No more small dreams.
I just think that everyone could benefit from looking beyond the day to day and ruminate on the possibilities.
No more small dreams.
That's what DT declared to me the other day. Recently when she thinks about getting something, i.e. a book, she decides against getting it but then someone gives it to her as gift. "Next time I need to look at cars."
I just think that everyone could benefit from looking beyond the day to day and ruminate on the possibilities.
Today I had my first boxing lesson and here are few things I learned.
-Protect your face
-Never leave yourself open
-Keep your eyes on your opponent
-Proper form first, know the rules before you break them
-A dodge is better than a block
-Stay low and centered, balance is everything
-Power comes from the legs and hips, not the arms or shoulders
-Thai boxing is a better cardio workout
-Krav Maga is the best self-defense out there, they’ll teach you dirty pool
-Read the schedule with more care. I thought I was going to KICKboxing class.
Despite my wishful thinking it won’t be my last boxing lesson.
I was watching the Italian Job the other day and it reminded me if another great movie that is also set in Venice. Are you ready for it? If you say League of Extraordinary Gentleman we can no longer be friends.
Back when you could still wander around the local Blockbuster Video Store, I saw this sitting on the shelf and I was powerless to resist. There are so many bad movies in the world and this one of the best. If you really love a good bad movie, Sharks in Venice has to be on your must watch list.
I have been watching Mystery Science Theater since it first appeared on Comedy Central so suffice it to say that I'm a sucker for a good bad movie. In the spirit of truly terrible films that involve sharks, I found another real gem under the same circumstances, in a Blockbuster.
A strong second in this category has to be Hammerhead. IMDB.com has this to say: “A scientist tries to save his son from cancer but his experiments turn him into a shark-man instead. A group of people from a pharmaceutical corporation are sent to the mad doctor's island to investigate his activities.”
Besides its horrendous premise, Hammerhead comes with something for all you romantics in the audience. Long lost love, destined, possibly doomed, to be reunited with her once a man of a man boyfriend who is now a shark of a man (or is is man of a shark?) ex-lover.
When I did a Google image search for this one, and I recommend that you do the same, the images that filled my screen made me laugh so hard my roommates emerged from their rooms to see what all the noise was about. I don’t think it’s a “total terror” but is most definitely a total scream.
Okay, just one more. This one was recommended to be me by the Netflix algorithm. (As if they know me from my previous selections. Those silly equations don't know anything.)
It is everything you fear and hope it to be, including the tender love scene.
It is total coincidence that all three of these movies have sea creatures in them. As I said at the start, I was watching an actual good movie and there are no monsters in that one. But there you have it folks, the power of synaptic misfiring and association.
I’m wondering that if employers provided a workplace confessional that everyone would be a lot happier.
In many TV reality shows (which I deplore) they have a “Confession Cam.” A soundproofed room where a contestant can go and just let it all out whether it be crying, ranting, homesickness, whatever. The confession cam exists for the sake of the audience and to create drama for the “narrative” of the show. But I’m sure it has a psychological benefit for the cast that would make anyone feel better.
I strongly suspect that a lot of workplace tension and stress could be relieved by providing employees a place to rant and rail as needed. Even for people who feel like they can say something to their supervisor or boss still have to show some restraint in how they say things and what they say. Being able to do it in private would help the person be totally honest instead of covering up what they really want to say in PC platitudes.
Not having to go to co-workers to vent would keep the peace. Instead of forming alliances and grudges against fellow employees; relationships in the workplace could remain civil and friendlier. This, I think, is very important because I have seen it happen (in more than one job) that things can quickly become an “Us vs. Them” situation. Sorry adults, you form cliques just as fast as any middle school student.
I know the question you really want to ask me is: Am I advocating for such a thing because I could really use one at the moment? And the answer to that is YES. I really think that if I were able to air my thoughts and frustrations unbridled my overall outlook would improve as would my patience. I’m willing to bet you would too.
When I was still a wide eyed optimist I had this idea to promote my book at San Diego ComicCon. A simple idea. The people that attend ComicCons are my demographic and my tribe. Based on no other information I maintain that it is still good idea. However, that cold, hard reality of SDCC is in opposition to something so simple and apparently naïve.
Get a vendor booth at the event and set up as an information table for the Department of Planetary Affairs. Recruit my friends to wander around as DPA officers and man the booth complete with an informational video and pamphlets about the organization and the aliens it regulate.
