Carter Grey

Saturday night I started writing a new story, about a former soldier turned security, that I’d been wanting to write for ages but had zero idea of the story for, so I was grinding my teeth trying to get it to start and therefore just figured the only thing I could do was shelve it until I got inspiration at some later point.

I’d written the beginning of a scene, and it was going nowhere, and while I liked it, it just wasn’t working out. Life went to shit this year in a big way, so I had more important things to worry about.

But come the Saturday just gone, I decided on a whim to open the file and look at it about a year after last time.

And the great thing about temporal distance (ie leaving it for a year) is that you can come back to it with fresh ideas. And I’d put so much importance on this one for some reason. Wanted it to be amazing.

Considering I only have one novel done, well, that’s a bit presumptuous. And something just clicked when I did this. Actually, I’d opened up another start to another story in this particular world, and did some light editing on that. One thing led to another, and now I have a story that I’m really loving so far. It’s early days yet, but I think it’s the one.

And, for the first time in ages, I think a new woman in my life might be interested in me. Or at least intrigued by the relative mystery. Friendly and confident, at the very least.

That takes me back.

 

The Quest For Work

This week in the job hunt, I decided hey, you know who could help me find work with my degree? The university where I got it. The Queensland Writer’s Centre is also a good place to look, they have so many connections, especially domestically. To that end, I asked one of my awesomest lecturers if she’d be a reference for me.

She said yes.

Now my life *might* suck just that one little bit less.

Easter egg: I didn’t know what the usual term for that is, so the words I used were ‘can I cite you as…’. She liked that I didn’t say “put you down as”, because that implies she’s a dog, and that’s just kind of unfortunate. As Archer would say: Ugh, phrasing! (I should probably give that show another go. It ought to count as credit, what with all the literary references and syntactical… stuff. I lent my editing book to my friend, he needs it more than I do.)

 

Today’s controversial statement: I liked Suicide Squad. Not to the point of buying it when it comes out on DVD, but maybe when it drops in price. Not sure what I thought of Leto’s Joker, as written, but he is really intimidating and it’s not a *bad* Joker – you literally can’t have a bad Joker performance, I don’t think – but we all know who the best Joker of all time is. Yes, that’s right – it’s Mark Hammill. :p  Though I don’t think anyone can really compare to the terror-inducing performance of Ledger. His death was really quite tragic. It’s no surprise that the movie did so well, though it’s impossible to separate the suicide’s timing from the sheer quality of the movie itself.

Other actors of note were Will Smith, Margot Robbie and a couple others, and “Batfleck” was only in it for like two scenes, one as Bats, one as Bruce, and he was passable I guess. I hear he was pretty good in BVS.

The Killing Joke was pretty damn amazing, although the first 30 minutes, up till Batgirl leaves, could have tied in so much more naturally. It could very well have been cut and not affected the movie at all. The movie didn’t really start until much later on. Those sex scenes were controversial, to say the least.

In more positive news, I’ve had a bit of a comedy fix lately, well, last weekend anyway. Gruen returned, and the first episode was freaking hilarious. I connected with a truly amazing internet comedian and one-girl-band, Ali Spagnoli, who is freaking fun to watch in all her glory. When my Netflix finally gets restored I’m going to be watching Bojack Horseman, a really funny comedy about a former 90s sitcom star who’s washed up and hasn’t done shit in 20 years. And is, as the name implies, a horse.

I’ve restarted Crystal City, it just wasn’t working out, it’s not you it’s me, etc etc.

And that’s about it for now.

A film *actually* written by a computer

Yes, we kinda, sort have AI right now. Not true AI, as far as I know. Nothing that would truly pass the Turing test, though I’m not exactly an expert on this. But algorithm-based generation, that’s nothing new – it’s already here, basically, with random generators, of which there are literally millions around the place, though I hear they’re not TRUE random generators, and use some kind of algorithmic sorcery to spit out ‘random’ words.

