To all my readers and followers, please keep in mind that I have now moved over to my new blog, Father Nature's Corner, so Cedar's Mountain is now on a semi-permanent hiatus.

If you're looking for the wit and wisdom that Cedar's Mountain is known for, please click on the link up above or to the right, and I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

31st

Sometimes, it just don't pay to turn on the computer, log in your password, bring up a blank screen, click on the stupid E icon on your screen, click on an addy in your drop down bar, enter another word, enter yet another word, click on a link, and after formatting, bring up a blank screen and then spend the next fifteen minutes scratching your head, your ears, your neck, do your best impersonation of Al Bundy, scratch your head again, rub your eyes, slap your face, rub your eyes again, scratch your chin, and scratch your nose.

All in an attempt, futile or otherwise, to hatch an idea and write something on the fly for your blog (what did you think I was talking about? Spanking the monkey? Being master of my domain? Please, get your mind out of the gutter).

Anyways, over at Shooting Suburbia is a brand new series called "Furlough Weekend". At the other blog, well, nothing new to report as I wasn't motivated to stick up the next part of my short story. Might get to it later in the week, I don't know.

A preview of the upcoming week is once again in order.

For Monday, a music post that is the exact opposite of the previous Monday's post. You have been warned.

For Wednesday, I really couldn't get motivated to chop myself down to size with another post about Shades Of Love, so instead, I thought I would talk about how to take something from your day-to-day activities and work it into your writing. Or at least try to work it into your writing, because as you know, I love to challenge myself when I write.

For Friday, well, haven't got anything planned as of yet. I might throw an e-mail up (whoops, big ol' mess on the computer there...ewwwww), or I might pilfer a topic from behind the scenes (yes! yes! yes! oh baby, right there!), or I might make a observational post for a refreshing change of pace (oh. my. god. it's huge!)

As for a topic of discussion, well, unlike last week when I made a comment about funeral processions, this time I really don't have anything for a topic of discussion because nothing really happened to me yesterday. Except giving someone the finger because they didn't want to wait for me to finish crossing the street, but that's a given every weekend.

In any event, Happy Halloweenie!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trigger Happy Rational

I have a short fuse.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had problems in dealing with and controlling that particular volatile emotion. When I was but a young'un, the way I dealt with it was pretty simple: I got angry, I exchanged words, I got into fights and more often than not, I would get disciplined in school for it (the majority of my tantrums/fights took place in school).

As I grew older, the way I dealt with that volatile emotion also changed. I stopped getting into fights and instead started destroying inanimate objects and certain body parts. As for the exchanging of unpleasantries, well that basically regressed. Instead of shooting my mouth off with select adjectives, I chose to shoot from the lip with personal attacks.

Suffice to say that soon created its own special brand of problems, primarily in the form of damaged relationships with friends and co-workers.

Another bad side effect of having a short fuse is that I've made a few bad decisions in the immediate aftermath of blowing my fuse. Some I've been able to fix and some, unfortunately, have not.

Which brings me to the present.

In the here and now, because it usually takes me about two to three days to calm down to the point where I can think with the normal amount of clarity that I pride myself on, I've developed and put into place a series of mechanisms that were designed explicitly to neutralize and block those unsavory portions of me that I'm not overly fond of.

Mechanism #1 is the silent treatment. Yeah, you read right. Depending on when my fuse initially detonated, I'll spend the rest of that day hiding in my cube, doing whatever work that needs to get done and whatever work that doesn't need to get done. I'm still polite to my co-workers if they initiate the contact, but for the most part, I stay well hidden.

Mechanism #2 is computer talk. I like to talk to my computer (doesn't everyone?), especially when I'm in this particular frame of mind. I don't tolerate stupid to begin with, so I have a tendency to shoot my mouth off while I'm politely responding to an e-mail. Makes me feel better and it gives my co-workers a chuckle and makes them say, "There goes G again talking to his computer."

Those are the two basic mechanisms that I use in the real world as it applies to work (and no, I will not tell you what I do at home, because home is the direct cause of about 98% of this shit to begin with). The cyber world is a bit more difficult and lot more dangerous, sort of like walking through a convention of MoveOn.org members and saying, "George Bush is my hero."

Because of the instantaneous nature of pressing the enter key, the mechanism that I have in place is pretty simple.

Do nothing.

I don't troll on Facebook (can pick a fight too easily); I don't respond to my e-mail (can too easily pick a fight where there isn't one to pick); and as you can see by Wednesday's post, I don't blog.

Yup, the one other problem that developed from my short fuse, is that I now have an inability to either blog or write coherantly when I'm this angry. The writing lesson was learned back in 2006 when a few of my former co-workers read the rough draft of my first self-pubbed novel and said I had a phenomenal amount of anger emitting from it. As for blogging, it's just a natural extension of the overall issue of writing.

So whenever you see a blog post like last Wednesday pop up in your reader or on the screen, just remember its only me protecting you from me.

