not the blog yo might expect

A glass of champagne

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You might think this will be a cheerful holiday post  I wish that were the case, I really do. I believe I have used up all the cheer I had in the past few weeks.  The holidays, especially New Year’s, remind me how alone I am. I know that my family cares, but sometimes it isn’t nearly enough.Almost everyone I know will make plans with someone for December 31.  I will  be here most  likely on my own,watching as my computer counts down the last few seconds of a largely disappointing year.  True there will be a champagne toast at midnight and probably more than a few bottle rockets shot off illegally within city limits, which most of the local police force will ignore for the sake of the holiday, but not much else  If Christmas is about family then New Year’s is the time when you go out and do silly crazy stuff with friends, which may or may not include consumption of large amounts of alcohol.  My problem is that most of the friends that are geographically closest to me, as well as closest to my age are now so involved in their adult life that even if they do promise to visit it rarely happens.  I know that this is human nature and so I try not to hold it against them too much but knowing that the hurt that is clause is unintentional is a very poor Band-Aid with which to try and heal it.  That being said, I sincerely wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year, may it hold more bright prospects and far fewer bitter pills to swallow them this year has.

where do we go from here? A Christmas Day monologue

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...

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I talked to my ex-boyfriend today, the one I started dating almost a year ago.  Yes, the conversation was awkward at points, but at least we can still talk to each other, which is more than I can say for my high school boyfriend and I.  The thing that is the most painful is that we both know we are so not “over” each other.  We broke up because life started to overwhelm him and he decided it wasn’t fair to me to be with him when he felt that his life was going to be so uncertain in the foreseeable future.  He says thought I should find someone else, someone better able to take care of me and love me.  That would be easier if I honestly believed that he wasn’t in love with me still.  I don’t believe that, not for one minute  I am left  with a hole in my heart, a best friend who would give the world to change it if he could, and an ex-boyfriend who I can’t bring myself to blame for any part of my misery, and so because I can’t, he blames himself.  Where do we go from here?  I have no idea at this point but I know I will not completely abandon him, no one deserves to face their inner dark place alone

so this is Christmas…

Our Christmas tree at night.

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Tomorrow should be interesting.  It is the first time in my whole life that we will not have a Christmas tree of any sort, or at least I think so unless someone decides to raid a tree lot while I am asleep for a Charlie Brown tree.  Believe me my folks are just crazy enough to get away with it.  I already know what I’m getting from my parents, a Kindle from Amazon.com, unfortunately due to the fact that mom got her check today and I swear there is not one to be had within a 20 mile radius of our house, yes they really do sellout that quickly, I will have to wait until next Thursday to get it.  Oh well, a few days will not hurt me.  I gave myself a present in the form of a new set of headphones with a working microphone to replace the one that has had the microphone busted for six months.  Fortunately I have not been completely out of luck as my web cam has a built in microphone of its own.  I have however noticed that my speech recognition works much better with a headset microphone.I am no longer being driven crazy with having to correct every third word or so.  I went to see my cousins last week as one of them is about to tie the knot.  I hope my cousin’s fiancé realizes that he is inheriting really crazy in-laws. I am also faced with the coming New Year, to say that this year did not go nearly as well as hoped for is a vast understatement.  The only thing which seems to have gone anywhere near as planned was purchasing my bike and Little Man.  I seem to receive more than my fair share of the short end of the stick. Since life doesn’t appear to want to give me much support in attaining my goals I refuse to wait for help which may or may not appear.  In the coming year I will do what I must to get where I want to be and if the decisions I make in order to help me get there are unpopular with certain people I know, so be it.  I refuse to let other people run my life even if they mean well, which most of them do.  I’m a grown adult more than capable of making my own decisions.  Not every decision I have ever made on my own has been stellar I admit that they are mine and should be inherently respected. in the coming year I will not allow anyone to dissuade me from a path just because they may not like what I am trying to accomplish, this does not mean that I will not listen to advice and weigh the merits of it, but do not assume that my decision will change just because you happen to disagree with me. I am not a rug to be walked over,nor is my voice easy to silence anymore.  A friend that I have known for a very long time recently told someone that I have been very opinionated from a young age and did not mind telling you exactly what I thought.  I believe it is time for that girl to make an appearance once again.

