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Caravan #2

Categories: Choose Your Tuesday
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Published on: August 9, 2011

Walther kept the gas petal all the way to the floor. Two tons of hydrogen burning engine roared as he drove the big rig toward the rest of the caravan. The other drivers were armed, but they didn’t have anything like the old minigun, and the raiders would take them apart. He had to get between the rest of the rigs and the raiders.

Some of the raiders noticed him coming and broke off the attack to engage him. Freddie popped them with the Vulcan with no trouble. “That got their attention!” Freddie whooped. The rest of the raider vehicles moved in to engage. (Though some slunk away in the back. Cowards.) Their rig took a lot of fire. It was going to be a real pain to fix all these bullet holes. Still, none of the enemy had the weapons or armor to face their old aircraft cannon. The gun chattered away, wrecking car after car. Then it fell silent. Walther was about to cheer when he noticed there were still a couple out there. Freddie would never let off when there were still targets. Something was wrong.

Music Monday #32 – More Than A Feeling

Categories: Music Monday
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Published on: August 8, 2011

Minions, let me introduce you to Igor Presnyakov. In addition to having one of the coolest names ever, he’s also one of the most ridiculously talented guitar players ever. And we haven’t even gotten started on these arrangements. While most people are content to play the guitar part of a song when covering it on the guitar, Igor prefers to cover the entire instrumentation of a song on his one guitar. (He also sings occasionally, but rarely the whole song.) Igor’s YouTube account has (at the time of this post) 177 covers of songs across a huge range of genres from rock ballads like the one above to metal covers to classical tunes. Minions, I don’t often give you orders, but seriously, listen to the song above, and then head over to Igor’s YouTube account here and just dig in. You’ll thank me.

Photo Phriday #31 – Fat Jokes

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Published on: August 5, 2011

I cannot resist a pun, you guys.

Revisions

Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Published on: August 3, 2011

So, last week I had this whole post fermenting in my head about artist’s frustration and how it’s really hard to produce all the time and blah blah blaaaah, and none of it was particularly interesting when I actually started to write it down, and I just drew an awesome picture, and most of the post came from just having a bad art day and no you’re a run on sentence!

Anyway, let me do some quick hits of the important points:

I had a substitute teacher for one day in 7th or 8th grade. I don’t remember what her name was, or what she looked like, but I was drawing a cool robot, and she said, “There are other things that are beautiful besides destruction.” This wrecked me as a young artist, and I don’t know why. I lost my enjoyment of drawing, and it honestly took me until a couple years ago to get over it.

I try not to regret things. I like my life, and things have worked out really great for me, but I must admit that I regret letting that lady get to me. I wonder what kind of art I could make today if I had kept drawing like I used to.

So yeah, in my original post those two paragraphs probably would have been like four hundred words, and much whinier.

But I’m not doing that. I have better things to do. For instance: Sorry this is a bit late. Also, have you noticed my new penchant for one word titles? That’s a weird phase to go through, hey?

See you Friday, Minions. Don’t forget to vote on the post before this.

And The Winner Is…

Categories: Choose Your Tuesday
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Published on: August 2, 2011

So, I know that there are two stories that are tied for first in the Tuesday poll, and that I said I’d do a run-off in that case, but I’m not going to. You see, after a couple Google searches I’ve found that my entire story concept for Red has been done, with that exact title, setting, premise, and all the same characters approximately eleven hundred billion times. So, yeah, I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I’m officially declaring the winner to be Caravan!

You can go read the entry here, and then vote below to choose what happens next. In the future polls will go up with the story, and voting will be open until I get around to closing it on Saturday.

Music Monday #31 – Sunday Morning

Categories: Music Monday
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Published on: August 1, 2011

We did it, Minions. A cover for each day of the week, once a week, for seven weeks. Weeky. In any case, this is a band called 3rd Earth covering No Doubt’s Sunday Morning. The sound quality is… not great, but I love finding these little groups covering the songs. It’s fun.

Photo Phriday #30 – The Depressing Truth

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Published on: July 29, 2011

 

Every. Single. Time.

Processing

Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Published on: July 27, 2011

So, a month of story starters has passed, and again you’re back to reading my less structured ramblings. Did I learn anything? Well, sure. I learned that I have an awful lot of conceits in my fiction writing that I have a hard time overcoming, first off. As I moved through the month, I found that I had a lot of trouble making the stories feel different. I haven’t written a lot of fiction, so I went for the writing style that felt most natural to me, and I think that hurt a couple of the stories.

I tend to write fiction like I write these blog posts: More or less stream of consciousness, and from a limited internal narrator. The only difference is that there are characters I’m trying to determine the motivations of in the fiction, and odds are good that I know what I’m thinking already in the blog. (That’s not as guaranteed as you’d think.) I think Trailblazer is the clearest example of this. If I were a magical space navigator, my blog would read more or less like that story. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but, as I started to write the rest of the stories I found that they read very much the same. So I tried to make each of them a little different. They all frankly hold to pretty much the same construction, but I’m still fairly proud of even my little variants.

I think as far as variation is concerned that I’m the most happy with Red. Red was already a bit of a stretch for me. The other stories have a lot of components that have been kicking around in my head for a long time. For instance, some of you recognized the setting of Trailblazer as that of a D&D campaign that I ran in college. Doors is actually even older. As a kid I imagined a world made of different small areas linked by magic doors. That concept made its way in to the first D&D campaign world I ever created (although it never showed up much). Caravan is the second youngest of the concepts, being based on a dream I had a few years ago. Still, I like the idea of guys driving armored semis across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it since then. (And, honestly, I like post-apocalyptic wastelands in general, so it wasn’t a far walk to get there.)

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, Red. So the idea for Red came from a conversation I had with my wife while I was planning how I was going to do this whole Choose Your Tuesday thing. The hook of the conversation that I liked, and that led me to write the story was just how utterly strange the wolf in the story of Red Riding Hood is. There’s a lot of weirdness that gets taken for granted in fairy tales, but a wolf who can impersonate a person, but still sort of look like a wolf, and also talks, and is smart and malicious enough to lay a trap for a little girl is a genuinely scary concept. But yeah, the idea was pretty fresh, so I had to build a world around it a lot less organically than I usually do.

Because of this and the perspective thing, Red is the only story for which there exists a first draft that is radically different than the final project. The original actually is all from Red’s viewpoint, instead of shifting narrators like the final, and the storytelling was a lot messier.

I’ve rambled enough about writing for today. I’m really looking forward to writing more stuff for you folks. Don’t forget to vote here if you haven’t yet, and I’ll see you Friday.

Music Monday #30 – Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

Categories: Music Monday
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Published on: July 25, 2011

For your Saturday Monday, Minions, here’s a live cover of Queen playing Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.” Enjoy.

Also, a reminder that the poll to select the new Tuesday story is still open here. (Unless you’re reading this after Friday, July 29th, in which case, hello, future people.)

Photo Phriday #29 – Re-imagined Literature

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Published on: July 22, 2011

See you Monday, Minions.

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