toll on my body.  When we stopped at my parents house, I was shocked how sick they were.  We decided to stop here.  I realize now that my desire to help them get back on their feet was a projection of my own need to get my own life back together.

I was shocked to learn that I had let myself go to the point it was almost impossible for me to stand up.  My back and my knees, which I damaged separately many years before, would not hold me up.  I had to build myself back up.

Seeing your own life as a myth

I had always told myself that the only thing that could ever make me move back to Poplar Bluff was to utterly fail at my life.  No wonder I felt I had to stop here.  I viewed myself as a failure, and in some ways I still do.

What I realized today was that I told myself I was over all that, but there is a difference between getting over something and letting go of it.

In everything I have done since the events of 1998, I never took time to deal with the wounds I collected.  Instead, I focused on overcoming the events.

I still have a hard time:

  • trusting myself.
  • trusting my judgement.
  • trusting others.
  • believing I deserve good things.
  • believing I have any talent.
  • believing I am good for anything.

After all, I trusted someone I shouldn't have.  It was my friend that set us down this path.  It was my lack of judgement that lead me to trust someone, who everyone told me I shouldn't.  If I am such a back judge of character, how can I trust others? 

I have always hated myself, and so I convinced myself that I deserved all the bad things that ever happened to me.  I caused them and brought them on myself.  Since I believe myself to be such a horrible person, how could I possibly believe that I am capable of doing anything good or great?

I thought I had worked through these things... and that is the problem, I worked through them, I didn't conquer them.

A tailspin or a downward spiral?

The difference between a tailspin and a downward spiral is control.  In a tailspin, the engine has stalled and you are falling toward an inevitable crash.  In a downward spiral, I am just going down, I can choose to go back up.

When this all started, we were in a tailspin.  Events were out of our control.  The tailspin is over.  It isn't easy to see that while in free fall, but we got the engine started again in California.  We landed here in Missouri.

I did not rise up because I thought I had.  Standing up is not the same as rising up.

Today, I rise

Today, I forgive all those who hurt me over the years, especially myself.  I let go of the past.  These are not just words.  I cannot hurt myself any more on account of things that happened so long ago.

Join me.  Let go.  Rise up.  Stand up for yourself.  Be who you want to be, not who people think you are.  This is hard work, but together, we can make it.  If you are struggling to rise up, contact me on social.  We can do anything we put our minds to.  We have proven it over and over again.

Thank you all for your support over the years.  I could not have made it through without you.  Now, let's rise up to the sun and prove our wings are not made of wax.

Good Reads feels like a place to be alone, so I started a new group

I have been a member of Good Reads for a long time, and I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. 

I cannot get into the groups.  I have tried, but the conversations are rarely interesting.  If you know a good group, please invite me.

I cannot get into the stream... The site feels disjointed.  I rate and review books I read, but it doesn't seem to be more than that. 

I want Good Reads to be a place I can go to talk about books.  Maybe I am using this site wrong.  I have looked through many tutorials, but none of them have helped me.

So, in hopes of making Good Reads work the way I want it to, I started a Project: Shadow Book Club.  I hope you join.  I will give this a year to take off, and I will post there even if I am just talking to myself.

I am reading Kaiju Rising, and made that the first book of the month.  It is a collection of short stories about giant monsters destroying cities, but it is so much more.  I have really been enjoying the book, and I look forward to discussing it with you.

I also set up a poll for to select the book of the month for October.  You can vote on the four books I added or suggest one of your own.

Lets get this book fandom doing what it should: discussion and sharing.

Game of Thrawn

As I, like many other fans, am trying to get excited about Star Wars VII, and it has not been easy.  Sunday, Brian and I were talking about what we wished they would have done, and I said, "I just want Star Wars: Game of Thrawn." 

I immediately pulled out my laptop and started making a movie poster.  I grabbed a photo of the Iron Throne and  Sketches276 by B321618, which is a kick ass picture of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and I made this-

What do you think?  I don't often take the time to do pictures like this.  Let me know if you want me to do things like this more often.

Dominion, Deism, and the Rage of the Angels

Transient

Well, I am finally caught up on Syfy's Dominion, and I am not sure I could be more mixed about a series.

Deism is strange with Angels

I had the same problem when Supernatural decided to do angels with an absentee God.  It is a storyline that might work if it wasn't connected to a Deity that is by definition omnipresent.  If they had used the older Sumerian myths the story might hold some water, but it is nigh on impossible for me to understand how an omnipresent being could go AWOL.

Setting aside that whole in the premise that could have been simply covered by an angry or uncaring God, the motivations of the three main angels is unclear.  The best I could understand, they are trying to appease a... disappointed, or maybe depressed God who tipped over the game table and ran.

Rage of the Angels or Worse Tantrum Ever?

