Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Writer's Organized Mess

I spent the weekend of the 18-19th tidying up and organizing the chaos of that peculiar aspect of my life that I call WRITING, and let me tell you, it was like sailing on the good ship Lollipop. Yeah, it was just that bad, and because it was just that bad, you know damn well I'm gonna tell you about it, because not only is that how I am, but gosh darn it, I really need to fill up this space with nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions and the other assorted gobbledy gook that passes for mediocre writing.

So.

1} The first thing that I managed to accomplish was to finish the second round of editing Line 21, which somehow grew by another three hundred words or so (Okay, I had to lengthen the prologue and re-write a couple of key parts elsewhere, so I really knew why it grew, so take a number and stand in line to sue me). After printing out another clean copy and taking a trip to my local Staples to print out two more copies (will explain the extra copy in a minute), I got started on the second thing that I managed to accomplish.

2} I spent six hours writing another 1200 words for my latest project Dandelion Tears, thereby completing a rather lengthy part 3 (17 pages). I still know where I want to go with this things because I still have the outline stashed in my memory for it. I know, I know, it sounds painful and it really was. Tell me, do you have problems like that, in which it takes you that many hours to write that many words?

3} After I finished my latest installment, I got the itch to surf New Pages  again to see if I could find any more writing contests, and sure enough, I did. In addition to the one for my recently completed book (see? extra copy explained), which curious enough met the criteria by 2 pages, I found four more contests for the one good short story (Red Stripe) that didn't make it to FGS. So I'm spending the next couple of weeks getting things organized for that, since I have one deadline of Oct 1st, two on Oct 15th and one on Oct 31st.

4} After I got done picking up a few necessities to complete step 3 (9 x13 envelopes and large rubber bands), I decided to reorg my....yeech....incomplete writings and place them in a nice neat pile of importance. Well, not really a pile of importance, but simply a slush pile so that when I walk into my den, there they are yelling at me to write.

The answer to the question that you didn't really want to ask but need to if you ever want to get to the end of this post is this:

Line 21: It's finished and all printed out, and now its patiently waiting for me to write a synopsis so that I can move on to the next inevitable step of the "wanna get published so bad that I'll do anything to get noticed".

A Lascivious Limbo: I decided to take another stab at completing this particular manuscript, since this is the one that I put aside back in early February to write Line 21. This one is about 85% complete and is waiting for me to write a eulogy, a wake/funeral, a suicide and completing the other main plot of the book. Please click on the link for a refresher on what this book is all about and please note that the link for the excerpt in that post does not work.

It's Just Business: This was the mini-novella that I wanted to enter into a few contests that I mentioned last week, but after spending about an hour or so editing and taking notes, I quickly realized that it needs a seriously major overhaul to make it workable. Please note that it also contains a link to FGS that may or may not be workable for you.

Image: This is a story that I also wrote around the same time as Red Stripes. Whereas the inspiration for that story was a supermarket cashier dressed up like a kitten for Halloween, the inspiration for this particular story was this piece of flash. The reason I've decided to work on this, is that I need another story that could possibly meet the criteria of minimum length to be considered for a novella (about 18k). I'm about 4K short, but this story can use both a little tidying and a little expansion at the same time (found some continuity issues that need to be addressed in greater detail). This was also another one of my stories that I did a modicum of research on as well (Dante, as well as the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths). And if you click on this link, it will take you over to Partially Yours where you will be able to read an excerpt.

Taxi: This particular story is one that I wrote waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back during my forgettable year of 2006. While I was creating a few stories for the second incarnation of FGS, I blew the dust bunnies off of this one and was going to post it on there as well. Unfortunately for everyone in involved, this one was so badly written (check out the link to just how bad it was) but I wrote the entire thing without knowing what the plot was then and still don't know what its all about now. However, I intend to rewrite this bad boy and hopefully post it on FGS someday in the near future.

A Betrayal Of Vows: Way back when (like early 2008), I started writing the novel to my last self-pubbed book Betrayed!, and as matter of record, for the longest time before I did that chapbook I spent a good month waffling between the chapbook and the novel. What I have written so far is ten chapters which are unequally split between the two plot lines and in fact, the six chapters that make up the main plot of the chapbook end exactly where the opening scene of the chapbook (Ray and Gwendolyn at poolside) starts. The other four cover the secondary plot of the chapbook (Gwendolyn and Bobbi). This was my first real attempt at writing two completely separate yet stand alone plots for a book. I wanted to alternate chapters until I got to the very end when both plots wind up converging at the end to finish the book and in fact, I did do that on a smaller scale with the chapbook. This book was also my first serious attempt at doing gobs of research in order to make everything appear as accurate as possible (hence the interesting locale of Willis Wharf instead of Virginia Beach). This book also will be needing a serious overhaul and gutting as well.