Because in the end, isn't it better to become upset with me in a good natured way and remain friends, than to become collateral damage through 0% fault on your part and 100% on me?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Doing


Gots issues this week that have temporarily fried out the brain cells which in turn has caused a imbalance in the time continuum which in turn has created the need to gross everyone out with this picture. If you want an idea on how I'm doing, then my friend, this pumpkin explains it all. Hope to be in a better mood by Friday, and please don't be alarmed if I publish but don't respond to your comments right away. Sometimes keeping one's mouth firmly in park prevents potentially irreparable fender benders.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What I Am Is What I Like

Last week's posts got me to thinking about the type of music I enjoy listening to. Not the genres, but the type. I know that sounds incompatible but it really isn't if you think about it.

For instance, there is a good segment of the population who likes rap music. And out of that segment, I'm sure there is a percentage of people who enjoy a type called Grime and another who don't care for grime but enjoy say, the hardcore ghetto style that was popular back in the late 80's/early 90's.

Anywho, I enjoy different types of music. What type you might ask? Well, in my younger years, you could say I was rather enamored of electric guitars and drumming. However, as I've gotten exposed to different types and different genres, what enamored me then has been modified to something completely different.

While I'm still impressed with instrumental prowess, the prowess that impresses me now isn't the electric guitar or drumming. Instead, they're the instruments that are found in the various types of country music.

The banjo, the mandolin, the violin, the dobro, the steel guitar and the acoustic guitar.

Also, vocal talent has been added to the mix. I'm more impressed with vocals that are part of a stripped down song or done a cappella, than I am with the basic vocal to a rock song or even the indecipherable vocal to an ungodly amount of rap music (I'm still on the fence with vocals as they relate to pop music).

I would like to add that I'm also impressed with vocals done for good soul, true r&b, and gospel.

So without any particular order of importance, here are a few of my favorite songs that have impressed me in some particular way over the past twenty-five years or so.

1} Feeling Higher by McGuinn, Hillman & Clark. I first discovered this one on their self titled debut album that came out in '79. Not only did the song blow me away with its seamless harmonies and spare musical accompaniment, but so did the album as well. A great effort from one of the early supergroups.

2} Pine Box by The Rossington-Collins Band. A woefully underrated band that rose from the ashes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, this little gem was found on their album This Is The Way. This stripped down sub-three minute song featured the powerful vocal talent of Dale Krantz and no instrumental work of any kind. The true test of any band is how well their lead singer can perform solo and in this song, Ms. Krantz does not disappoint. Thirty plus years later and this song can still pack a powerful punch.

3} Whispering Pines by Johnny Horton. I grew up on classic country music and Johnny Horton was (and still is) one of my favorite performers from that time period. I found this on a reissue called The Spectacular Johnny Horton (and as I type this, I remembered that I have it as a reissue on a 45 as well), and while the orchestration behind it was a shade over the top, it still packed a decent punch. A simple yet haunting melody combined with an unvarnished delivery makes this tune stand out some fifty-five years later.

4} Bridge Over Troubled Water by Johnny Cash. I've heard only two exceptional renditions of this song. One was performed at a memorial service for my dad back in 2004, with just the singer and a simple piano accompaniment that to this day still resonates in my memory. This version by Johnny Cash, in my opinion, has set the bar for cover songs. I measure every cover song by this one. Again, this one has a stripped down piano accompaniment performed by Fiona Apple (who also provided just the right touch for backing vocals) that accentuates the poignant sadness that Johnny brought to this song. This cover is one of the few songs from the late sixties/early seventies that can move me to tears.

5} When The Stars Begin To Fall by The Seekers. Another one of my favorite 60's folk groups, this song still resonates and moves me to tears whenever I hear it. Powerful vocals that are backed by a simple acoustic and upright bass, the timeless spirituality is what makes this song such a listening favorite.

6} The Boys Of Summer by The Hooters. This is another cover that blows the original out of the water and into smithereenies (as Yosemite Sam would say). Again, a classic example of stripped down accompaniment (mandolin) and excellent vocals that brings the pain of lost love close to home.

7} Everyday by Buddy Holly. One of my favorite Buddy Holly songs, this song was a pure vocal with only a triangle and a metronome style back beat. The best ode to innocent love that the fifties (or any decade for that matter) ever produced.

As you can see from this tiny sample, this forty-five year old doesn't necessarily stay tied to the shredding guitars, bad drumming and mediocre vocals that pepper the landscape of today's pablum puking (many thanks to this gentleman for the preceeding two words) rock scene. Instead, he honestly tries to expand his musical horizons to include other genres that help fulfill the need not only to be entertained, but also to be transported back to a time and place where talent in performing music the hard way was valued over performing music the easy way.

Except for drumming, where the old way sucked and the new way ushered in by Keith Moon et al, is a thousand times better.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Obsequious

Yeah, I'm struggling for a title to my weekly Sunday post, so let's get right down to the business at hand, shall we?

We shall.

And I promise not to go off on one of my legendary non-sequitors today.

Unless, of course, you want me to go off on one my legendary non-sequitors today.

But wait, if I do that, I can't promote what I got upcoming this week now can I? Nor can I properly promote the fact that yet another post is available for the select few who have access to Flashing Georgie's Shorts (and no, I'm not trying to be elitist here. If you want to read it, let me know in the comment section and I'll let you in).

I also won't be able to say that a new post is up at Shooting Suburbia either.

So I don't think that I'll go on one of my legendary non-sequitors today, and instead promote what I got upcoming this week. Or at least, try to anyways.

