It’s Been a While, Let’s Catch Up!

Hello fellow lounging reptilians, I have returned from an entire semester of classes and a long summer break. My mind feels refreshed yet obstacles always seem to magically appear when inconvenient. Just like leaving a piece of bread in the toaster and having the machine tell me to do my taxes and fill out a new 401(k) plan before I can get my toast. My dreams seemed to have a severe lack of imagination and became astonishingly mundane (at least I sleep well enough, I think).

Unsurprisingly it has been a tiring period for a lot of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic and just the fact that this is 2020. As I’m typing this I’m sure an ancient Neptunian temple had risen from the bottom of the ocean and summoned a 100-foot man-eating seahorse, tragic. Due to the COVID pandemic I was busier than usual at my job, thus leading to severe exhaustion. It was the combination of wrapping up classes, having to do twice the amount of work at my job, and not really having the correct mindset to deal with juggling so many writing projects. The work load was stressful, so around late July and early August I made some schedule adjustments just so I can have spare time to focus on my hobbies.

As well as just breathing and functioning like a normal human being. What this allowed me to do was prioritize writing whatever I felt like writing for a brief period of time. Then taking what I had written, edit the documents, and make sure I had something solid. Now the difference between what I had put up before versus what I plan on putting up now is mainly more posts that expand my interests. Despite hating the word I’m about to use, I am a gamer and I do enjoy the medium thoroughly as well as discussing it.

Beforehand I was worried about revealing this aspect of what I like to do simply because I didn’t want to alienate readers. This led me to an important point that I should have realized the moment I put out my first book — one cannot write something for everyone. No matter how much effort is put into something and how broadly appealing it may seem, there are always going to be people who just aren’t interested. This is bad news for my new slice-of-life book about Bigfoot, in which he works in a post office and uncovers a conspiracy that all the underpaid staff workers were woodland animals. Focusing on trying to cater to everyone was this unintentional priority that I had to eliminate.
Once I accepted what I was doing, I was able to move on and freely write an entry that I always wanted to talk about. However because it was ‘videogame’ related my brain went, “Ew, why are you writing about this icky Mountain Dew slime nonsense?” The blog-post will be up soon, but I wanted to look over it again and add any necessary finishing touches. Aside from that I got another ‘Bad Animal Poetry’ coming (this one took some DIGGING around to write) and some surprises. What I’m not guaranteeing is a specific time and date these will go up. The plan is to just stealth drop a few and have a casual flow of content going that will make the reader and myself satisfied.
I have also switched from using Facebook to Twitter due to being incredibly overwhelmed on using both simultaneously (also Facebook doesn’t seem to leave me alone about putting a post up every single day, leave me alone Zuckerberg). My Twitter profile is very bare-bones, but once I get this post up I’ll do my best to maintain it. So that’s pretty much everything, thank you for your support.

(Twitter profile is here.)

(I know this isn’t the most subtle plug, but if you haven’t checked out The Quietus Breaker: Brother Death then please give it a look and leave a review. Thanks!)

Positivity in Writing

There is no shortage of ideas and inspiration that spring to life on every page. Every typed word is always followed by an idea. This idea usually evolves to become the main theme of the piece you are writing for. Perhaps its a way to bridge your points together. Wow does this sound like I’m presenting a business seminar on how to boost sales with the power of ‘putting imagination into letters.’ Except no free donuts here or comfortable seats, well, no seats in general.

This is admittedly more of a soapbox I wanted to dive into. I mostly just want to talk about how important your current mood can be when it comes to writing. Yes, the article is titled ‘Positivity in Writing’, however positivity is not something that can just be turned on. Therefore your writing is going to be massively improved by just thinking positively or by pretending. This sort of process requires a very methodical and comprehensive breakthrough of what makes you tick as a writer and as a person.

For example if it was a rainy day and you hated rain, that would outright affect your mood. Although that doesn’t mean you should stop writing. It means you should naturally work through the weather because that could have the right positive impact on your writing. Maybe there’s a scene involving a train that for some mysterious reason has skirted off a rail and is diving into a lake. Then you figure out how the characters are going to get out of this situation — if they even make it.
Water is arising at a fast pace, the doors are probably jammed, and furthermore there may be other people who are stuck in a specific spot on this sinking train. It sounds like I’m pitching a cheap straight-to-DVD sequel to some 90’s action film, but a rainy day could give that extra ‘boost’ you need to make the scene work.

Writing can be a beneficial process that not only improves your skill in the field, but as a person. Deducting why this character feels off with their dialogue. Perhaps you noticed how great the chemistry was between two feuding factions/people on a page you wrote on a frustrating day. Solving these issues and being self aware of your own personal issues is part of any process in whatever job field. The difference with writing is that it becomes more apparent the more you do it obviously.
Scenery will start to change, characters act slightly different, and chapters will have completely different tonal structures.

My first book was basically me learning my own anxieties and why they occurred. I was able to slowly self-diagnose why I felt so high strung on certain things that didn’t matter at that point in the rough draft. The answer was simple; I felt that I needed to write at a fast pace. Not just with typing, but with thoughts and conveying dialogue. I was forcing myself to go at a fast pace as opposed to forming a tempo of my own.

