The Three Hundred Twenty-Sixth Blog: The One Where I Contemplate Growing a Pencil Mustache to Twirl…

Hello, everyone!  I just got finished watching X-Men: Apocalypse. I’m not going to review it, because by now you’ve seen it and have made your own decisions about how good it is or not, whether you’re going to buy it on Blu-Ray or DVD and whether or not the guy playing Apocalypse looks familiar or not (my decisions: good enough for the X-Men franchise, but not good enough to knock Deadpool off the #1 slot, Blu-Ray for the extras, and the guy who played Apocalypse is the same one that played Poe Dameron on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”).

As I was watching it, I found myself nodding along with Apocalypse and he desire to remake the world. Sure — the whole Darwinian thing was a bit of a put off (those of you who was seen me in real life know where I fall in the whole ‘fit / not fit’ thing),  but if we look at how he approaches it…he’s fair. In the movie, he never separates the world into “mutant” or “non-mutant”. He simply goes for “weak” or “strong”. If you can do the job that he sets out for you — in this case, it’s trying to not get crushed by tons and tons of flying debris — you get the privilege to go to sleep in a cozy pile of rubble and do the same thing tomorrow.

"Everything they built will fall and from the ashes of their world we will build a better one!"

En Sabah Nur 2016!

Am I losing my mind? Some are going to argue that you can’t lose something you’ve never had. They’re right, but let’s also take another look at what makes En Sabah Nur a lot better than the comic book Apocalypse: he cares.

That’s been the whole crux of the Mutant Struggle in the movies. What we don’t understand, and what we as a society can not control is what we fear. Mutants fill that role completely. What are you going to do with a six-year-old who can bench press a car? I mean, other than make sure she gets that pony she wants. You thing your teenage years were awkward? How about the teenager who knows how awkward it is for you because you can’t stop thinking about it and he can’t stop picking up those thoughts? Erik and Charles are (and the writers of the comics have confirmed this) the Mutant version of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr respectively. Their goals are the same: a place where mutants can exist without fear of persecution. Professor Xavier looks to co-existence and the school. Erik realizes the mutants of the world have no one to rely on but themselves and they must be ready to defend themselves “by any means necessary”.

En Sabah Nur takes it to the extreme for either side. While he could have been a raving megalomaniac (like his earlier comic appearances), and we would have accepted that and moved on to the next scene; we see him taking on a paternalistic approach to The Horsemen he gathers. He doesn’t promise them riches, or suits that cover more than 45% of the body. He simply says:

 You are all my children, and you're lost because you follow blind leaders.

How many of us (in this political season, especially) can identify with that statement? The more I watched the movie, the more I listened to how En Sabah Nur talked to his followers, the more I realized that he was perhaps the best person to lead anyone and everyone. He didn’t trade money for votes, he didn’t set up straw men to knock down. What you saw was what you got. How many mutants in that world would have heard that and said: “Hell, yeah!”

And what pulled me back from painting myself blue and heading to Cairo? Other than that I have work Tuesday and my skin is a sensitive sort when it comes to grease paint? This:

[reciting Apocalypse's message to the world]
Charles Xavier: This message is for one reason alone: to tell the strongest     among you...
Apocalypse: Those with the greatest power, this earth will be yours!
Charles Xavier: Those with the greatest power...protect those without. That's  
my message to the world.

There you go. In the end, for all of En Sabah Nur’s posturing about making someone the best, about enhancing their powers — if you fail, you’re nothing. There is no forgiveness, no salvation, no ‘you’ll get them next time, slugger’. You’re tossed overboard and the next one stands up. Even Erik at his worse in this point doesn’t advocate dominance of one over the other — he just wants the world to know that you can push so far before you get pushed into a car. Xavier’s goal of co-existence is reachable, and his dedication to it is utterly saint-like. Don’t forget — Erik was willing to lay low and work with people, even giving himself up to save a friend. Things didn’t go to Hell in the proverbial handbasket until Erik had nothing to lose. Which is when En Sabah Nur came in and seduced Erik to his side. Erik’s sin throughout this whole series isn’t anger…it’s despair.

