December 4, 2009

Not Today, Satan!

I talk about evil tonight, and lay out the first two Imperial Decrees for the Citizens of Ohio.

I want to clarify a few things in the post that I talk about in the podcast. First, let me say sorry for rushing this one through and not spiffing it up as much as I should have; but also, let me say bowling rocks, and that was what I was doing instead of my work. I'm sure my fellow Dudeists will agree that, given the calming effects of bowling and drinking, I made the right choice. And I can abide by that.

The first Decree is about Twilight, and it is: Twilight, the novel and series of novels after it, is not, never has been, and shall not in the future be considered a work of fiction regarding Vampires. It is a teen drama/romance, following in the steps of Dawson's Creek, and other WB shows. Vampire nerds can be relieved, and tweens can go about their angsty business, with no further unpleasantness.

Secondly, about gay marriage. This is the more confusing bit, I think, so, for clarity, gay marriage is now legal and totally cool in the Empire of Ohio. I ranted for a while about it in the podcast, and still am not sure the whole point was made, so:

1.Politics and the Bible do not mix. Do not try to mix them, particularly if you call upon the Older parts of the Bible. It was written for an ancient civilization, and aside from a few moral imperatives, does not apply to modern day life. The philosophic lessons in it may still be studied and used, but don't think that, because said civilization needed an army and a steady economy to conquer and flourish, homosexuality still exists under the same ban.
2.If the religious argument is your main weapon, your argument doesn't work.
3.If, after exhausting the religious, you turn to false studies and corrupt data, you are no longer allowed to talk.
4.Gays are now allowed to kick the straights exactly ONCE, in the ass, and call them meatgazers.

That's it. I hope to see a lot more marriages over the weekend, and if anyone gives you shit, remind them of the Empire's decision. Have a good weekend!

Late facts: I'm running out of space fast online to store these podcasts. As is, I can put three more up. Any suggestions on free storage space, or other ways to keep putting them up, would be hella appreciated. And sodomy is the word of the day.

December 3, 2009

Unlimited Power!

It's my very first podcast, and I'm excited. As I say in the show, the next one will be Friday, and then every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after that.

I'll still be updating the blog, but to a lesser extent, dependent on what neat things I find.

I really, really enjoyed doing this. I've got a smile on my face right now so big, you wouldn't believe it. I mean what I say in the podcast; go, and make your own awesome stuff. I, at least, will listen/read/digest it.

Making the podcast itself was enough work, but I also had to learn to use the recording system. There's still a lot of editing stuff I can learn and use to make these better, and as time goes on I hope you see a real improvement in quality. The recorder I use, for those interested, is Audacity. It's easily looked up on Google, free to download, and has a wiki page explaining how to set up a quick show. Music I got from music alley, a service courtesy of, who will be mentioned in each cast at some point. Please, go buy some of these songs if you can; a lot of the people uploading their work are talented artists trying to get paid for what they love. I think everyone would get paid to do what they love if they could.

That's enough for now. Goodnight!

November 29, 2009

The Final One

This is the Final One, and I'll make it short.

Unless a bug crawls up my ass, and said bug has literary ambition, I failed this years Nanowrimo. I could get very moody on you, maybe weep a little and then bust out the inspirational, and graphic language.

Meh; fuck it, right dudes?

Not that I'm saying “Fuck it” to writing; that's still fun. The point is to have fun. It's like music; you have to practice, and love it. You can practice and not love it, but shit, where's the point?

The point, in the case of practice minus love, is a three dollar hooker with a wart on its nose and its thumb up its butt; it exists, oh yeah, but you don't want to get anywhere near it.

What's next then? I'll tell you what's next: podcasts. One thing I learned is that if you do this type of shit, you do it seriously; as seriously as going to work every day. The difference being that you go to work for money; you do this (whatever “this” is; creative-stuff) because you love it. I love writing, but I don't give two fucks about writing a novel (a fuck is roughly equivalent to 22.3 American cents, which is probably the reason they're not widely circulated). I love radio, and after listening to a bunch of shows on the internet, finding ways to record, store, and broadcast free music (and, hopefully, help out some artists at the same time) I've decided to launch my own podcast, with music and all, hopefully by next week. I need to learn a lot, and I do intend to take it as seriously as a job.

