And I Won A Very Inspiring Blogger Award From A Very Inspiring Blogger

very inspiring blogger award michael allan leonard public domain blog comics humor nerd writing

So I was just talking with a friend of mine about having been Freshly Pressed and getting the Reality Blog Award not too long ago, only to find that I have been nominated for yet another Award meme. 🙂

It was the very inspiring michaelallanleonard who gave me this. You should definitely check out his Blog because it talks about comics, has an awesome aesthetic and is otherwise very geeky. It even has an awesome title: “Public Domain.” It is difficult to get much more awesome than that, though the challenge is always accepted. He even has a really interesting story as to how it took him “so long” to graciously accept his Award.

I mean, I could tell you that I was trapped in a self-contained pocket universe of my own design where I was perfecting the art of giving a god-like Being an existential moral crisis, but that would be fibbing really. So no, I think my greatest challenge will be actually fulfilling the requirements of this Award. So that is what I am going to do.

But before I do that, I just want to add that I’ve found that some people have posted a Link to my Mythic Bios on their Blogs. I would like to thank you for that. It was really gratifying to see my Blog in a Blog-roll: like it is all professional or at least interesting to other people. Unfortunately for me, mentioning this will not fulfill one of my requirements on this meme, but I wanted to thank you for giving me more attention and helping to bring others to the fun that is Mythic Bios. I really appreciate that.

So enough stalling:  let me try to write something inspiring! 🙂

The requirements of The Very Inspiring Blogger Award are as follows:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME

Now, the challenge here is that I’ve probably told you all a lot about myself already. I also tend to mostly talk about my writing and less about me on this Blog anyway, given what it is. But I’m going to do my best, go into my head, and find something that might not have quite made on here as of yet. So now, let me see …

1) I have issues with technology: in that I am probably one of those people who need to have a tech expert on hand and in person, or very specific instructions as to how to deal with a situation that doesn’t always make sense. It is not innate to me, though I can experiment with things and find some solutions on my own. But sometimes, I’m left frustrated–very frustrated–with “technological stupidity.”

2) Writing and creating for me can become a kind of meditation in which I am caught up in the moment or carrying a thought–or series of thoughts–in my head that I need to write down. Often I’m lost in those moments and tend to mutter the words myself, or speak them out loud as I write. I am also a peripatetic: essentially doing my best thinking when I have the freedom to walk around or pace. I need to go with a thought and move around and I would, paradoxically enough, go insane if I didn’t have any opportunity to do either of these things.

3) I am actually diagnosed with a Learning Disability. It manifests as dyscalculia–which is an inherent difficulty either learning or understanding Math–and spatial difficulties as well. Basically, I can’t multiply or divide without using a calculator and I do mental arithmetic very, very slowly. I also get lost on my own, but I navigate places through remembering landmarks and a lot of time memorizing a place through experience. I’ve been told that my writing and art skills “compensate” for these challenges. I also require more specific instructions and clarifications before undertaking an unfamiliar task. It’s less that I have a disability and more that my brain is wired differently: or so one theory goes. I see it more as an alternate mindset more than anything else and while it can be challenging, I have gone–and am still going far–when all things are considered.

4) I did my Master’s Thesis on Herodotus in Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore’s works: specifically in American Gods and Voice of the Fire. I looked at how they described and created their own worlds and as such I looked at Herodotus’ Histories from a literary as opposed to historical perspective: though that is a very fine line even by modern standards when you consider that all historical documents are created by narrative, and objectivity does not really exist. I am pleased with how it turned out and I got to throw some theories out there about American Gods and its protagonist Shadow that Neil will undoubtedly prove wrong in the sequel.

5) There was a period of time where I used to go out a lot more, and with a few exceptions these days, I don’t go out as often anymore. While I was never what others would consider a “social butterfly” (unless you count making mountains crumble on the other side of the world, insert Chaos Theory here), after a lot of the things I learned and experienced it’s almost like I was another person back then and it’s weird to remember another person’s memories that, you know, were pretty much my own. I mean this in a very metaphorical sense: in that like anyone else I am not the same person I was yesterday.

6) The strangest and most unique thing I have is another person’s lost dreams.

7) I have a pet budgie with the multiple names of “You,” “Budgie,” “The Fluff,” “The Fluff Creature” and so on. Her original name was supposed to be “Squawkes.” She is a blue and white bird who lately reminds me of a sleeping cloud.

