COVID rants, actual writing advice based on my own experiences, aging, the magic of cicadas, and the power that is Hidden Oaks.
- Well, since we didn’t do an actual shutdown/lockdown/stay-at-home order in this country like was recommended by nearly every infectious disease expert in the world, cases are roaring back through the US like some sort of friend you forgot to invite to the party. The Midwest, where I live, happens to be next on this grim list. Schools are reopening, but I have no idea who is going to send their kids to these institutions. If baseball (which has the backing of billionaires, ad agencies, and most state governments and far more resources than public education) can’t figure it out, why do we thinking chronically underfunded schools will be able to do it? Don’t get me wrong, I wish my kids were going back to school, but I also don’t want to die, or kill my wife, or worse yet my children. We’ll be doing the distance learning option right from the onset. I realize this isn’t for everyone, but it is for us, and I hope everyone has the resources and support to make good decisions going forward for themselves. I honestly don’t think schools will be “open” for more than a week. This illness is simply too contagious, and with asymptomatic spread we have little to no real weapons in arsenal besides quarantine and a vaccine.
- About time I gave some real advice about writing. I feel like on this blog I’ve drifted between clouds of it like some blind dragon looking to ravage an airship. Here is my advice: Go to college for an English degree, but study literature with utmost diligence. Classical, modern, historical, religious, whatever you decide, just study literature. It is the DNA of storytelling, the blueprint for all narrative structures, whether it is comics, cartoons, film, television, and even video games. It might be dry and exciting. You might have professors who look like they’re from the 1960’s. You also might have disillusioned graduate students. Regardless, literature taught me more about storytelling than pretty much anything. Next up for advice would have to be to write. Just write. Write pure crap. Submit it. Get rejected. Write more. Write more crap. Get it rejected. Every time you attempt to write something, you’re growing as a writer. You will never figure it all out. The medium itself is imperfect. Certain parts of it will start to click though, and that can’t happen until you’ve experienced a nihilistic spiral of pure failure.
- Is it weird to think you hands don’t change that much as you age? I can see it across my body, but not in my hands. I mean sure, they’ve become more bulbous, haggard, hairy, and twisted, but when I look at their palms I still see the hands of a child, like when I first started to notice my physical self. I think looking in the mirror is similar to that. Your body ages, but strangely pieces of it don’t change whatsoever. The soul inside you is made of sterner stuff than time, and maybe it has its favorite appendages to stave off that wild wolf. I could be just hopeful as I’ve reached 35, but being a writer I’m never short on idealism.
- I found a cicada this weekend with my kids. I love those bugs. Not only do I like the sound they make, but I think they’re like mythic insects of the bug kingdom. If you’ve read any of my short stories, you’d know that I’m not a bug person. In fact, not at all. I often demonize centipedes in my apocalyptic stories as mutated human devourers of mayhem. Cicadas are something different. They echo a holiness that reminds me that I might be a human being, but there is something larger going on around me with Mother Nature. They fact that they live so long beneath the earth and wake up at certain times is just super cool to me. It makes me feel insignificant in a good way. There are bigger plans happening out there in the world than the human race just trying to destroy the planet.
- Hidden Oaks is really a good story to listen to via podcast, browser, or wherever. Doing the mindless self-promotion stuff before didn’t really resonate with me, maybe because I used words like “mindless” when describing it. Now, I have a little bit more faith (maybe even stubbornness) about my stories, so I’m not ashamed to say that this is a good story that you will enjoy. The monster is fantastic. I went all out with its design, and the collaboration of my partners has only enhanced it. The character depth in the story is really good as well. Our audience should certainly be able to relate to them. Check it out.
- I just give up on my gaming addiction. I just give up. I’ve got a problem. I went through a whole decade of my life not loving video games because I wanted to be an “adult” and I surrounded myself with shitty people who wouldn’t let me be me. I guess I’m making up for it now. FYI this is buying games not playing them. My flesh has not fused with some armchair in my dimly lit basement full of empty bags of Doritos in front of a glowing screen. At least not yet…
- Dorohedoro is absolutely bonkers, but also fantastic. I haven’t watched such a wild, out-of-control anime in my entire life, but it is also very good, and strangely human. I highly recommend it on Netflix.
- I’ve been watching that Bear Grylls show on Disney+ where he takes celebrities out into the wild. That’s a fun one. Do they always have to climb? They need some flat terrain. Is one of their sponsors a climbing equipment company?
- The Greenland Diaries: Days 1 – 100 is free today on the Kindle. My most popular novel and the jumping off point for my apocalyptic series. Get it today.
- Few podcasts I’ve been listening to (since I’m in the podcast business now I dare say) includes The Darkest Timeline, Behind the Bastards, Nintendo Cartridge Society, and the Daily.
- Again, Parasite is disturbing, but pretty great. I’m not that messed up after watching that one.
- Have a safe and healthy week everyone!