A tempo has more than one meaning, it is the rate/speed at which you conduct an activity. This doesn’t mean, “Oh my god, I have to do this fast because how am I going to get anywhere if I can’t do a single page in less than thirty minutes!” If anything a fast tempo can prevent your writing style from evolving. Cooking for example isn’t about how fast you can grill a burger — it’s about the timing and the effort in the way you do it. Going at your own pace and not caring about getting it done, but just knowing that the product will be done on your own terms.

That to me is what I think of when it comes to positivity in writing. It’s not about just putting in dragons with rainbow scales who soar over a beautiful peak with bright glowing red flowers (although I do like the imagery). Behavior, learning from mistakes, and self analyzing your behavior are the main objectives that will lead to a more positive writing experience. It’s a habit that will take time and a steep learning curve. Issues will persist in life, but getting there will award you with an excellent writing experience.

My Absurd Writing Set-Up

How people write, when they write, and how they write is up to them. Half of us are people who like to keep our desks the way they are. Covered in cobwebs and typewriters that are so rusty that they’ll fall apart in seconds. Yes, there may be problems with what I just said. But man, it is fun to look at all those cobwebs and old typewriters just to think that Halloween is not that far away — kind of!

To be fair my set-up isn’t really that standard anyway. If anything my set-up may be incredibly annoying to those who prefer staying put in one spot for a long duration. What I basically do is move my laptop to the top shelf of my desk (since I’m 6’4) and write standing up. I do this mainly because I prefer to be spontaneous when I’m writing, staying in one area for too long drains my creative writing process. By just casually walking around I’m more energetic and can smoothly concentrate on my thought process.

I may not be the most athletic person, but I do prefer some sort of mobility when I have a task to complete. Sitting down to write quickly eases me into being too comfortable, plus my eye dilation becomes slightly disorienting at sitting height with my screen. When I’m standing up not only do I have a better focus, but my eyes do not become as strained since I can just look down my laptop. Of course I’d have to be careful since if I stand for too long that can cause back pain, leg cramps, and maybe the ability to levitate my laptop — but that’s only a 1% chance. Also that 1% does not count for the back pain and leg cramps, I can only dream so much.

Then there’s the beverage I always keep with me. Preferably I always have a tall glass of water with up to a small amount of ice cubes. During the morning it is black coffee time, maybe all the time pending on how big the work load can be. In very rare circumstances do I have energy drinks and soda. Not just because of health reasons, but because having that sugar rush doesn’t make my writing process work as smoothly as one would imagine.

If I feel bottled up then I can easily go elsewhere to do my writing. Either I go to a different part of of my living space that’s quiet, or maybe I go to the library to look at books and feel the wisdom seep in. That is until I hear a ringtone coming from someone’s phone, mainly hearing ‘Flight of the Valkyries’ but with dog barks. Comfort is such an important factor when writing. However going outside of your comfort zone can reap the best rewards.
I’m not saying go to a zoo and write as the monkeys howl at you because that’s what they do. They’re monkeys, not Antelope who have a respect for your own boundaries. Learn some manners you hooligans!

Bad Animal Poetry: Big Lizards

On this week’s Bad Animal Poetry I will be showcasing several lizards who look like they might have radioactive breath of a different sort. Since I am a big ‘Godzilla’ fan and his titular movie, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters‘, is already out I thought I would write something to coincide with its release. Although I’m hoping none of these lizards accidentally stumble into a canister of radioactive waste.

Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

By Charles J Sharp – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19022661

So my car keys are lost,
They are at the bottom of the ocean,
How did this happen Sea Iguana,
I trusted you on this notion,
We were ready for the concert,
Everything was set in motion.

Is that red algae I see on your lips,
Are you on the seaweed,
This is a serious problem,
I thought you were having a nose bleed,
The show is about to start in an hour,
This is quite a kerfuffle indeed.

Okay this time I drive,
Sea Iguana you must obey,
Put on your seat belt this time,
Ignore what is beyond the bay,
The sea is a dangerous life to live,
Why are you sipping on my nasal spray.

Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

By Markofjohnson – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20986196

You are the coolest,
Komodo Dragon why are you so bad,
Is it because of your awesome tats,
You make the concept of cool a fad,
With those wicked sunglasses,
Clearly you are such a Chad.

There is a treasure trove in your stomach,
I wish to see it one day,
Maybe I’ll see discarded bones,
Or perhaps a workbench that says ‘SLAY,’
Your organs are your home,
Yet you remain a stray.

A bad lizard with no rules to follow,
On your own with a shiny motorcyle,
That I am sure also came from your innards,
Fighting some chump named Carmichael,
The baddest there is,
Yet it is so sweet that you still recycle.

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE – Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40775689

An image to behold,
Nile Crocodile sunbathing,
Getting that pre-summer tan,
People can be scathing,
Discriminating body types,
The only thing they are good at is hating.

Yet here is Nile Crocodile doing her thing,
Not letting the negativity settle in,
She worked hard for her vacation,
No one can remove that grin,
Her confidence is unshakable,
I dare anyone to get under her skin.