But being on radio is a lot of fun, even if only a few are listening. I tried it at Wabash, and although laziness overcame me there (plus a hella lack of music at times), I'm going to see this through for at least a month, and a minimum of four podcasts. If I like it, if you like it, if it's got a good beat and we all dance to it, I'll continue.

Also, the name of the site will be changing.

Late facts: Demolition Man, while a terrible movie, is an awesome movie.

November 16, 2009

32-19, WABASH!

32-19, WABASH!

This weekend I went back home to Crawfordsville, IN, Wabash College, the TKE House.

That sums it up: I got to go home again. It was great. I hung out with old friends I'd left behind forever (or so it felt) back in May, I was the first alumnus (so says Washburn) to hang out on a couch in the Karnak room in only my underpants and socks.

And best of all I was baptized by the Bell again. This'll be my last time, I think, and it's fitting: Baptized once as a Freshmen, and again the year after graduation. Both events stick in my mind and are part of years when my life changed.

And I got to play DnD as a player again, finally. It was a fun session, with Phil DMing and Josh playing a messed-up character. My own was a lot of fun, and left me with the belief that sorcerer's are overpowered.

The game was incredible. The first half left me depressed up until the end, when Wabash scored with very little time on the board to bring it to 7-6, with Depauw leading.

For the first half it seemed like Wabash was genuinely overmatched. We ran the ball well, but couldn't clinch the endzone. Depauw only scored once, but seemed able to move the ball at will, with short, devastating passes that didn't depend on good O-Line protection, but certainly benefitted from it.

The Second half changed it all, with Wabash opening a balanced offense of quick passes and good runs, scoring several times and letting the defense rest. The defense did their job well, making Depauw pay for the ground they did take, and stepping up to knock the ball out of the air much more often.

Wabash finished it with a final drive and score to bring it to 32-12, and Depauw managed a late score to bring it to 32-19, but the Little Giants held onto the ball and ran out the clock for the win. It was a great day, warm and sunny, the tailgating was fun, and cheering was still a good time. Much congratulations are due to the Sphinx Club, who led the stands in cheers, and the Wabash football team, for playing a great game and bringing the Bell back home.

Late Facts: While it seems I've gone off course, this is an extra update; I'll let you know how Nanowrimo is going soon, and whether I intend to continue with it. The novelizing has been slow and not-fun lately, and I can't really care about the book, which is based more on a joke than what I want to write about. I may try to catch up, but possible by starting a new novel, or taking the current one in a very different direction.
Also, it was strange to have a few people come up and say "I heard you're writing a novel"; I didn't expect many (or anyone) to read this blog, but the realization that some do, and are at least aware of the writing is unusual. My first reaction was embarassment, and to brush it off by saying "It's not going well," but it helps to know what I write is being read, if only by ye few. Thanks for reading, caring, and being super-awesome!

November 12, 2009

Who told you writing was fun?

How is Nanowrimo going? It sucks; it's been a few days since I've written, even longer since I've written for a significant length of time, and I'm in the middle of being depressed about whether I really want to write as a career at all.

These things are all very interesting to me. If you, as another person, could check in on my mind you'd find little else to occupy your time and attention. But there are other things I'd rather talk about that do, however remotely, have to do with my writing.

I'd like you to keep in mind it's freaking cold where I am; not as cold as Wisconsin, where the proud, savage Yeti people hold power, but cold in my house, where the furnace is always turned low and works poorly anyway. It's kind of hard to focus, but I'm not using this as an excuse for not writing. I'm using this as an opportunity to set up a story.

My dad's in a wheelchair because of diabetes. One of his pasttimes is telling children a dog bit off the leg he lost, and I've mined that bit for comedy myself. Seeing a kid's face change from wariness (good survival instincts, if gullible, but they're kids, c'mon) to suspicion, to laughter is pretty fun.

He watches tv a lot, either out of laziness or because he doesn't know what else to do, or maybe it still holds fascination for him - he was born when the thing was coming into its own, or about to, and further technology - the internet, fuck just computers, all the things that hold me - got nothing on him. He watches it with a sweater/jacket on, pulled up over his face. He has a space heater but won't turn it on; he says, most of the time, it takes to long to heat up. Even if he's been in that spot for hours.

He waits for me to get it.