I download the vendor application and fill it out but I have a few questions. So I give them a call. The man with whom I spoke to was very nice but ever so nonchalantly informed me that there is a four year wait list with 600 vendors on it waiting to get a booth at SDCC.
I am surprised only because there is no mention of this on the website anywhere. Ultimately, I am not surprised because SDCC is the biggest convention of its kind and will make or break a book, TV show, movie, or video game. Fine. Saves me the $3,000+ it would cost to have a booth.
The new strategy is to spend the four days with a squadron of those same friends wandering around the convention in some killer uniforms as DPA officers, enjoying it, and in theory creating buzz. Make people wonder what is the DPA? Where is that from? There are twelve of us. I give them a heads up of the dates and my intention so that they have one year to save money and make arrangements. I spend the next seven months gathering ideas for the uniforms, weapons, gadgets, and ways to promote.
Then it was announced a few weeks ago that the badges for 2013 would be on sale Feb. 16th. Time to make a commitment. Half of the people I had asked to join me were already going to be in the area for other events. Which is great but also means they can’t attend all four days. A few people had to drop out because of work. Only three of us could do the four days. Three people versus 150,000 is not good odds. Time for….
Everyone commits to Saturday only. I rather make one day really count and put everything into it.
Ten of us in killer uniforms, hit it hard, make a splash, drop the mic and go home. Still useful, still creating interest. By 8:58 on Saturday the 16th all of us are online and ready to hit the registration page and ready to buy now.
To SDCC’s credit they do dedicate a lot of verbiage on the website warning you of the difficulty of getting tickets. They even say, “Good Luck!” at the bottom of instruction page. Little do I know that this is not some over inflated exaggeration on their part.
Only two of us got into the mythic waiting room, numbers 617 and 34,031, the rest of us were stuck on a white screen waiting for the page to load. After some math and forty minutes I threw in the towel. Facebook and Twitter have streams of people talking about the white screen or what number they are, or begging strangers to purchase for them. It's total madness.
Throughout the hour SDCC announces four day badges are sold out, then Saturday, then Friday, and after that I shut everything down. I am still in shock. I can't believe it. I feel like Wile E Coyote with my legs spinning and defying gravity until I look down.
SDCC has 327,000 fans on Facebook and the convention only takes 150,000 people. That leaves 177,000 in the same position as me. Publishing my novel in 2013 has never been contingent on being at ComicCon so everything I am doing right now I will continue to do, but it is still a disappointment.
I feel like I have gone through most of the seven stages of grief, or is it five. Whatever. In the anger stage I couldn’t help but wonder if SDCC is too big, too full of its own self-importance. Maybe that’s just the frustration talking. It’s certainly a cliché line of thought but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. I don’t want to judge it too harshly because if I ever make into those sacred halls I will be jubilant. Then again maybe I will find that I was deceived by all the hype and find being there doesn’t live up to the legend of what it has become.
Whatever the case I have plenty to do ComicCon or no ComicCon. There are world’s to discover and stories to be edited. Let this be a warning to all you hopeful attendees of SDCC. Keep your expectation in check and definitely preregister in August for the next year, you can always return the tickets if it turns out you can’t go after all.
In the movie The Fall there are two stories going on at once. In the real world, Roy and Alexandria are patients in a hospital. What happens there is story one. Roy begins to tell Alexandria a story of adventure and revenge, this is the second world of the story. We hear Roy’s voice narrating the story but what we see is in Alexandria’s imagination.
If you have not seen the movie and want to, do not go any further. I give away some important plot points and if that’s going to bug you, come back after you’ve seen it.
In the real world, Roy has become paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident. Seeing his life as essentially over he is depressed and looking for a way to commit suicide. In the adventure story he is confident and fearless.
Remember what we see in the story world is what Alexandria imagines. Children have a talent for truth and because of that I believe what she is imagining is Roy’s true self. The person he is capable of being if he would face his pain and deal with it.
Real Roy being suicidal is fact. Red Bandit Roy is his true self buried under the disappointment and pain.
Pretty quickly what is happening in the real world seeps into the fabric of the story world but by the end they are so tightly intertwined with each other there is a reverse flow. What is happening to Red Bandit Roy starts to affect the real world, specifically what is happening with Real Roy emotionally.