So as you can see, I have a lot of things to keep the old version of ADD/ADHD somewhat occupied, so long as I don't fry my brain out by chanting, "Rewrite or write? Rewrite or write? Rewrite or write?"

No quirky saying to close out this post because frankly, the only thing I can think of is one from the Shoe Sunday comic of September 5, 2010:

You are innocent until proven penniless.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Week At The Gym

Last week while I was searching through my three dozen floppies for the appropriate photograph to best explain my lack of presence, I found two floppy discs worth of seriously old e-mails (circa 2004) that I somehow remembered to save in between stops at the various state agencies that employed me. How old were these? Well, the format back then was a version of Word circa 1996-2000, so everything on the disc was translated to the built in Notepad program that everyone's computer has. Lucky for you (be very afraid), I moved the contents of those two discs to my computer, so I have about 2.9 MB worth of e-mails to pester you with.

Without further ado, I present to you the first in an occasional series of the stuff that guv'ment workers really do on the taxpayer's dime.

A WEEK AT THE GYM

Dear Diary,

For my forty-fifth birthday this year my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since playing on my college football team twenty-five years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

Called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swimwear. My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress....

Monday: Started my day at 6a. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess--with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. She took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobis class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my but was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!! Just think I am having all this fun, with this gorgeous lady and getting into shape as well!!!! What could be better?

Tuesday: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air--then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. She inspires me so!!

I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me. I'm a little sore, but I can't wait till tomorrow.

Wednesday: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO Metro in the club parking lot.

Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams of agony bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the heck would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other stuff too.

Thursday: Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. She sent Lars (the big mean guy) to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine--which I sank.

Friday: I hate Belinda more than any human being has hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.

Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps.I don't having any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the dad-gone, stupid, freaking barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich (Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from). The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Saturday: Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my diary. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

Sunday: I'm having the Church van, with the chair lift, pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my wife will choose a gift for me that is fun--like a root canal or a vasectomy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last Call For Still Lifes

Yowza.

Time for the final installment of "Places & Aminals" over at Shooting Suburbia. Today's post is the first one that was created with the new Blogger picture editor, which in my opinion, sucks the genitalia of whatever male animal that you can come up with.

For those of you who are, the latest installment of Creativity Inaction is now up. For those of you who aren't, you still got plenty of time to join the festivities over there. Just shoot me a short e-mail to georgebjr2006@yahoo.com and I'll be more than happy to add you on. Please make sure to put in the subject line who you are, because for some of you, I do not know your real name. Also as per my custom, I will not e-mail you without your permission except to thank you for joining FGS.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Just Wanna Be...

Normal?

yeah, like that's gonna happen soon.

In a positive frame of mind?

are you kidding me?

No, I'm not kidding you. Besides, what the hell are you doing crashing my post anyways? Go find your own blog to spout your nonsense on and leave me alone.

geez, make a couple of comments and you get banned for life

Damn straight....anyways, in spite of what the subconscious has been saying, I am back. Not quite in the saddle, since I forgotten to tighten the stirrup, thus spending the past couple of days bouncing along upside down like a cartoon character, but nevertheless, yours truly has returned from a short period of blog deprivation to hopefully once again spread joy and confusion amongst his fellow readers.

The short version as to why Frosty the Snowman:

For the past few weeks I've been getting bombarded with a plethora of mental missiles that had its origins in my day-to-day activities at work and at home. Now couple that with the fact that my CMT has been flaring up like mad (my friends, the writer's adage of planting butt into seat, while good advice I try to follow, usually has terrible consequences for yours truly) and that my sugars were starting to spike (again), it finally reached the point to where I was becoming extremely disgusted with not only the way things were functioning in my life but the way I was interacting with people. So in order to get myself back to my version of normalcy, I decided not only to take a short recess from blogging but to work on an old short story of mine.

The recess did wonders for my sanity (I'm now back to blogging, sort of) and working on the old short story gave me something tangible and safe to concentrate my energies on (I'm now back to writing on the computer as opposed to pen and paper, sort of), although the health ain't where I want it to be but at least now I have a better shot of getting it back under control.

I thank all of you for your thoughtful comments and its very comforting to know that I have such great friends here in the Blog world.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pixilated


This is only a test. If this had been an actual vacation, a dull boring and repetitive explanation would have followed.

Instead, all you get is a picture and two days to figure out what my current state of being is. See everyone on Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thou Art A Hypocrite

Long time readers of this blog know that for the most part I mouth off about my local political scene, simply because my local political scene affects me more than the national political scene. However, there have been the rare occasions over the past two years that I've mouthed off about the national scene. Welcome to the rare occasion.

Scenario #1: A champion bursts onto the national stage, promising hope, change and a new beginning by leading the country away from the road to ruin and back to the land of the superpower. The media, worried about their candidate of choice not being elected, do their utmost to change the vox populi by showing what a truly flawed individual the opposition was. Alas, it was for naught as the unwashed and uneducated masses elected their champion.