Ultimately, this particular X-Men film is timely for the upheavals we are facing today. When we are approached with someone who says they have the key to your happiness, who can come in and solve all of your ills — read the fine print. The Devil is not only in the details. He’s the one holding the contract.

The Three Hundred Twenty-Fifth Post: The One Where I Am Doing This Earlier Than Usual…

Hello, everyone! I was able to get up early (and out of the bed, no doubt) this morning and get some work done on the novel. Since I finished at home, I figured — why not?  Go on ahead and blog a little ahead of time, so that you’re not feverishly trying to hammer something at eleven forty-five. Better to feverishly hammer it out at six-thirty because…tradition!

Ben is turning into a sleaze by the page and I am loving it. I needed for Kevin to have some sort of antagonist — other than his own toxic levels of self-doubt — to throw up some roadblocks. This is also kind of a rehearsal for me when I write about Lucifer / Morningstar if I ever get to The Pentateuch of Abel. I want Lucifer to be the Byronic anti-hero villain of this word. I want us to feel like perhaps he’s misunderstood, maybe Paradise Lost got it right…and pull the rug out from under you. Sadly, this particular project is going to be waaaaaaaaaaaay down the road, just because it’s so big and ambitious. Seriously. The first book I’m look at writing is going to be at least 200K. I’m shooting for a Lord of the Rings scale sort of novel. More on that as it unfolds.

Summer is officially here…and now the temperature fits the season. Don’t worry, it’s going to get hotter and more humid here, even though we have a river just a hop, skip and a jump away. To be honest, I’m not a fan of summer but it does give me an excuse to eat ice cream when I want (to be even more honest, I eat ice cream in the winter, too). So, as a public service announcement: Please keep in mind that animals might need our help. Put out some dishes of water, crack a window if you must have them alone in the car.

dog-in-car-sign-picture-475x480

Tomorrow, I might be getting a new “office” as I have a job to fend off those pesky little things like foreclosure, repossession and starvation. I plan on putting in my eight hours, then going to a local Starbucks (this job is near my old neighborhood, so I know where one is on the way home), get in my 2,000 words, come home and have dinner then go to bed. I am still committed to getting the first draft of Lard of Love done by the end of July. I might be cutting it very close, but I will get it done and toned up a bit for the editor.

Before I call it an evening so I can rekindle the romance with “Harvey Birdman: Attorney-at-Law”, I want to call your attention to an online friend of mine. He’s looking to get wedded to his girlfriend who is from Canada. In the process of getting everything together out government is sticking them with a $1,000 fee. A fee whose amount was not anticipated by either one. So, they have started a GoFundMe page to get this taken care of. You don’t have to throw gobs of money at them. Just one or two bucks and word-of-mouth will help out a great deal. It ends on th 19th of July, whatever you can do will help out.

Thanks for reading this, check out the GoFundMe page and I hope to see y’all again.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Twenty-Fourth Post: The One Where I Triumph Over The Forces of Distraction…

Hello, everyone — I am happy to say that I made a breakthrough! I was willing to be able to sit down and write two thousand words today. This might not mean much to some people, but to me it is a huge triumph. Beforehand, I felt that I had to have a certain ritual (Starbucks, music and enough iced coffee to drown an elephant) to be productive. Also — there were certain things here that would lure me away from writing. All I had to do was just grab a tray from the living room and bring it into the kitchen, far away from that evil PC and his henchmen TV, Hulu and Netflix.

The story is picking up a little right now — for the main character its leg day and dishing on the second non-date to his friend Matt. I’m thinking that he should see the main character in a play (given that she’s an actress) before getting up the courage to ask her out on a real date. I’m trying to keep the timeline straight in my head…which I probably should sit down and maybe construct one since I have a program to do that. When I start Drinker, Jester, Flirter, Spy I am definitely going to use it as I want to keep everything straight before I sit down and write the text.

I’m thinking that tomorrow, after the writer’s meeting and getting another 2,000 down, I am going to give myself a treat and go see the X-Men movie like I’ve been promising myself for the past…what…three or four weeks? I’ll even review it for you, although, by now if you’re a fan you’ve seen it and if you’re on the fence more than likely you’re going to wait for Blu-Ray.