I feel like I should state that I like Game of Thrones, so I am capable of liking a show built around petty squabbles that cause immense suffering.  Having said that, the flip on a dime loyalties and sudden bouts of temper in the show is a bit hard to keep up with.

The acting is oddly sub par from a cast capable of so much more.  Christopher Egan was brilliant on Kings, Anthony Head and Alan Dale are both great actors.  I can only imagine that the scripts or the directors held them back, or coached them into making some strange choices.

Was the show good?

The show has promise, which is good because Vaun Wilmott, the series creator said he is planing a second season.

I feel like the shows biggest problem was that it only had 8 episodes.  They tried to tell a story that needed 10 to 12, and mushed it into the 8 they got.  If I am right, that would explain some of the inconsistencies.

If they get a second season, and I hope they do, they need to focus more on the characters and less on the plot.  They established many interesting characters, and there are a lot of ways the show could go.  It could become a great show, if Syfy gives it the chance.

The show averaged about 1.5 million viewers per episode, not counting downloads and streaming, so that puts a question mark on the whole thing.

I enjoyed the show for what it was, I just hope it will get better.  If you haven't seen it, it is worth a view.  If you have seen the series, what did you think about it?

 

Market Wars: The Female Geek

Over at Club Jade, they pointed out a post over at How not to suck at game design about Why marketers fear the female geek.  This is a topic that need some attention.

We had a long talk about this at Shore Leave this year in two of the Panels I was on.  I've never understood why men in suits prefer to ignore or be condescending to women rather than just treat them as part of marketplace.

Since the majority of my readers are women, thank you by the way, I realize what a powerful part of the market they can be.  So why would anyone ignore more than half the market?

Men are easy

Hot Chick + Nudity (partial or full) + violence + spectacle = work made for men.

While I am not and would never say that women are not interested in these things or their combination, for the most part, female geeks (at least the ones I know), are very detail oriented.  It is harder to come up with an interesting plot or characters than it is to follow the man equation above.

I can only hope that this stupidity with end in the not to distant future.  Do you have any other ideas why marketers are choosing to ignore women, please share in the comments.  This all confuses me way too much.

Play like a kid, no seriously, do it!

I spent the day playing with my characters like I did when I was a kid. 

IMG_0747.JPG

I love this, and I recommend everyone find something they used to love to do as a kid and DO IT!  Reconnecting with that childlike magic is worth the effort. 

For me, I used to carry around all these journals and just write in them. It was one of my favorite things to do. It got so bad that in high school, I carried a second book bag around with me that had all of my journals and stories in it.  

I forgot how freeing it is to just write and play with ideas without being critical of the words I was writing. I feel amazing.  

Join me. What did you used to love to do as a child, and what was it like to do it now as an adult? 


Awake to Dream, overcoming fear and money to do what you love

With a lot of effort, I have worked through my struggles with perfectionism.  The stories will be what they are. 

I have even gotten past the horrible idea that my work has to measure up to some illusory standard of originality.  My stories will be mine, and my influences will inevitably show through.

Moving forward has been a struggle.  I bet a lot of writers go through this dark time, but they label it writer's block.  Sometimes that is not the problem at all.

It isn't always Writer's Block

I called my problem writer's block for such a long time.  I thought it was an issue with my creativity or maybe my project flow.  None of this was true.

The real problem was that I had reached an Entrepreneurial Dilemma.  I had an idea for stories I wanted to tell, but I knew that I wanted to be able to make money off them, and that paralyzed me.

After years of not caring about my sales numbers, I started to focus on them to the exclusion of everything else.  The question of how to monetize my fiction took over, and caused me to forget why I wrote stories in the first place.

Community is more important than money!

Over the years, I learned that if I told stories that people cared about, my readers would take care of me.  How did I forget this?  I decided to expand my craft in a way that cost more money, so I set up a balance sheet.  I started asking myself how I was going to make back the investment...

It is amazing how stupid money can make us.  I am not saying that I shouldn't have asked the question, but I missed some of the other factors that should have mitigated my concerns.

I love making art.  It is fun.  If I would have compared the amount I was spending on supplies to how much I used to spend on games and movies, I would have seen the value of what I was doing.

A story that a writer doesn't care about will never move a person to the same degree as a story the writer loved and enjoyed.

As I expanded my job description from writer to entertainment designer, I forgot that my first job was to entertain myself first.  Do I have to make my money back?  Yes, but if I don't, I spent the money as part of my entertainment budget. 

Entertainment Design is a way of Life

I am not saying that Entertainment is not a business.  It is, but it has to be born out of the heart of the designers.  You have to love what you are doing if you ever want others to love it.

I am sure if I searched my old posts, I would find a place where I said that before, but there is a difference between saying something and doing it.

The stories I have written came from my heart, and the new ones will too.  They will find readers if they are worthy.  All I can do is my part.  Stress is the death of creativity.  I will enjoy the road forward, and I hope you will join me on the way.

