I don't have much to say this week, I've been traveling and hanging with my kids and I haven't been near the internet much at all. But, I didn't want to break my stride this early, so I figured I would drop by and give you folks an eyeful of awesome stuff I've seen around the ol' www. Hope you're having a great week, I have been!
If you haven't seen Wil Wheaton's Tabletop gaming show yet, go watch it now! It's a great place for beginners to learn about the gaming world, and it's awesome to get to see nerd culture icons freak out as their characters are devoured by zombies.
Sourcefed is a great place to get news, in an entertaining and fun way. I don't watch news because it bothers me, but I watch Sourcefed because they make me laugh and have a wide range of opinions and backgrounds.
Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) has put together an awesome channel, full of celebrities and nerd stuff... and it's all positive. No crazy hatred or meanness, just folks talking about what makes them happy. And it's pretty funny as well.
Ok, that's it for now, hope you have a great week.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then
Thursday, July 18, 2013
*Spoiler: This blog will contain language your mommy told you was bad.*
The other day, I was talking with my fifteen year old daughter about her (cringe) "love life." It was horrible. Not because I'm one of those deluded parents who thinks their children will never grow up and fall in love and do awful things to their bodies, but because I know that I will spend the rest of my life watching my kids get their hearts broken.
"He's so good to me, Daddy. I love him."
And I realized recently that parents have been censoring the wrong words, protecting their kids from words that don't mean anything, and letting the important words slip through without notice. Here's an example:
Imagine a ten year old girl, hanging from the monkey bars at school. She has sparkly Disney princess shoes on, and pink and purple bands are rotated along her braces. Her bright green eyes go wide as she finds a boy standing near the ladder, awaiting his turn to cross. "Fuck off, Timmy," she says. "I just got up here."
Do you feel rage picturing that scene? How could a little girl talk like that? Didn't her mother teach her better?
Yes, she did. I know this because I made her up in my mind, and her mother hates the f-bomb almost as much as she hates meatloaf.
Here's a scene (absolutely true, although I still don't really believe what I saw) I witnessed in the grocery store the other day:
A little boy, not more than six or seven years old, is buckled into the child seat of his shopping cart while his mother loads groceries onto the counter. He has a blue stain around his mouth and a lonely lollipop stick stuck to the front of his tiny Polo shirt. He sees a picture of the President on the cover of a magazine and points, "Mom, look! It's Obama!"
The woman sighs as she hefts a sack of potatoes, "I see, honey."
"I hate Obama, right mom?"
What the hell?! I wanted to scream, "He's five goddamn years old! The only thing he should hate right now is broccoli!"
But I didn't scream. I gritted my teeth and fought back the angry bile and squeezed the shit out of my Charmin. Although, I guess technically it wasn't mine yet, since I hadn't paid for it.
And therein lies the rub (not the toilet paper, the stuff up in italics). Parents recoil in terror when a little girl says "fuck" or "shit," but we bandy about words like "love" and "hate" without thinking. Dad hates the bill collectors. Mom loves Tom Brady's ass in those white pants footballers wear. Mom hates cop shows. Dad loves beer. Timmy hates getting his hair cut. Little Susie loves her Barbies more than anything in the world.
We teach our kids that any positive or negative feelings we have towards someone or something equate to love and hate. We don't do it on purpose, but we do it. Love and Hate are both huge words which carry connotations which affect everyone in the world. Wars are built on those words. Murder. Marriage. Family. Children.
"Please don't cuss around my kids," I said. At least eight million times since I became a father. I was scared for my babies' ears. They're all innocent and beautiful and not yet corrupted by the world. But now I see it differently. Fuck, shit, ass, bitch, damn, hell, dick, etc... these words are not going to corrupt my babies. The only power those words have is the power we give them. They'll learn them and use them on the playground no matter what we do. They like them so so so much, because we have made them sacred.
Really though, the words that we should be making sacred are words like Love and Hate. These are the words we should teach our children to use sparingly. "Fuck" is just an expletive, "Love" is dangerous.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Hey, all you internet people, how the hell is it going? Good, I hope.
If you're a regular reader of the blog, you may have noticed that I've recently changed some little things. Just so you know, I plan on changing more. I'm going to make this thing mine; hopefully I'll turn it into something I can be proud of. We'll see how it goes.
I've been a horrible blogger for quite some time now. I'm sorry about that. I would love to be one of those people who has a new post every week (or even multiple times every week) but whenever I hop on blogger to start writing, I realize I don't have anything to say.
It's my own fault.
Since I published my first book, The River Runes (which is free this week on Amazon until Friday) I've been trying way too hard to make sure that I don't say or do anything that is going to offend or piss off readers (or potential readers or reviewers or other authors or baristas or pizza makers or monkeys or guys in prison or girls in prison or random Presidents or etc...).
I got scared off when another author, who had several books out already and was doing pretty decent sales, told me that I better not ever offend anyone. "Other authors might tank your reviews, or start taunting you in forums and stuff" and "I've got cyber bullies after me because I gave a two star review..." Let me tell you, as a newbie without a single clue, I was well and truly frightened. So I deleted the low star reviews I had done, and did my best to be all sugar and rainbows for the next two years.
Sugar and rainbows are damn boring.
So I stopped posting, despite high promises. I didn't have anything nice to say most days, so I didn't say anything at all. For months. Again and again and again.
Sorry about that.
Another problem I've run into, as I've tried to figure out what I should post about as a writer, is that most writing topics have been covered ad nauseam by every writer and wannabe on the internet. And the truth is, as a reader of writing blogs, I don't read multiple blogs on the same topic unless it's controversial. For most writing topics, (editing, cover art, not making one-dimensional characters, etc...) there are no differing opinions.
No one is saying, "Fuck editing your work. Just publish your first draft and watch the reviews be awesome anyway."
So it's tough to find something to write about writing that I believe people will want to read. There are things I want to say, but I have been unsure of how to say them. As I already admitted, I don't want the Angry Authors and Reviewer's Cartel coming after me.
But I've decided I don't care anymore. I'm going to post what I want to post about, and if it pisses someone off, they are free to not read my blog just as often as they like. I'll blog about writing when I have something to say about writing. I might talk about my puppy, Amelia (who is cuter than your puppy, and every other puppy, ever), or my kids, or delicious coffee, or I might review a book, or social issues I care about, or whatever I damn-well feel like blogging about.
So yeah. I'm not promising a schedule yet, but I'm aiming to start with once a week and we'll see where it goes from there. I just want to have fun with it, and I hope someone else might enjoy it as well.
Thanks for reading.