MY FIFTEEN NOMINEES

So again, this is another difficult decision. I am not sure who will actually fill out this Award meme, but I hope my choices will prove interesting and excellent. These are definitely people that inspire me, and whose Blogs and writings are some of the most interesting things I’ve seen. At the very least, I hope by doing this I will offer the opportunity for their Blogs to gain even more of the attention that they deserve.

And here they are:

diannaswritingden

clotildajamcracker

Mythaxis Magazine

Ad Astra Per Aspera

Pretty and Putrid

The Bombers’ Notebook

Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe

Mandy DeGeit

Impressions of a Princess

geekchick77

The Modern Chimera

HillbillyZenDotCom

Just Think About It …

Sarah on the go!

Auntie Pixelante

I hope you check these Blogs out and thank you again Michael for being Inspired by me. I hope to continue the strange, good work here.

And Then One Day I Got a Reality Blog Award

So it seems that I have been nominated for the Reality Blog Award.

http://hillbillyzendotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/reality-blog-award1-e1357511854615.jpeg?w=250&h=221

I have to say that I did not see this coming: being that the only reality that I have ever really written about here on Mythic Bios has pretty much been my own. But I am really glad that hillbillyzen13 has nominated me, and believes in the writing and whatever else I’m doing here enough to do so. And let’s face it: as a writer and as a person, I love getting attention.

So, here are the logistics of the meme:

1.) Visit the blog of the person who nominated you, thank them, and acknowledge them on *your* blog.

2.) Answer the five questions listed below and nominate up to 20 bloggers whom you feel deserve recognition.  Visit their blog to let them know.

3.) Cut and paste the award to your wall.

So now, to business:

If you could change one thing, what would you change?

I would create a meritocratic society: where people are acknowledged and supported for their talents and their craft. My society would put education and the arts ahead of everything else save universal health-care and the training of medical professionals of the physical and psychological fields. At the same time, the people who make the day-to-day sanitary and nutritional functioning of society possible would be publicly honoured and assisted. The arts and the sciences would be combined again. And most of all, I would eliminate jealousy. Permanently.

So now that my foray into utopia and idealism is done for the moment, what is the next question?

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

Oh dear. I would say … twenty. I think this is about biological age. I severely underestimated my intelligence and my appearance at that age. I was a very good looking and creative young man and if I knew then what I know now … well, let’s face it …

I’d probably would have done exactly as I did in the last time-line: waited to mature more. So, my vain streak aside … :p

What one thing really scares you?

Being stuck awkwardly–and painfully–on the outside. Essentially, finding myself in a social situation where I’m the last one to be chosen, or I don’t know how I am going to quite navigate my way to getting into a group. From being the odd child out in Musical Chairs, to needing to choose a partner, and even make connections with people that can help me in the outside world and possibly realize my potential. Going outside myself and my comfort zone is scary: with that spectre of rejection, humiliation or being outright ignored always hovering over me. That said, it is something that I have gotten better at dealing with somewhat.

What is one dream that you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

I want to get to the point where I can become a professional writer and support myself, improve myself and gain some modest recognition from my craft. Mainly, I just want to make something that I can leave the world: something of meaning that will have everything else–including the process of it all–totally worth it. Do I think I will complete it? Well, it is entirely possible but I for one am going to keep pursuing it in my own way. Slow and steady spider steps.

If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

Honestly–and this is the difference between the younger and now current incarnation of me–I just want to be me. Only better: more wise, less anxious, more confident, more independent, more in my body and with a balance of different passions and relationships. Just … more. And I don’t want it merely for one day. Rather, I want it for the rest of my life.

All right. Now, here is the most difficult and interesting part of the Award process. I get to make some nominations as well. There are so many of you and you are all awesome. Here are my list of nominees. I hope that you like and appreciate them as much as I do.

Through the looking glass she tumbles

Peanut Butter Macramé

Zombie Zak

Pretty and Putrid

Mandy DeGeit

Larry Atchley Jr.

Impressions of a Princess

Ad Astra Per Aspera

diannaswritingden

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

ghosty net

What’s Your Tag?

clotildajamcracker

The Comic Book Lounge and Gallery

Mythaxis Magazine

All right, so now that I’ve nominated you all, remember to nominate other people as well. We all need the inspiration and the support. Keep Blogging my friends, and get ready for some more content next time.

I Wish You Help, Doing It Yourself, Insight, and a Happy New Year

I was going to put an entirely different post up here at the time that is now yesterday. At the beginning of 2012, this Blog was just an idea: if even that.

For quite a few people, 2012 meant the End which, in various ways, it was.

At least, it was for me.

It was the end of my time at School, my apartment on campus, and living in downtown Toronto. It also saw the finish of two longstanding Projects of mine that hovered over my head for the longest time. I might have even gotten rid of some bad habits along the way as well.

