Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Q and A!

I get lots of questions from readers and on occasion I like to share the answers to those questions. Here are a few of the more recent ones:
Let’s say one day you decide to go swimming in the ocean. A hungry shark is coming your way, an angry grizzly bear is on the shore and a gigantic pterodactyl is flying above you. What do you do?
What I would do is entice the pterodactyl to fly low enough that I could catch it and toss it to the shark which was diving in mid air towards me. Then I would collect the pterodactyl’s severed head and swim to shore and use the bird’s beak as a weapon against the grizzly. Once the bear is sufficiently blinded through a series of stabbing and slicing with the sharp beak I would then throw his body to the shark and claim the land as my own. Isn’t that what everyone would do?
I tend to enjoy the books you mention on your blog. What are you currently reading?
Well, not to disappoint, but right now I’m nerding it out with the book called “The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War 1848-1861” by David M. Potter. Okay, so the book is for school but I’m enjoying it way too much for any regular person. If you really like learning about the Civil War and haven’t read this book, it’s a pretty interesting read as it explains a lot of the aspects that led to war.  Other than that, I can recommend some good books I’ve enjoyed in the past. I’ve really enjoyed the Lee and Taro series by Moira J. Moore. It’s a very good series of books about a fantastical world with a strong female and an equally strong male lead character. I also really enjoy the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. It’s an urban fantasy series with werewolves and vamps but it has an amazing lead female and the stories are very engaging. I know there are more books out there that I like but I’ll have to think about it and get back to you with more titles.
You’ve been drawing a lot of comics lately, what’s up with that?
It all started when I had a joke I wanted to tell but it would be better in images than in words. I guess technically I started drawing a long time ago, and I’ve made comics before, but the comics for this blog are new and stem from the first one that I felt was a joke that was better “seen” than “heard” – if that makes sense. I guess after the first one got some good responses I started thinking of more and more ideas that were better as comics. I don’t think the blog will ever be just posts or just comics but a nice blend of the two.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Georgia Update

I've stolen a camera (okay, borrowed and then returned it) so I could post some decent pictures for everyone. Things are going okay here. The temperature doesn't bother me and I've steadily been unpacking and organizing my new place.

In case I forget where I am, the sewer systems is kind enough to remind me:


 Here's a picture of the front of my place. Inside it's too messy to share at this point. 

Here's Gabby enjoying the air conditioning:

Chewie has just finished her lunch, apparently it was delicious:

All in all, we're getting along as well as would be expected. More updates as more things happen (which is rare).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Novel Paralysis

Everyone has heard about writer's block. Some people say it doesn't exist, others say that it ruined their writing career. Either way, you know what I'm talking about when I say writer's block. It's like you've run into a wall when writing and can't easily move past it to continue writing.

For a long time I thought I had period writer's block, but recently I realized that my condition is worse than that, I've definitely come down with Novel Paralysis, to which there may not be a cure :( But I'm not giving up, I'm going to fight it, and maybe by sharing my condition others will learn from it and perhaps be able to protect themselves from this airborne virus.

I used to force myself to get one project done at a time. If I had a bought of writer's block I would take a break and then force myself back into writing. This behavior wasn't helping my cause, as I was finding myself going months of the year with little to no writing. So then I thought, when I fizzle on one project why not work on the next until I feel compelled to return to the first one? Great idea, right? Wrong. Now I have five unfinished novels and little to compel me to finish them. So that's where my Novel Paralysis comes to play. My inability to finish a novel, to literally come to a completely immovable spot in my fiction, has now become a larger roadblock than simple writer's block used to be. But I haven't given up hope. Because I want to finish these novels, I'm going to keep working forward and find ways to compel myself to work on them.

One way to re-invest myself in my stories is to review old material. By reading from the beginning I can sometimes be excited about the characters again and continue their tales.

A second way, at least for me, is to revisit the soundtracks I made for each book. Yes, as I'm writing I find music that fits key scenes and I listen to it when I need to. By re-listening to these specific tracks I can sometimes get in the right frame of mind to see the story and to want to write it out.

A last way, that I've come up with, has to do with the characters more than anything else. By connecting with characters, I'm more invested in their outcome. I've been doing a lot of drawing lately and I realized that one way to jump back into a story is to sketch out characters. While my drawings are pretty awful, if a character can come closer to life with a visual representation then I'm more excited to write out their story. That being said, after sketching these pictures of my character Dorian from No Rest, I actually sat down and wrote four pages for this story which unfortunately I haven't wrote on for months.

(Dorian deals with a lot of guilt and I tried to show that here. I also show that she has a gun and we assume she knows how to use it. I know that her proportions are awkward. She should be short as malnutrition affects height, but I think this doesn't really look right. I also know the gun is horrible in its representation.)

(Here Dorian looks a little like a child. Okay, a lot like a child, but we can attribute that to my poor drawing skills. Proportions still seem off, but this is a good first attempt and later attempts will look better.)

Hopefully these tricks will help me finish this book because it wants to be finished! I know it is true because I can feel it in my bones...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Truth About Doppelgangers

Being surprised by how many people were not aware of the existence of, nor information about doppelgangers, I decided it was my duty to inform the general public about these creatures.

Doppelgangers are exact twins of each person on earth. These twins historically are evil if we are good, and are good if we are evil. They look as our identical but are actually our opposite. Or at least that is what people claim when their doppelganger shows up and creates havoc. "I would never do such horrible things...my twin must be evil!"

The doppelganger should not be confused with the dopplegangster. This is your twin who existed during prohibition (see my doppelgangster below):
 

It is said that you can hear when your own doppelganger crosses your path. Similar to the Doppler effect, the sound of them passing gets louder as they approach and gentler as they leave. It also has the pitch and vibrato similar to Xena's warrior yell:

I have a friend named Andrew, who actually has a doppelganger named Schmandrew.



Unfortunately, Schmandrew is often nicer than Andrew and while Andrew holds that Schmandrew is the evil one, it's hard to believe that. Especially since Schmandrew gives me nice gifts:


And throws pretty cool parties. Although he does always forget to invite Andrew:



But since Schmandrew is so nice to people, he's also very popular and not always available when you need him:



And sometimes it's Andrew who shows up to get you out of the well. Andrew's also nice enough not to ask why I keep falling into wells and why this is the third time this week that he's had to help me out the same well:
 

Andrew has also been known to compliment my crazy hair, even though we all know it looks bad. But it still makes me smile:




So in conclusion, you might have a doppelganger and they might be nicer than you or smarter than you or just a better person than you in every facet possible, but only you are actually you (even if they are a better version of you) and as long as you stay a true friend, people will still be a friend to you (unless your doppelganger is available, then all bets are off - Sorry Andrew).