I came out with a fresh case of self-pity after managing a paltry 400+ words for the day. I plopped down in a chair, watched for a second and turned to him.

"I got maybe 400 words today. I'm not doing so good at this writing thing." Close enough.

My dad doesn't respond. When I try to continue, he rolls forward wordlessly and turns up the volume. I say, "If you don't want to listen you could just ask me to be quiet." I sounded, and felt, pretty bitchy.

He looks at me, raises a finger to his lips and says "Shhh."

I left soon after.

It's hard to tell if he's a dick or not, not least of all because I'm a lot like him, and I can't always tell when I mean to be a dick or just funny. A friend named Scott knows what I mean; neither of us can figure out the other, except that it's all too easy to get pissed quick.

That's how the week has been though; feeling alone and lost, to the point where Linkin Park is starting to make sense again (a fate I've thankfully avoided since high school. Lord, don't let me walk that road again).

Let's talk about stories in videogames. Since Nano's going so badly, let's focus on criticism (or at least examination) instead.

I recently started playing WOW again (World of Warcraft). AFTER things went downhill, not before. Otherwise I'd know what to do to bring myself out of this literary funk.

WoW's a fun game, but it wears thin fast on me; for an MMO, I could give no shit whatsoever about playing with others. That many (too many!) are douchebags keeps me on the solo track.

I also don't give a damn about the story for most races; the lore behind the whole deal, and the story in the Warcraft games is good (especially Warcraft III), and the events leading up to the player creation are interesting, but after?

I'm a human paladin, righteous warrior of the Alliance. Huntin' evil and shite. First quest is to hunt some Kobolds, which should be familiar to DnD players.

These Kobolds, however, are framed yellow, meaning they won't attack until attacked. Righteous crusade just became douchebag invader and murderer.

It's the same all over, with no real reason to do what you're doing aside from XP. That's the game though, and I don't resent it, except for the unnatural pull it can have on me. But, there is one race that is awesome. One story, taking the PC from 1-20th level that is epic, sweeping, intelligent, and a good story.

The Draeni are a race of goat-people. Their goddam ship goddam crashed on goddam Azeroth, and goddammit, it's time to put up or shut up. You are a survivor pulled out of wreckage at the site of an emergency refugee camp for the wounded and starters.

Right off the bat, you have a purpose beyond yourself. You're helping your people, and every action has an effect. The story does not stop there, but flows naturally to find more refugees, to the point where you discover the leadership has survived and set up in the largest ship, sending aid and trying to carve out a place in the world for the Draeni.

For the rest of your time you take quests, some epic and some grinders, to level and bring the Draeni to a stable position. And the end caps it all. In a Star Wars fashion you turn in the last quest to the leader of the second-largest city, and turn around, ready to head out into the big world and grind your nose into dust for that mythical level 55 (the only thing I care about, to play a death knight).

But what's this? There's a fucking line of people here! YOUR people, every single NPC you've met and taken a quest from, cheering clapping and causin' a ruckus in a line down to Velen, supreme leader. This is the guy who leads, the big man, the Admiral to your pathetic Seaman (heheh). And he congratulates, and thanks you.

Good goin' he says, in more words. It's AWESOME.

Remember Star Wars IV? New Hope, when the series was good? Remember that last big battle where the Rebellion wrested victory thanks to a dead Alec Guinness and a farmboy with an ego problem (and a sister fetish, ew)? Remember Solo comin' out of left field, saving the hero?

You've just come back from a quest like that. Saved the goddam Draeni, that's what you did. And now you get the celebration. Not just a purple XP award floating above your head and a disgusting pair of new boots, but a fucking hootinanny in your honor.

You walk that aisle like Han goddam Solo and except the thanks with a cheerful wink to the Princess.

This is a real story in a videogame. There are other, better examples in other game, but this is it for WoW, at least as far as I've seen. Nothing else grips me the way these missions did. Nothing else made me glad to at least want to be a part of the profession that creates such awesome things.

Goodnight folks. Dream of Rebel Farmboys blowing moon lasers out of the sky.

November 7, 2009

Super, Omega-Awesome, Yeah!

Posted on Nanowrimo as well as a novel excerpt here is:


Ulys was late for the train, and had to run to catch it.

