My first post of 2016

Hello ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, it is I!

“Wait, it’s the 25th of January, how are you just now posting and are so handsome?” You might be thinking to yourselves, maybe not so much that last part, but still, a man can dream…

The reason why I haven’t been so active here is because over the course of December, as we closed out 2015, I came to realize that I was working a lot and not spending as much time with my wife. With every New Year, you set yourself almost the same goals:

  • Write a novel
  • Get published
  • Finish something
  • Learn how to be a blacksmith

And while those are worthwhile goals, many of us get caught up in the minutiae of trying to achieve these goals and zone out on everything else. You write everyday, post everyday, engage your audience, but the ability to be present with your loved ones is usually not a goal people set for themselves.

Except that’s what I set for myself this year.

My wife and I are expecting our first kid, this will literally be the last year it is the two of us and I want to make the most of this by sitting on the couch and binge watching The Flash and reading. Many would think that we would travel and such, and we are going to do that, but the important part of any relationship is being there for the small moments that are forgotten or blur together in the great links between the show pieces that stick in the fabric of our memories. Those small pieces are what help build up to the larger, more grandiose moments that every movie or TV show makes you think should happen on an almost daily basis.

And it was something that I was sorely missing out on last year. So, I decided to still rock the shit out of my writing and creative projects, but do them in concentrated bursts. Does this mean the blog is dead? No, the blog lives. Long live the blog!

It does mean that whatever work I push out will be higher quality rather than quantity. I will be writing everyday in February moving forward, but I am going to be making time for my favorite human in my life everyday as well, my wife.

P.S. If you vomit because of this post, I understand, but do not care.

Why do we watch video games?

The 21st century is full of oddities. Who knew that we would one day have computers in our pockets and at the same time most Americans still do not know where Timbuktu is located on a map.

Also, who knew watching video games would become a thing? Growing up during the rise of video games from 8-bit to the current almost photo realistic graphics that are almost the norm today, an entire generation of people have grown up waiting their turn. Originally, that’s why you watched video games, because home consoles had a maximum amount of players capped at 4.

So, if you had a party with six people, two of them would just sit there on their butts, eating their ice cream cake, as the rest of the expensive cake melted while the rest of the party played Turok 2.

Today, millions of people watch other people play video games and the people they are watching are making a crazy amount of money from it. Many would blame this new trend on the downfall of mankind’s mental ability to actually do something productive with their lives, but this is a falsehood.

Humans have been watching sporting events for eons. Many obsess over it to the point where they have a fantasy game that doesn’t involve a 20 sided die. Fact is, we love to watch other people doing something difficult or skilled because we either:

A- Can’t do it

B- Are too lazy to really try, because that box of Entenmann’s doughnuts isn’t going to eat itself

This also goes for video games, because let’s face it, many people are not going to play 5 Nights at Freddy’s, no, they are going to watch Markiplier do that because of two reasons:

A- He’s hilarious to watch

B- Most people will still poop their pants as if they had their first cup of coffee in the morning

Just like sporting events or anything else that requires people to put in hundreds of thousands of hours to become masters of, we love to watch video games because of the same reasons. We have empathy with other people, and for many that is a sign of our humanity, but because of this bond we get a huge surge of emotions and chemicals in our brains that make our hearts jump or our chests explode in laughter because we connect with those who playing these games.

Fact of the matter is this, the future is a strange and bizarre place. Where it is going, no one knows, but let this be a lesson to us all: Anything and everything we do can possibly be sponsored by Mountain Dew some day.

UPDATE!

Morning everyone!

Here is the update, I am going to be posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays with other days being a possibility for content to be posted. Which means my content shall appear like a ninja and leave a bloody mess of joy in your mind.

Why am I doing this? I am starting to ramp up the planning and writing of my next book. This means I probably won’t be able to keep up the three day a week posting process.

Does this mean I will be making less awesome pieces of content? No, so prepare for awesome.

Lastly, know that mint frozen yogurt is yogurt is the best frozen yogurt. Do you hear me Golden Spoon?

Golden-Spoon
Cave to my demands or pay!

On a quick blog post & Webcomic

Sooooooooo, today is an odd beast already.

I had a cup of coffee, sat down in front of the computer, and began to drift along the Internet. Now you might think that this isn’t that odd of an experience, and it isn’t, but then you’re not me; which is great because if you were, we would probably have to fight to the death.

I began clicking and clicking and clicking and seeing stories, images, and more. Again, this isn’t that special of an experience, we all have them in the morning or any day when we go online. We see photos about how terrible things are, the wonder that is art, and the human condition that is making dick jokes.

It was wonderful, and then I looked at the time. The time had just vanished, gone, never to appear in this same order again. I am not talking about the numbers on the clock, I am talking about the experiences of the morning that use time as a fuel source.

My wife will not sit on the couch the same way again to read her book and have coffee.

I will probably not wear the same underpants/t-shirt combination I am wearing now.

And the light through my hummingbird poop caked window will not seem as mute or as wonderful as it was on the 24th of July, 2015 at 7:25 am. It is a moment that has come and gone. A moment I will never experience again in the exact same order of events.

A day is precious, time cherished, take the time to experience the day because you will never have it again. And there is something liberating about that.

Now for a comic!

 

P.S. Today is Hawaiian shirt day at the office.

I have become white, destroyer of fashion.

Three signs that you’re in the APOCALYPSE!

Everyone seems to be screaming about the end of the world. It’s all over the news, both newspaper and TV, and scrawled along the poetic rhyme schemes written on the bathroom stalls:

I once sat on bowl of white

Passing time on my iPhone, right?