She may not snap now,
There will be a time when she will,
I assure no mercy when it happens,
She finds their regretful words a thrill,
That may be problematic to the victims,
Just another cozy vacation in Brazil.

Bad Animal Poetry: Tailed Primates

I always assumed that there were some animals that had it rougher than others when it comes to their sleeping cycles. But then there are some who just love hopping around during the day while listening to their favorite Imagine Dragons songs. Living their lives like they’re the ones who can cut in line with their headphones. While I’m on lunch break and this guy thinks he can cut in just for a soy latte. Pft, anyway here are this week’s guilty line cutters.

Slow Loris (Nycticebus)

By David Haring / Duke Lemur Center – email, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12311395

Why are your fingers orange Slow Loris,
Is that Cheeto dust I see on your finger,
You stay in all night playing Madden,
Where were you for dinner,
Your plate was getting cold,
No wonder you never update your Tinder.

Why doth your eyes linger on berries for an hour,
Is it because it is not inside a giant orange bag,
Our neighbors say you need a shower,
Too much time spent with the trees,
Or too much time spent in your Cheeto tower,
We worry about you Slow Loris.

Although maybe we are overthinking this,
Your GPA is through the roof,
Your eyes hold the truth,
Your existence makes our worries go poof,
We want what makes you feel happy,
Now let Mama Loris tend to her woof.

Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

By David Dennis – originally posted to Flickr as Ringtailed Lemurs in Berenty, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9002790

Please give me back my Funyuns,
There are more uses to a tail than stealing my snack,
Why do you taunt me Ring-tailed Lemur,
I clearly won that game of blackjack,
Yes I should know better,
Than to play with an animal who can stack.

Your petty gambling life is wrapped around that tail,
That behavior is fed to your offspring,
Just like the Funyuns you stole from me,
You think you are king,
But clearly I have an advantage here,
Just like the wind in spring.

I know I am stuck on this peninsula,
With no way of getting out,
My revenge is everlasting,
I will have my final bout,
So I leave this letter to my daughter,
Knowing I went out with clout.

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)

By Frank Vassen – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19600466

Tell me how you feel Aye-aye,
Always reaching out with your claw,
How has the manuscript been going,
I know the premise has left me in awe,
Hopefully you haven’t had writers block,
Yes you can also eat your coleslaw.

What do you mean you only written five pages,
It has been a week Aye-aye,
I know it’s hard writing with long fingers,
But this discussion has left me with a sigh,
You must have at least something,
Otherwise why lie.

We cannot go through with this publishing deal,
Until you start putting in the work,
Yes I know your fingers are long,
But think of this meeting as a perk,
I know you can do better than five pages,
Please don’t look at your fingers with a smirk.

Bad Animal Poetry: Tall Birds Edition

Hello and welcome to my first installment of Bad Animal Poetry. This week I will be talking about tall birds who love running, flaunting their feathers, or doing both at the same time. I suppose that’s what one does when you have tall legs or just love shouting nonstop at other birds. Anyway I’m not here to judge — please enjoy this first installment that I’m sure won’t derail into any silly details. None at all.

Ostrich (Struthio camelus)

By A. Kniesel – Fotografiert von A. Kniesel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1833919

Ostrich does your neck tire,
Is there exhaustive weight on your feather,
How the world turns upside down is crazy,
It’s amazing you have an invisible tether,
Having two different perspectives,
Yet you have no time for your wife Heather

She misses you dearly Ostrich,
Your legs tell you to run,
But does your birdy heart say otherwise,
Responsibilities in the savanna are little to none,
The lust for a birdy youth,
Please do not leave your hon

She knows your 9 to 5 shift is tiring,
Yet you watch the Discovery Channel,
Reminiscing about the good ol days,
Does it feel good to remember you wore flannel,
Look at what is right in front of you Ostrich,
Or else your legs become annul.

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)

By Joseph C Boone – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62020171

Who dare strut with such a feathery weave,
The Emu is who,
Almost every feather feels like plush,
Emu could have flew,
Instead it had to live that Gucci life,
With that diamond velcro on its shoe

For something so flightless,
It did very little to try,
Being weighed down by all that bling,
Waving its greed as Emu said bye,
Only bird god could judge Emu,
Though Emu knew even that was a lie

Is vanity worth the lack of flight,
This is a question that Emu must ask,
When a flightless bird is first on the VIP list,
What about Condor with the empty flask,
Ask yourself that when you’re at the club,
As you hide behind your cowardly mask.

Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)

By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Own work, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5829434

How dare you Cassowary,
Oh how does one make me so angry,
One of the closest relatives to dinosaurs,
Yet you come off as so cranky,
Your actions make me sick,
As I angrily binge food from the pantry

What is that on your head,
Is that lump considered your pride,
How entitled your evolution must be,
To have a door knob head and be so snide,
Is there candy inside that crest,
Cassowary what is there to hide

Your violent karate is terrifying,
As you perform your helm splitter,
I must ask is your lust for power infinite,
This rivalry is only making us bitter,
Be wary of social media Cassowary,
And stay off Twitter.