Fan fiction as a writing tool

Harry Potter

define:Fanfiction – Google Search

Fan fiction (alternately referred to as fanfiction, fanfic, FF, or fic) is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. …

There are hundreds, if not thousands of fan fiction sites dedicated to writing based on numerous book and television series. If you have heard of this phenomenon but have never read any of the wonderful stories it has produced you may believe that fan fiction is written solely by teenagers whose time would be better spent studying the grammar of the English language as some of the truly awful stories I first came across nearly convinced me. Happily this is not always the case. Many well educated adults, and teenagers, write fan fiction as a hobby. Why, you ask, might a writer benefit from writing fan fiction?

  • The “hard” work is already done for you. Because the characters you are writing about are not originally yours you do not have to spend untold hours creating the major settings and background history for the characters , leaving you more time to focus on the actual storyline you wish to write though of course your story will divert from the original author’s in some way however, if you wish to place an orignal character into the world you are responsible for their background etc.
  • There is far less pressure to complete it. If “real life” gets in the way you can stop. Your livlihood does not depend on seeing this piece through to publication . Your only deadline is the one you impose and those can modified easily.
  • It can be a tool with which you can overcome writer’s block. If you get  stuck while writing an original work take a break to play around with fanfiction. Because a lot of the work has been done for you you can let your mind go almost anywhere it likes. Maybe if your lucky it will spark an idea to put into the original work.

It has been my experience that writing fan fiction can just as rewarding  as writing an original work, sans the possibility of getting paid. They are lots of people out there willing to leave reviews that will help sharpen your craft. A final word of caution though, like paid book critics not every reviewer of fan fiction leaves kind, or even constructive criticism, a review saying your work sucked without giving any reasons says more about the other person’s lack of education than it does about how well a work is written.

three books to read before you die

Cover of "Summer Of My German Soldier"

Cover of Summer Of My German Soldier

Inspired by the  post about found at Courage 2 Create blog here on WordPress about short stories to read before you die. This post is about books instead of short stories though.

  1. Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene.I originally stumbled on this book through a computer game designed to encourage children to read.  Yes, it is written on the reading level of a middle school child but it is a wonderful book all the same. The friendship of a Jewish girl and a German POW flies in the face of everything considered right in small town 1940′s era Arkansas but against all odds it endures,putting forth once more the simple truth that doing what is right and and what is easy are not always one and the same. The book also contains the most well thought out simple breakdown of how and why the psychology Hitler used to convince people that his crusade was just worked as well as it did. Even after four years of college I have yet to find a better explanation than the one offered by fictional character Anton Riker.
  2. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. Another middele grade book adults would do well to revisit. The way she combines fiction and history is awesome.
  3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman Any adult who appreciates satire should read this book.

You can buy the books at Amazon by clicking the titles.

 

Why blog?

Message in a bottle.

Image by elvis_payne via Flickr

Several days ago, during the commercial breaks for Criminal Minds, I found myself explaining the concept of blogging to a friend. I explained the various reasons and things about  which people keep blogs. Because of that conversation I started thinking about why I personally keep one.  Believe it or not I was originally dragged into the world of blogs kicking and  screaming.When I was 19 a friend of mine pestered me about not having one, so much so that I finally created a LiveJournal account to finally have some peace on the subject. It has been years since I posted there. Since then my writing has matured vastly, at least in terms of construction, the subject matter can still be rather mundane at times I suppose.  Sometimes I wonder why I blog.At the risk of being thought less of I will be honest. My disability and the decided lack of public transport where I live means that I don’t go out nearly as often as I would like. Blogging therefore has become a way to keep contact with the rest of the world. People leave comments sporadically but thanks to the stat  tracker I  realize that just  because no one left a comment doesn’t mean it wasn’t read. As a matter of fact this blog has garnered far more attention than I ever thought it would. I used to believe that I might as well be putting a note in a bottle and casting it adrift for no reason. I have happily discovered I was wrong.