Save Our Wilds

This last week has felt like a battle. So many things that I love and believe in has come under attack. My future plans and hopes and dreams are hanging in a tenuous balance because some racist, bigoted, business men that would rather make another dollar than listen to people smarter than them.

Maybe that’s the problem. Stupid people don’t like being told they’re wrong. Rich people don’t like to give up their money. And hateful people are happy despising the world.

As many of you know, I’ve been accepted into the American Conservation Experience. Initially I was doing this so I can gain the experience to one day become a Park Ranger. Because of all of these bills and executive orders… it’s looking more and more like that position won’t be available here in the near future and this breaks my heart. This doesn’t just break my heart, it hurts my soul.

I’ve been on the edge of tears all week watching things unfold. Following the brave Rogue Rangers stand up to regime and I can only think perhaps now… now is the best time to follow this dream. And if my job vanishes, then I will join the conservation groups and raise my voice with everyone else to fight back.

It’s all any of us can do. When the government dons their black cloaks and pointy beards… I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that has a problem with it. Follow these Rogue Rangers on Twitter and Facebook. Look to our scientists and engineers. Listen to voices of reason. It’s not just OUR wilds that are hanging in the balance… but if we run away from the monsters… they’ll take the whole planet down with them. save-our-land

The ring

I have had a ring for the better part of a decade. I wore this ring nearly every day, never taking it off. It’s a simple silver celtic knot that’s was supposed to encourage creativity. So of course, I’ve worn this ring day in and day out. It’s absorbed every word and emotion and triumph and rewrite… and now. now it appears to be full. 

Now whether it’s all in my head, or it has actually met it’s quota of emotional energy, but I cannot use it. At the beginning of nanowrimo this year I took off my ring and the thoughts flowed. the moment I put it back on, my brain ceases thoughts. 

I don’t know if I need to replace my ring or if I can cleanse and recharge it. It has been a comfort and my hand feels naked without it. 

How??

So… today’s the 1st… of December… When the hell did this happen? Time moves far too quickly, which I suppose should be a blessing considering all of the things I’m looking forward to, but it also means I have to get my rear end in gear.

Though for my month’s hiatus… I did accomplish something.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

For those not familiar with NanoWrimo – November is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. You take up the challenge to work on a first draft for a novel and churn out at least 50k words.

Granted, I’m no where near complete, and now I’m bouncing around between three different books at the same time, but isn’t that how the creative process works?

There is no time for slacking off. I MAY be able to finish out a draft of all THREE books before I leave so I can put them in Nikki’s hands and say have a blast tearing them apart over the next six months. I’ll handle any revisions upon my return.

Before the holidays, I WILL get over to the parking garage at USF once a week to tackle the stairs for an hour in the evening. AFTER the holidays my goal is three times a week before heading home. Running just doesn’t seem to be helping, besides, let’s face it, I’m not going to be running on the trails during this outing, I’m going to be climbing and working.

 

#NODAPL

I am gathering blankets, coats, first aid and other supplies to try and ship out to the camps at Standing Rock. I’m watching the reports daily with tears in my eyes. And the worst part is, this is only the beginning. It’s not just North Dakota, it’s the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia and the Sabal Trail pipeline in Florida… we NEED to stop these companies before it’s too late to turn back.

America COULD be the country that spearheads turn of the century power alternatives… instead our country is choked out by money hungry industrialists that are clinging to oil and gas. We’re destroying our planet, our people, our future…

I saw a meme today posing the question that you could either go back in time with all the knowledge you have now, or jump forward with a ton of money. Never before had I really considered that I would do things over, but looking at where we are right now? I would. I would take what I know about oil and solar and pipelines and conservation and go back to make more of difference. I’m already working towards that goal, but the way things are spiraling out of control, it feels like too little too late.

Dumbfounded

The last few days have been a complete whirlwind. We have a new president elect. Riots (peaceful and non) are spreading through the country. Hatred is running rampant through the streets. North Carolina, Tennessee,South Carolina and Georgia are all on fire. DAPL is an overshadowed but very real issue.

None of these things are new or even out of the ordinary. History is a cycle and we’re just spinning up around another bad spot. The only thing we can do as a people is try to be better than our forefathers. Try to rise above the hatred and the pain and show that we can learn from their mistakes.

Don’t start fires! That statement is true for EVERY on of the current issues. Stand up for what’s right… DO what’s right. Remember the golden rule in all of this. Harm none. Not people, not animals, not our planet…… and try not to be an asshole.

