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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Not to Have a Good Morning

An Excerpt! I do almost apologize for not updating. New music creeping from my scattered mind, although slowly, and I still await several agents' replies. I have scrapped one of my short stories, and I am waiting for the days to become willing and mold to my desires. That means I wish I had more time to do what I want to do.

Without further ado, double-spaced for the protection of your tender eyes, here is my example of someone who knows how NOT to have a good morning.

Lem woke up early as the sky was reborn from aged navy to youthful baby blue and the sun peeked up far behind the trees and beyond the horizon. It was chilly with the lovely dampness that heralds the dawn of a warm, sunny day.

“What woke me up?” Lem wondered, groaning with stiffness.

As she leaned forward to get up, yawning, Lem's chest came into contact with something hard and pointed. Rubbing her sleepy eyes and clearing her head with a shake, she wondered if a dream still gripped her mind-—she thought she saw a blitzer holding a flayer rifle just above her stomach.

“I said, ‘let’s get going!’” the blitzer growled, jabbing Lem hard with his rifle. She sucked in her breath suddenly, for this was no dream.

Glancing quickly to the sides, Lem saw Roz and Cinta still sleeping.

“Yes, sir,” Lem answered the blitzer, standing up slowly, hands up and elbows slightly bent in the air, in the “hands up” position. She could feel his smile behind that helmet, behind her…he seemed strangely alone…

Suddenly, the SMA Junior whirled swiftly, instantaneously knocking the gun aside with her elbow and grabbing the blitzer’s arm to give it a wrenching twist. She kicked him where it hurt and began twisting his arm behind his back to take his firearm away, when he yelled out in pain and about fifteen or twenty blitzers emerged like shadow-wraiths from the brush.

Lem threw the man over onto one of his own blitzers, flinching as a buzzing shot rang out, for the blitzer's flayer had gone off into his companion's back. Protect friends first, heal enemies later. She rose her hands to the sky as they approached her, feeling the emptiness of the positive charges rushing forward to positron shove one of the nearest men into a tree. She ducked a burning flayer cartridge from the side and gave the blitzer sneaking up behind her an electron choke-hold until he fainted onto the forest floor, temporarily in lala land. Someone grabbed her leg, knocking her to her knees—-she twisted around and knocked the blitzer off his feet with a side swing from her other foot.

Not bad, she smirked proudly as she gave another shove to the left and a double kick between two blitzers to the right. Now let's get this over with. She rolled, smashing into someone's legs, straying from besides her friends in the adrenaline of sending her enemies sprawling. She couldn't remember the last time she'd fought this well...

A weapon--she needed a weapon. Before they got tired of her and decided to use theirs. Ah—-the troop’s leader had an AKL-47, a large rapid-fire flayer rifle, and it lay useless next to his hand, on the ground. Lem merely had to roll under that blitzer, around this one — she had it! Raising the AK and jerking it into electric disable mode, her finger poised to pull the trigger on the nearest target, ready to knock him out cold.

The finger never, ever, pulled.

“Hey, girl,” a harsh voice caught her attention and some movement to her left snagged the corner of her eye in its snare. The blitzers had reached Roz and Cinta while she had run around to dive for the flayer. Two blitzers held their flayer pistols pointed firmly at the still sleeping teenagers, at point blank range. “They’re set for kill,” the blitzer informed her, his hard, metal-sounding voice sending the elements of a mocking grin through his round grey helmet. “Shoot one of us and the other will shoot one of them. Fair trade, huh?”

Lem dropped the flayer immediately, the fear of the moment driving her fingers-—and suddenly fell smashed to the ground, her face in the dirt, amid hoots of laughter from the blitzers. The blitzer who’d tackled her heaved her back to her feet, her arms tightly twisted behind her back, his body close and warm through his streamlined armor.

“Let GO!!!” Lem shouted, his grip summoning a sense of desperation within her. “Or at least take a step back!”

The blitzers laughed, and Lem snarled something inappropriate. She would gladly have said more if the extra pain in her arms had not advised her to take a wiser path.

They wouldn’t be stupid enough to fire, Lem told herself, desperately searching for some encouraging idea. Stygge Diebol wants Roz and me alive…I just hope Cinta…

The blitzer by the tripod laughed in his harsh voice. “Actually, I had it set for stun the whole time. And look! I have all their weapons—-oh, and the wristband too-—right here.” He held up a two laserstaffs and a bow, and a few other items that had been in Cinta’s belt-pouch, and Lem’s pack. “We're very lucky you left the tripod to go for the gun.”

Lem sucked in her breath. She had no especially intelligent insults to hurl—-her normally full quiver of flaming darts had been crushed to her side under the distracting pressure of the blitzer holding her so close, so firmly immobile while another tied a metal cord around her wrists. Her current lack of inspiration did not stop her, however, from shooting out standard swear words both in Biouk and Grenblenian as the blitzers tightened the cord and prepared to bind Roz and Cinta. The still waters in her heart bubbled and frothed at the idea that they had been captured by a mere forty blitzers and the waters boiled over and burned her inside when she thought how gullibly stupid she had been, and how perhaps if she had awakened Roz all this would not be. If she had been a different person, the feeling inside her would have caused her to burst into frustrated tears-—but she wasn’t that kind of person. Her mouth boiled over with the unspeakable fury burning under her skin, and she stomped her foot, semi-accidentally on a blitzer’s shoe. He smacked her in the side of the head and cursed irritably.