And it is in that finally moment, as with all pivotal moments, he has to make a choice and that choice is critical to the survival of Red Bandit Roy and thereby his truest self.
Its choice we all have. I can let the stupid things that happen in this life wear me down. If I wanted to, I could be filled with anger, bitterness, and venomous criticism, but I have worked really hard to not become that. Even now, I have to make decisions on at least weekly to not let other peoples crap change the person I want to be. It’s too easy to take part of other people’s anger and bad attitudes. And sure, I’m not immune to a bad attitude. I curse under my breath and I think things I would never say out loud but then I move on. I choose the higher road and I try to do the mature thing, the adult thing. The two Roys is really a struggle we all have to deal with.
I choose to believe Red Bandit Roy triumphs over the Real Roy outside the scope of the movie because Red Bandit Roy is his true self. I have to believe for myself as well as the people I love that change on the deepest levels is possible and permanent.
A male guest in our all female household took a shower and afterwards said:
"You know what 'exfoliate' means? That there's sand in the soap."
Recently I watched Total Recall. The original one. With the Govenator. Circa 1990. And they have video phones in the movie. Which made me remember thinking, at the time, when I still had to hand write my reports for school, “That would be so cool.”
Yesterday I Skyped with a friend in another state for two hours without a thought. How did video phoning sneak up on us like that? Did anyone even notice? According to Uber-facts.com, “Today's average smartphone has more computing power than the first space shuttle ever produced.” I don’t know if that’s true but it’s got to be close to true.
Think about it.
You know why? Because time is arbitrary. January 1st only has meaning because we as a society have decided to attribute meaning to it. Scientifically speaking there is no more difference between December 31st and January 1st than any other change of days.
Of all the cultural systems of tracking time the Gregorian/Western calendar has got to be the least practical of them. Most other cultures had the good sense to base their time trackers on celestial events. For convenience sake I will put the blame on the Roman Empire. (I’m talking to you Julius and Augustus.) The Chinese celebrate their New Year in February. The Aztec calendar starts in our March, Jewish is September, and Celtic is October.
[Fireworks just went off outside my house. Yep it’s 00:00 as I write this.]
My favorite is the Celtic philosophy. They start their New Year in the fall, when everything is dying and going into hibernation. Death is a necessary start for new life. Remove the old and make room for the new. My experience has been that major interior shifts happened in September. Eventually it migrated to March. Because I think the universe has a sense of irony it is currently January.
Having said all of that, I do think there is great value in ritual and by ritual I mean habit. If you have already spent the last ten years attempting change in January then your brain is prepped for this. You should definitely take advantage of that. Creating new habits or stopping bad ones for most goals will be a must.
My question to you is if you haven’t already made the choice to change what difference will Jan. 1 make? Unless the goal of your resolution has become obsolete you can review and try again any day of the year you need to. I believe absolutely that we should all resolve to change. But don’t let an arbitrary date stop you from making that choice.
As much as I love my story and the people in it, re-writing had become a much dreaded task. My editor had made comments on a few scenes that needed to be rewritten from a deep POV. After consideration I decided I liked the omni thing I had going on. Then I had the opportunity to get my story work-shopped by some published authors (Fred Wiehe and Jay Hartlove) and they had the exact same comments about those same scenes.
Hmmm… okay fine. But even as I thought about overhauling those scenes I got exhausted. 8th time’s a charm. Then came NaNoWriMo. Take a one month break to work on something totally new. I come back to these comments with weary determination to make this story the best it can be and suddenly there is a spark. A twinge of excitement. Rather than re-write the scenes, I will scrap them totally, and start fresh and new. The blank page is full of possibility and options. The chance to do something new, with old material is tantalizing. New beginnings, fresh starts. Love them.
Every time I start to wonder if I am a writer to the core of my being something like this happens. The excitement that comes from something so abstract reaffirms to myself that I am true writer and not just someone who jots down neat ideas. When I find a new, undiscovered vein, even from the same old storyline, and I can’t wait for lunch break or writing group to dive into that well and see what treasure I can uncover. I honestly have no idea if these changes are things a reader will ever notice, but it’s a matter of excellence and integrity that they are made. It’s the digging that makes the story a novel and not just something I wrote.
If something comes up, I'll put it here, otherwise find me on FB and Twitter.