Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's: Starting the Next Chapter

 A new year has rolled around and I will confess, it has caught me off guard this time around. Usually one has a list of resolutions and/or goals ready, waiting for that first day of the new year to roll around to execute them. I have not made one. Not technically anyway.

First, I want to go over the past year and remember the journey I just finished. A huge chapter in my life closed this year. Something that I had been working long and hard on for years is finally finished and over with. No longer in limbo, no longer waiting. Everything is over and done and my career path can continue. Now, I am continuing on into something new, in a new place, with new faces. I have a lot of excitement for what is coming next, wrapped with a small tinge of apprehension. But that is what happens whenever you embark something new, right?

I had ups and downs this year, sure, but things ended rather brilliantly. I got a chance to interact with people who helped me to unlock the best side of myself. I got a chance to make new friends and reunite with old ones. And my want to be an overwhelming force for good could not have been more bolstered than it was this year.

So what do I want for this new year? What are the goals I am setting up for myself as 2016 gets under way? 

Keeping Creating

I want to write and sketch more this year. And make more YouTube videos as well. These are things that I want to do well and the only way to get better is to keep doing them on a consistent basis.

Stay Centered

Life tends to get hectic and priorities get out of sort. You aren't taking care of your body, your mind, your soul, your relationships, your responsibilities, etc. This past year, I started doing something about it. Always being mindful to make sure that my priorities were what they should be and where they should be.

Be Overwhelmingly Positive

It is so easy to fall in the trap of being negative, down and gloomy. It's easy to find the bad in situations and people, to point out all the failures and short comings. But that is no way to live life. At least not for me. However, I don't want to be positive just for myself, but to bring others in it with me. Because life is more fun that way.

So those are my goals for this year. I think it will be enough to keep me busy. How about you guys? What are you planning on doing for your 2016?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Daily Write - Bending Reality

This all blurs together into a sameness after a while. I walk in, sit down and it starts. Sure, there are some differences in the minutia. Where I find them. When I find them.Who they were before I found them. But, ultimately, it is nothing more than variations on a theme. Their eyes, their faces, their body language, always the exact same.

I never get to them before others have had a chance to poke around. Makes my work that much harder. Once peeling past the staunchly built walls of self preservation and distrust, I am usually attacked with lashing barbs of bottled up anger and exasperation. Or their loathsome seething churned mostly from confusion, fear, and broken promises of being "fixed". They always search for a reaction, not caring what it is. They are reaching for something, anything, that will connect them to me, to something familiar, to something normal. But there is never a reason for me to react. Never.

It is at this point I tell them to stop talking or yelling or crying or whatever personalized touch they have added to the overarching motif. Because, now, I tell them the truth. Now, I tell them everyone they have ever met, ever spoken to, liked, loved or hated, has lied to them. Lied repeatedly. And I watch them react. This is the only part I cannot predict, like an ad lib riff for flare.

Lied to because no one fathomed that the world around us was not as stable, as solid, as concrete as we want to believe it is. And  no one  understood  that among us were those who could lift reality, like removing a veil clouding one's vision. See beyond comprehension and explanation into a vast, untapped, unknown as if staring into a darkened waters. They aren't imagining things, suppressing memories or whatever nonsense their numerous therapists have told them. They see the actual truth while rest of the world flounders lies and misconception.

Their stares are always the same, room for poetic license and personalizations of course, but the theme continues. I never react. I expect them to look this way. They are rare beings and I have found them. And now, I ask them the question:  Do you want to learn to bend the world?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Writing Thoughts

It has been a while since I just sat and wrote a post that was simply me putting my feelings on a page. I figured now was as a good a time as any. Sorry guys, no pictures this time. There are a huge number of things that have been going on that I want to talk about, but for sake of time I'll limit it to one, writing.

I have not posted a story for a while and that is because I have no finished stories to post. And I feel extremely guilty for that. That was what this blog was supposed to be for. This blog was supposed to be me writing something every day. And I have failed that challenge miserably.

It is not that I have lack of ideas. It is that I have don't sit down and finish anything that I have worked on. And that really kills me inside. I want to share my stories on this blog, but they just never seem good enough or polished enough. And some just simply aren't finished.

I tell myself, why not work on something shorter and easier. This way you have more material to post. But I just don't have the ability to write a short story. For some reason, I believe that everything I write has to be some sort of epic tale that has to span across a book series. I don't know what it is to whittle a story down to its simplest form and put the essence of that in a few pages. I'm pretty sure that I just practiced writing with a word limit, I could overcome this. But for now, it is just me writing long works or posting snippets from long works.

I am working on finishing something currently. And when it is finished, I believe that it will be one of my better stories (at least that is what I'm hoping). But, my impatience is getting the better of me. I want the story to be finished already. I want to show people, because I have been talking about it for a while. And it frustrates me, because I can already tell that I am going to need to edit this story several times before I get to where I want it. Don't get me wrong, I am having fun writing "Gold and Gunpowder" (the working title). The story interests me, so I am hoping that the readers are just as interested in these characters as I am. However, crafting of this story is taking longer than I had first expected. And I have no idea if that is a good or bad thing. Sure, I don't want to put out something that could have been better. But overthinking and overworking a story is not good either.