Thoughts on the Star Wars cast

Star Wars.com has announced the cast of Star Wars Episode VII.  The list includes names we all expected: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.  It also added 7 new names.

The Seven New Actors

First, I have to say that I don't think it is a coincidence  that the announced seven new actors.   This feels like a calculated JJ Abrams decision.  Seven new actors for the seventh film.  So who are the seven new actors?

John Boyega

Oscar Isaac

Daisy Ridley

Andy Serkis | Gollum

Max von Sydow

Adam Driver

Domhnall Gleeson

Predictions

Since Andy Serkis is in the movie, I think it is fairly safe to say he will be playing at least one animated CG character.  If this were the movie I had hoped it would be, I would say that he would be playing the Noghri, but I doubt that is going to happen.  I presume he will play a number of characters.

Daisy Ridley  will most likely play the daughter of Princess Leia and Han Solo, who presumably will be called Jaina, but I think that that is a little bit too much to hope for. 

Adam Driver   Would make a very interesting Jacen Solo, however it is more likely that he will be playing in Imperial officer.  I would love to hope for Thrawn, especially since Max von Sydow would make a great Jorus C'baoth, but he is more likely to play a Moff or a ghostly Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Domhnall Gleeson Is my front runner to play Ben Skywalker or whatever they decided to name Luke's son, or if the rumors are true Obi-Wan's son.

Oscar Isaac will likely play a storm trooper or Mandolorian.

Excited, I am not

I cannot get past the fact the JJ Abrams is directing and writing this movie.  He demonstrated with the Star Trek films that he is incapable of honoring the legacy of a franchise.  I hold out hopes that Disney will force a decent film out of him.

It is also more than a little suspicious that they will not be releasing the film until December 18, 2015.  This is a giant red flag.  Every Star Wars film with the exception of the animated Clone Wars was released in May.  They were summer blockbuster films.  This date tells me that the studio is unsure how audiences will react to episode VII.

By releasing the film in December, they are hedging their bet that the film will debut at number 1 its opening weekend.  Anything less than the top slot would be perceived as a failure and a bad omen for the sequel series.

Disney fires the Deathstar at the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Boom!

Queue the fanboy freak out in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

No!!!!!!!  The Mouse is not my father!

*** Warning, what follows is a RANT  ***

So, Disney, ahem, Lucusfilm as owned by Disney, has announced that the Extended Universe never happened (read it here).  They are urban legends.  Like a good JJ Abrams film or an Ewok that isn't annoying.

While the announcement was polite, and I didn't expect them to canonize the whole of the expanded universe, I thought they would at the very least respect the Thrawn trilogy, if nothing else...  I suppose JJ needed his freedom so he could add more lens flare and red matter.

What pisses me off the most about their patronizing announcement is that it feels like this is the decision they had already made, and that they pretended to look into the question in hopes it keep fans like me from freaking out.

Too little, too late.  I was done with the Empire a long time ago, and I not really interested in rehashing all this again.  I know they are making the films for the mass audience, and they don't give a crap about what the fan base thinks, but this is just salt in the wound JJ cut into my interest in the franchise.

I hope they make a better film than I think they will, but my hope is as dead as Alderaan.

Looking for a way forward

A wealth of opportunities has never been a problem for me until recently.   I kinda feel like a jerk worrying about it as much as I am, but it is my nature to care way too much. 

Story ideas flow again, now it is just a matter of what to do with them.  That is where I am spoiled for choice. 

The problem is, I don't want to choose. I want to do it all, but I am not sure I have the time to do it all.  

The first opportunity is the magazine I have always wanted to do. Starting a new magazine as a one man shop is a little frightening, but I think I can do it.  

I just don't want to do it to the exclusion of other projects. I want to find a way to work it into the flow. I am sure there is a way, but I just don't see it clearly right now.  

The second opportunity is to do a world in Storium. I love the very idea of that, but it is such a new service that it is a risk.  

I have been working on a table top game, and maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to get that done.  

I want to go hardcore back into scifi for a bit, because I miss it so much. 

What do you want to see from me?  Where would you like to see me go?  I think I can do it all and make it work, but if that isn't something you all are interested in, then maybe it isn't the way I should go.  

Help me Obi-wan Kenobi! You are my only hope. 

Stay with me, a Bad Wolf Fantasy. Love fights forever.

Who doesn't need a song of unrequited love in their life.  This song has a power and heart that reverberates through me.

Bad Wolf is one of those rare bands that speaks to my heart in a way few ever have.  They are raising money right now to go into the studio to record a new EP, and I would love you to help them.

I donated the second I found out about the campaign, and I hope you will too.  If you don't have the money to give, then at least spread the word.  Great music and art needs our support.  Donate here in you can.