Thursday, May 20, 2010

I still aten't dead!

Well, the blog isn't actually dead. I've just been busy for the last two months, and I won't be able to post again until August, since I have a job as a camp counselor for the summer. If anyone is actually reading this blog, I will return to posting after I get back.

When I return, I plan to actually start working on this site regularly, maybe even linking to other blogs to perhaps boost my readership (which I assume is currently in the single-digits). So, I look forward to getting things on track! See you then!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Tragedy of Doctor Foster, Part I

Well, I feel much better now. I learned the secret to enjoying writing: don't think too much. Once I learned to stop criticizing my own work and just wrap myself into the story, I've been able to write well again.

That said, I've started a prose writing journal, where I try to write nonstop for at least twenty minutes daily. I'll post some of the material here.

Thus, with further ado, I present a new piece of prose, which I hope to turn into a serial story. This was written off-the-cuff in twenty minutes, so it may be a little awkward. Still, it has promise- once it goes through a good editor, it'll be better. It's basically a retelling of the Faust legend (specifically, Marlowe's play). Enjoy!

The Tragedy of Doctor Foster, Part I
Doctor John Foster paced back and forth in his study. “What am I going to do with my life?” he thought to himself. “I was top of my class back at Yale, and now I’m one of the most highly-paid physicians in Los Angeles. But, damn it all, I want more. I want something else out of my life. I’m sick of treating anorexic movie stars and drug-addled singers.”

He looked over the stack of books that he had checked out from the library. One by one, he pored over each volume, trying to determine what they had to offer him. “Physics? There’s no point in pursuing such a field. After all, no matter what I discover, in a few generations, it will be proven wrong anyway.” He reached for the next book. “Psychology? I’ve spent enough time hearing about other people’s problems.” He went for the third volume. “Theology? Don’t make me laugh.”

And so he went, subject by subject, dismissing each in turn. Finally, he reached the end of the pile, to a small book that he didn’t even remember checking out in the first place. “An Introduction to the Arts of Magick by Joseph Mandrake? What silliness is this?” He chuckled to himself. “Well, I have nothing better to do. I might as well read this for shits and grins.”

But his smile soon faded. As he read, he began to grow genuinely interested, despite himself. Could this be it? Could this be his true calling?

At the end of the book, there was a brief plug for further materials by the same author, available to order from Mandrake’s website. Wasting no time, Foster booted up his laptop and began browsing Mandrake’s catalogue. “Why, there are so many choices!” he exclaimed aloud. “Where should I start?”

And then his eye caught something. For one week only, a book entitled Daemonology was available at 50% off. Without a second’s hesitation, Foster purchased the book and sealed his doom.

A few days later, Foster returned home from a particularly stressful day at work. Carmen Electra had needed an extremely time-consuming surgery, and, as the best doctor in town, Foster had been the one to lead the operation. His mind consumed with thoughts of magic, he went through the procedure in a trance, nearly killing the patient. Thankfully, he was able to salvage the operation, but he still lost the trust of his colleagues, who recommended that he take some time off.

Cursing his co-workers under his breath, he returned home to find a large package. Instantly forgetting his troubles, he ripped the box apart and gazed longingly at the grimoire within.

“At last!” he cried, clutching the tome to his chest, his mind racing with thoughts of his new life that lay before him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


As I've said before, I've been trying to write a novel. However, I have hit a terrible hurdle. The thing is, I'm just not feeling good with writing. I like telling stories, and I still love my characters. I just don't have the same kind of creative energy as I used to. Writing is becoming a chore. Instead of a fun passion, I'm starting to dread opening my word processor and seeing how much more I have to do before I finish writing everything that's in my outline. It would be one thing if I were 'burnt out' from writing nonstop, but this is completely different- I've barely written anything in the last two months.

Prose itself seems to elude me. I'm becoming overly self-critical (even though I'm working on a pre-rough draft, where the prose is supposed to beige and bland, since I'm going to re-write it anyway) and easily distracted. It's not even that I'm tired of the world or characters in my current novel project- it's just that I simply can't find in me the words needed to bring them to life.

I want, desperately, to be a writer. I have dozens of stories that I want to share with the world- I think it would be a damn shame if nobody but me would ever get to know about them. Aside from going to college, marrying a kind and funny woman, and raising a family, this is really my only long-term goal in life- to share my imagination. Making up stories, crafting worlds, devising characters- these are things that come to me as easily as breathing (if not more so). But once I'm set in front of my keyboard, I lose everything. All my drive, all my motivation, all my skill with words. In my head, I can imagine a scene so vividly, that I can practically feel it. But I can't translate any of this into text. And it's all well and good to say to myself 'okay, I'm going to practice my writing today', but when do I reach that point where I'm happy with what I'm putting out? And how can I see writing as something to enjoy, rather than to dread?

Have I bitten off more than I can chew with this whole novel thing? Should I stick to short stories for a while, before coming back to novels once I feel more confident?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I am the very model of a Modern Nerdy Young White Male

Something came over me today: I had a strange compulsion to write new lyrics for the song 'Modern Major General' from The Pirates of Penzance. I've been functioning perfectly today- I was easily able to multitask between doing schoolwork and thinking up new lyrics. I realize that the song itself is ridiculously long to re-write, so I only wrote the first three verses. Enjoy.

I am the very model of a modern nerdy young white male
I know history trivia and buy Nintendo games wholesale
I can name all of the Sith Lords from Naga Sadow to Darth Sidious
I can identify their mugshots because they really are quite hideous

I understand the ending of Metal Gear 2: Sons of Liberty
I'm well-versed in many subjects from Will Shakespeare to meme theory
I read Tolkien, Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, P.G. Wodehouse and Turtledove
And when'er you use the word 'bad' I think immediately of the Power Glove

I know all of the functions of the crystals of dilitium
But I find listening to modern music little more than tedium
In short, in matters of good taste of which I am always willing to regail
I am the very model of a modern nerdy young white male

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, me!