Well, sadly, I must cut this short because I have to get up early.  I hope y’all have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Twenty-Third Post: The One Where I Think Everything Is Coming Together (Finally!)…

Hello, everyone! I finished up a really good writing day today (2,000 words in about three hours!) and I can feel myself getting into the groove of this novel. Ben has made an appearance and I’m going to play him as some who seems to be looking out for his interests, but he’s just waiting for the time to pounce. He’s not really the best villain I’ve come up with, but right now he’s the most realistic as far as how he presents himself. Romance novels is not what I really want o be known for, but I’ll do it if I have a good idea.

But, as I write this, I wonder if everything is a little too easy for our protagonist.  Jennifer is really friendly — she just gave him a peck on the cheek for their second ‘not-date’.  While his pressures at work are the norm, and Matt (his best friend and trainer at the gym) is helping out…I just can’t help but to wonder if I can’t throw some grit at this oyster. Again — this is only the first draft. There will be plenty of chances for me to make his life a living hell. I know I sound bad, but I want the reader to empathise and root for the protagonist…or at least not hate him.

I hope that this mojo I have can continue on for this week and the next, so I can get some headway into this novel so I can finish it and get started on the next project. I’m chomping at the bit to get back to fantasy. I also have a couple of projects that I need to get back to…maybe next year. I’m going to gauge the response of The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show as to how I proceed with this particular world. Think of something that’s rooted in Louis L’Amour…or Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series. Guns, some magic and hopefully some interesting things happening: zombie servants, people possessed and the possible End of The World.  As a good friend of mine would say: “The usual.”

Well, on a side note — I do need to go to bed early tonight (well…early-ish) for a possible job interview. Speaking of that…as always if you would look to the right, you’ll see current links for books either I or friends of mine have written, a Bitcoin tip jar ($700 a Bitcoin!). As always, thank you for dropping by and I hope y’all have a good rest of the day.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

 

The Three Hundred Twenty-Second Post: The One Where I Remark On My Pecularities…

Hello, everyone! I didn’t get a whole lot done because I wasn’t able to get to the office yesterday. I might have tweeted about it.  My car has a problem with the air conditioning. I found the root of the problem: I don’t have one. Apparently, there was some larger issue and it called for the removal of the compressor as a patch. So, I went to the mechanic, think that I still had the ailing compressor and it would be about $200 to replace.

Nope.  A minimum of $1,000 to add one.  Fine.  I don’t really go that far now that I’m a (quasi) working writer. The farthest I go on the work week is to the “office” and that’s only six miles away. I could walk it, but if anyone here has lived in the Louisville area knows that there is no heat, but varying degrees of humidity. The sticky, Southern, energy-sapping humidity. So, I decided to stay home while the mechanics opened the hood to the car and said “Well — there’s your problem!” and slammed it shut.

For some odd reason, I can’t work at home. Yes, it’s the American Dream: my commute could be nothing more than drifting through the kitchen, plopping down in front of the computer desk in my living room and fire up the old Scrivener. Two thousand words later, I can turn off the program and turn on Facebook or anything like that.

Let me walk you through how that’s not going to happen in my lifetime and yours, too.

First off: While I have a serviceable kitchen, the kitchen table has become a filing system. I don’t have enough room to set up a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk. So, I eat in the living room. At my desk. The morning routine is set in stone:

  1. Wake up, eat breakfast, read webcomics.
  2. Take a look at Facebook.
  3. Stay on Facebook — exchange witty repartee, make funny remarks, save cat pictures.
  4. Realize I’ve spent three hours trying to think of a funny caption for the AD&D Group (picture of a monster surging up from a sewer taking a group of adventurers by surprise — my caption: “ROTO-ROOTER!”)
  5. Spend another two hours playing Pot Farmer.
  6. Realize that my day is now a quarter of the day through and I’m still in my shorts.

