Dry Spell

How come?  I got promoted at work and I’ve been trying to expand/rekindle my social life.  Unfortunately the combination of the two means that I have next to no time for writing.  And of course, when I do have time I’m so tired I just go to bed (we’re talking earlier than 8:00pm, which is kind of ludicrous).  Hopefully things will calm down by next weekend so I can get in some writing during my weekend off.  I need to push myself so I start writing every day because, at this rate, my novel is never going to be finished.

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Published in: on March 21, 2008 at 6:40 pm  Comments (7)  

1 h@7e 7h!$ $0rt 0f 7yp1ng!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!11

There are few things on earth that irk me more than leetspeak (aka “1337” aka they style of typing I just used in the title to this post). My partner Ren says that this form of typing began because people did not want what they were typing to end up in search engines. That’s all well and good – I mean, with Google becoming more ubiquitous I’m sure everyone would like a little more Internet anonymity. I still fondly remember the early days of the Internet when I used leetspeak to type things my parents couldn’t read (muahaha). BUT people aren’t really using leetspeak as a code anymore since everyone gets it now (even my Internet-challenged parents). Now people use it because…? Who knows! There’s no point now. The point is gone. Which means that if you’re typing in leetspeak you’re behind the times and you need to grow a brain and get with the program. Or, if you insist on typing in 1337, do it with intention. Go and visit this website or this website so you know the history of your language.

Also, if you’re already fluent, you can search Google in leetspeak here and if, like my parents, you’re lost and want a translator go here.

Side note: Ren thinks I should delve deeper to discover the reasons I hate leetspeak so much. I don’t have to delve because I already know why I hate it. I hate leetspeak because I’m a grammar snob and I view it as a bastardization of the beautifully pure English language (or something like that). Actually, I find leetspeak kind of interesting. It’s just that it really annoys me that so many people do this for no reason and seem to think it makes them cool.

@LL c0mm3n7$ t0 7h1$ p0$7 mu$7 b 1n 7337 or 1 w1LL d3L373 th3m!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!

Translation: All comments to this post must be in leetspeak or I will delete them!

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 2:22 am  Comments (6)  

Dreaming the Apocalypse

I’m thinking I should compile my short stories into a book titled Dreaming the Apocalypse, since the eco-crash, the apocalypse, the complete breakdown of government, etc. is a theme that seems to run through all of them. I base my stories on actual dreams I’ve had. Right now I’m working on four:

#1 – This takes place after the world collapses from war and environmental ruin. The main character has lived his whole life on a mostly self-sustaining kibbutz started by a group of people who somehow managed to avoid radiation poisoning. The members are barely surviving because the food supply is short – the seeds etc. have been exposed to radiation so the success rate of crops is incredibly small. The rules of the kibbutz include discarding members (including newborns) who show signs of radiation poisoning and –  since almost all children are born horribly disfigured and are therefore discarded – the population of the kibbutz is declining . Occasionally, the kibbutz docks to pick up supplies from the few existing human colonies. The members must wear gas masks, hazmat suits etc. to disembark. The main character, who has grown up on the kibbutz, goes on his first mission. He disembarks at the “Great Tree Forest” which is an abandoned playground with three withered pine trees – the only trees in the world that survived the collapse. There is a line of pilgrims there that stretches for miles. People from around the globe have walked there to pray and breathe the air by the trees, which is thought to have curative powers. It is here that the main character comes face to face with the reality of the rest of the world. He makes a startling decision about the course of his life, which I can’t tell you because it would ruin the story.

#2 – Organic crops and homeopathic remedies and those who grew them were been eradicated in the great witch hunts of the 2030s. The main character works in a big government-funded hospital/lab under the direction of high-up government officials where he fills pill complacency capsules for a living (these capsules are fed to the poor and “insane” each morning to sedate them and prevent revolt – his particular facility supplies capsules for political prisoners of the witch hunts). Each morning at 6am the government inspects the labs. As soon as they leave, the main character clears off the counters and opens trap door panels in the floors and ceilings, taking out rows upon rows of plants. He takes out juicers and pumice stones, switches the light bulbs to full-spectrum bulbs, and goes to work making herbal remedies for various ailments and filling the complacency capsules with sugar so that the revolution will stay alive. By 7am the mailman comes with smuggled packets of organic seeds and they load the truck with organic remedies to distribute to the sick. At 5pm the nurses come for the capsules to go to the prison and the main character hands over the sugar pill capsules instead. He then works into the night, falling asleep on a cot in the lab and waking at 4am to turn the lab back to its original state for the next morning’s inspection. Of course, this sort of deception can only work for so long…