But more than any of this: this year was the end of another old life. I’ll have plenty of time to be melancholy about it, but mostly–right now–I feel like it just is.

I’ve thought about some things that have occurred this past year. I will say that my Writer’s Blog has exceeded my expectations. Most of the time, this is a good thing. I try to make my writing clear, accessible, and relatable. I also attempt to make sure that I know what I am talking about or, at very least, contain my writing to knowledge that I already have. For the most part, I feel that I am accomplishing a lot of these goals. However, sometimes I catch myself becoming very wordy, talking about things I don’t fully understand, or trying to mash things together in a way that just … gets awkward and doesn’t completely work.

I’m looking at you, Clouds and Mirrors. This article, which was more of a fan reaction made right after watching the Dr. Who Episode than a well thought-out and analytical review, had its heart in the right place and some interesting creative parallels but it never sorted its identity out. It took me a long time to write it and I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I made, or really what I did. The fact is: it took longer than I expected and there were many times I almost didn’t finish it.

To be perfectly honest, I almost deleted my “Clouds and Mirrors” article until I realized that the reality of this Blog has changed from when I first made it. Gone are the days where I could post something and few people would barely give any input. I know that the article itself has received quite a few “Likes” and it still gets more than a few Views as well: which may or may not be because of the pictures I embedded into it.

One reason it stays here is because others appreciate it and got something out of the piece. But the other reason I am leaving it is because, like I said, the heart was in the right place. When I see something I like, like any creator or geek, I want to possess it. I want to take its essence, and make it my own. There is this impulse to put something like it in my own words and way, and display my joy out of experiencing it. Perhaps by writing this, I wanted to have some part–some unique kind of relationship with it–as well: even if it was something that I didn’t entirely have full knowledge of.

So it stays.

In this New Year, I do hope to keep to my original promise and post things on here and elsewhere that are more than reviews. Don’t misunderstand: there will still be reviews, but I have some other plans as well …

But getting back to the subject of this passing year, I would like to reflect a bit on some of the things I’ve learned.

The obligatory Animaniacs Wheel of Morality reference aside, 2012 taught me two clear lessons. The first is that this is the time to start pursuing what I need to do. This is the point where I need to hone my writing and expand my network of contacts. May 10, 2012 was when Mythic Bios went from being a series of yearly private notebooks to a public online Journal: where “Oh I should make a Blog, but ..” became, “Here it is and I can now begin using it to my advantage.” Sometimes it is an intimating thought: that what I write on my Blog gains a greater amount of scrutiny and feedback now, but it also makes me feel like I am doing something important and it is good practice if I want to keep writing and doing something with that craft.

The second lesson though, has taken much longer to learn. In fact, I would say that 2012 needed the help of the years that came before to hammer the point home for me. And it is this: you cannot depend on other people to get what you want. The only person you can truly depend on to get what you want is yourself. Other people can help you get to the places where you want to go. They can offer support in physical and emotional ways. If it is given to you, you should value it because those who give you this aid are taking time and resources away from their own lives and labour to help or recognize you. Freshly Pressed, for instance, took the time and consideration to look at and feature my Funnies article.

This helped my Blog a lot. There are many of you that found me because the above article was featured. But I didn’t expect it and I know that it is not a given. I just continue to do my thing and take constructive suggestions along the way when they are offered. Ultimately, my writing and the other aspects of my life depend solely on me: and it is one thing to know that intellectually, but a whole other thing to feel it on an emotional level. It has been a very sorely needed perspective that may help me in all of my endeavours and interactions.

But now, it is 2013. I feel like I am leaving a lot of things out, but I do remember one thing. I can’t expect you to keep Following me or being there for me, but thank you for doing so regardless. Thank you for Linking me to other places. Thank you for Following me here. And thank you for Liking me.

So in the end, like everyone else, The End of 2012 has just been the beginning. As I have said before, you are all awesome and I hope that you will stay–and even come along–as I continue to take this space I’ve made to other places.

Take care and have an excellent New Year everyone.

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So, After Being Freshly Pressed

How do I even start this?

Usually, I wouldn’t post anything until Thursday, I just really have to respond to, well, the major response that I got after my Funnies entry got Freshly Pressed.

You have to understand: a day or so ago, I go into the basement to look at my email and I see this email from Cheri Lucas telling me that she and the rest of the editorial team liked my post and decided to pick it to be Freshly Pressed.

I didn’t really know what this was going to entail: save that I was going to get another link for more people to look at my Writer’s Blog. Now, I knew I was going to get a fair amount of traffic, but … wow.