My scheduled posts have caught up to real time. It appears that I have dropped the ball a bit. To be clear, I am not sitting down tonight and scheduling a dozen or so posts, I just thought I’d let you know that there’s going to be a month or so lapse of any activity on my blog.

Why a month you ask?

nanowrimo

Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment… or maybe I’m just determined. You can’t succeed at something any other way – right?

I spent today knocking around ideas for book 2, which is funny because I haven’t finished book 1. I thought I had… but as you know we came up with so many changes that I pretty much scrapped it and have started over. So I could work on Forgotten Guardian, FG2 or my Monster/Steampunk story. For the first time in forever, I have some really good things for book 2 though. I’ve had hundreds of ideas throwing themselves at my brain for the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t sift through them all. Luckily my beloved Nikki agreed to sit with me today and as I unloaded, her reactions varied from dubious to excited. I think it’s FINALLY ready.

I feel like I completely obliterated all of the original things that made up the second book, but I actually didn’t. I actually circled back around to my very very very original idea – which kind of makes sense considering after I changed things it all became horribly convoluted.

Fifty thousand words is chump change when it comes a story… it barely makes up a novella. But actually knocking that out? Well… definitely easier said than done. But if I can work out a beefy outline for FG2, or even complete book one of Monster Squad – then awesome. Oh, yeah – that’s it’s inside joke of a working title. Obviously I can’t run with it because of the 80’s classic, but I’ll come up with something. I’ve tried running with this book for a couple years now, but with the updates I’ve recently made I believe it’s workable now as well.

It might be silly to start these things before I leave… but I’m never going to give up writing. If nothing else, it gives me a center and a focus and an amazing hobby. One day I’ll get published, and even if it takes me another ten years to kneed out the kinks – then the journey will still be an interesting one.

Music fueled internal dialogue

Sometimes… it’s not about coming up with usable content. Sometimes it’s just about spending some time in your character’s psyche. Learning who they are, how they’ll react. Stories change, grow, and transform as you’re writing. Characters take on a life of their own and drive the story out of your control. Hopefully you’re quick enough to keep up with them… if not then you’ll slam face first into the cement they’ve left you stranded on.

If you can find music to lose yourself in, it’s easier to meet your character. A certain note or chord can trigger a kinship to help you connect on a primal level. Turn the music up, tune out the world, and just get to know them. You might discover they story they have to tell is better than the one you thought you were writing.

A lot of what I write or jot down will never appear in a book. It will never actually be used in a story. Much of it is random happenstance that is too good to discard, but outside what’s actually happening.

I’ve never read a lot of manga or comics. I don’t know why – just never really could get into them. (This is funny considering I’m wanting to turn a couple of my story ideas into graphic novels instead of books). Many will have cute little “asides” that have nothing to do with the story. Just little fantastic “what if’s” worked into the margins or a couple of frames. They’re cute, funny, chibi usually… And that’s much of what my character communing really is.

At some point I’d like to imagine Kaidd joining Nicholai in his adventures with the crew of the ETC. Talking a relatively protective Nicholai into anything would take a fair amount of reasoning and far more sass than most people would have at their disposal, but I fell Kaidd could pull it off.

“Let me help you.”

“Kaidd…. no.”

“Just hear me out. I came out here to help and you’ve turned me into a glorified secretary. I get it. I understand that you’re trying to keep me safe. I’m related to our planet’s most famous and infamous men. I’ve had the absolute best physical training that money could possibly buy IF it wasn’t designed exclusively for me. Let’s not forget that I’m just as skilled at subterfuge as you and Uncle Nathan EVER were.

“Yet I’m the unit’s secretary.”

“You understand that our intel, backed up by Doc’s precognition leans towards the mole being a woman. That whomever she approaches is going to have to play the part to the hilt regardless of the part she plays.”

“You’re aware that I’m not unfamiliar with women, right?”

“We don’t need to have this conversation.”

“It’s not like I’m going to fall in love. Besides, I’d be the most likely target if I did join the group.”

“How do you figure?”

“I’d like to point out that while you’re all still good looking men… you’re old. All of you. I’m youthful, and to anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m most likely ignorant. I’m a perfect target,  because let’s not forget I’m also gorgeous. I understand it’s a dangerous mission,  but I’m up to the task.”

“You’re such a jack ass.”

“Well I get it from you. Learned, inherited, the whole nine.”

“Fuck off.”

“Wait, does that mean I’m in? “

“I said fuck off.”

“Yes! I’m in!”