Then with a sudden clash and thunder

I found myself dead and unable to pass my plunder

And yet you can still go to the local 7-Eleven and get a drink or head to the movies and walk out disappointed in yet another Adam Sandler feature, and go home to sleep. We are told the world is going to go and yet nothing happens, so how will you know if you’re in the apocalypse?

1. Abandoned Baby Carriages

If there is one sure fire way to know the shit has hit the fan it’s finding abandoned baby carriages. Why are they always laying over with one wheel spinning? Because Mom saw a fireball and may or may not have grabbed little Johnny, but no matter what, she will have shoved that hunk of protective and useful metal over as she made her escape.

If you find such an object out in the wild, grab a gun, and fear the worst, as an apocalyptic hell has just been unleashed!

death buggy- Photo credit LA Weekly
Beware the embroidered buggy of DOOM!

Photo credit: LA Weekly

2. Roving Gangs of Children

Seeing these pint sized warriors of the future is yet another fact that will tell you that you are in the death throws of our world. They will be using gardening tools as weapons, garbage cans as armor, and look adorable as they skin you alive and eat you. Some may have even setup lines of commerce in the forms of lemonade stands, and only take the new form of currency… HUMAN TEETH!

Children can be so cruel...that was Aunt Judy!
Children can be so cruel…that was Aunt Judy!

Photo credit: Flagcorn.com

3. Immediate Fashion Changes

You know that cardigan or blouse you love? Yeah, they’re great, but when you start to notice Phil, the retired Cop, next door is rocking S&M leather undies with a hockey mask and he isn’t alone, you can sure as hell bet that the world has shit itself!

People will abandon the ‘normal’ fashion you know and hold dear in order to wear what they want; and they will not care how much muffin top is showing! They will rock those velour sweatpants with their new-tribes name written on it. They will wear the cat shirts of hate and the Crocs of misery! They will spread this fashion across the world like a plague of locus!

Nice mower, Phil! Just please don’t cut your grass or me after 10 pm.

Photo credit: ocdviewer.com

Take everything you read with a grain of salt. As much as everyone loves to predict or say the world is ending, until that moment arrives, or you find anything listed above happening, then it isn’t! And all your worrying and bitching and moaning will mean absolutely nothing and even IF you are right, what good will it do? Oh, yay! You predicted the end of the world correctly! You win an instant death or a lifetime of misery, but hey, wasn’t it worth all that time you could have been happy or trying to help others improve their lives?

I mean, you deserve this, you’ve won! YAY!

How to make a good asshole – On writing

This might seem like a rather straight forward topic. I mean if you have a guy kicking a puppy while talking about how the homeless should be shipped off to internment camps. That pretty much is an asshole, yeah? Ehhhh, not really, that’s more of a monster; an asshole is a delicate balance in regards toward a character because while it is easy to make a monster, it takes work to make a believable asshole.

I can’t keep saying asshole, as that might be misconstrued moving forward, so I will be referring to assholes under the name of gnats; because they are assholes.

Why is writing a good gnat so important? Why am I even talking about this topic? For two reasons really:

A. Everyone is a gnat at one point or another in their life

B. Most modern storytellers think that being a gnat means you are evil and without conscience

Complexity is missing a lot in almost any storytelling medium these days. You’ll find that when the gnat shows up in a story they are usually in defiance of the main character and make sure that everyone knows it. They eventually are proven to be either stupid or just running into plain bad luck and die due to their gnattiness. Sometimes they get a chance at redemption by, I dunno, dying for the sake of the protagonist and their love interest, but in the long run they are used as a punchline.

Most modern storytellers, or those getting a paycheck to play act as a storyteller, forget that everyone is a gnat at one point or another. Everyone. Here’s how you make a good gnat:

Make sure they are causing tension

An gnat is usually a person who is unwilling to bend their point of view, and due to this lack of yoga ability, creates tension. Tension is something that I touched on in my Jurassic World blog, but really that’s what an gnat is there to do for your story, to help build the tension. Tension between the characters and their actions adds weight to the story in general. It makes what they are doing seem a lot more risky and it draws your audience into the story even more.

Make sure they are relatable

Having a gnat who is such a big gnat that you cannot relate to them is a bad thing. Making someone or something evil alienates the audience from that character, and you don’t want that in a gnat. You want a portion of the people who are experiencing your story to relate to this gnat because it makes the gnat feel more real. Again, this is because we’ve all known or been the gnat at one point or another.

Make sure their goals actually are believable

Goals are usually tied to gnats like flies to dog shit. We all have goals, some of us want to be the President of the United States, some the prettiest trash truck driver in the county, and if that lip gloss will seal the deal for our beloved pretty trucker and the local Sephora has only one left in the entire state; you better believe they will murder everyone who gets in their way. Of course, this is ridiculous, but of course people have murdered other people because they thought black albinos are lucky human rabbits feet.

Really though, their goals should be believable, and while personal gains are always the most immediate choice, having a gnat do what they are doing for the betterment of others makes them feel more real. The reason for this is due to the fact we’ve all been a gnat and most of the time we’ve been one because we think we are helping someone we know.

This is probably the most important point in the creation of a gnat character, because if this isn’t believable then the previous two points won’t work.

Also, keep in mind that the gnat character can be the protagonist, and if that is the route you take with the gnat character, you have better make damn sure that they’re relatable side isn’t a Tiny Tim character. That is something that has been done to death and really needs to go away.

Making a good gnat is really hard, but if you nail it right, the payoff for your story will be huge.