Scenario #2: A champion burst onto the national stage, promising hope, change and a new beginning by leading the country away from the road of ruin and back to the land of the superpower. The media, worried about their candidate of choice not being elected, do their utmost to squelch the unsavory stories about their favored son and his political beliefs. Alas, it was successful and the washed and properly educated masses elected their champion.

Being the intelligent readers that I know you to be, I'm sure that you can figure who each scenario is talking about. But what if each scenario was reversed? Would you still feel the same way about the content?

What if scenario #1 was instead talking about the Democrats and not the Republicans and/or the Tea Party movement, and scenario #2 was talking about the Republicans and/or the Tea Party movement? Would you still have the same animosity? Of course not.

It's funny how the perception of a scenario changes simply because of what political party is in charge. In the case of scenario #1, the plausible explanation is that in 2000 a lot of people felt that the country was going in the wrong direction and that electing GWB brought the country back to where it was prior to the previous 8 years of Democratic rule.

On the other hand, with scenario #2, a lot of people felt the exactly the same way when they voted for the current president in 2008. There was a lot of anger among the population over the perceived direction that the country was heading in and people wanted a change

Think about this for a moment. The media was gung-ho about scenario #2 because they didn't like the way the country was being run so they decided to do something about it by tapping into that anger and getting their candidate of choice elected. Because it was a Democrat that got elected, in their minds it was a good thing to tap into that voter anger.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, that's where I get confused. Again there is a movement afoot because there is a lot of anger among the population over the perceived direction that the country is heading in and people are looking for a change. But because it's being associated with the Republican party/conservative politics, all of a sudden it's a BAD THING?

Why is it that righteous voter anger among the Democrats is a good thing and yet that same righteous voter anger is a bad thing when it's among Republicans?

Can you honestly sit there and tell me that if the Tea Party movement was going on within the framework of the Democratic party (the one who thought slavery and Jim Crow laws were a good thing and still treat the Black/Hispanic community like slaves when it comes to an election year) you would be doing the same kind of mocking and denigrating of the people involved that you currently do now of the Tea Party movement?

If you answer "Yes" then you're full of shit, pure and simple. Or at the very least, you're the title of this post.

While I may not be a fan of either the Tea Party movement or the Democratic party, I will admit that there are some elements that I do agree with.

Within the Tea Party movement the biggest element I agree with is the fact that ordinary people are shaking up the establishment and doing what most third parties have been unable to do with any degree of success in our country's history: having a more than realistic shot of getting elected.

Within the Democratic party, the biggest element I agree with (at least on the state level) is the fact that even though the current candidate for governor has all kinds of union endorsements and as a mayor of a large city managed to have a good rapport with the local unions in order to get things done, he is actually promoting fiscal responsibility (like CUTTING SPENDING), which as you know is an extinct animal at the national scene (see Stimulus I and Bailout I for glaring examples).

But overall, shouldn't we be happy about how people who are fed up with the way the country is being run are finally getting off their fat lazy ass to do something about it?

After all, voter apathy is what got us into this mess, should voter stimulation get us out of this?

I mean, wasn't 49% of the electoral voting in the 2008 Presidential election a good indicator that people wanted change? If 49% of the electoral voting was a good thing then, why are people making it out to be a bad thing now?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Something Old And Something New

First something old: Today's latest installment of Shooting Suburbia is now ready for your perusal. Unlike last week's pitiful installment, today's has seven times the fun. Enjoy.

Now, something new: As promised, if I got at least one person to take me up on my offer of last week, I would reopen Flashing Georgie's Shorts. Well my friends, two people took me up on the offer and the first installment to a brand new story that was written exclusively for FGS is now posted.

For those of you who may have missed it, I decided to reopen FGS as a private blog, which means in order to read it, you must be on the list. The list is open to anyone who wishes to experience a little escapism for the next eight to ten weeks and all you have to do to join is drop me a short e-mail at georgebjr2006@yahoo.com telling me what e-mail addy you wish to log in at and in the subject line, please tell me who you is, because for the majority of you, I don't know your real name. Also, I will not e-mail you without your permission, except to acknowledge your initial e-mail.

This is a standing offer so anyone can join whenever they want to. The previous rules that applied before still apply now: I moderate comments over there and it's still adult rated.

For those who have signed up please click on the link up above (unless other arrangements were made) and for those of you who are curious to know what the story is all about, this particular story was the result of having about 5 incomplete short stories, ranging in length from one paragraph to about five pages. After staring at these 5 incomplete stories for about a month or so, I came up with the brilliant (for me that is) idea of weaving one long master story around these 5 incomplete stories. I think that by the time you finish this story, you will be duly impressed on how I was able to pull this off.