Crazy

Just wow.

This has been insane. In a very good way.

So the silly and rather weird picture above aside, let me try to put this in perspective. For me, my best days were 30 or so Views. Until this point, I had about sixty or so Followers as well. And I only got the occasional comment. All of these were, in themselves, very awesome.

So … you can imagine what it feels like when you come down and you see that you’ve gone from sixty Followers to–right now–one hundred and nineteen Followers. Then you see you have +91 on your site per view graph (which in D&D terms would be a godlike modifier bonus for any player character). Finally, you see that you have something along the lines of six hundred and eighty-two Views, which WordPress now specifically says comes from four hundred and eighty-nine visitors.

Think about that: four hundred and eighty-nine people found something interesting enough to look at on this Blog. And then–and then–one hundred and nineteen of you signed up to join me on the Journey to see where this Writer’s Blog is going to go.

What humbles me even more is, right now, it’s all still growing.

So, let me make my thank yous. I would like to thank Cheri Lucas and her fellow WordPress editors for choosing my Blog post to exhibit on Freshly Pressed: to have found something that they felt needed to be said, or, as Cheri herself put it, helps to “make the Internet a more interesting place.”

I also want to give a hearty thank you to all my new readers. All of you. All of you that have passed through here, that have Re-Blogged my Journal post on your sites, and that decided to Follow me to pretty much god knows where. I welcome you and I hope to continue the work that got you all here to begin with.

When I first started Mythic Bios, it was in a series of written notebooks: containing stories and vignettes that combined research and aspects of my own life together into strange alchemical experiments of writing. I made this site to supplement the creative writing that I thought I was going to be doing. By Creative Writing, I thought I was going to be making a lot of fiction and some more essay-like constructs. Since then, I’ve realized creative writing covers a wide range of fiction and non-fiction.

So look: I don’t know how much longer this is going to last. I don’t know how many more new Viewers I’m going to get or how long I will have this captiv — I mean, willing audience of all of you, so here is what I am going to do.

The strange critical and creative article hybrids here will continue as planned. However, I am going to start posting more short stories. You are all going to see short stories under my Stories and Things Page on the top bar of my Blog. And also … you might see a serial story or two happening as well.

Project: Dark-Seed may have to commence soon enough.

I guess the best way to end this long rambling post is to thank all of you because, frankly, you are all awesome and you encourage me to keep remembering that what I have to say is worth writing about. I’d like to think that this is just the beginning. Take care everyone. 🙂

Pleased

I Don’t Have a Witty Title for Sexism or Elitists, But Here is What Really Matters

Me and my Head

For the purpose of the rhetoric in this article–its method of expression–I am going to be using the general second-person pronoun of “you.”

I’ve gone to Conventions before. They are some of the few places that have the opportunity to actually relate to people who have similar interests as mine. I’ve been to the crowded, but varied Toronto Fan Expo. I went to Anime North with all of its variance of cosplayers. I have gone to, and volunteered at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. I even went all the way to Atlanta to go to what is arguably a grandparent of them all: Dragon Con.

I don’t go to nearly as many as I should: given what this Writer’s Blog is about, and the fact that I’d like to meet with more people who have similar interests to my own.

So I’m not really going to say anything new. There will be no insight into anything here that you already haven’t read a thousand times before. The sad thing is that I feel like I even have to repeat this at all because you would think, by now, that this would be common sense. But I have two points that I’m going to make.

First of all, when a girl or a woman–or anyone–is at a Convention, they want to be there. Period. If they have taken the time, such as at Anime North, or Fan Expo, or Dragon Con, or any other Convention or Festival to dress up as a fictional character or otherwise, chances are they want to be at this Event and they know who they are dressed as. Some good friends of mine, and people I love create their own costumes from raw sewing materials. Also, I’ve been told that–as such–it is more than okay to compliment someone on their costume–self-made or otherwise–and to ask to take pictures of them. Hell, you might even talk with them and make a friend.

Hey, it could happen, or so I hear.

So please do not talk about who knows what about what character, or series, or franchise and then some.

And even if they don’t, they are there–after paying money and a substantial amount of money at that–to have fun. That is what a Comics, Video Game, Film, and Geek Convention or Festival is ultimately about. To have fun.

They are not there for you and they do not have to fulfill your standards as to what a “true geek” should be. And here is some more common sense, I don’t care what their costume looks like, you do not have the right to touch someone without their permission. This is basic kindergarten knowledge. Do not touch someone without their permission. Period.

Also, here is an exercise. Imagine that women can create, buy, review, play, and add to Geek Culture. Or, you know, simply enjoy it.

