Thank You, Corey Feldman

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I know I tell sci-fi stories but I think I want to take today’s blog post to talk about something else. Watching Corey Feldman on the Today Show, I can think of no better reason as to why I have no interest in being famous for writing. Some folks have told me that I have to ‘get my name out there,’ in order to make a career out of writing.

“Corey’s got his name out there,” I say. “How’s that working for him?”

I feel bad for the guy. Corey Feldman is building his life all over again. If you’ve never had to pivot your entire life before, it’s hard to understand what a confusing and dehumanizing process that can be. Worse, yet … he’s doing it in the public eye. All of his false starts, faux pas and stumbles are there for public consumption. To be honest, I fear for the guy’s safety, success and sobriety.

Whenever you see a story like: ‘Corey Feldman is BACK with another bizarre Today Show performance,‘ you should know that you aren’t looking at a performance piece. As is common for other abuse survivors, Corey’s struggling with his baggage and embodies one of the painful truths about overcoming your past. Don’t understand what I mean? Let me explain:

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New Shorts in Production

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Sometimes new ideas happen pretty quick – I started jotting down some notes for three new short stories today. Writing every day is a discipline, but the ideas themselves show up whenever they want. It’s important to get them onto paper as soon as I can so I can get into a regular habit of production. If you’re on for it, you can watch the production in progress here:

Short Stories

Too much effort? Join the mailing list! I’ll send you a note when cool new things are happening. Under 18? Get your parents’ permission before going online.

State of the Art – 10/7/2016

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately” – Thoreau

thoreauquote354When I moved to Eugene, it was with the idea that I would be starting over again. To start over, I wanted to apply some lessons learned I picked up from previous adventures. One of them is that I avoid the news. People that know me will tell you that I’m very anti-current events. I hate reading the newspaper and I positively despise the 24-hour news cycle. However, I’m on Facebook and I hear what other people say. It’s times like these that I’m very glad I don’t keep up with current events. What I *have* been working on is as follows:

and …

Right now it’s a beautiful fall morning and I’m going to take a walk by myself in some woods. I heartily recommend you do the same.

Wow … They Handled that Surprisingly Well

Ran across this on Reddit and wanted to share. Every author faces potential backlash when they discuss controversial subjects and rarely do you find an authentic story that does not have some sort of controversy. I’m not planning to play Mafia III, but I do plan on using this as a template to handle any potentially wounded sensibilities. I’m passing it along because you, as a writer, might find it useful, too.

Wow ... They Handled that Surprisingly Well

P.S. – It turns out Warner Brothers did something similar with Tom & Jerry.

 

Admit It, You Love a Good Trope

I don’t have HBO, but I’m reading all the reviews about Westworld and they prove an important point. Sci-fi has a love/hate relationship with story tropes. You know what they are, even if you don’t know the word:

Above all, a trope is a convention. It can be a plot trick, a setup, a narrative structure, a character type, a linguistic idiom… you know it when you see it. Tropes are not inherently disruptive to a story; however, when the trope itself becomes intrusive, distracting the viewer rather than serving as shorthand, it has become a cliché.

The mechanics of storytelling require, nay demand, that we use tropes in sci-fi … if for nothing else, it gives our readers a mental baseline for the universe that we’re building. Good storytellers know how to play with tropes in a way that won’t distract the reader (i.e. “The Princess Bride,” or any Pixar film).  Bad storytellers leave us angry enough to steal hubcaps. Continue reading

State of the Art – 9/30/2016

It makes me laugh to see ‘Portlandia’ go full meta, with one of their filming locations turning into the kind of people they regularly lampoon. Oregon is famous for that kind of bohemian doublethink. Anyway, here’s the State of the Art for this week:

I’m digging through thousands of public-domain NASA photos for material to put together a book cover for ‘Search and Rescue’ if I end up self-publishing it. I like pictures like this, but would have to do a lot of Photoshop work to get it into the kind of shape I want. Thoughts?

Stranger Things Reveals the Beauty of Sci-Fi

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Okay, I don’t want to gush but I do love Stranger Things. There, I said it.

At first, I didn’t want to talk about the show. I felt it would push me into the ‘buying instead of being’ aspect of geek that I want to avoid with Geekquinox. That said, I saw Gaten Matarazzo talk about living with cleidocranial dysplasia and I had to speak up. Gaten’s revelation and the show itself revealed a core aspect of science fiction to me. Here it is:

In science fiction, there are no weaknesses … there are only strengths you haven’t discovered.

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Short Story Update – Completed First Draft of ‘Body Issues’

photo-1447584402565-2a5b35a7ea8aPleased to say that I finished the short story I was talking about earlier this week. ‘Body Issues’ explores life for girls in a world where genetic engineering and consumer bioengineering have gone mainstream. It’s out for comments with my writing group and I’ll submit it after Body Issues is greenlit.

I’ll post another update in a few hours but wanted you to know in the meantime that my projects are moving forward. If you’d like to reward me with something from the Phil Tippett Auction, I’ll reward you by naming a protagonist after you in an upcoming story.

Just kidding … sort of.