For those of you who are curious, here are the two opening paragraphs from the story.

Todd was having a rough day. Here he was, taking a personal day with the express purpose of doing some writing, and absolutely nothing of consequence was being written. Everything that he needed to get the job done was in place.

Kids were in school, learning how to become street hustlers; wife was at work, learning the proper technique in shaking down delinquent juice customers; and mother was out at the casino, pissing away this month’s social security check. Even the animals were way out of sight, with the cat beating up the dog, and the dog enjoying it just a little bit too much for Todd’s comfort level.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's Your Number Son?

Okay, I'm really scraping the bottom of Glenn Beck's shoe today for material to write about, and before you say I'm a Glenn Beck hater or lover, I'm neither. I simply haven't formed any kind of an opinion about him one way or the other....wait, yes I have, but this post ain't about Glenn Beck.

Because of the meaty swerve I did for Wednesday's post, I didn't have anything really scheduled for today (note, I started writing this at 5:57p EST soon to be EDT). The original plan was to take a short vaca until Saturday, but as you can see, I'm still here.

So.

While I was driving into work today sans radio (I'm slowly driving my car into the ground and I don't feel like spending gobs of money to get my radio-that-dumps-the-rear-speakers-into-the-front fixed) I got to thinking about a topic to bloviate about (yeah, we're just full of FoxNews phrases today. I like Fox, I'm a FB fan of Fox, so sue me), and by the time I pulled into the parking lot, I came up with topic and a basic outline.

Background dump about the title: back when I was in high skool (1979-83), we had a gym teacher who took attendance of his 30+ student class by asking, "What's your number?" (we had numbers next to our names in the attendance book). The "son" part is from various Warner Brother Cartoons I've seen over the decades.

In spite of the fact that I talk on the phone on a daily basis, I've grown to dislike talking on the telephone. I know it sounds extremely weird, especially for the rare few of you out there who have heard the sound of my voice (note, according to a friend from Indiana, I have the thickest Yankee accent she's ever heard), but for the past couple of years, talking on the telephone has become like injecting myself with my twice daily shots of insulin.

Now before you start saying, "G? What's up with dat?", let me just explain a little bit about why I feel the way I do about telephones.

First of all, I developed a singularly distinctive business phone manner that can be summed up as "Gag with me spoon and let me take out those hip waders." Now I know everyone here can probably get the gist of what that phrase is, but in case that you don't, here is the definition: I can come off super sweet and pile the mule fritters until they're waist high.

Within that singularly distinctive business phone manner, I developed three sub phone manners as well:

1} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees I don't know/don't care about, which is way different from the loins that gave birth to these phone manners. Whereas I don't really care about offending people from the real world, offending fellow employees who can create a world of grief for me that would take weeks/months to recover from is a major NO-NO. 'Nuff said.

2} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees I do payroll for. For the most part, the people I deal with on daily/weekly basis I treat like how I wanted to be treated, which is with respect and courtesy. So my manner is probably what you call "business casual": professional, but casual enough so that you can connect with someone on personal level.

3} The phone manner that is used for fellow employees that I really like. And then there are those people in which I talk to on a daily/weekly basis that I've gotten to know to way beyond the point of work place friendships. You know how you talk to those people, you talk to them just like family or close friends, which sometimes can cause problems if someone happens to walk by and hears your end of the conversation, and not knowing what its about, winds up making a complaint about your phone manner.

Anyways, back to my intolerance of the telephone. I have gotten to the point in my life to where I have an absolute zero tolerance for people who are 1) stupid, 2) just don't get it no matter how many times you explain it, and 3) jump down my throat for something that they did wrong.

This zero tolerance has raised its ugly head in one of two forms: escalating the tone of my voice the further along I go in the conversation, or sharpening my tone because I don't want to speak to you. To be honest with you, I've grown increasingly hostile over the years about talking on the phone for work.

Sigh

While I was writing this post, I discovered that I've severely veered off my intended highway of travel by taking the scenic route down a local state road. As I really want to get back to my intended highway of travel, I must bring this post to a temporary stop. I will conclude this post about telephones a week from today, and hopefully, it will all make sense in the end, because as it stands, it sure as hell doesn't make sense to me, and I wrote the damn thing.

One more thing I should mention: just like one can lose track of time while writing, so can one lose track of time writing a blog post. I stated at the beginning what time it was when I started, I can now honestly state that I finished typing the last words of this post exactly 57 minutes later, at 6:54p EST soon to be EDT.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Verdict Is In

Ever have one of those weeks where hurting a body part IS CONSIDERED A GOOD THING?

My friends, the preceding line was originally the opening salvo to a short post that was supposed to announce the verdict from Monday's post, which was that a short mini-vacation was I to undertake from the Cyber World. Instead, I decided to partake in a meaty swerve and turn this into one of my legendary brain dumps from yesteryear.