Well, you don’t have actually imagine this, because this has already happened. And it is happening right now. Because guess what: women are people. People make choices and sometimes different choices from those you might make. Therefore it is pretty foolish to make generalizations or assumptions based on intrinsically different individuals who happen to have flesh bodies like all human beings do.

So here is something constructive that I can suggest. Talk to a woman like a human being and treat her like one (because well, duh, she is one), and you might learn something about another human being who may or may not share the same interests as you. Encourage them to create and review works. In fact, encourage anyone to do that. Moreover, if you do not agree with what they have to say, insults, threats, and sexist remarks really will not help your case or make you look any more intelligent by comparison. If you have something constructive to say, take the time to say it and remember that you are talking to another human being who has their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

And as your parents will tell you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t bloody say it. This man here astonishes me not so much because of his views with regards to “a majority” of female cosplayers–of which I don’t agree with in the slightest–but because he is an artist and he decided that it was wise to publicly post this for anyone to see. I can’t really fathom it, to be honest. As an aspiring creator, cultivating an audience is important to getting your work off the ground, and to continue supporting it, and this just looks like a whole lot of personal sabotage of everything he has ever collaborated in. It’s just sad. It’s just really sad and unacceptable.

So I am going to get into the second part of my rant now, which will also begin with the word “unacceptable.”

Just because you like a certain work, or have followed something for a while, or bought a wide range of products, or have Joe Shuster’s autograph, or written ridiculous fanfics, or created other works, or any wide variety of Geeky things does not make you better than other people. I’m now really talking about the overarching issue here in addition to sexism: elitism.

Now, you can find jerks in any human endeavour or culture of some kind. They’re jerks: enough said and you don’t need to waste your time with them if they bother you that much. But–but–that does not give you or anyone else the right to make the judgment that they are not “true geeks” and it doesn’t reflect well on what you love by disparaging others who may not meet “your standards.”

What is a geek? Honestly, I believe that a geek is someone who really loves something to the point of obsession–or bordering on it–and it can be a wide range of different subjects and objects. Just because a geek might not know as much as another, or doesn’t own as many toys doesn’t mean they are any lesser. The term “geek” and indeed any label is problematic at best, so the rest of this is going to be more of my opinion: as if you haven’t already heard enough of it.

Do you know what I think a “true geek” is? I think a true geek is someone that loves something so much that they are willing–and happily so–to share that love with someone else. This could be in the form of education, or telling stories, or hanging around each other, or making things together, or playing games together, or trading knowledge, skills, and experiences, or something even so basic as simply acknowledging that–even if you don’t share the same interest–that you can at least respect it.

Because here’s the thing. When you get to the point of trying to prove you are better than someone, you are entering a pissing match.

And the thing about pissing matches is even if you win, you’re still going to be covered in urine.

So keep that in mind. I actually like Conventions and I’d like to it to stay that way. And if they can be even better, then I am all for that too.

Credit: Matt & Kristy on Flickr, whose picture and costumes these actually are.

A Thank You to More Followers, and How We Need to Wander When We Learn

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Moleskine_ruled_notebook,_inside_view.jpg

First of all, I just have to step back and take note of a few things. I’ve gotten many “Likes” on some of my posts. I have many more views on my entries as well, and I enjoy looking at the different places that they come from and guessing to myself who is looking at what. I also now have 53 followers.

Fifty-three.

That may not seem like a lot compared to other Blogs and Journals I’ve seen, but bear in mind that I’m still remembering the summer time when I barely had any Followers in the single digits and–as far as I am concerned–the fact that there are even a few of you is still awesome.

Also, I’ve noticed that some people are specifically typing in matthewkirshenblatt.wordpress.com+the article they’re interested in. It is definitely really flattering and inspiring for me to see that. I honestly don’t know where all of you are coming from, but I think it’s safe to say that you are all awesome and that I feel honoured that you like what I have to say: or at the very least what I write.

Adjusting to this new habit of posting every Monday and Thursday–along with finding what images I can use with every post–was a bit of a challenge at first. Sometimes it still is. I used to write a post here every day and then it became every two days and now I give myself more room. I need to in order to work on some of my other creative pursuits. Still, I do get a tremendous amount of satisfaction in pushing the “Publish” button myself these days, instead of regulating each post to the scheduled automation option. that and I like the quotes of inspiration that come up after I do them. I guess I’m a bit of a sucker for those. But that said, I know I’m going to have more things to say and I want to maintain my place to say them.