#3 – The U.S. government has begun the final portion of its “Christian Nation” project – eliminating the queers, Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians by mass extermination.  The extermination is set to occur on September 11, the date the government claims the nation was threatened by all who did not follow their God. The queers and non-Christians with resources have fled the country, but the poor have been left behind to go into hiding or make one last desperate attempt to flee. The main character and his partner are leaders of the resistance and they have heard of the plan and alerted the masses.  Unfortunately, one of the resistance members tipped the government off so they began the extermination a day early. The extermination begins.  Riots break out and people are fleeing everywhere in chaos. There is a man with a werewolf sent to track down the main character, his partner, and their two children. The government has ordered that none of the “infidels” should be allowed to live.  What will happen next?  You’ll have to wait for me to write it.

#4 – Genetic engineering of designer babies was approved about ten years ago and wealthy white parents began signing up to receive their perfect brilliant blond-haired blue-eyed babies. But there’s a problem: the gene manipulation and splicing has created children who are both psychic and extremely mentally unstable. The government banned human genetic engineering, rounded up all of the genetically-engineered children, and removed them from the public. They planned to kill them, but a group of vegans and well-meaning housewives led a series of successful protests and stopped the killing. The children are now housed in a facility in Alaska, miles from the nearest town. The main character is a child care worker in the facility. The children are kept one on one with a staff (or one on two or three for the larger and more dangerous children) and are monitored at all times and subdued with drugs and tasers. One evening, when the main character is at work, there is an explosion in the facility. Evacuation procedure is to lock the children securely in their cells and then evacuate the building without them, but the main character doesn’t have the heart to do it. He is about to exit with his assigned child when he looks outside and notices that there are armed tanks and snipers poised at the exits shooting down everyone attempting to leave. There are helicopters in the air. The government has decided to destroy the facility and all those inside it so they can cover up the extermination as a gas tank explosion. The main character decides to take the child he is with and escape.

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm  Comments (4)  

Carrot and Stick?

I need a heavy kick in the pants so that I get into gear with this novel (the monk one).  I’ve got a good plot, solid characters, a decent outline, and a lot of partially-written scenes.  What I don’t have is motivation.  I’m bored.  I’ve never been good at sticking with long-term undertakings (at least not if the fate of all of my diets are any indication) and now I’m floundering.  I think I just need a schedule to get me back into the groove – and maybe a system of rewards and punishments to beat me, er…  my writing, into submission.  If I ever get Sims 2 to work on my computer I think that’ll do nicely for a reward.  For a punishment?  No internet until I’ve written a certain word count (since the mere thought of life without the internet brings on withdrawal symptoms).  Also, I’m going to start allowing myself other writing projects since I find I work best when I can skip around between several projects.

Published in: on March 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm  Comments (2)  

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet.

Two things have been going on:

1) I’ve been mailing out poetry submissions all over the place.  So far they’ve gone out to: Brilliant Corners; War, Literature & The Arts; American Literary Review; Poesy; Poetry; American Poetry Review; Relief; Image; The Artful Dodge; Ascent; The Banyan Review; The Cimarron Review; Fence; and West Branch.  Cross your fingers, wish me luck, say a little prayer for me etc.

2) Ren and I have been finishing up Rezra #1: Fit to be Tied.  It’s done now.  The segments are: Featured Article – Urban Food Growing; Vegan Recipe – Pad Thai; Random/Fun – Political Madlibs; Little Known Awesome Things – Rope Sculpture; DIY Sex Toy – Rope Flogger; Erotica – Cruelty Free Flogging?; Comic – The (No Longer) Single Life; and, of course, Horoscopes.  If you want a copy, you can either email us at rezra@live.com or comment to this post.  Make sure to give us your mailing address if we don’t have it so that the zine actually makes it to the right place.

Those are the big things.  I’ll make another post soon to update about other writing-related things.

Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm  Comments (6)