Through the magic of Mr. Wizard the Lizard and Space Ghost from Coast to Coast, along with a healthy dose of that wonderful elixir called Alone Time that I took this past Sunday, I am now ready to face the world with a maladjusted attitude and a moldy tongue.

Seriously though, besides those figments of my IMAGINATION that cropped up a mere thirty seconds ago while I was composing this blog post, I actually spent Sunday doing something incredibly tedious yet wonderfully exhilarating.

I edited for grammar and spelling, I took a plethora of notes and more importantly, I was able to plant butt into chair and rewrite this particular passage from my book.

Not only did I do all of those nifty things while sitting outside on a smurfy Saturday and a seriously unseasonal Sunday (overcast with temps somewhere in the hi 50's/lo 60's), but I also spent a little time surfing New Pages, which is a funky website/clearing house for all things related to writing (mostly literary, college and independent) and music (mostly independent).

And what was the end result of this surfing? Three contests, two for novellas and one for books that meet the page count range of 150-200. While I have a decent story that will fit the novella word count range (20-45K) the problem with that story is trying figure out what its about. Yup, you guessed right: I wrote an entire story from beginning to end, with two separate plots that actually come together quite nicely at the end...and I haven't a clue on what the freakin' thing is all about.

As for the book contest, this thing is actually a godsend, because sometimes in order for me to do something I don't really like to do (like editing/rewriting) I need a particular something to shoot for. Doesn't really matter whether or not that particular something pans out in the end, so long as its a concrete destination, I'm happy.

So, I have a deadline of October 15th for the one book contest I want to do, and October 1st for the novellas. I do have another book contest lined up, but that requires a minimum of 150 and I'm barely sitting at 149.

All in all, it wound up being a most productive weekend and I'm looking forward to a psychotic three days of editing/re-writing and wasting a cartridge of toner to print out a clean copy of my book, with the weekend being spent making one ugly and expensive copy for this contest.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention the one crucial item that helped put me into this good frame of mind: my friends. I managed to hook up with a couple of friends last week via FB and e-mail, and without them, I don't think I would be in the decent frame of mind that I'm currently monkeying around with.

To them, I give a great big THANKEE

To everyone else, thanks for stopping by today and remember, if you're gonna sweat, make sure you're doing it for all the right reasons.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Epiphany Killed....

...my week before it even had a chance to be pleasurably experienced.

Which of course makes no sense, but hopefully by the end of the post, it will. With apologies having been offered and accepted by the people who really matter in my little circle of fun, I now begin at the end.

1} Last Thursday (9/9), I had to apologize to a very dear friend of mine because a mealy mouthed former mutual friend of ours made an attempt at dragging her name through the mud and muck that was my very personal beef with this mealy mouthed cretinous yahoo.

Brief synopsis: I have been stalked and trolled for the better part of two years in the chat rooms and finally decided enough was enough. Going into Labor day weekend, I received a positive response to an inquiry and I proceeded to shove it down her throat. How? One, I called her out with the information I gleaned and two, I recapped in great detail the good, the bad and the very ugly history between us since 2007. In public. In the chat rooms. And would you believe that she didn't like receiving a dose of what she and everyone else had been giving me? Go figure.

2} On Monday (Labor Day) I experience the epiphany that killed my week before I had a chance to experience it. For better or worse, I'm a research nut. I love researching things. I love solving logic problems. Long story short, after getting blown off by someone on their status update, I got to thinking about that particular someone and her current 'tude towards me. Even started writing a blog post about it while I was killing the morning/early afternoon downtown. However, the further along I got to writing this, the more that a certain puzzle from a year and a half ago started coming together. Brief synopsis: I was trolled very hard from fall '08 thru spring '10 by someone who had a rather intimate knowledge of me as a person. Long story short, through the amazing process of recalling old minutia, I was able to figure out with a 97% degree of certainty who it was that trolled me. Partial end result is that this person is now an ex-FB friend (and an ex-friend to boot as well). Other partial end result is that I'm one hurtin' puppy dog.

3} However, the week did start off with a bang. I had a very nice and very long chat with my friend about my latest book project and she gave me some valuable insight and critique about the book itself, which I will try to put to good use...once I find the courage to ask one more question of her again.

4} Now to be honest, the last time I asked one more question, I ended up for all intents and purposes, inserting both feet into my mouth, which as most of my male readers know, is wickedly easy to do. Tuesday, our work day was pretty much shot to tiny little pieces as I spent the bulk of it trying to figure out how best to deliver a genuine mea culpa without making it sound like it wasn't my fault, which most of my male readers know, is wickedly hard to do. Because in all honesty, it really was my fault with what happened and I should've known better than to say what I said when I said it.