On Monday, I have a post about what kind of music I enjoy listening to in my old age nowadays (handwritten but not actually stuck on the blog yet).

On Wednesday, I'm toying with the idea of throwing up another piece of flash fiction, but I'll probably continue hoisting myself up by my own petard and call on Bob the Dinosaur to give me a turban wedgie as I write another post about my first horribly written self-pubbed book. Or, if anyone is interested, I can switch gears and write about my second self pubbed book, which isn't horribly written and actually makes sense. Or, I can write about something that is completely different yet related to the world of writing (It's Writing Wednesday after all).

As for Friday, I haven't gotten anything written yet, so if anyone wants to suggest something that they haven't seen here in a while, let me know and I'll do my best to write something about it.

In any event, please leave me either your thoughtful suggestions for Friday or your thoughtful choice for Wednesday in the comment section of this blog, because as you know, in spite of the old adage that the world does indeed revolve around me, I do enjoy talking about other things that don't directly involve me, but I'll be damned if I can come up with anything. Oh wait just thought of something.

FB status update posted late Saturday (10/23): Is your destination so important for you to get to that you have to honk your horn at me and attempt to drive around me, just so that you can cut through a funeral procession?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beefy!

Sometimes when I have an ungodly amount of brain atrophy, I like to exercise it by thinking of the strangest things.

For instance, when I was writing the post The Eternal Dream, the second most difficult part in writing it was the beginning (the most difficult part was the actual content itself). I wanted to start it off with a quote from a love song but I really didn't want it to be misinterpreted the wrong way.

Note: my definition of a love song encompasses not only the power ballad but also any song that covers the emotion of love from both points of view.

I settled on a song from a 70's collaboration of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark & Chris Hillman called, "I'm Feeling Higher". If you like that late 60's/early 70's California Country Rock sound featuring the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and their various offshoots, then this album is for you. After settling on the song, I spent several minutes listening to the song on c.d to make sure I got the chorus break (I burned it, so I don't know if it ever got reissued on c.d. to begin with).

However, after getting the break and studying it for a few minutes, I realized that while the break would've been perfect for the post if I was writing an ode for my wife, it would not be for the post that I was intending to write. So I whittled it down to two choices, presented it to my friend and the rest as they say, is history.

Another for instance: while I was driving in to work this morning (or rather, Tuesday morning, which is when this was original composed), I thought about how I would interview for a promotional position. So for my entire morning commute, I interviewed myself. I asked myself questions I thought the interview panel would ask of me and I gave thoughtful and detailed answers to each one.

And finally, in addition to thinking about those random tidbits, I also thought about the various people that I crossed paths with on a daily/weekly basis, and I came up with this short piece of fiction.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Multi-Faceted Weapon Called Love

Continuing on a theme from Monday, I thought I would touch upon that emotion that seems to be such an integral part of my writing these days.

Love.

Not just the traditional kind of love that makes a good story (and one that I certainly can't write very well), but the many facets of love that can bring an added depth and dimension to a story that otherwise would remain pedestrian (at least for me anyways).

As most of you have discovered over the past year and a half, mostly at FGS, I don't use the emotion of love in the traditional sense of the word. In fact,except for one story where I had the main character get dumped by his girlfriend for another girl (and that was clean as all get out), everything I write contains a healthy hybrid of love and sex.

Over the past year and a half, I've run the gamut on how I've used love and it's oh-so-hot sister sex in my writings. It has ranged from the very mild (like the aforementioned short story) to the hardcore (like my recently completed Line 21) and everything in between.

For the most part though, I have seemed to find my comfort zone with my characters using love and/or sex strictly as a tool of control.

'Course it took me a very long time to achieve that comfort zone, simply because early on I hadn't a clue on how to go about doing it. The one bad example I can give is my first self-pubbed book called Shades of Love. The lead female character uses her body, sex and love as a weapon, although it was poorly executed on my part.

A better example would be my second book, Betrayed!. Even though it doesn't have the same sledgehammer approach of the first (but its still action packed just the same), you can tell that the female lead kept her husband on a short leash by using her love and body as a tool of control.

By the time 2010 rolled around, I was able to achieve a greater mix of the spectrum that is love. I originally started working on that mix in earnest back in the fall of '09 with my second incomplete novel, A Lascivious Limbo, in which the lead character was able to influence the course of events with her love and her body, specifically how much or how little she chose to put out.

I'm skipping Line 21 because this was mostly a transitional story. The main focus of the story was a week in the life of the main character, with the other plot lines not really about her giving a lot or giving a little of that particular emotion.

The story I'm currently working on now, Dandelion Tears, is where I'm starting to hit my stride with the issue of control. One of the main leads has been pretty much able to keep her husband under control simply by using her love and her sex in varying degrees of potency.

In addition to the usual hardcore sex scene (not like in Line 21), I've been able to weave in a few lighter versions, where although the sex isn't as overt, its still being used, only with a subtlety that can leave something to the imagination.

I would like to close out this post with a particular scene that I think gets the point across without applying a sledgehammer. Let me know what you think.

Oh, and to give you a point of reference to work with: Melanie's enemy from her days at the pod has sent out an advance party to soften her up so as to kidnap her husband, which is the current topic of choice in this particular excerpt.

Excerpt from Dandelion Tears

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Eternal Dream

I thought I would insert a momentary lapse of reason into the blog this week and open the door just a crack to show a particular part of me that I all too infrequently keep well hidden as I travel through the wide expanse that is the Cyber World.

Note: my friend will probably crucify me for the abnormal amount of superlatives that will flow from my fingertips to this post, but hey, what are friends for if they can't be happy for the things that you do and accomplish in your life?

A very good friend of mine, both here in the real world and in the cyber world, has been up until this year, joyfully and happily traversing about the eastern seaboard as a single mom/foster parent, enjoying life as the ultimately rare breed known as a responsible free spirit.

Why I say "up to this year" is because that this year (or it could've been late last year, which goes to show just how much I really pay attention), my friend decided to test that vast complex ocean that we all fear to swim in, but must if we want to do something adventurous in our lives.

Dating.

Now, this may not sound much like a big deal, but for my friend this represented a giant leap of faith, as while she was very much the responsible free spirit, she was (and still is to a certain degree) also a wickedly private person. I would say that the majority of us (I say 'us' because my friend has a ginormous Facebook "family" that has become her de facto support system) were incredibly pleased about the new journey she was undertaking.

The interesting thing about my friend is that even though she cherishes her privacy, she also has no qualms about sharing things with her friends. Because of this, we were able to spend this past year reading with a growing sense of wonderment (I should say me, because I really can't speak for everyone in her circle) on how our friend was stepping out of her comfort zone and becoming incredibly confident and self-assured as the weeks and months progressed.

This growing sense of confidence and self-assuredness was not only evident in her Facebook postings, but also evident in the fractured e-mail conversations that would partake in on an infrequent basis. Even though these were infrequent at best, which wasn't really by choice, but simply the demands on our respective times as of late dictated it as such, it was still a blast to see that contentment bleed out through the e-mail.

One day, that contentment, that supreme self-confidence and self-assuredness came to a successful conclusion, and true to form, I missed a couple of signals that were being thrown my way. I had one of my seriously fractured (short) conversations which started out very strange, and ended one response later. I didn't think much of it until I got home and checked my Facebook page.

After logging in, I saw this peculiar status update from my friend (not quoting verbatim, but its pretty damn close): "Okay FB family, I said Yes!!"

I'll give you one hundred guesses and the first ninety-nine do not count on what she was saying yes to.

Suffice to say, the response from her FB family was overwhelmingly positive (hell, my response was "What?!" which was quickly followed by "That is the best news I've heard all year!"), and for any stragglers in her circle who couldn't quite believe what they were reading, she verified it a little while later with pictorial proof.

There are two reasons for this post, with the main reason being is that I'm extremely happy for my friend who was finally able to find that special someone to share the rest of her amazing life with, and this post was the best way that I knew how to give a personalized "CONGRABULATIONS!!!" (and perhaps embarrass her just a little in the process).

The other reason is that sometimes, you can get the most fantastic news from the most unlikeliest of sources, and that news can brighten your mood and blow out whatever dark cloud that happens to be gumming up your day.

To Ms. K (soon to be a Mrs in the very near future), I wish nothing but the best for you and your fiance and here's to having your marriage last as long as mine (21 and counting).

George

Update: On November 6, 2010, the always effervescent Ms. K became the one and only Mrs. P.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could Be Taken On A Holiday In The Year 1904

Over at Shooting Suburbia is part three of Round & Round.

Over at Flashing Georgie's Shorts, for those of you have access, is part four of Creativity Inaction.

And for those of you who don't really feel like clicking on a link to go elsewhere, which believe it or not I do from time to time, here is another gem of an e-mail from yesteryear, called:

THE YEAR 1904

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents an hour.

The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.

Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two of 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health." 

Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Ubiquitousness That Is Facebook

No, this isn't about the movie. I don't plan on seeing it either at the movie theater or on the cable movie channels.

This is about the weird things that sometimes happen to me (and probably everyone else) during time spent on this Social Network.

As most of you know, I'm a bit of an anomaly when it comes to Facebook. Whereas most people collect friends like they do baseball cards, I'm pretty much at the far end of the spectrum: I collect friends pretty much the same way that I built this blog, which is/was incredibly slow, steadily thorough, and methodically mecurial.

So most of my friends are people that I have actually known for at least two and a half years, which indirectly leads me to the point of this post.

This past Columbus Day, I was throwing out a few verbal darts in response to that GOP gubernatorial putz out in NY who said homosexuality was dangerous and our children shouldn't learn about it, etc., etc., etc.

Note: For the record, I have no problems with ether the homosexual community in general nor homosexuals in particular, only with gay marriage, or rather with the word "marriage" as it pertains to the homosexual community. Open minded as all get out (others might disagree, but that could be a post for the future)

So.

 I was giving a few of the grossly misinformed people what for (you know the type: the ones that say homosexuality is a choice, can be cured, is an abomination to God, etc. the ones that are derisively called "bible thumpers") and a few of my what fors were getting the "like" link being pressed.

Anyways, I decided to give my computer a break and head out to the backyard to write, so I logged out. As I logged out, I thought I saw a rarely used icon light up.