“Let’s wake them up,” laughed the blitzer nearest Roz. “And @$*%, will you just shut up?”

“You’re ten times more of THAT than I am,” Lem shouted back. “Fight me one on one like a man, cheater, and THEN you can call me names!”

Another blitzer raised his fist to smash Cinta’s somehow still sleeping face.

“PANTOTA MIKA SIFTA!” Lem called quickly to wake Cinta and protect his cutely handsome little visage. Sometimes, that was the only thing that would get his attention.

Cinta jerked upright and instantly began speaking in jarbled Biouk indicative of his total lack of early-bird tendencies. “Jaika, where was the snake?”

“Cinta?” Jaika asked in Biouk. “Where was what snake???”

Cinta looked at her with a confused, dazed glance over the arm of the blitzer clutching him tightly around the arms and middle. “I was dreaming!” he protested.

Lem closed her eyes and struggled to find the charges in her scrambled neurons again. Reaching, reaching, controlling, wiping her mind, focusing…and an image of the AKL-47 that had gotten her into this mess. Aw, Zools, do I really need to worry about that right now?

“Let us go.” She finally ordered, channeling a wind of static charges out her mouth and towards the lead blitzer as she struggled to force her electric thoughts into his neurosystem.

If she had succeeded, this would have been the only time either SMA ever accomplished realignment under someone else’s myelin sheath. The nearly impossible electron stunt may have worked, for all she knew, for the blitzer opened his mouth instantly and spoke the beginning letters of a Grenblenian “yes”.

A strong, deep “NO!” from somewhere behind her put all hopes of escape to rest.

So lesson learned--do not sleep unprotected outside, and do not try to fight thirty men by yourself. Ask for help.

And ask me for my book!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

How Not to Die

According to this page which references the Nat'l Vital Statistics Report and all that good jazz, one of the leading causes of death is falling. That's right, falling kills more Americans each year than drunk driving, homicide, or drowning. Oh, and home accidents kills even more at a whopping 18,048 per year! When I said, "aw, come on, stop being so afraid, you could die by falling down the stairs" I never knew...I suppose it shows the celestials have a sense of dark irony. "Oh, he survived a mugging and a drowning, let's have a bookshelf fall on his head."

I am here to tell you, THAT is not the way to go! Here is a comprehensive list of ways not to die:

1. Accidental Poisoning
So with 19,457 Americans dead per year, what have we learned today? Apparently, Americans can't cook. Twenty-seven minutes from now, someone else will fall victim to an American's bad cuisine. Maybe Emeril should become required watching.
2. Dying while fainting from filling flasks full of liquid nitrogen
This happened. Now honestly, my heart goes out to whoever dies this way, because I assume you're doing it for science, and dying for science is awesome. I would applaud you except...he died from not opening the windows. Please people, don't die this way. Open the windows so you don't suffocate in evaporating nitrogen, and if you start to feel wheezy, stop what you're doing.
3. Pesticide deaths
In addition to being very painful, this particular death is completely preventable. Read the labels, wash your food, don't spray a whole can on your tomato...Imagine this tragic conversation in heaven: "Yeah, I died trying to kill a bug." Well, as long as the bug dies, I guess.
4. Alcohol poisoning
So six kids die every year from trying too hard. You could almost call these "peer pressure deaths." Chug chug chug could translate to die die die, but I suppose you could say "I died happy." However, in addition to being completely pointless, this death comes with a pricey pain tag, and while alcohol is a good thing, it's not worth dying for.
5. Death by blogging
Yes, I went there. Just read this article, and don't die this way. Two deaths preventable by exercise and eating healthy (honestly) are two deaths too many.
6.Dying of a dead man's bite
In some ways, this death is awesome in its uniqueness and zombie-esque revenge quality. However harmless strapping a dead man's head to your saddle might seem, take precautions to ensure that his teeth aren't scraping against your leg while you ride. The infection his nasty plaque gives you may be his post-death victory over you. By the way, 90,000 Americans die of infections in the hospital each year. So don't go there.
7. Beer flood
Enough said.
8. Death by shameless plug!
Last night, or rather, today, at about 2 or 3 in the morning, impulsive and frustrated Jake Howard found himself convicted of a crime he did commit...accidentally on purpose. Jake claims he stopped his murder victim from assaulting his timid sister, but no one's talking, and his attorney insists that he plead insane. When he begins to see FBI agents in his prison cell and wakes up with apparently self-inflicted cigarette burns on his body, even Jake's family suspects his mind has gone down the drain of the broken dishwasher. Jake finds insanity defined in a lonely mind as he struggles to plead his case against the newspapers and the lawyers fighting over him, but its hard to be the man who accidentally killed the president. Interested in reading this short story? Contact me.