This program, Benjamin, named itself. It analyzed a bunch of sci fi movie scripts, themes, characters, settings, etc, and the result…

http://arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2016/06/an-ai-wrote-this-movie-and-its-strangely-moving/

On packed weekends

Friday: FINALLY get to watch some Netflix that I signed up for two days prior, but due to technical issues, couldn’t log in and watch anything until that point. On-board graphics decides to die, new cable needed, still no luck. Have to update drivers, probably. Guessing I can’t do that on a PC that doesn’t send the signal to the monitor. Went through so many combinations of computer-cable-monitor, plus graphics card, which was second-hand when I got it in 2010. (hey, free graphics card). Must figure out how to find out what drivers I need without being able to check on that computer. More pressing issues, though.

Friday night: go to mum and dad’s place for dinner, no specific time given, should have arrived when we left, though traffic was amazing, which for that time on a FRIDAY night is a miracle in and of itself. The fact that they beefed up the road when the hotel went up helped ease congestion dramatically. Figured it might still be bad before then, though. No big issue, either way. Dinner takes longer to cook anyway. Go to old local, on rumour that an old friend is going. Not disappointed, though for a couple hours it looks that way. Two old friends show up, two for the price of one I guess. Both are women who LIKE me. Who give me REAL hugs. One’s married, one’s… I’m not sure. Single, as far as I know.

Some older woman goes through a routine to get me to undo one shirt button. Oh yeah, I’m wearing a button shirt. Could have actually not worn it, but figured I might go into city instead to see another friend, not sure of dress code there, checked, it wasn’t strict. Dressed up for nothing. Oh well.

Member of community has to go into surgery for tumor on Monday, community rallies behind her. Am reminded that only one person I was ever close to has died, and that was my childhood dog the year after graduating school, so don’t know what it’s like to lose someone I like. None of my grandparents’ deaths to date really affected me, because I was never close to them. No one was, not really. Both were… intense. No tears shed on my part, parents may differ. Must grab grandmother’s manuscript from brother, some time. Can only imagine what it’s like to lose someone you love to cancer/tumour/disease. I’ve only lost girls I like to personality. Rejection sucks. Guy I know got dumped. Offered to buy him a drink some time. Least I can do. Remind him that artists with broken hearts have longest careers. Impress some women-folk with this. Thoughtful response pays off in some way. Unintentional, welcome though.

Saturday: go to park with community. Talk honestly about my year, though leave out two details I haven’t shared with anyone. Will have to address those details at some point.

Check out gaming shop with no street sign up yet, hard to find, though on main road. Sign would make all the difference. Inquire about miniatures, as we’re officially playing D&D properly now. Gaming paper, four players, GOOD edition, the works. Place is awesome. Doesn’t have the miniature I want, but can get it in. Must message them this week some time.

Today: writers group convention, lots of panels about writing and publishing and editing, lots of people, lots of groups, lots of specials on editing and various services. Get drafted last-minute to sit at tables and sell books. Plot twist! No one grabs a copy, because I have no idea how to talk to people first. ALWAYS rely on them to start. Naturally, don’t make many friends that way. Especially women. Good conversationalist otherwise, though. New anthology should be out soon, but may be waiting until September, to coincide with anniversary. Want it out now, dammit!

Tomorrow: going to marketing introduction to see what the course is going to entail. I’d signed up to job listings, didn’t find anything, didn’t expect to. Got long call Thursday, now I’m going along to marketing intro meeting thing.

Tuesday: sleep for a week, probably. That and watch damned funny cartoon on Netflix. Alone, possibly under what’s known as “revenge blanket”. Or just a blanket. It’s winter here, and this house is COLD, yo.

Next Saturday, go into town, see other friend at gig. Fully intend to keep up my end of the agreement, unlike everyone *else* over the last year. Some friends are just shit. This friend bear-hugs though.