So I logged back in and sure enough, I saw the friend request icon lit up. I thought to myself, "Wonder who this could be?", which is a normal question that I do ask myself, because I haven't had a friend request in about a month and I don't actively search out people nor do people actively search me out.

Anyways, I clicked on the link and was very surprised to discover that it was one of the people who liked one of my comments making the friend request.

Now believe it or not, I was flattered by the fact that someone thought enough of a comment that I posted on a national link to make a friend request of me, without knowing thing one about me.

However, being true to myself and protecting what little privacy I have remaining on the Internet, I sent this nice individual a short message thanking them for their request, but I had to turn them down, due to this person not meeting my personal criteria:

1} You know me from the blogs.
2} You know me from the chat rooms.
3} You know me from the real world.

Basicaly, this post is the expanded (and lets face it, the long-winded) version of this question:

"Ever had anything like this happen to you on Facebook?"

Oh and one more thing: I did get a response from that nice person to my message thanking me for the polite message I sent to her. She said that she made the request because I had shown myself to be a non-judgmental and caring person.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holy Ugliest In Girl In Town Batman!

First up, there was an actual TV show they came out in the late sixties called "The Ugliest Girl In Town". How do I know this? I have the theme song sung by The Will-O-Bees on a 45 (either ColGems or Columbia label).

Anyways back to the topic at hand, this book (which is available for purchase and at the end of this particular series, I will tell you why you should buy this). As I mentioned at the close of this post, I called my dual plot line "the ugliest mess that you ever laid eyes on."

The reason as to why, is that the execution was fatally flawed. Instead of the person dropping through the trap door and having their neck instantly broken, the person fell through the trap door and either they flailed away for a good couple of minutes while slowly strangling death or their head became horribly disattached from their body stayed stuck in the noose while the body fell to the ground spewing great quantities of blood.

What I should have done with the secondary plot line was to make each story interlude its own stand-alone chapter. I mean each section was a stand-alone piece of flash fiction....{click here to read a pre-written insult for this writer}.... so whenever I needed to switch plots, I would have an instant chapter break.

But because I had no clue in what I was doing, I simply switched gears in the middle of whatever part of the story I happened to be writing without any regard for structure or continuity.

As an aside, unlike what I know now, back then I did not know what I was doing. You name it, chances are that I didn't do it. Please keep that fact in mind as you read this series.

Another original idea I had for the dual plots (you're gonna love this one so much that you will want to grab me by the ears and shake some sense into me), was to have the both of them take place not only during a different time frame, but also during two different seasons.

Don't worry it gets more confusing.

1} Different time frames: plot #1 takes place over the course of a week (I think); plot 2 takes place over the course of two days, then jumps three months and covers another day, jumps a few weeks before kicking in with another day or two for a conclusion.

2} Different seasons: I made plot #1 summer, plot #2 winter.

3} And just for ha-ha's (remember, clueless in Connecticut here), I had so many characters moving in and out of both stories that I frequently lost track of who was who doing what to who when.

Finally after I got both plot lines figured out (outline, what's an outline), I got busy writing the story.

Writing the story will be the theme of the next post in this series. In the meantime, a question for all is this:

Besides writing something out of your comfort zone, was there any kind of particular plot device that no matter what you did, you could not make work for an entire story?

What I mean by plot device is pretty much like what I described here: a man writing a short story within the frame of the overall story.

Monday, October 11, 2010

November Is Nanowrimo...And I Should Care Because Why?

Note: For those of you who are newcomers to this blog, waaaaaaay back in the day I used to throw up a disclaimer whenever I wrote a post that featured extremely unclean language or presented a rant that was designed to offend a maximum amount of people.

Disclaimer: This post will feature an opinion that runs counter to just about every positive opinion/helpful idea that will be thrown out in blogland by just about every single writer and agent of note and semi-note. In short, I am the cad who takes off his glove and slaps the hero across the face with it and challenges him to a duel.

So, once again, The National Novel Writing Month is coming up fast and once again yours truly really doesn't see what the big F'n deal is. I mean, if you're a writer, shouldn't you be writing whatever kind of novel in whatever kind of genre that you enjoy writing to begin with? Do you really need anyone to give you any kind of advice on how to best write a novel for a non-award winning completely voluntary "contest" in which the only prize is that you have a completed trunk novel sitting on your desk that will probably never see the light of day anywhere?

I mean, really, is it necessary for anyone to write a complex and mind boggling detail oriented post, such as the one written by Alexandra Sokoloff (link can be found at Sandra Seaman's blog or you can google for her blog), for something that really doesn't matter in the long run.

Look, if you're already perpetually motivated to write to begin with, you're certainly not going to pay attention to something that will add unneeded aggravation (in the form of friends who are participating because apparently they're not motivated enough to write on their own, or they're digging out something from their slush pile to work on because whatever they're working on now is sucking bull cookies, or even worse, you're pulling something out your slush pile to work on because...YOU. DON'T. HAVE. ANYTHING. ORIGINAL. TO. WRITE.) to your life. And if you're not perpetually motivated, chances are infinitesimal to negative zero that this will not motivate you to write a new novel for just that one month.

Let's face it, the "contest" should renamed The National Novel Writing Year, because isn't that what most writers do throughout the year to begin with? That's what I try to do, write year 'round. Not concentrate my energies in making a big HOO HAH OVER SOMETHING THAT IS COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS TO BEING WITH.