No one watching the short, bearded man in a dirty blue jacket and scuffed bowler hat, would expect him to be Ulysses S. Grant. He was completely unremarkable in appearance, except for a stare that seemed to penetrate people, and the constant cloud of cigar smoke that hung around him. His first act, on gaining the train with the help of a magnanimous porter, was to light a cigar, and then clamber past the other, preoccupied passengers, stow away his rucksack, and sit down.

He read over the letter in his hand again; he'd been clutching it for so long it was crumpled and dirty, and torn in two minor places. It was from Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War. It read:


Grant had pressed the note into Tecumseh's hand, and the man had read it with a face that became more solid and unmoving as he took it in. By the time he'd finished and handed it back his face was a wooden mask, all straight lines and angles.

"Congratulations General. If any can make a better situation of this it's you." It was the coldest thing Sherman had ever said to him.

He had had barely any time to put the army in order; the note said "Leave Sherman" and he read it to mean leave Sherman in command, and had set him up so. He'd accepted gracefully, but uncomfortably; Grant knew the man lacked confidence in some areas, especially with the press around, and they had swarmed the camp as he'd left. Neither felt right leaving the other on his own as the war entered it's critical stage, and both could feel it like ice in their minds, freezing any notions of an easy peace.

The train ride was unremarkable; twice gray calvary set upon it, but each time were rebuffed by the blue escort, riding in and on top of the train. When Grant reached Ohio he stopped for a while, bought a new box of cigars, and smoked solemnly and silently the rest of the trip. Most of the passengers wondered who this strange, smelly man was, to be riding so far so fast in comfort with them.

As he smoked he thought.

Meade had broken away from the engagement after Lee turned his flank at Little Round Top, this much Grant knew for sure. After, he had retreated beyond the Potomac to rest his men, resupply, and protect the capital. Lee had pressed him all the way there, with his precious horse-boy Jeb Stuart, and Longstreet remained with him, organizing a quick bridge over the river and setting up the initial defenses on the other side, so close to Washington. Meade had stepped back even further like a cowed dog, and was harboring in the city and throwing up earthworks and defenses at tremendous speed.

All this Grant had learned from intelligence coming West. What confused him was the vague and scarifying reports of traitors among the Army. Men had turned on each other during a critical bayonet charge, the word went, even dropping their weapons and turning on their friends with a horrible, satanic fury to bury their teeth and nails in the flesh. And the Union was not alone in this madness anymore it seemed. Lee had halted on the other side of the Potomac, giving Meade more time. Some believed he was marshalling his forces for a final push, but Grant knew Lee well enough in passing to know it wasn't the case. James Longstreet, his best man once, and enemy now, had spoken of the brilliant, agressive military mind in Lee once or twice before the war.

Lee wouldn't make a mistake that would let Meade recover and prepare. The alternate reports, both hopeful and bizarre, seemed truer. The same madness that had lost Little Round Top had gripped the Gray Army and spread among its ranks to stop the advance.

But Lee had cleaned house, and quickly too. Travellers -a rarer sight now by far - spoke of mass graves, where men still seemed to move, as if trying to escape. A spy among Lee's column had told of terrible brutalities visited upon the sick; nothing new, not with field hospitals Grant had seen (and thankfully avoided, he thought) but of isolated men left alone and then... burned.

Grant was half-asleep when the train stopped, blurred images of men gone mad, tearing into one another, troubling his mind. His head jerked forwar as the emergency brakes were applied, and cries of shock and fear echoed in the dim light of the cabin. An official-looking man with a large black walrus mustache stepped up and told everyone to be calm, and then left for the engine. Grant's eyes burned in the dark as he looked quickly around all outside; he felt something like a tickle in the back of his mind.

There were shapes in the darkness, man-shapes, flitting quickly between dark trunks and approaching the train at a reckless pace.

'Confederates,' he thought, but it could not be right, his puzzled head insisted. Leaning over the front of his seat he tugged the hair of a young soldier poised on his seat with a rifle in hand. The young man jumped and nearly cracked his head on the overhead compartment, and looked back at Grant, wide-eyed, breathing fast with panic.

Grant spoke in a low, calm voice and the man seemed more at ease as he came to realize who was addressing him. "Where are we?"

"Just past Chicago, sir. The conductor put in for a transfer route, so to avoid any more attacks by those rebs, well, you saw them sir, they were comin' at us all the time, it was a wonder we made it so far, and, and..."