Logged in to Facebook, apparently someone released a book today…

Presentation at my high school

Today was a pretty special day. Today, I went to school.

I mean, sure, I went to school every day I had to and wasn’t sick for, because I wasn’t a dropout or such a rebel that I didn’t go to school.

But today was different. Today, I went back to my high school (as a published University graduate who, apart from a brief appearance once, hasn’t been to my old high school since graduating. In 2003.) for a speech to the seniors, the one I’ve mentioned previously. Today, it finally happened.

And I think I more or less succeeded. I forgot a couple things, like how you’re supposed to stand within the range of the mic, at the end (there were questions, and I forgot about that whole mic part).

I later had an attentive audience for the meet-and-greet, though I did arrive like a minute before, and I think I interested people enough to check it out. We talked writing and superheroes and stuff. (Is it okay to use ‘bending’ to describe what a character does with elements? Cause the way I see it, that word is so entrenched into modern pop culture that they’re going to think it anyway. And it’s using ancient Chinese traditions, so…)

I even did a bit of writing, this was mainly between the presentation and the meet, and I remembered to write a note about setting the scene, so I used film script style for this. The scene being a prologue-type flashback, I thought, hey, why not make this interesting? The rest of the book is in prose, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen flashbacks and prologues in film script style, so… certainly adds a bit of flavour to a device that is usually done awfully. I wonder what other people think though?

Oh, and Children of Fire and Writing The Wasteland are both free until Monday on Kindle, so… you know…  (awful plug is awful) (apologies to anyone trying to get them from here, I was fighting the machine while saying “almost done”. You understand, right? I believe the links are now fixed. Any hassles, let me know straight away.)

 

Back

It’s been a while, so here’s a few things happening. Good things, even.

I’m going to Icelandic Sagas, a story-telling gig held by one of my Uni lecturers, Kari Gislason, one of Iceland’s biggest exports. It’ll be Viking stories and the like, and I managed to persuade a friend from Uni to come with me, so that’s good.

I managed to get another friend out of the house for karaoke, that was an accomplishment, though he did want to in the first place. It was so good to see him waiting there at the door when I arrived. He never does that. He rarely ever keeps his plans. He’s historically lazy/underachieving/timid/socially anxious. This was good for him.

I’m going to look into giving Smashwords another try. This will allow me to upload my work to every OTHER retailer aside from Amazon. This will be after my just-renewed kdp Select term ends (90 days). I did that, because I have a date locked in for my high school presentation, this coming Friday (but moooooooom! I don’t want to go to school! :p). I’ve got the power point slide lined up, and I just need to rehearse. I could probably do better than Ben Affleck that one time on Family Guy, I reckon.

AND I might have a more permanent writing group teaching thing at the school, if things work out well enough.

I have some pretty sizable dental bills in the near future, due to knocking my front two teeth out when I was 12-ish, and my current medical cover is a joke, so I’m looking into upgrading that. I suspect that’ll be doable only during the day.

Aaaand Pokemon GO hit just the other week. It’s… nostalgic. So many kids weren’t around when Pokemon was first a craze. I have seen the kids excited by new games, but this… wow. That takes me back. I guess you had to be there. So did the adults. Especially the guys who get drunk and swear a lot. And the teenagers who blast the Pokemon theme song from their boom boxes. Yes, that actually happened.

I managed to hunt around the opposite side of the river at the park near me for a Magmar, half an hour and I gave up (battery was dying anyway). Sadface. Did detect a Grimer though. 13692719_10208673656695559_6316233207094897294_n

#PokemonNo #Nonononono #NotGoingDownThereForAGrimer #INeedAnAdult

Since the worst of the shit-storm of my life has passed, for now, I can de-stress, breathe easier, and focus on health both physical and mental (the costs associated with Asperger’s Syndrome mean some pretty costly healthcare). Thank God that mess is cleaned up. Plus, I’ve got D&D coming up during the week, not going to be a huge session, but it’s something.

 

 

 

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