I went looking for some writing inspiration, so I started paying more attention to writers and writing organizations on social media. Normally, my Twitter was nothing more than people talking about video games, because I mostly followed Twitch streamers and people who are part of the Twitch community. I was quite amazed at the difference shifting gears made. Now, I see tweets talking about books, summer reading lists, quotes from well known authors and things of that nature. I don't know why it mattered that I now see these things on my timeline, but it does. I suppose it is because I feel part of a larger group. There are others out there creating. It's not just me.

So, my current writing plans...I am probably going to spend the afternoon working on "Gold and Gunpowder" and see how much head way I make. And I already have a second story waiting to be put on my editing table "Child of Prophecy: The Awakening". I feel like the title is much cooler than the story will be. But only because there was a lot of back story that went into me writing this and I think it will probably be lost on everyone that wasn't part of the forums where these characters were first created. It's like writing a huge inside joke and you just hope you are doing it well enough that the reader doesn't need to the context to enjoy the story.

So there, my thoughts for the day :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

What I'm Watching: Team Medical Dragon

It is interesting how I find new shows to watch. I was having a conversation with a friend about a musical composer who we both liked. My friend told me that this composer had done music for a Japanese drama called Team Medical Dragon and he strongly suggested that I watch it. I will be completely honest, the name of this show didn't really instill any confidence in me. In fact, I dragged my feet a bit before finally watching it (at my friend's behest, I might add). Now that I have seen it, there isn't enough good things to say about it.

Team Medical Dragon is a medical drama that centers around one man, Dr. Ryutaro Asada, a virtuoso in the area cardiovascular surgery. He is so talented, he has been dubbed a surgical genius. However, his moral convictions about how one should act as a medical professional causes him to challenge his superiors and eventually gets him blacklisted from the Japanese medical community. Several years pass and Asada is given the opportunity to re-enter the surgical community, despite the black mark on his name. But only because of one simple reason. He is the only surgeon in the country who is skilled enough to undertake one of the riskiest heart surgeries known, the Batista.

This show is brilliant on so many levels. There are numerous power struggles layered through out the show. The struggle against corrupt authority, to fall in with the crowd or to stand alone on your beliefs, finding one's personal convictions and understanding your true self, the show goes through all of these and more with seamless continuity. I also love the medicine that is shown on the show. There is always a thorough explanation of what is happening while the surgical procedures are taking place or being discussed. I cannot express how much I adore shows that take the time to get the medical aspects of the situation correct and present it in a logical manner. (Time Slip Dr. Jinn does a good job in this same area).

And of course, I have to talk about the music. I don't believe I have ever been so excited, anxious, and on the edge of my seat while watching surgeons walking down a hallway to the operating room. It is like watching a group of superheroes slowly stroll out to the battlefield. Sawano does a magnificent job with the score on this drama series. My favorite song from the soundtrack right now is Dragon Rises. You should give it a listen.

Team Medical Dragon has 4 seasons and currently can be viewed on Crunchyroll ( for anyone who is interested in watching. I highly recommend watching it. It is well written, you become invested in the all characters almost from the moment they appear on the screen. And there is no lack of plot twists and surprises. In my opinion, this show is absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daily Write - Feeling Change

I can feel change happening, sometimes. It’s unnoticeable at first. But, that is how change always starts, isn’t it?  It begins with a small speck. Something trivial, something overlooked. A word, perhaps.  A sentence, a feeling. Whatever it is, it does not leave. Instead, it latches onto a corner of my mind. I try to ignore it, but I know it’s there. Sitting, spreading, poking holes in the grey veiled dullness. The grey that I slowly notice is covering everything comfortable and familiar. A dullness that now surrounds everything I see. And now, I can’t unsee it. I can’t not notice it. This is how it begins.

I start to feel it when I’m awake. I feel it in my dreams. It’s a breeze, changing course, wafting beneath the surface, replacing me piece by little piece. And now I have this constant knowing of what’s happening. That I am changing. That I must change, because this grey veil of sameness blanketing the familiar will do nothing but drive me insane.

This familiar comfortableness I have made myself content with, I realize this is not my end point. This place is simply a point on a line stretching in front of me. This is not my goal, but simply an accomplishment on the way to an end that I dream about, but do not dare speak. And now, I feel that revelation, breathing under my skin, inside my bones, behind my eyes, piece by piece. I cannot stay. Not here. Not at this point.

I am changing. What is happening to me will not stop. Piece by piece, the process continues. Everything old feels wrong. Nothing fits. Not anymore. It will all slip into the grey dullness soon enough. Into familiar sameness that no longer lives. It is simply marking time.  There is nothing left I can do. Nothing but change.  And see where change takes me.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hair Journey: Twist Out

It has been a while since I have talked about my hair journey. So why not update with a post about the hairstyle I'm currently wearing. Right now, I'm going with the Twist Out. The Twist Out is a simple style that isn't too time intensive and is easy to do. I tried this look once while I was transitioning and I didn't like it. My hair was still straight and the ending result was not to my liking. However, once my hair had a little more texture, I tried it again. Now it is my go to style.