Grant patted the boy's arm, straining to reach far enough to do it. He spoke to himself but the soldier listened with more attention than he gave the fast-moving shapes that began to disappear around the other side of the train.

"So we can't be hit by them... who?" Grant broke off as footsteps sounded on top of the train. A few shots rang out, and then screams filtered through the open windows, which everyone next to moved to close, fumbling and crying in their haste to jam them back up.

"Enemies then," Grant said, and nodded. He looked to the young soldier. "What's your name?"

"Alexander Gregg, sir."

"Stick by me Gregg. Keep your rifle ready, but don't shoot me. I wouldn't like to be shot now, by my own boys." Grant smiled and stuck a cigar between his teeth.

Gregg smiled. It was small and sickly looking, but there. "Yes sir," he whispered.

Grant pulled out his revolver and stood up. He moved for the door the official walrus had left through, when a lean, blood-slick figure burst through the door and screamed. It sounded like a scream; it might have been a laugh, but it was the most humorless laugh Grant had ever heard, and it was inhuman. A woman shrieked, and that saved him, for the figure had looked to Grant first, standing in the aisle. It leaped on the woman, batting aside her arms and digging into her neck with its teeth. Her cries trailed off, and Grant lifted his arm, which felt like it weighed a thousand pounds, and the gun another thousand. But the creature had looked up, was grinning at him now, bits of flesh and an earing stuck in its upper lip dangling from the mouth, and its eyes were hollow and black. A shot echoed in the cabin and smoke drifted from young Gregg's gun.

The creature fell dead. Grant grunted his appreciation to Gregg and took a long pull on the cigar to fortify himself, and then ran up the aisle and out the door. Dark, swift men ran all about, stopping to leap on some poor soldier where they found them, and from overhead more screams of pain and shock echoed in the empty land. Grant hopped down to crouch beside the tracks and heard Gregg mutter and swear as he came down with a louder thump. He ran along the side of the train and Gregg came limping behind.

A creature staggered up off the corpse of a fallen porter; Grant shot it through the eye as he passed, and the mouth went slack and a gush of blood poured out. Another creature rushed him, drawn by the sound of gunfire, and Gregg dispatched it.

But even more were eyeing them and charging, and Grant had barely any time to reload before the next was on him. He heard a scream from behind, and saw at first a midget biting Gregg on his arm - and then his mind caught up to his eyes and he realized it was not a midget but a torso only, raised up by its arms and chewing with wet, nasty crunches against bone. Gregg was flailing everywhere; Grant grabbed his shoulder, pulled a knife with his left hand, and stuck the blade deep into the abomination's skull. The teeth opened with an audible clack and the whole assembly fell onto the late evening grass. Grant and Gregg ran for it.

Gregg wrapped the wound with his shirt, pulling it off as he went, but it was strangely bloodless; he could see bone, but the dark flow congealed and hardened faster than could be. He filed it in the back of his mind, however, and covered the general as he rushed up the engine to the conductor's seat. Two monsters ran at Gregg, one loping on all fours like a hound, and Gregg shot them both. Even in his panic and fear, Grant's presence and fortitude comforted him, and he noted coldly, with more relevance than he had given even his arm, that they only fell when shot in head or heart.

Grant pulled himself up and was greeted by a conductor with no throat; but, still alive, he had eaten the official walrus, who stirred Grant's heartfelt sympathies for exactly one and a half seconds before he put a bullet in the conductor, bounded into the area, and called for Gregg. He tried not to notice the pieces of the walrus that had been swallowed, only to reemerge, freshly masticated, in the hideous conductor's face.

Gregg was in; Grant pulled hard on the switches and levers, thought of pulling the steam whistle, and then thought better of it, remembering how they had come in packs towards the sounds of gunfire. He leaned out as they began to escape, feeling a breathless fluttering in his chest and an exhilarated, angry rush in his temple. He cried, in a hoarse voice: "Ha! Basterds, get your meal or get off! Ha, follow then!" He felt wild, and blood thundered so hard through him he thought he must burst from the pressure. Gregg stared at him as if wary of what he might do. Grant gave him a smile that was more a show of teeth than humor, and swore as he dropped his cigar.