The summation: The week started on a high note, then I stepped into an elevator shaft and took the express down to the basement, where I was scraped up with a spatula and dumped into a 7" by 10" mail envelope.

The verdict: ?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Picture

Yeah.

Picture.

In spite of the seemingly upbeat attitude displayed by me last week, I really didn't have that good of a week.

Case in point is this week's post at Shooting Suburbia. I had so much on my mind (was not work or family related) last week that I was motivated to put in only the most minimal of effort for my blog. Thus one picture.

Opening salvo of a rather funky week here at Cedar's Mountain. Will it get better? We shall soon see what the gods on Mount Olympus has in store for us.

If today's picture doesn't do it for ya, then this video from Sevendust should do the trick. From the CD Seasons, here is "Enemy" (warning, this is the studio version which contains objectionable language). The clean version features Joani Laurer who was known in the WWF/WWE as Chyna during the 90's.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Least We Forget

Let's remember not only all of the innocents who lost their lives nine years ago, but let's remember those who gave their lives in service to the country, or their state or town.

Here in Connecticut a wonderful memorial service was performed at the Capitol for Trooper First Class Kenneth Hall who died in the line of duty over the Labor Day weekend. Please check out this link for pictures and videos.

I couldn't think of anything else original to add to this post, so I would like to share with you an old post from last year. A close friend of mine whose daughter is serving proudly in the Navy, forwarded an e-mail to me that probably sums up how most people feel about today. The post is called, Meet Me In The Stairwell.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Flashing Georgie's Shorts

For those of you who remember from about a couple of months ago, I briefly closed access to FGS because I thought someone was doing a little hanky panky with it. Against my better judgment, I reopened access to it. Unfortunately, two weeks ago I found that someone was spending an inordinate amount of time "reading" one story of mine (a shade over 19 minutes was spent on that one story). So once again, I closed off access for the general public to my story blog.

However, over the Labor Day weekend, I got to thinking about how I could produce a little escapism for everyone who takes the time to visit my blog, and the first thing I thought of was posting a short story.

One small problem: what story should I post? I know I said back in June that I wanted to do something with the remaining 13K-35K+ word stories that I was originally going to post on FGS. But then I remember that I had one story that I exclusively wrote for FGS, so that became my solution to my problem of what story to post.

However another problem reared its ugly head: access to the story blog. Based on the previous incident, I am loathe to open my story blog up to everyone. But once again, a solution has come to the foreground, and its one that will require a ginormous leap of faith on your part.

Blogger has a third option to choose from under the sub-tab called "Permissions". Option #1 is what Cedar's Mountain is and option #3 is what FGS is now. Option #2 is limited reader access.

Basically, you can grant up to 100 people access to your blog. Here is where the big leap of faith comes in. In order for me to grant you the loyal reader access to my story blog, I will need your e-mail address.

So if this is something that tickles your fancy and you're willing to take that big leap of faith, please shoot me an e-mail with all the particulars. My e-mail addy for this little project is georgebjr2006@yahoo.com and if you could, please let me know who you are in the subject line.

I'm looking at a target date of late September, so if I can get at least one person to take me up on it, I'll reopen the blog and will give that lucky person (or persons) at least 8 weeks worth of escapism.

And maybe a little bit more if can get myself properly motivated again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Are Ready To Conversate (2)

1

So what kind of lean mean writing machine was I? By golly I was one that churned out a phenomenal amount of verbiage. Yeah, it was just that easy. Even though I didn't recognize it back then for what it was (how could I, since I never done this kind of thing before), but I had a story that was literally writing itself.

Every morning and evening I sat down at my computer (and sometimes during my breaks at work I would write by hand, back when my hands were functioning units) the words just poured out of me. They came out so fast and so furious that quite often I had problems in keeping up with the deluge.

Although I was having a blast writing this thing, I knew I had to do some basic formatting so as to make this yeccch thing readable. Now before you jump the gun and start shouting out what I did, let me tell you first what I didn't do.

1} Proper sentence structure.
2} Under-utilize adjectives and adverbs.
3} Proper dialogue structure.
4} Proper scene breaks.
5} Use the various writing guides available.
6} Chapter breaks.
7} Proper font and/or proper font size.

Now that you've digested those 7 major FUBARS (and probably thought of a few more as well), let me tell you what I did do.

1} Numbering of pages.
2} Kept the two plot lines separate and semi-coherent.

Sad, isn't it?

I would now like to give you an example of six out of those seven points (font will be tricky to show, but easy to explain) I've listed, so if you follow me to the other other other other blog, we'll continue the post over there. When you're finished laughing out loud and making entirely appropriate snide comments, come back over for the conclusion of this post.

So once I decided on a course of attack with this story, I settled down into a somewhat disturbing routine of writing that looking back on it now, really was a pretty shitty way of writing.

