Friday, January 29, 2016

Inner workings of Turesia - the story I've been working on for freaking ever

I feel like a broken record when discussing my work in progress. I've been writing this story for 3+ years and the end is not in sight. This has to be the most complicated f-ing thing I've ever attempted. I've strongly considered just putting it down and starting something new. In fact, that possibility isn't all the way off the table.

So, to shake out the dust and maybe air out these ideas a bit, I want to discuss some details of the story. I'll do so without being spoilery if I can help it.

By the way,
Yes, I know this post will perhaps entertain very few.
It's regarding a story that's not yet published, about an island that doesn't actually exist, with characters and magic that have never been introduced anywhere, and situations that might shift before their final written form. So, maybe this one's more for me than you. Maybe I'm just getting a head start on the final style sheet.

That said, here are a couple of characters and terms and locations! Most everything that's a hyperlink goes back to the Silexare Compendium, where I've already documented some things.
Also, feel free to go check out my Pinterest board for Ausgan, with images for reference and inspiration.

Kale - a young exemplar who lives in Erudition, with the other exemplars. A bit of a trouble-maker, but perhaps that's because he's a bit neglected.

Exemplar - Individuals deemed to be receptive to Consonance. They're plucked from the general population of Ausgan shortly after birth and brought to Erudition to train as monks.

Consonance - A song to the Imalasial, unique each time it is sung. Its purpose is to beseech the Imalasial to lend their powers to alter some aspect of the environment. These alterations include, but aren't limited to, heating, cooling, drying, humidifying, or exciting. The song has three parts - summoning, channeling, and negating.
The study and discovery of this song is the lifework of Yntemrus the Sovereign.

Yntemrus - The ruler of Ausgan, who dwells in the highest tower of Stravhelm. He began writing Consonance several centuries ago. Through research and study he has built a system of beliefs around it, testing how far he can bend the rules that govern existence, making weapons of the wind and the weather. His belief is that Consonance is the vital weapon for when the barbarians of Fohrvylda finally overflow their bloody homeland and cross the Faithless Sea to wage war on Ausgan.

The Faithless Sea - The body of water nearly enclosed within the islands of Turesia. It is surrounded in the west by Ausgan, the north by Redemier, the east by Fohrvylda, the south by (supposedly) Haluaviin.
It's called Faithless because its current changes with no warning. On one day the current may flow westward. The next it might flow eastward. The villagers of Ausgan believe the current and tide are determined by the motion of a great sea beast, known to them as Tidamora.

Okay. You still with me? Good. I'll leave you with that.

If my comment section overflows with requests for more lore, I'll post more.
And if frogs grow wings, they won't bump their butts each time they hop.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Rants about news and cable TV

Look. My blog is like a swamp lately. Pessimistic and dreary. I know this.
I woke up thinking, "I'm going to post something happy and bright and shiny!" But upon coherent consideration I realized that would be inauthentic and come off as such. So please, just weather the storm. It'll make the brightness at the end seem all the brighter... or some such Sam Gamgee-esque quote.

This post is a rant on cable television. And it only scratches the surface of my frustration. I'll do my best to keep it brief and entertaining.


I want to take American cable TV out back and smack it with a severed section of garden hose. I'll wear gloves so I can beat it for a good half-hour without having to worry about blisters or anything.

Televised news is profit-oriented, ratings-oriented, hacked and dismembered to serve an agenda. It's not news. Stop calling it news. Better yet, stop watching it. Stop feeding the hype and it will cease to be.
Want a bigger picture? Find a news aggregator. The good ones are customizable. If you try hard enough, you could probably get it to cater to your personal world-view and you wouldn't have to grow or learn at all! Just like TV news!

To Commercials,
On TV and elsewhere, I'm sick of you. If I have a remote, I mute you. This makes everyone in the room look at me like I'm a freak. I don't care. I feel like I'm getting bent over when you come on. Cable bills are expensive. And so is my time. I'm a busy motherfonger, despite what I convey. So if I stop everything to stare at the electronic rectangle on the wall, I don't want to witness paid actors climax-faking, lying through their teeth, on your stupid products. I'd rather do without any clever, witty ploys to sell your crap, no matter how entertaining. Stop wasting my time. Why do I pay more than any other streaming service and still have to see your stupid face?

Oh, and thanks for blowing up my kid's channels with the same garbage. Boyo is four years old. And until a couple months ago he had never pointed at the TV and said "I need that!" Sure, it's really adorable. He barely has a grasp on what the word "need" means. I'm pretty sure he's just regurgitating a line he heard an older kid say. A line that just happens to have been planted, Inception-style, by a greedy, manipulative system. Boyo needs me to spend $40 to surrender the last free square foot of my living room to a brightly-colored pile of forgettable plastic like I need a colonoscopy from a three-legged rhinoceros in an earthquake.