Either you're gonna write, or not. A pseudo contest, or specifically, a pseudo idea that does absolutely nothing for no one in the long run should not influence you to write faster/crummier/with less thought and or intelligence than you do to begin with.

Personally, I would like to form my own contest/idea and create a .org for it called, "The National Boycott Writing Month", or NaBoWriMo for a bad acronym. The idea is very simple: For the entire month of November, do not churn out any word beyond what is necessary to keep your blog going or to fulfill contractual assignments. No short stories, no long stories, no novellas, and no novels.

Take a break, rest your brain, uncramp your hands, get your fat ass out of the chair and go outside. Enjoy life, do good deeds, exercise, do anything your heart craves and desires.

Except write.

C'mon, try it for day. Try it for a week. What do you got to lose?

My name is G and the opinion expressed here today is probably echoed by others who also don't care about this upcoming annoyance but are too scared to voice their opinion about it less they get slammed for it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

1010 WINS

Yah, I know, I know....big old celebration happening everywhere else on something that won't happen for another one thousand years....but, I got a jump because there used to be a radio station in New York that had a peppy little station I.D. called "1010 WINS", so there, nyah!

Be very afraid of the minutia that swirls around in this bald little head of mine.

Anyways, for those who have, the latest installment of Creativity Inaction is now up at FGS. For those who want, shoot me an e-mail to georgebjr2006@yahoo.com with the particulars and I'll hook you up (as our local tire/rim store says in their t.v. commercials, in a wannabe ghetto latino kind of way. trust me, I do not make stupid things like this up).

For everyone else, please trip over to Shooting Suburbia for another round of strange pictures featuring a thingamabob, a tree and a finger.

In other news....well, is there other news?

Sure, why not. It's my blog, so I can say there is other news.

In other news, upcoming this week (well, at least tomorrow) is a rant about that purely pointless endeavor that happens next month called The National Novel Writing Month, or as it's locally called, NaNo, or as it's officially called, NaNoWriMo. Feel free to prove me wrong, feel free to link up to it and feel free to tell me that I'm full of bull cookies and mule fritters. Invite all you friends from the blog world and from Facebook to tell me how wrong I am.

But remember, wait until tomorrow to make your feeble attempt at cutting me down to size. I haven't had anyone try to cut me down to size in quite some time, so I would love to have a non-constructive argument with anyone and everyone about NaNoWriMo.

Beyond Monday's post, I really don't have anything else on tap to speak of. Haven't decided about Writing Wednesday yet (hey, if the legendary LL Cool Joe can have a Wardrobe Wednesday, then the infamous G can have a Writing Wednesday), as in whether or not I should do a positively sunshiny update about my other writing projects, or should I continue to cut myself down to size with a purely negative post about my early works.

Haven't figured out what do for Friday, since no one was able to guess the key musical tidbit that would trigger a fawning review of that person's blog. So what should I write for Friday? Should I be unoriginal and post up an old humorous e-mail? Should I be original and write another brilliant piece of word association that almost no one got? Should I find something else to mock that everyone takes way too seriously in the writing/publishing world? Or should I just pack it in and take a wickedly long vacation from blogging?

Honestly, that last question is getting a little tougher to dismiss from my mind as of late. There is burnout, and then there is BURNOUT. Right now, we're somewhere between burnout and BURNOUT

Anyways, I think I rambled enough. Besides, I am on a road trip today and I won't be seeing anyone's lovely faces until some time in the afternoon. Ta-ta for now, and remember, ta-ta's are a beautiful thing.

Especially in the mid-30 size range.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Vendredi, Oktober 8th, MMX

Being that I'm still out of sorts this week, I haven't spent the time in constructing a heckuva lot of posts in advance. Sort of came 3/4 circle I guess, in that I started my blog by writing day of, and now down to writing day before. Anywho, I couldn't think of anything meaty or constructive to write about, mostly because I'm still in a writing mode as opposed to a blogging mode.

So.

This leaves us with a very troubling and highly disturbing issue. Mainly, a blank space to fill up and nothing of significant social importance to write about.

Oh yeah sure, I could write about the audacity of looking for pair of kitty handcuffs and not finding anything in the land of plenty. Or I could ramble on about ramblin' on, or about the hi infidelity that seems to be the norm among the working class stiffs that work hard for the money.

But no, that would be simply looking for a cheap thrill, a cheap trick, trolling for cheap entertainment and smoking cheap cigars while looking for a drugstore cowboy. But after finding that drugstore cowboy, I really need to stop at that car dealership that said, "No Money Down." so that I can be bad, nationwide, while looking for Jesus in Chicago because I can't find him in New Orleans.

I also couldn't find my wife for two or three years because I'm a happily married man. Why am I a happily married man? A very good question that deserves an answer, but after crying 96 tears and creating a veritable teardrop falls, I made good my escape to California to watch the levee break. Of course, that was a long, long time ago, but I can still remember how that music made me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance, I would be flying down highway with my best friend Sue and a ape named Ape, because you know damned well that I can't drive 55 while stuck in a three lock box. But I wasn't lonely in my box because I had a Mexican radio that was playing such good music that I was clapping for the Wolfman while listening.