Up next: What the hell was this poorly written story all about.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sounds Revisited

Note: I did not have a good weekend two weeks ago, and this inspired piece of prose was one of two highlights (other was buying a chapbook of poetry from a non-writer) for that weekend.

Early Sunday morning, temps are in the hi 60's, masquerading the opening salvo of the dog days of summer that are fast approaching, a balding middle-aged man takes a seat in his backyard office with the stated intent of writing.

While he is putting himself into that proper frame of mind, the sleeping giant that is the mountain decides to start his day in much the same way and for the same reason as well. For while our balding middle-aged man is looking to create magic with the written word, the mountain is looking to create magic with the written musical note.

The sun, being an integral component and contributor to the mountain's musical efforts, slowly wakes up and shines its rays through the scattered branches and trees that populate the mountain. The birds, upon being gently caressed and nudged awake by the sun's rays, open their eyes and begin to yawn and stretch.

One by one, each bird greets the sun and their fellow neighbors in a cacophony of sound that brings pure joy and pleasure to anyone and everyone within shouting distance.

A bird sings out in a deep throated warble and another answers in a warning type of call. Still yet another answers like a cricket and within several seconds others join in to create a wondrously orchestral piece, complex yet melodiously simple in its execution.

Mesmerized, the balding middle-aged writer stops his prep work and sits back in his chair to inhale and enjoy the beauty of the mountain's latest orchestral piece.

In addition to hearing the birds who reside at the edge of the mountain sing, he can hear music originating deep in the rear of the mountain drift to the foreground and gently touch and caress his spirit.

As gradual as the orchestral piece started so was the way it ended. One by one, each section of the orchestra faded away until at last the only one left playing was the low running hum of the various bugs and insects that called the mountain home as well. Eventually that ended as well, leaving the balding middle-aged writer alone in quiet solitude with the mountain and the rising sun.

Slowly sitting back up, the balding middle-aged writer gives the mountain a long stare. Not hard, for if one happened to take a glance at our friend, they would see in his eyes a remembrance of when life was easier and a longing to return to those days of yesteryear. Afterwards, our friend flashes a smile and returns to the task of getting into the right frame of mind, albeit with a lighter step and a freshened spirit.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Places & Aminals (2)

Happy Sunday!

Not much in the way of intro today other than my status update from yesterday:

I was at Goldburger's Friday picking up one of their specials (a french onion soup dip burger and home made fries) when this 4 1/2 year old walked up to me and asked, "What's your name?"

I didn't quite hear him (hard of hearing doncha know) so I had him repeat the question, which he did. I answered, "My name is G."

His mother was completely mortified, but I said it wasn't a problem. He then asked, "How old are you?"

I answered, "How old are you?"
He said, "4 1/2."
I said, "Well, I'm sort of your age. I'm 45." (face it folks, you cannot be witty with a 4 1/2 year old).

He continued on his merry way burning off excess calories like most 4 1/2 year olds do, and his mother and I had a very brief one minute conversation until our food came out.

And now for your enjoyment, a short history lesson as told by me at Shooting Suburbia.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Damn! I Done Got Banned From A Fan Page!

Yes, once again a post that has its origins from Facebook.

For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you already know the abbreviated version of this. For those of you who aren't, get ready for a post about a local business being super thin skinned.

First, a little background: We have a local radio station, WCCC 106.9 on your FM dial, that has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. What reasons? Like firing popular on-air talent and calling it "lay-offs". Like screwing around with the music programming. Like alienating your listeners.

Anyways, the reaction to all of these moves has been to say at the very least, intense. A lot of people are pissed because the bulk of well known personalities have been replaced by cheaper not as good radio talent, and they've been letting the station know about on their Facebook page.

Me? I've been very critical of what they've been doing, not only with the firing and calling it "lay-offs" (please, you and I know that in the entertainment and sports industries, when you let on-air talent or managers/coaches go, it's not called "lay off", it's called FIRED. have you seen a manager from a 100+ loss baseball team get "laid off"?), their choice of music (hard rock station that also has U2 and Motley Crue as part of their play list, along with hard rock bands doing covers of poppy 80's tunes), the heavy amount of commercials and talk, and the fact that they don't give a flying F about their listeners.

Anywho, this past Wednesday (9/1), I saw a comment from a listener (Bobby was his first name) ask if the station would play a few particular indie rock bands or some punk music. Legitimate question, but no way in hell a commercial radio station is gonna deviate from their pre-formatted play list. So here comes little old me to throw my two cents in.

Did I mention that I was already on their radar for a few of the more biting comments I've left in the past month or so?

"Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, they won't do your request because they are a COMMERCIAL radio station and not a COLLEGE radio station which cares about their listeners."

After making that comment, I continued with my morning routine of eating breakfast and catching up the 80 odd blogs that make of my daily reading (about 25-35 are fresh every day). About twenty minutes later, I go back to my Facebook wall to see if someone made anymore comments.

Lo and behold, not only did I find my previous comment nuked, but I also found myself banned from the page. Being banned from a Facebook page simply means that you can still see the page but you can't respond to any comments nor post anything on their wall.

"Fine and ducky" is the G-rated short version of what I said to my computer at 6:30 that morning. The more succinct version was the comment Marcellus Wallace said when he saw Butch at the traffic light. Begins with M and ends with R.

More background: Michael Picozzi is the both the program director and the morning jock who apparently has thinnest skin on the planet. He is at least a decade older than me (I remember listening to this jerk back in the mid-80's, when he used to be a somebody in the local music scene) and is hopelessly out of touch and out of sync with what the people want, and cannot handle any criticism in any way, shape or form.

Anyways, I fired one last shot off at this radio station: I found a link to the radio station website (lots of commercial clutter on the front page) and sent him a polite but pointed e-mail saying that it was pretty lame for banning me from the page for voicing my opinion and that maybe he should step down and let someone who is younger take over and do both his programming and jock job. If he or even his sidekick Miss Klonk responds, I will update this post here and over at Partially Yours.

Note: I did get a response from "him" on 9/2. The reason why "him" is in quotes is that although my e-mail was pointed and personal, the response sounds like a form letter. Judge for yourself, as I'll post my original e-mail in addition to "his" response.

And how was your Hump Day/Prince Spaghetti Day?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Line 21: An Intro To An Alternate Reality

Since I decided to do a series of posts dedicated to bad writing (mostly mine), I thought I would intertwine that series of bad with a series dedicated to good writing (also mine). Specifically, my current book project (Line 21) and my current long story project (Dandelion Tears). The reasons as to why are quite simple: One, I want to bring everyone up to speed on what I've been doing with my writing; Two, I want to give everyone a in-depth look at my thought process as it applies to both projects, from beginning to end with the book, and from beginning to present with the long story; Three, it will give me a chance to use my new junk blog for show and tell.

Today's post with start off with my current book project, Line 21. The latest update of the book is that I'm waiting for it come back from a writer friend who was gracious enough to take the time to give it a good read through and offer the unvarnished truth about it for me.

Gloom, despair, agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck, I have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, agony on me.

Once I get that back, I'll start round two of editing, tweaking, pruning and making more pliable this fascinating story about a woman....ummm.....a woman....hmmm....

If you've read the link to either refresh your memory of what Line 21 is all about or to find out for the first time what the hell I'm talking about (what am I talking about?), then I won't bore with the details on how this story came to me, and instead will bore you with some details on how I decided to write it.

After I settled on the premise (woman in debt to a loan shark) and the solution (adult movies), the thorny problem on how to write both parts rose to the surface and started nipping at me with its tentacles. I didn't want to write it from a point of view that showed basic violence, rampant sex, and other kinds of fictionalized misery that most people associate with loan sharking and pornography, because while that might a way for some people to write it (crime style I suppose would be the way go), it certainly wouldn't be for me.

For those of you who might be surprised at this, especially if you were a regular reader of FSG, I do have a sentimentality that borders on poignancy with my writing. I don't try to go overboard with the emotions but I do try to mix that with sincerity and warmth.

What I wanted to do was to humanize this story. That is, try to write it from a real world perspective, not a hyped up fictionalized perspective. So I made the loan shark a member of her immediate family and gave her what unfortunately has turned out to be a very real problem with about 9% of the population today: long term unemployment.

Now, even though I make just a passing mention (about one long paragraph) in the excerpt that you'll be reading, I decided to introduce a sci-fi element into the story, which was a symbiont. The reason for this was a no-brainer: I needed to update a very tired and partially cliched story element. I originally had Jeannie talking to her sub-conscious via a mirror, and in fact, I was planning on doing this for the entire story. But about one quarter of the way through Chapter 1 (counting prologue I had nine pages written), I saw that it was not going to work at all.
So I went back to the beginning and wrote in the symbiont character without giving it a second thought. If you ask me why I chose a symbiont, about the only answer I can give was that I saw it used in DS9, although in my opinion, not very well (which is something I will explore in greater detail as this series progresses).

The prologue that you'll be reading, is what I consider to be my first good attempt at a background dump. It introduces two main and two secondary characters, it creates a solid base for the story arc and it tells you what the planned ending will be. More importantly, it will serve as a better explanation of what I'm trying to do than this post does.

I now present for your critique, the prologue to my novel, Line 21. Please note that the blog you will be directed to has the exact same kind of front page that graced FSG. This is more for avoiding censorship/flagging issues than it is offending someone's delicate eyes, because as you know, I can be rather pointed and provocative with my writing.

The Legal Disclaimer

All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at georgebjr2006@gmail.com