Compassion, Prejudice, Judgment

Sometimes, the most unexpected emotions com from equally unexpected places. I'd like to tell you a story about the last 7 days in my house, a snake, and an unexpected lesson from my son, Jefferson (he's 10 years old). As a kid, reptiles always fascinated me. Cold-blooded creatures are strange, no doubt, and there's such a stigma around lizards and snakes that it's hard to get past feelings of anxiety around them if there's an ingrained feeling that these critters are dangerous, or terrifying. Truth is, they're scared of humans because they see us as giant predators that could eat them. That can make them defensive until they get used to you (I don't blame them). They don't eat people, dogs, or cats, unless you're in…

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Writing a Book Foreword

I was fortunate enough recently to be asked to write a Foreword in my friend Eric's book, "A Green Winter in Mosul, Iraq." http://www.lulu.com/shop/eric-mcnail/a-green-winter-in-mosul-iraq/paperback/product-24137030.html The process of writing something like a Foreword was quite alien to me. It's a very personal piece of writing. And while I feel like I do fine coming up with, I don't know, zombie jokes and ridiculous scenarios in short stories. Giving something as serious as someone's memories from the Iraq Invasion the attention it deserves from a perspective of personally knowing that individual ... ... well that's difficult for a very internal INFJ like yours truly. Still, I'm very proud of the man for writing his memories down, and I feel that what he shares is a very important…

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Goals, and Reaching Them

If you would've told me last year that I'd get to writing a story, and that it would make sense, and flow, and I'd hit 30,000 words, I would've thought it crazy. Well, boom. Would I like to make more progress? Yes. Is that a 3 or 4 week take in words for people who write, write, write? Sure is. And it took me months. Don't. Give. A. Shit. Their journey is not my journey. That's something worth keeping in mind. Every journey is different, all that matters is you getting to whatever finish line you've set up for yourself, and that's exactly where I'm headed. Today, I celebrate, then I keep writing. Next goal, 40K.

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Broken Feral Writing Guy

I have managed to crawl out of my hole from time to time to catch glimpses of the real world, but for the most part I've been spending my time either working, or working, or doing kid stuff, or decompressing from all of the working and kid stuff going on. Oh, and there was this: Which, underneath all that purple fleshy stuff, looks like this: Which honestly isn't all that great for trying to fly through typing and shove down 1200 words or so every couple of days. Crushed middle knuckle (dominant hand) aside, I have been getting some writing done on the Big Damn Book, which is lovely, but it has been difficult to get quality steady writing time in with all of the…

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Meet Henrietta, I Hope You Hate Her.

This is Henrietta. So part of the reason I've stalled so much in the past week as far as writing is concerned, is because it was Henrietta's time for an introduction, and I absolutely hate the character. "Why create a character you hate?" Exactly.  I need her in the story.  She's a 50-something greedy, reprehensible human being that hides behind identity politics and the "greater good" in order to feed her own ambitions and insatiable hunger for power and control. She's important to the story. She has no redeeming qualities.  She's the hardest character I have in the story as far as being able to empathize, and writing her was something I was absolutely dreading. Until I did.  I had to figure out a way…

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Writing and Blogging and Video, Oh My

So I have this idea for a project, and it's mostly formed around the fact that I'm a technology junkie with a whole bunch of equipment that I MIGHT AS WELL USE for some kind of non-nefarious purpose.   Here's a portion of my basic set-up.  Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera for relatively close-up, documentary-style video, a Newer mic I picked up on Amazon for about 20 bucks, hooked into a basic 4-channel mixer that's plugged into a lovely Tascam DR-05 Linear PCM Recorder. If all of that sounds super fancy, it's not.  Okay the camera is super fancy but I've had that anyway and didn't purchase it for this particular project which I'm kind of starting but kind of re-doing (it's a thing with…

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