Finally, to make a long story somewhat short because my baby loves love with parenthesis which I answer with a question mark, there is point to this seemingly mindless rant that sprang from the mind of a motorcycle cop:

It is a well know fact that I never do anything the easy way, and this post is no exception. I originally wrote this post as an off the cuff short story, but about halfway through, it turned into something so diabolical that it actually has put me in a good mood heading into the holiday weekend.

My friends, this story is a quiz to test your musical and comedy knowledge. This story contains at least 24 known references to music/comedy acts and at least two references to songs that I don't know the artist of.

Your assignment if you choose to accept it, is to identify at least one third of the acts listed. No award to speak of if you succeed....although if you can identify one artist in particular, I will write a post about your blog (if you have one) a week from today.

One more thing: Cheap Trick is the only given that you will get to start with.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

95,000 Words?! Holy Lexicographer Batman!

{1}, {2}

Yeah it did seem like that in some ways. How I manage to churn out enough words to rival a pocket dictionary to this day still boggles my mind.

Anywho, check out the links to get back up to speed, because there is one thing on this big blue marble we call Earth that this blog will never be like, and that's Robert Jordan.

Note: I despise Robert Jordan because he got me hooked into that stupid "Wheel of Time" series and my major beef with that book series was not only each volume 800-1000 pages, but by the time a new one came out some two years after the previous one, you have to go back to the previous ones just to figure out what the hell was going on. Turned me off on Sci-Fi/Fantasy for a good 15 years, until I discovered one CAG over at a blog called Razored Zen.

So I started writing this thingamabob back in the winter of 2005, and about the only thing I did correctly for this entire book was come up with a plot, or rather, a dual plot. What was that plot you may ask?

 go on, ask

"Hey mister, what's the book about?"

Glad you asked.

The plot, or rather plots, centered on a guy who had developed strong feelings for a co-worker. Now in order to make sense out of these feelings, he decided to put these feelings to paper (following me so far?). Sounds simple don't it?

And if you said, "no it ain't", then congrabulations go to you, for you see, this is the originator of what you see here today on this blog.

Because I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever done anything the easy way, when I started writing, I chose to make things as difficult as possible. Which means, except for the 50 odd pieces of flash and the few serials that I posted on FGS and the one published piece over at Beat To A Pulp, everything single thing that I've written, either complete (Line 21) or incomplete (my slush pile) has had at the minimum two distinct plot lines.

So off I went, writing two separate plot lines. Now, I know that everyone out there in blog land who writes for fun and profit can keep track of multiple plot lines with a reasonable degree of effort and smartness, and even now, I can keep track of what I'm doing with the most basic of outlines, but back then, I had a major malfunction of doing just that.

Why? First off boys and girls, if you're gonna do multiple plot lines like I did, do not, under any degree of stupidity carry them both at the same time.

To clarify: I had the main character writing a story, so in essence, I had story within a story going on. So what I did, was to flip back and forth between the main story (guy who had the hots for his co-worker) and the story that he was writing (a gal who developed the hots for a guy) at the same time.

Let me tell you, it was THE BIGGEST, THE FATTEST, THE BUTT UGLIEST mess that you ever laid eyes on.

Stay tuned next week when we come up with yet another obscure word to have Robin wrap his lips around, but in the meantime, the question for today is, "Have you ever tried writing something completely out of your comfort zone and had it horribly fail the first time around?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Every Story Can Sing A Picture

I am forever fascinated by how people use the most basic parts of grammar to create something unique and pleasing to the eye. Whether it's a poem that touches a particular emotion or a story that transports you back to a time and place where adventure was the king and the mundane not allowed, or even something like a blog post that gives you that Ah-Ha! moment, they all leave the reader in a state of being that they forever long to stay in.

But what about those individuals that can take the most basic parts of grammar and add a little something called "the music scale" to the equation? Should we also consider them writers as well? Or just because they dabble mostly with whole/half/quarter/eighth/sixteenth notes, we consider them musicians first and writers never?

Ever since I got hooked into writing, or at the very least started to serious up about it some two years ago, I've looked at what I listen to for music in a completely different light. While I'll still listen to a particular song/c.d./album based on my personal criteria (good to excellent vocals and certain kinds of instrumental work), I've now added dissecting lyrics to the mix.

What I mean by "dissecting lyrics" is that instead of closely listening to them based on trying to figure out what the hell they're saying, I now try to see what kind of story (or stories) they're trying to tell.

If this sounds a little confusing, then perhaps these few examples may help clear things up.

1} California Blue/She's A Mystery To Me/The Comedians by Roy Orbison. This particular grouping can be found on his fantastic comeback c.d "Mystery Girl" (1989). What resonated with me with this particular trio of songs was that they were in essence one long story arc about love: as in love wanted, love found and love lost. "California Blue" told the story of a man who was out on the road, missing his true love and trying to get back home to her. "She's A Mystery To Me" continues the story, where we see the man has gotten home to his true love and has once again taken secure hold of his lifeline. "The Comedians" finishes the story of the man, who has taken his true love to the carnival and winds up being cruelly dumped by his true love for another.