I usually prep my hair by spritzing it with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 aloe vera juice. I then put some coconut oil in my hair and finish with a moisturizing cream. I have been using Cantu Shea Butter, which is amazing. After all of that has been put in, I flat twist my entire head of hair. The twists don't have to be exact. Just make them the size you want your curls to be.

After twisting my hair, I roll them up in wave rods. I have rods in several sizes depending on loose or how tight I want the curls to be. Right now, I go with a medium size rod. It has a nice spiral curl effect that isn't too tight. I usually let my hair set over night and take the rods out in the morning.

When untwisting, I but some olive oil on my fingers and gently untwist. If I rush, it makes the resulting curls frizzy. I run my fingers along my roots to get rid of any lines where my hair was part and give my curls a few shakes. Then I am done!

This takes much less time than the Bantu Knot and I still get the curly style that I like wearing. And I don't have to retwist and curl every night. I can usually go for about 3 days before I have to style it again. And I can always change the look by adding a few bobby pins here and there. I am really enjoying the ease and versatility of this style.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Write - Night on the Row (Part 3)

He was hunter, as was she. They talked about the difference between the woods and the city. They talked about animals, both as prey and companions. Then he asked how good she was with a bow. She took another drink.

“Used to be one of the best in my clan. Could hit a squirrel at a hundred pace in the dark.”

“And now?”
Her shoulders visibly sagged as her chin fell closer to her chest,“Couldn’t hold a bow if I wanted to.”

“Hands shake every time you pull the arrow back?”

She turned around, a little surprised at that response. She couldn’t tell what facial expression he had under that helmet, but she guessed he had a wry grin playing across his lips.

“Same happened to me after my wife and son died. The one thing you know how to do and even that is taken from you.”

“How did you get over it?”

“I killed the bastard who killed them.”

“I don’t really have that option,” she said, sighing “But the alcohol helps with the nightmares.”

“What happened to you?”

She turned back around and stared at the street in front of her. No wagons or carts came by this time of night. The lamp lighters had come and gone hours before. Still the riff raff that hung around spilled out into the streets, just as raucous and uncouth as when the evening had started.

“Nothing that’s worth talking about.”

He frowned. Well she couldn’t be sure he was frowning. But the awkward silence led her to believe that he was. She sighed and corked the bottle. He had just admitted to murdering a man. The least she could do was stop drinking for the moment and reciprocate a bit. Besides, she could already tell that her face was getting red and soon enough, she wouldn’t be able to string together a coherent sentence.

“Got dragged to some island where a group of us were captured by a crazed gnome claiming to be a scientist. We were overpowered and locked away in his dungeons for about a week or so. Don’t really know how much time passed. He toyed with us, mostly. Lab rats for his experiments. We all had our own personal torture rooms.”

Even with her alcohol soaked mind, she could feel that poison coursing through her body once again, driving her crazy. The blinding white light, the bone chilling screams. The screaming would probably be something she could never forget. However, her brain could not hold onto those thoughts for very long. It had slipped into that warm and comfortable spot where there was no holding on to much of anything. The moment a thought went by, it soon left. She now functioned on nothing more than the fringes of her intellect and base instincts.

There was a soft clink of shifting armor as he stood up. He was taller than she suspected he would be. A high pitched whistle came from underneath the helm. In response, a large shaggy wolf came bounding to his side, tongue lolling between a set of ominous looking fangs.

“It has gotten late, so I will have to take my leave for the night, Miss…?”

She never liked people calling her Miss. It made her feel old and stuffy. But it showed that he was polite. He definitely didn’t belong anywhere near The Row. Perhaps there was still some worth in the theory that she was making conversation with an inanimate object her brain had brought to life.

“It’s Cixi.”

“It has been a pleasure, Cixi. My name is Kalecsin, but most simply call me Kale.”
He started to walk away, but was stopped when she spoke up after him.

“All this time we spent here talking and you aren’t going to at least let me see your face?”
He paused, reached for his helm and slowly pulled it off. A messy tangle of crimson hued hair, tied into a single bundle, fell down his back. He looked at her. He grinned. She wished that filter between her brain and mouth was back in place.

“Like what you see?” he asked, obvious that he wasn’t expecting an answer.

“You’re easy on the eyes,” she responded, wishing she wasn’t so forward, but couldn’t do a thing to keep it from happening.

“I am glad to hear that you think so. I have been admiring you from the moment you sat down.”

Cixi snickered at the compliment, reaching for her bottle, which surprisingly she hadn’t emptied yet,“I’m drunk, what’s your excuse?”

“My excuse?” he repeated. A small grin formed at the edges of his mouth, “You’re pretty.”