It's my birthday today! I don't really have much else to say, since I'm writing this between classes, but still: I am now 19. Huzzah!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not a misandrist anymore, and other observations

I haven't been posting much, but I thought I'd share a few thoughts that are currently making the rounds about the vacuous expanse that is the inside of my skull.

Firstly, I'm not a misandrist anymore. I was being fairly silly back there. I still generally dislike my sex, but not with any particular vehemence. So that's cool.

I'm having a much better time here than I was before, now that I've learned to get off the goddamn laptop and start socializing. I blame Europa Universalis for my earlier antisocial behavior.

Speaking of Europa Universalis, that game is awesome. Currently, I'm playing as France, it's in the 1450s, and I've conquered and annexed my way to the point where I have almost all of present-day France within my borders. I also changed the government from 'Kingdom' to 'Empire'. Go me.

The sixth season of Lost is bloody amazing. Unfortunately, I still have to wait a whole week between episodes. Not fun.

I also watched the entire first three seasons of the web series 'The Guild' last weekend. Very entertaining, though my newfound love of Felicia Day may very well bring my current romantic relationship into trouble- darling, I love you more than life itself, but if Felicia Day came to me and asked that we make passionate nerd love, I would have to acquiesce. Anyway, the show is great, especially Will fucking Wheaton as the Big Bad of Season 3. Now, if I could only get 'Do You Wanna Date My Avatar' out of my head...

On a less pleasant note, I have confirmed something that I had suspected for years- that keyboarding, also known as home row typing or the 'right way to do it', is a completely superfluous, fatuous, and impractical waste of time. I mean, really, now. This system is supposedly intended to make one's typing faster and more accurate. Unfortunately, it fails on both counts. You see, I'm a proud two-finger typist, always have been, always will. So, as an experiment, I tried a words-per-minute challenge twice- once with home row, once with two fingers. The results: one attempt ended up with 30 wpm and 3 or 4 errors, while the second had 36 wpm and no errors whatsoever. Care to guess which one was the 'proper' method? If you guessed that the former, slower, and less accurate was typed using the 'standard' system, you would be correct. Go figure.

Back to better news. I am now a devoted fanboy of Jasper Fforde's 'Thursday Next' books, even though I've only read the first one. It's just so much fun, I can't wait to read more. I also discovered David Sedaris. While no Bill Bryson, he's still a very entertaining writer who has no problems with discussing unpleasant truths about his life and family.

I'm currently reading the second 'Anno Dracula' novel by Kim Newman. It's very good, but remarkably bloody. I mean, really bloody. As in, makes-you-feel-sick-to-your-stomach bloody. If the rest of the book weren't so completely incredible, I would have stopped reading it. But, as I said, the rest of the book is great. It manages to combine a lot of things that I like into one package: alternate history, Dracula, crossovers, and World War I. A recommended read for those of you with strong constitutions.

I also hit paydirt recently. I found a free app for my iPhone that allows me to essentially run Amazon's Kindle service without having to buy an actual Kindle. I still have to pay for books, but this will come in handy if I can't get ahold of a book I'm looking for. But the best part? The free literature. On the Kindle store, they have a whole selection of completely free books (almost always public domain). Now, I can finally complete my goal of reading the original stories that the cast of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came from. I've got 'Dracula', 'War of the Worlds', 'Tarzan', 'Fu Manchu', you name it, all without having to pay a dime. So, yeah, I'm a very happy little nerd now.

So, that's what's new in my world as of now. Also, my birthday is tomorrow, so send tribute in the form of gold, spices, virgins, and video games.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

So, I'm a misandrist now

Okay, I just learned that I'm a misandrist- someone who does not like men. Being male myself, this is unusual. Well, it would be more accurate to say that I dislike the way that men are expected to act in our society, rather then the sex itself. I lay the following charges against the male species- warning, here there be stereotypes:

* They are overly raunchy and sexual
* They think of everything as a competition
* They are sexist
* They are also homophobic, to the point where they think of everything they dislike as 'gay'
* They are loud and they smell
* They are uncultured
* They are violent

These don't apply to all men, but these are, more or less, the expectations that society has for men. Indeed, many men celebrate these failings. Yes, women can be just as awful as men, but they tend to be awful in different ways.

Now, I'm not homosexual myself. I look like it, and I act like it- what with my flambouyant hand movements, unusual fashion sense, and love of theater-, but I remain robustly heterosexual. I have been mistaken for being gay a lot, though, so I have always been sympathetic towards actual homosexuals. I say, love and/or sleep with whatever sex you like, just don't involve me. But I can't be gay, because that would involve having sex with other men, who, as I have said, are a thoroughly loathsome subspecies. In fact, I dislike the term 'heterosexual' as well, since it implies a certain masculinity. Thus, I consider myself a male lesbian. I have no interest in ever getting a sex change, mind you, but on the whole, I have little use for society's perceptions of masculinity.

Now, you may be wondering what brought this on. Well, nothing, really. I had an okay day yesterday, I wasn't bullied or anything. It just occurred to me, as I returned to my dorm last night, the reason why I don't get on as well with my fellow males.

Anyway, I'm not angry about this revelation. I'm actually kind of glad that I've noticed it. Again, I don't actively hate or wish harm upon other men, I just don't like the way that our society expects them to behave. Thus, I'm beginning my personal reconquista- I'm taking the male gender back. When I'm through with it, men are going to be nicer, more tolerant, and cultured. If anyone wants to join the good fight, spread the word.