I can’t work at home because the computer is such a huge distraction to me.  I do all my work on an old laptop. Now, you could say: “So, use the laptop and stay home, doofus.” I would respond: “I still have the TV, the Blu-Ray Player, Apple TV, Amazon Prime, the refrigerator and the people walking by the house chatting about how if they think they’re going to let him back in, they can line up and kiss my ass (you go girl).

Frankly, home is the biggest set of distractions I have. So, I head out to the office and write there. Counter-intuitive as it sounds, I can get a lot done in the office than I can at home. Two thousand words? No problem. I just shut off the Wi-Fi so my battery can last the three hours I need it to last to write. I plug-in my headphones and either listen to music or radio. I can come in, get some coffee and work to my little heart’s content. Hey, it works.

As far as what’s happening with the novel, I did push the deadline up a little…as long as it’s done and off to the professional editor by August, I’ll be fine. My ultimate goal is to get this finished by the first of August, then start on the fantasy novel (The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show) for August, September and October. If everything works out right I can swing into Supercapitalist for NaNoWrimo. December can be spent either finishing up a long-standing project or a quick one for cash. This is fun and all, but I need to get something in my bank account.

Well, I think that’s everything for now. I’m going to talk about a project next time…or maybe review a film after I get my two thousand down for tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Three Hundred Twenty-First Post: The One Where I Try To Get Back Into Some Sort Of Rhythm…

Hello, all — I know that I have been out for a few days from both insomnia and really not a lot going on here as far as writing goes.  Not that I’m not working (I’ve been working as fast as I can) or anything, but I’ve been focusing more on Lard of Love rather than my vampire tale.  Also, I’m getting ready for my second fantasy series called Drinker, Jester, Flirter, Spy.  OK…so my research is really just watching Burn Notice, but you would be surprised about how much tradecraft you can learn from that show.  Absolutely has nothing to do with the women in scene changes.  Nope.  Nothing at all.

Lard of Love is dragging a little bit for me, and there is really nothing left for the vampire tale except a lot of historical research.  So, I am working on the characters for the other fantasy story just because I can’t seem to focus on just one story.  This one is based off of a gaming character I made (aren’t they all?) and I’m working it into the same fantasy world as The Ushabit Series, The Marvelous and Malefic Doomsday Medicine Show, The Ridden and at least four hundred years after the events of The Quietest Heart (on sale at the right hand side).  I always try to come up with an elevator pitch for the books that I write (in order: ‘Dr. Frankenstein meets Lord of the Rings while doing a Larry McMurry cosplay’; ‘Dr. House meets the Biblical Legion’; ‘Sybil and Raiders of the Lost Ark take a road trip through Lonesome Dove’).  So far, the elevator pitch for this is shaping up to be: MI-6 recruits Monty Python to infiltrate Fredonia.  Doesn’t really encapsulate the serious parts of the story, but it’s enough to hopefully get an agent to look at it.

Back to Lard of Love, my erstwhile romance novel.  It’s dragging a little bit because we’re heading into a part that I really haven’t thought through.  I just have to try to work through it and get to the next scene I have written in my head…which isn’t going to be for a while because that’s at least two acts away.  The main character is a fat guy.  I can get away with saying that because I, too am a fat guy.  To answer your next question: no, this is not autobiographic.  I just wanted to write a story in which the fat guy gets the girl rather than the fat guy being the main character’s best friend and certainly not an object of sexual affection.  I’ll just keep working at it.  I’m not hating it yet, but the pace is not doing any favors for me.

Well, that’s all for now.  Tomorrow, I need to get back to work on the current one, just work through the slow part, try to make something of it and get to another good part (maybe the main character could give a chubby chaser’s convention a shot?  Speed dating?) to keep me going.  I also need to get the car taken in to fix the air conditioner before the worse of the heat hits…then again, I’m in The South — while technically it is spring, but the thermometers are telling me it’s 103 degrees (or 93 degrees.  How can there be a ten degree difference in just two blocks?).  With that in mind, I’m going to get to visit the mechanics so we can see about getting the car to keep from dying for at least another five years.

Thanks for reading, as always — please look at the links on the right for current works (I promise to put something up soon) and there is a donation QR if you have Bitcoin.  Hope you all have a good evening, and I’ll chat with you again.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy