Sunday, April 14, 2013

"I shut up that part of my brain and just started writing it."

It's been a while since I talked about Who Killed Hermes?, my Greek mythology novel. That's not just because I haven't been blogging, it's also because I had a little bit of a block.
The downside of spending over a month researching and another month world-building with all of the little details, and my plotting wall with string and post-it notes, is this: There is so much stuff. For a little while, it was a bit overwhelming trying to figure out how I wanted it all to connect together -- things with the Greek gods themselves, things with the mortals and how the world developed with the pantheon being the real deal.
I broke out of my block a few days ago, and that quote is from a post that I made in /r/writing whem someone was having a similar problem to mine. Just shut up that part of your brain and start writing. I'd forgotten how it felt to write that way, having tried outlining and planning everything first with WKH?, and that was where my block came from. My writing has never really been the whole "outline everything, write to the outline". For me, it's a discovery.
So, now I'm going to go write some more. Over the last few days, I've written 1000+ words. It's a start!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


You guys, I have a confession to make.

I'm a smoothie addict.

Lately, my freezer has been filled with those bags of frozen mixed berries, and my fridge full of juices, bananas, and carrots. I've been trying to eat healthier, but carrots are so boring. My solution? Toss them into a smoothie with stronger-flavored things, and get that Vitamin A the delicious way.

Today is something new. Today is the day my smoothies are enhanced by my new favorite source of non-coffee caffeine: V8 V-FUSION +ENERGY drinks! 8 glorious ounces of peach and mango flavored awesome, with 50% juice and almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Allow me to present my newest smoothie, jam-packed with awesome stuff:

Justin's Get-Up-and-Mango Smoothie

--7 oz. V8 V-Fusion +Energy peach mango
--1 medium carrot, broken into pieces
--1 medium banana, cut into slices
--5 strawberries, frozen
--2 handfuls of frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
--2 spoonfuls honey-flavored Greek yogurt (I used Oikos brand)

I have one of those Magic Bullet single-serve blenders, so adjust accordingly if you're using a bigger blender. Just toss it all in and blend until it's all smoothified, and enjoy the hell out of the awesome flavor. There is a lot of good stuff in here to boost it: Vitamin A from the carrot, potassium from the banana, protein from the Greek yogurt, lots of B vitamins, and a lot more.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go whisper sweet nothings to my smoothie until I devour it. I would expect you all to do the same.

The Elephant In The Room

Maybe it's because I work at a convenience store with firearm keychains, and also because of some of the people in my life (both digital and real), but the gun issue still hasn't really gotten dropped from my sphere of influence. Now, I figure I might as well put my attitude about artillery out there for the world to see -- address the gun-shaped elephant in the room, I guess.

A quick browse shows that this probably isn't a site I'd be interested in,
but here is the source anyway....

I don't want a gun. As far as I'm concerned, the only purpose for a gun is to hurt or kill something, and I have no desire to own one.

That being said, I also don't give a shit if you want to own one. More power to you, own a hunting rifle or handgun. My attitude, though, is that there is no need for a civilian to own a semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapon. People will bring up the Second Amendment, but the gun-crazy folks don't think about part of the problem with that: the Constitution was written in the time of muskets, bayonets, hunting knives and the like. By all means, I support your right to a musket.

When the Second Amendment was written, our war for independence was still fresh in the minds of lawmakers who had either experienced it, or had family who did. The Second Amendment was written when the weapons with which we killed each other were far less efficient.

Really, I just wanted to get that off of my chest. The rare customers that agree with me and thinks our keychains are ridiculous makes me feel a little bit better.

Do any of you want to own guns? I've got no problem with it, I'm just curious to hear other peoples' reasons why they do or don't want to own one (or more). :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Would you change things?

I know it's been a while since I was able to blog, and I'll get in to that in another post. Today's post is about the dream I woke from this morning, which is still pretty clear in my mind. It's sort of a dream with time travel -- big surprise there, right?

One of the things that I don't remember is how I time-traveled. It was some wholly ridiculous thing, I'm sure, and I don't remember the TARDIS being involved. I guess dream-Justin isn't Gallifreyan?

This was not involved. Sadface.
What I do remember is that, somehow, I time-traveled to the early 2000s. Or my mind traveled. Something like that. It was kind of like getting a "Game Over" screen and starting from a way-earlier point. You know what's going to happen, but you're otherwise the same as you were then. I was the physically-awkward teenager that didn't weigh nearly as much as I do now, and was still of the mind that I was too big. The only thing that was different was my mind.

Some parts of the dream were a lot harder than the others. I still feel the emotion that dream-me felt on seeing my Grandpa alive again, and my mom and step-dad happy again. The determination to change some things, but keep some things the same. In the dream, I had resolved to still work at the hotel, so I could meet Jim and eventually Jynni, but I also decided that I wanted to try and get my grandpa and step-dad to quit smoking in hopes of preventing their deaths.

I also remember wanting to fix my education fuck-ups, and actually graduate with my class instead of getting my diploma a year later. Some of the stuff that I wanted to do in the dream is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and some of it could possibly change my life so much.

The part that really got me thinking was dream-Justin's insistence on working at the hotel so that I could befriend Jim, and eventually meet Jynni. I'm very happy being with her, and even if I could go back and change these things, unimportant and important both, I don't know if things would have worked the same way. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten hired at the hotel, and would've ended up never meeting Jynni, but still having the knowledge of how happy I am with her.

I guess the point of this post is a question: if you could go back and relive your life with knowledge of how events had gone, would you change things? Or would you suffer through the same issues that made you want to change things in the first place?

As for me, I think I'm good with how things are. Sure, I'd love for Jynni and her daughter to be able to meet my grandpa, and for my mom and step-dad to have been able to be together still. But the potential cost is too much. It's not worth maybe sacrificing the love I have now, even if the life I have now isn't my ideal life.