Monday Musings 9/9

Both older kids are now in the maelstrom of middle school; a seemingly perfect storm of hormones, awkwardness, and rampant body change. Man, I’m glad I’m done with that sort of stuff. Of course, I have a bald spot and acid reflux…

  1. I was thinking about one cultural change with consumerism that seems to be occurring, which in my opinion is for the best, even though it virtually deletes an experience I cherished when I was young. It seems like the generation growing up currently is no longer as entranced with buying physical copies of video games, but attaining them through immediate download. You can buy any game you want through the electronic stores. When I was young, saving up your money, going to Target or Funcoland, and buying your game was like a religious experience. You’d peel off the plastic wrap in the car (or if you were absurdly patient when you get home) then scan the instruction manual, and maybe even smell the cartridge for that new factory aroma. Now, with digital purchases, you can get the game immediately, but still have to wait for the data to be sent. I’m sure they’ll be telling their kids about how they had to wait hours for games to finish downloading from their online stores.
  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about the split with Sony and the MCU. No more Spider-Man in those movies or anything for the foreseeable future. It is a bummer, but we got five movies with those connections, which is pretty good in my opinion. I remember when X-Men: The Animated Series from the 90’s was on Saturday mornings on Fox, and they actually had a crossover with the Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Wolverine and Beast were part of it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, even though it only lasted a few episodes. Spiderman has a rich universe you can draw from, with plenty of characters to explore. I have feeling though they’ll figure it all out and eventually get a deal done. There is too much money to be made.
  3. My shameless capitalistic plug for this week is letting everyone know that my most popular book The Greenland Diaries: Days 1 – 100 is available for FREE on the Kindle today. You can click HERE to download it. This is my bread and butter novel. People love this series. I even freshly revised it to make it more palatable. It was this raw journal-entry-thing before, but I’ve made it more digestible. You can read more about the series, or you can even read a sample. The fifth book comes out next fall. There is a lot more to this universe to be explored.
  4. This week’s existential crisis has to do with old stores. Near where I live in Minnesota there is a strip mall that has a bunch of vacant spots. One of them belonged to a beloved comic book shop called Shinders, which has been out of business for some time. This was the holy grail of places to visit when I was young. Magic Cards, comic books, D & D, Marvel Cards, were among many of my coveted items residing there. My grandparents would take me there and get me a few things throughout my youth, up until I was out of middle school. My grandparents are gone. Occasionally on days that I’m lonely for them, I’ll drive up to this old strip mall and park outside where Shinders used to be. I’ll talk to them as if they can hear me. It is therapeutic for me and that outweighs the weirdness. I hope they knew how much those experiences meant to me.
  5. This week on Craft Corner (that’s right, I brought it back) I wanted to talk about how you balance outlining with creative inspiration. A recent conversation with some of my colleagues revolved around us discussing how, or when we feel like we can control our creative process, and when we need absolute freedom. How do you balance planning out a writing project, while at the same time having the excitement of the unknown preserved. How do you stop yourself from having boundaries, but also keep a blueprint for your narrative intact. If I had the exact answer, I would be some high literature dignitary. I just know that for my own process I like to have a pretty complete outline, but in the actual language, or the sentences themselves is where I really embrace unpredictability.

Jottings:

  • I forgot to mention I have a “samples” section up now, so you can read a bunch of fragments from my fiction works. Click HERE for it.
  • My wife and I are finishing up Jane the Virgin. Still love how that show rewrites the Telenovela format, but yet is a Telenovela.
  • Final Fantasy VIII is out on the Switch. I gots to gets its.
  • I wrote these musings before the Vikings season started, which means I’m still in a good mood.
  • The excitement for Link’s Awakening is growing.
  • My next book to read is Modern Classics of Fantasy.
  • Have a safe and happy week everyone!
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