November 6, 2009

Week One, and what it is to be behind

Stephen King separates writers into great, good, competent, and bad. Bad writers are the real stinkers, and it's easy to feel like one, not just some of the time. But when you write, and you've got that bad writer feel, it seems like forever.

I know I'm not a bad writer, small comfort that it is. I'm a competent writer. I write with some natural skill, and when I'm at my best I tune into a narrative music that flows for a while. Often I'm stopped by head banging uselessness. But when I get that feeling, man it's great. It's even there in academic writing, something no one besides over-achievers and teachers gives a shit about. But that feeling is a trap too; in school I could write a paper the night before and get an A or B, with two or three hours put in (some of it for internet game time).

But that music is in both academic and fiction writing. I like to turn over the keys and let the writer-engine burn for a while, and it worked at Wabash. It still works now to a point, cuz it excludes time - puts me in that special state of just a minute, holy Jesus, is it four in the morning? How did that happen? - and allows narrative diarrhea. For a fifty-thousand word contest in thirty days, it's gross, but I need every word I can get. And during my time on the throne, in the midst of grunting and typing I get flashes of good writing.

My goal in Nano is to extend those brief flashes, to maybe make a decent torch out of natural ability and work up from there. Even being behind, by seven-thousand words now (shee-it), I still write every day, even when I work, often till early in the morning.

My pappy is supportive, but he usually is now; it is a far cry from when he sat me down before I want off to College, looked me in the eye, and told me to give up all hope. He doesn't know shit about writing though.

But what has life been like?

Frustrating, boring, work, shows, politics, doctors, acne breakouts; it's like a party on my face and every pus-filled douche is invited. Jesus that's gross. I work and take my dad to the doctor a lot - he's half-blind and working to get the vision back in the damaged eye. Because of this life is just as it always was, but with writing till 4 A.M., the only real positive step I've made. But, being way behind in word count, Nano stats taunt me with their butthole graphs. I sort of hate my writing buddies, and one has already surpassed the weekly word goal.

No distractions except when there are. Castle Age is obsessing worthy. It has dragons, heroes, and laziness, so TKEs eat it up and I'm no different. And without DnD with Dick, Carls, Luther, and Gus I'd be too delightfully mad to write this. Also, I think we get props for intercontinental, and interstate sessions: Dick's in Africa, the other three are in Indiana, and I am in Ohio.

What really sustains me is I'm going home for the Monon Bell game next weekend. Seeing family - even the new freshmen - makes me happy. Yelling terrible, ancient curses in the tongue of the Old Ones at Depauw is great. I suggest everyone try it.

Late Facts: posting to a blog gives a false, but nice, sense of having done something, especially for an aspiring writer.

October 28, 2009


I'm a wannabe writer because I haven't been published, have not succeeded in sticking to a schedule of writing, and am not sure that this is what I want to do as a career, should it even be possible.

These are also my fears, so feel free to terrorize me with them as you please.

Nanowrimo is short for National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as November. I'll post a link to it

here. There. It's actually to my account, but fuck it. I'm sure you can find your way around.

So I want to write, and this is my ticket into self-deception. I have to write, or I fail as a writer. Low stakes, except I really want to be a writer (in the same way a kid really wants a fucking skateboard this year, come on, and oh, shoes again, THANK you). The blog is for me, no lie. If newbie writers don't get noticed I can't imagine the levels you'd have to sink to for a newbie writer's blog. It's about fear, hope, me, my pappy, acne, work, bullshit, friends, and Ohio, that haven of the criminally insane. I'll be posting how much writing sucks; how awesome writing is; how I feel; how it affects and effects my life; and excerpts from the fifty thousand word novel.

Finally, the novel is about the Civil War. And Zombies! Here:

Union and Confederate soldiers alike lay down their lives for their respective Cause and Country... and then get back up again! As the dead rise from shallow graves still wearing the Blue and the Gray, an unlikely partnership forms in the two top Generals: Grant and Lee. As the world descends, and seems unlikely to ever return, from madness, only one question remains: Where is Zombie Lincoln?

If you can't tell I'm a horrible person, consider yourself now informed.

Late facts: Updates are once a week, probably on Friday or Saturday. They'll probably be a bit long, and unless you've got a hard-on for writing, bullshit, or nerditry, these aren't the droids you're looking for. Blogs begin the First!