One thing that this Blog does encourage me to do is to not only keep creating, but also keep exploring and recording my explorations as well. In many ways, whatever I learn adds to the world that I created inside of me. I search for things that interest me and I try to understand them. Sometimes I will mess around with things and make something I didn’t intend to. A lot of the time I use this as a forum to challenge myself to find or make something new.

I take basic research skills and my own interests–and things that I have picked up over the years that fit into both or were passed on to me–and I go into tangents with them. I always have.

If I were, or ever become a teacher, I would be the kind of person that would try to important basic skills like research and some questions of writing. But I think the kind of people I would meet would be those that already have those skills and ones that I can occasionally throw certain books or works at, or talk about things that I love, and basically let them “have at it.” I would “teach them in increments.” I’d mostly be a guide and I’d really step in if someone had a question or wanted my opinion on something.

Other than that I’d most talk a bit, and throw challenges at people while offering constructive criticism and suggestions where needed. I think I would just like to be that person that can work with a person’s skills and interests: honing them further and expanding on them … especially if they coincide with mine.

But I think I’d be a mostly tangential guide: much like I am whenever I write on here or talk to people in general. Your Following and reading encourages me to keep doing this and I hope that we can continue to view some interesting things together: or, like I always say, be entertained. Take care my friends.

So What Now?

I know I said that I would write a post every Monday and Thursday, and that this is a little late, but I had to think a while about what it is I wanted to write this time. I do have a story I’ve been meaning to print out on here, but I think I will do that another time.

So what do I want to say? Well, this Blog now has forty-one Followers: forty-one followers and such one of you are awesome. It’s hard to believe that I started this Blog almost four or five months ago. In a lot of ways, it is a summer Blog.

I might have mentioned earlier on in a previous post that Mythic Bios had been a Blog I meant to create for a long time before I eventually got the impetus to do it. Part of the reason I made this journal was to showcase my strange reviews, articles from off the top of my head and, of course, my stories and creative works. I also made this Blog to get my bearings straight.

You see, this month is a weird one for me personally. Many Septembers ago I would have been going to University or school. In terms of University, I had been going there for nearly a decade. Now there is no school in my life. Mind you, school was different for me as a Graduate student because a lot of my work became very independent and existent outside of a classroom. Some past few Septembers I had my Master’s Thesis hanging over my head: my damned Damoclean burden I used to call it.

This September I find myself thinking about my student loans, finding a job and actually beginning to construct a whole new life. The fact of the matter is, it terrifies me. It’s been disconcerting feeling summer turn into fall in the way that only your body and a peripheral sense of atmospheric change can perceive. Once I was a student and I had classes to look forward to, now it’s employment that I’m having to face along with what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

I can’t really get more eloquent than that and I’m sorry if you were expecting something more clever or creative tonight. It’s just: I was nineteen when I first started Undergrad. I turned thirty as I finished Grad School with few breaks in-between and a lot of life things happened during that time as life often does. There are no schools or planned lessons that teach you how to be an adult: and if there were, I missed them.

This Blog has been helpful in organizing a few things that I do and putting them in a space that I can influence. It is also obviously not my whole life. I do not want to always be creating reviews or be known solely for that. As is, I know that won’t be the case anyway.

I think that I’m going to retire some of my older projects that don’t inspire me at the moment and work on some new things in the meantime: the creative things that I am meant to be doing. And thus ends the update of this week. There will be something else on Thursday as promised. Take care.

Frustration, Developments and Other Stories

I’m trying to find the best way to phrase this because it’s been on my mind for a while.

As a lot of you–old and new readers alike–know, I’ve been improving and developing this Blog as I’ve gone along. I had a few ideas as to how I would add to it. Really, I had two ideas. The first was that I was going to take my Youtube Channel and create a Vlog. I’d seen some people do this before–such as FreakishLemon–and I wanted an excuse to be able to read some of my stories and opinions aloud and even talk to people about my plans.

It was–and is–a good idea. But there were two factors I didn’t know about until I actually got up the courage to try them out. The first is that while I discovered my Acer netbook can record video and audio with its camera, the transfer rate of said video from my computer to Youtube was something along the lines of 436 minutes. Now, I’m not good with numbers, but there is something really wrong with a five minute video taking over seven hours to upload onto a site that is designed to receive and play videos.

But all right. Fine, perhaps it was my wireless connection, or the quality of my camera. I discovered that Youtube has a recorder. So I used that. I made one video that was ok, but I wanted to do over again. So I attempted that and then … I got a disconnection error on the screen. I kept recording anyway: thinking that I just couldn’t see the camera and the video was playing anyway. I was wrong. The recording cut off right about the time the disconnection error on the camera feed began.