2} Falling In And Out Of Love/Amie by Pure Prairie League. This has always been a pet peeve of mine with commercial radio, because they often play the second song without playing the first. Anyways, this coupling of songs comes from what I consider to be one of their finest albums called "Bustin' Out" (1972). "Falling In And Out Of Love" tells perhaps the story of the trials and tribulations of a long term relationship. "Amie" tells the story of taking another's love for granted and finding out the hard way of what the price can be for doing that.

3}Crashing Down/Long Way Around by Eagle-Eye Cherry. This one I'm not quite sure of as to what the stories might be of these songs. I originally found "Living In The Present Future" (2000) in the discount rack at FYE and since it was only a few dollars, I took a chance on it, and it does not disappoint. I thought I might have figured out what they were about, but in the end, they're two very fine songs, of which the second features vocals by his half-sister Nenah Cherry.

4}American Standard by Seven Mary Three. In my opinion, this entire c.d. tells one very dark depressing story from beginning to end. I've written about this particular c.d. here, but the first two tracks still stick out in my memory some fifteen years later as the creepiest songs I've ever listened to. "Cumbersome" works on a theme of the apocalypse (in my opinion) which was a continuation of a similiar depressing theme of the song "The Water's Edge".

So how 'bout you? Do you still listen to music in much the same way, or since you began writing and/or blogging, has the way you listen to music radically changed like mine?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Word From Our Sponsors

Are you stressed out? Finding yourself having a blonde moment when your hair color is anything but? Or you're having a bald moment when you ain't, or a hair moment when you don't got?

Well look no further because Cedar's Mountain has the cure-all for you.

For everyone, we have the latest installment of Shooting Suburbia called "Round & Round", which will cure whatever it is that's ailing ya, because even though its Autumn here in the States and elsewhere, over at Shooting Suburbia it's still late Spring/early Summer.

For a select few, the latest intallment of "Creativity Inaction" is up at FSG. Wish to become one of the select few? Check out last Sunday's post for details.

And for a particular someone, expect an answer to your query via the snail mail, because we're still experiencing a little of the first paragraph.

Sometimes, doing things the old fashioned way can often make the difference between being a subject of a song by Jerry Samuels and a subject of song by Kenny Loggins.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm Sorry Son, Could You Repeat What Your Number Is?

Yah, I'm a little late in writing the follow up to my post of 9/17, but ya see, other things came up and I completely forgot what the time was and by the time I remembered the day, it was half past the bad moon turning blue with just a hint of mold that gives my least favorite salad dressing that pungent aroma that makes me gag every time I inhale, but not hold longer than three seconds.

Yup, nothing like a run on sentence to pump your ego and make you the reader look and sound more smarter than me the writer, for I are ready to bring it on because I got my B game at the ready and pinch hitting for my A game, because my A game is busy attending to the special needs of that bodacious looking fan in the left field bleachers. No, not the one with the light cotton floral print dress and the floppy hat that's oozing white hot charisma. Yes, that's her. The one with the wavy hair, the vapid expression and the acorn squash size globs of pillowy fun.

Anyways....(I snap my fingers a couple of times) Yo, back over here. No you can't go out and play house doctor later, you have other important things to attend to. What? No, I won't ask if she has a hot looking bro, I'm not a social secretary for you, I'm a social secretary for me. Got it? Good.

Now, as I was saying at the close of the last record, please play both sides at one meaning. No, wait, that ain't it.

Damn.....Hey Mr. Custer! Do you mind I get excused for the rest of the afternoon because I'm not feeling too good. Now wait just a gosh darn minute, this post is just getting too silly. Now director, on my say-so, cut to the next scene.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd cut.

I'm back. Oh wait, I already made that announcement. Shoot, this post isn't going very well, is it?

Hmmm.....

Frog?

Okay, I think I'm done emptying my brain of all the built up silliness of the past couple of weeks. So, we move on to the bloviating of the topic in question: why I don't like talking on the telephone.

In all seriousness, the main reason why I don't like talking on the telephone is that my vocal skills aren't what they used to be anymore. I've always had the problem of not being able to accurately coordinate my thoughts with my mouth, and if you combined that with the fact that my ability to talk CREARY AND PRO-NUN-CEE-8 my words correctly, you get a guy who can often sound like he gots a mouthful of marbles.

So it's my comfortable preference to communicate via the e-mail, with letter writing a very close second (trust me, if you get a letter from me that originated from my job, chances are I'm about to touch something that's extremely valuable to you, and its in your best interests for you contact me). Texting is out and so is doing something like instant messaging and/or facebook chatting, because quite frankly, I don't have the patience or attention span to do those type of things.

Usually the only exceptions I'll make to this rule is if you don't live within the confines of my home state. Then I have no problem in talking to you on the telephone. I may sound garbled or like I got a face full of cotton (not one peep out of you, and you know who you are), but rest assured all my brain cells are there and functioning.

Overall, talking on the phone is a necessary evil and I try to keep it at a casual business level at all times, but if I sound like I just woke up when I pick up the phone, guess what, chances are I just did. However, if you should not get hold of me the first time, please leave me a voice mail. Contrary to what most guv'ment workers do, I actually return them. Just remember to follow these guidelines and you'll wind up being my bestest friend ever.

Don't, and I'll treat you like this.

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) 2008-16 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