Not to mention, the content breaks we're able to witness in brief spurts between regularly scheduled commercials are available elsewhere. For cheaper.

I have no further use for cable TV.
But I'm not the only person in the house...

Friday, January 1, 2016

Contemplating Death

To be honest, I just needed a place to house some introspective cynicism.
Viola! My blog. Forever my punching bag.

Disclaimer: This post is quite the downer. And though I'm generally turned off by negativity for its own sake, I suppose everything has its season.
When you see me in the world, I'm probably laughing and making grossly inappropriate comments far too loudly. That's normal and it won't stop. It's also part of my game-face. I'm taking it off for this post.
So take the following with a grain of salt.
Or a shot of whiskey.


The wind fell from my sails, as you might have noticed, and I've yet to reclaim it. My creativity is compromised. Online this is reflected in my lack of presence on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, the Compendium, YouTube, and elsewhere. Offline it culminates in a multitude of ways, including driving me from my writing. However, with great effort I've made consistent, albeit slow, progress in the story I'm currently writing.

I don't harp about it very much, online or elsewhere. I guess because nothing can be done for it so why bring it up? Just to hear myself complain? That only makes me want to punch me in the face. But today, while reflecting on the last year in general, I felt encumbered by it all. My best response to that is to unload on hapless visitors by means of the written word.

If you want details of the inciting incident which began my downward spiral, you'll have to root through my blog. Such is life. If it were easy, you wouldn't value it.

It's tough when death takes your baby. With most everyone else, you've experienced them long enough to invent a reason they brought it on themselves, whether or not they did. They earned it, even if only a little. Don't lie. You do this. It's one way we cope.
They should never have gone there. 
They shouldn't have done the thing.
If only they'd stopped doing that. 
Maybe this helps us believe we've learned something, grown wiser, and now tragedy will not befall us again. Perhaps that particular tragedy won't. But tragedy is far more creative than you, or any person or group of people, can ever hope to be.
Never say, "It can't get worse than this," or perhaps you'll learn just how creative tragedy can be.

I can't really compare losing a child to anything I've ever experienced. Death has come for my friends and family before, even close friends and close family. Death has even returned since July. In August my uncle died. He was my last remaining blood relative outside my immediate family. The ties I had to my parents homelands of Ohio and Mississippi are now severed completely.

He was my mom's brother and his generally accepted name from us was Uncle Bro. No, this is not some deep-south embarrassing lineage ordeal, ripe for Maury. My sisters and I just heard Dad call him "Brother" when we were young so we'd call him Uncle Brother. Then Uncle Bro. Then Unc Bro. My parents called him Steve. Or Uncle Steve. But I learned in August that Steve isn't his name. In fact Steve is nowhere in his name...
When I was younger he reminded me of Harrison Ford from the Indiana Jones movies. Maybe because he was cooler than my parents (he gave me my first guitar and let me watch Terminator 2 and Predator) and always had a brown jacket and an Indie-looking hat with a full brim.
Now I have his brown jacket.

Death is unique with each situation. I hope to never catch myself telling someone I understand their pain, whether they've lost a grandparent, close friend, sister, daughter, or uncle. Because I don't. And they don't understand mine. Bray and I don't fully understand each other's grief and we experienced the exact same loss.
If I've learned anything, it's this: the best thing I can do for a griever is acknowledge their pain and assure them I'm not okay either.

On the flip side, if you're grieving and you're finding yourself frequently offended or turned off by what people are saying or doing, whether intentionally or not, re-read the above. They don't understand. No matter what they have been through, more or less, better or worse, they don't understand how you feel or what you need.
Try to lighten up. Far worse things than ill-advised words falling upon your sensitive ears can befall you. You know this all too well.
Try to forgive their iniquity before they're gone forever.

This post has no particular place to be. But I'll wrap it up with an excerpt from an old Latin poem - O Fortuna.
Some passage herein will soon be tattooed down my left side, along my rib cage.
Rib cage... what a disgusting phrase. Rib cage. Might as well be called organ closet. Or meat box.

and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

I'm fine. And if I'm not, I will be.
And if not, you will. And if you won't, someone will.
And if no one will be fine and we all fall away, the earth will thrive for a time then dry up. The universe will proceed, unconcerned, until it reaches maximum entropy and experiences heat death.
During that process, it will feel our pain.
Take heart in that.

I owe you guys some serious sunshine after this one.

Happy New Year!