I spent a large amount of time trying to figure out why this was happening and why I couldn’t just upload my videos. It also didn’t help that before all of this I had been doing various retakes of the same video. You know: the one that never made it onto the Net. I researched these problems and partially confirmed some of my suspicions, but mostly it made me frustrated. You have to understand, I get frustrated with technology–very frustrated with technology–whose creators claim it is supposed to be simple to use but it really isn’t. And even barring that, if we follow Gaiman’s Second Rule I believe, we will have all the technology and science we’ve dreamed about in science-fiction but it won’t always work properly.

I wonder how many times holograms and communications channels would lag in Star Trek if that were the case. Or if Data had to reboot several times or freeze in mid-motion before doing anything else.

So I decided to put that on the back-burner for a while, and instead record some audio files of me reading my stories aloud: for the practice. I have a weird program on this Acer which won’t let me listen to the recording I made after I made it, but aside from that it recorded well. Of course I can’t put this onto Youtube because it is audio only. And so I thought I could put it on this WordPress: which I can … for a modest fee. Since I don’t have the money to actually pay for more space or an application on here, that plan is out of the works unless I find a remote audio upload program I can trust.

I also thought about changing the aesthetics of this site. I have a friend who is into graphic design and photography who offered to help me, but I seems that I can customize this site again … for a modest fee a year.

I mean, fair enough. My Blog is changing and may be evolving past the limits of that I wasn’t even aware existed. I want it to look more customized and to add different media onto it. I also wanted to have a once or twice a week Vlog tie-in: to get the Youtube community on this and get further feedback. But it seems that I am lacking money and, quite frankly, patience. I am not going to rely on a recording program that might decide to cut off on me on a whim and I am definitely not going to wait over seven hours for a video to upload.

I’m also thinking about reducing the amount of times I post on this Blog to once or twice a week as well. I need to focus more on my writing and make more posts to keep in reserve. It’s amazing to think that just a few months ago I was writing a Blog post a day or every two days spontaneously and on the spot. I do still have some ideas and when I get more I will be more than happy to share them.

Anyway, I hope by the time I post this I will have figured more things out and maybe by expressing some of this frustration, I can free up my head to do more constructive things. Because I think that is the most frustrating thing of all: spending a lot of this time on technical matters when all I want to do is write. I’m not ruling out the other options too, but things are really going to have to change before anything else.

Maybe these setbacks, in the end, are a good thing in their way: because now I know where the limits are and I can begin to find creative ways around them and work with what I have. One can only hope.

If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can solve any of these issues, my ears are open. Take care, awesome readers.

Taking Back My Workshop a Bit and After-Bites

Although you could conceivably title this post “Over-Bite” as well.

I’ve had The Sleepwalker and A Natural Selection in my written notebook for quite sometime now and I’d been meaning to transfer them onto this online version of my Mythic Bios.

It’s been strange making separate Pages for the stories that I want seen on here: mostly because they do not show up as unique posts (since they are Pages) and as such there isn’t that much traffic that goes to them. I think the extra effort of linking to these Pages to comment on the stories is something that takes a little bit of getting used to for me as well. As I keep working on this Blog and certain patterns and structure begin to arise, all of this does force me to go about things a little differently than when I first started here. That may be some of the reason why I have been making more reviews and articles than a lot of the more original things I used to make: though you can probably count some of my articles as “alternative perspectives” on subjects in any case.

But now that we’ve seen my penchant for making tangents to be alive and well, I just want to talk about the stories I made. “The Sleepwalker” was the result of me reading up on my Dracula and Kim Newman’s alternate vampire-ruled Victorian England in Anno Dracula: making me further ponder the physiological interpretations and possibilities of vampires and the question of, “What about Lucy?” I could have easily been a total smart-ass and titled this story “I Love Lucy,” but I made one popular culture reference in there already and I like the simple title I gave it.

One challenge I definitely had was that I didn’t even know what she physically looked like. So I had to make some inferences along the way based on some things that I read in passing. I always thought she had red hair, while some sources say she was blonde. Dracula was less than forthcoming on the matter, so I improvised.

I also improvised some more. In the vein (pardon the pun) of “What about Lucy,” I always wondered why she was such a different vampire from the other women in Dracula’s entourage. After a few years reading Anne Rice and the Old World of Darkness’ Vampire the Masquerade, I came up with this interesting gem. What if the amount of blood and the environmental situation of a person affects what kind of vampire they might become? For instance, Lucy was a sleepwalker and Dracula apparently took advantage of this with his hypnotic capabilities. Yet we never know why he chose her.