So what if you don't die from any strange random unnatural causes? For you, there is always the death clock. The great Chinese Historian Sima Qian once said, "A man only has one death. It can be as light as a feather or as heavy as Mount Tai." My hope is that my death will have meaning and make a difference, and that it might add to my life rather than take away. How about you? What are you living, and dying for?

"For it is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgement."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How Not to Write a Webcomic

1) Upload it too small, and not in the original resolution
2) Don't seperate the panels enough, so people can't read what's going on.
3) Confuse the heck out of people by putting the blocks of text in the wrong place.

The final way not to write a webcomic is to talk about something else after you've uploaded it. I will demonstrate.

The snow here has given me ample time to contemplate, and to slip into that strange other-world we call sleep. In the otherworld, time spent with people we love expands, but our worst fears come true at the same time, so really, the other-world is just a caricature of the wake-world. I am simply astounded by dreaming and how it works, both in sleep and in awareness.

I stayed awake last night until five in the morning yesterday watching A-team, drinking milk, playing card games with friends and listening to a dreamer speak. It has been eons since I have heard dreams and ideas put out the way this dreamer put them out, and I could vividly feel and hear all his dreams in my mind as I watched him throw the tale into the air with his body and mouth. It made me remember happiness of the purest, most content kind and I slowly began to feel something itching away at that bitterness I've felt about humanity. It also made me remember passions and dreams.

I sometimes have vivid dreams that stay with me forever. More recently I have faded versions of good dreams and bad dreams. I hate the fade-out, the blurry edges. I hate it in both worlds, but most of all in the wake-world. Sometimes, when you define things too hard in the wake-world your other-world begins to fade, perhaps, and perhaps I've done this. Sometimes I feel haunted by what I want--the music, the writing, the school-success...the passions that I wish for don't feel like dreams anymore. They all feel heavy because I have begun to resent them.

I don't see why anyone should resent a dream, for it is the force of life that God gives to keep us from becoming empty and sucking in on ourselves introspectively, like a vacuum, and collapsing. Oh, silly girl. Stop making rules where there are none, and bitterness where there need be done, and live a life contemplating beauty, not ugliness.

Oh, and my story is still waiting for you, by the way, reader. I haven't forgotten.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How To Begin A Blog Wrong

Today is not really a momentous day, but it is a day, with a morning, noon, and night, and even those wee hours that promise its wake matter. Those are the wee hours I am celebrating now.

I hope you exist, out there, random reader, and I do not know how I will find you, but I will! I will find you, even if I have to slash my sword through a thousand reams of paper and spill the ink of hundreds of bloody printers. If I must roast myself for years over the slow flame of the form rejection letters from agents and publishers, and if I must take my knife to the belly of Father Time himself, I will find you.

I have a message for you, a story, and the survival of my friends depends on it. For friends in tales only live as long as the mind keeps them: some people are eternal because they live in eternal memories, and some people die before they see more than one mind, or because they became too old and the readers would no longer remember them.

Quite honestly, I know this is not how to begin a blog. Or, if it is, it is how to begin a blog that will fail. So if you would like to know how not to blog, take a page out of my book--not literally, or I will not be able to finish my sentences coherently--and in your first post reveal yourself as a mediocre musician and poor writer. Here are some of the comments I have received on my horrible music:

"Could be in a children's film." --broadjam reviewer
"It's boring." --a friend
"Maybe okay for a Sunday School or something." reviewer

If you would like your blog to fail, stab yourself in the back by saying something controversial, such as, "The next presidential election will overwhelmingly favor conservatives." Or worse, say something controversial on a topic that you know nothing about, for it is as far above you as the clear stars above the dusty snow tonight. "Although I know nothing about astrology, predictions of the future, Mayans, Hebrews, or the word count of the Bible, I know the world will not end in 2012! In fact, I'm optimistically pointing towards 2011. And a half."

*Insert choice word here* you Mayans, I'm onto you. I know your view of time is cyclical, because I was eavesdropping on a conversation yesterday while walking through the icy morning to the huge white hospital that looms over my tiny little house of Spanish speakers. The preppy girl's voice told me, and I suspect I know what her boyfriend did last Saturday. So here's the finger to everyone who thinks the world is going to end in 2012!

And there, demonstrated for you, dear reader, are the final tools for striking the bell that tones the death-toll over your newly conceived blog. The suction vacuum, the hook, and the pill of the abortion of a blog are, respectively, crude insult, revelation of creepiness, and emo-behavior. I will end off with the latter.

No one will read this, not because I didn't give it google keywords, or because I didn't write anything coherent, or because I didn't remember to leave out the part of being a convicted stalker, but because no one loves me. In the whole, wide, wide world, I am alone, with only the tears on my keyboard and the blood droplets on my monitor...oh wait, that's pizza.

Have a lovely day reader. In all honesty, I will not find you, nor do I know (for certain) what the preppy girl's significant other does. Hopefully, however, even though I may never find you, my story might. If I only tell you one thing that matters, let it be this: Someone out there loves you.