“A Natural Selection” was a possible answer to that last question. I always saw Dracula as far more intelligent and evil than even Van Helsing gave him credit for. If I were a centuries old vampire with some financial means and intelligence, I know I’d slowly put measures into place and watch the development of said technological innovations before doing anything. I would also be thinking about the future. I wanted the Dracula I portrayed in this story to be a monster not just because he is a vampire, but because of just how his mind works.

I suppose I also wanted readers to feel sympathy for Vampire Lucy and realize that she never had a chance. I originally contemplated giving her some Journal entries in the epistolary form: making a narrative as told from a private diary or something to that effect. I wanted to tell a story from the vampire Lucy’s perspective but then I realized that perhaps she was too … insane to write anything down. Then I thought to myself: she was turned and she died while she was sleepwalking and dreaming, so wouldn’t it follow that she would continue to perpetually dream in undeath as well?

I saw her new existence as a broken lens that reflected the culture in which she grew up in all its literature. Her child-like nature reflects the patronizing pampered sheltered life she has had to live in her society as well as essentially being reborn as a vampire’s plaything. To be honest, I enjoyed writing “The Sleepwalker” more because I really got to be innovative and it was fun to write a character in a constant stream of unconsciousness as it were. It was also really fun to write Vampire Lucy’s story in a way that complemented the original novel more than took away from it. The same can be said for “A Natural Selection”–a title I actually love because Dracula would have been very familiar with the theory of evolution going around at this time and might have even attributed it to vampires and their role with humanity.

Like I said, they are supposed to be short stories or vignettes made to complement Bram Stoker’s novel more than anything else.

I think whenever I write about my Stories on here, I will classify them under Creative Writing and link them to the appropriate Pages. So anyway, this is me: taking back my Blog from too many reviews and opinion pieces and attempting to make it a little more like the mad scientist’s workshop I intended it to be …. or something like that.

I wish this Rembramdt picture was my desk, but it does reflect my working process somewhat. If that makes sense.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Blog Posts, Or Something

https://i0.wp.com/xanthus-consulting.com/_images/words-words-words.jpg

So that is what my Blog entries are like with graphics in them. I’m actually of a few minds when I look at what I’m starting to do now.

I like the fact that when I put an image in my posts, it actually becomes the default icon for the entry when I post it somewhere else. It makes it look more elegant and perhaps more “professional and serious”: certainly it beats seeing WordPress’ “W” as the icon every time.

On the other hand, it does take more work to find these images: and these are just for my reviews or articles on established things. To be fair, for this past while I’ve been posting almost nothing but reviews and adding the graphics into them for emphasis. It has been fun in some ways and I can see just how necessary it is. Human beings are very visual creatures and something needs to be attention-grabbing in order to get someone to look at your work: be it an image, a very strong starting sentence, or even a turn of phrase. Or all of the above.

I’d also like to mention that adding graphics into my works–for all I’ve mentioned writing comics scripts–is very different for me. I’ve done it before, but not very often because my medium is prose or sometimes poetry. Adding pictures into writing does change things. It is something that one would find in a respectable or popular journal, magazine, or newspaper.

As for me, sometimes I feel like I’m just stating my opinion, or writing a few stories from time to time: and not as many stories as I’d like. This change in format–I guess–makes me think differently and wonder how the focus of my Blog may or may not be changing.
It might sound strange that I’m thinking about this with the mere addition of pictures to the mix, but I’m wondering now what exactly it is I’m making here. What am I trying to say? What is Mythic Bios? Is it me trying to show you–as a creator–what the world around us actually looks like to me: what it is and what I want it to be? That would be a nice thought.

What I do know that this shouldn’t be just a collection of reviews. I know that it still needs further organization and that its aesthetic will continue to evolve. I’ve also been thinking about something else: of which I’ll have to see if I still want to follow through with because it would be more commitment time and concentration and technology-wise.

Because after all, human beings aren’t just visual creatures: they are aural ones as well. We like to actually hear things and I like to actually read things out loud. I’ve been thinking about doing a Vlog for a while: maybe reading some writings of mine aloud or even just voicing some opinions like I like to do. I could really get all of this to be a multimedia tool of expression for me and–who knows–it might make some good practice for when I start making more serious things.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep posting some stories in my Stories and Things section here and also keep writing in my Mythic Bios notebook: which I am really glad I still do. Even though it is excellent to make your writing public, it is always good to keep something to yourself as well for future uses: or not.

Now to find a graphic for this non-review post: summarizing all of this writing into one image. Take care, my friends.