Rounding up the mavericks

So I missed my usual post last Thursday. Looking at the blog stats, it’s easy to tell; people don’t visit when there’s nothing to visit. As for why I missed it, that’s a tale as old as time. And probably less interesting than watching paint dry.

Boiling it down to the essence, a multitude of little things crept up on me, and seasonal depression is very real. No need to say any more. Depression, above all, is fucking BORING. It’s blah when you’re in it, and hearing other people bleat about it is even worse. And see, here I am writing about it anyway, despite fully intending not to. [slaps self, but gently, with one hand only, so as not to spill the delicious root beer float in the other]

Okay, back to it. So today, because mental resources are at a low ebb and there are a lot of interesting things out there, is a Castalia House Sensor Sweep type of post that makes a couple of quick points about articles and blog posts on various topics. But because I’m hooked on that Old West thing, I’m calling it a roundup, of course.

Music

Clutch

I only recently got turned on to this band, but they’ve been doing their thing for a solid 20 years now. And their thing is kickass blues rock. Heavy, with a big dose of shuffle, funk, and swagger. An unbeatable sense of humor, too. These guys are serious about making good music, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

This song from their most recent album is a good representative. If you like this, you’re in luck, because they’ve got 20 years worth of great stuff like this waiting for you…and once you know some Clutch, come back to this video and have fun with all the Easter eggs.

Daath

I’ve been listening to this band for a while now, but only on YouTube and Spotify. I finally bought their second-to-last — and far and away their best — album so I could play it in my truck, which holds within its sacred cab the only decent stereo system I have. Thus I have finally heard the full depth and VOLUME of this death metal masterpiece (along with anyone else within about 75 yards), and it is good.

The album art is something else, too; you can see a lot of it in the video, but unfortunately not in any detail. It’s basically death-metal pointillism: All the weapons and guillotines are actually an intricate network of smaller images of more weapons and guillotines. Oh yeah, and skulls and coffins. Can’t forget about those.

Writing

Are you still an aspiring writer?

This article, by Nat Russo at Erindor Press, dives into some of the reasons why so many of us are merely aspiring writers when we are actually much closer and more capable than we think. Those who have reached the Holy Grail and put their fiction into print might also want to read it, because it touches on confidence-and-mentality roadblocks that writers tend to face at any stage.

You’ve been writing for days, months, years, perhaps decades. You have a few pages or paragraphs under your belt. Or, perhaps, you have partially finished manuscripts collecting dust somewhere. But, you just can’t bring yourself to use the word writer. Are you still an aspiring writer?

Nat Russo, A Writer’s Journey

Personally, I’m not reluctant to call myself a writer because it’s actually how I make my living…just not by writing fiction (unless you count the little white lies marketing departments tell).

Still, I am an aspiring writer of fiction. Or, as I’d put it, I’m an aspiring author. Being a writer is easy; being an author of stories for other people…it’s been a desire of mine to write and publish a fantasy novel since I was 15, and here I am, 30+ years later, still without a finished novel, let alone a published one.

Yeah, this article definitely has a message for me. As does the next…

Writing breakthrough: Misbeliefs

So the central nugget here is that everyone goes through life clinging to certain misbeliefs, and that because they stem from basic human brain wiring, they’re a sort of universal well of character-building, dramatic tension, and reader-relatability in stories. (Spellchecker tells me “relatability” isn’t a word; spellchecker can eat my shorts.)

I can’t explain it any further without either being a big boring moron or using way too many of someone else’s words, so I’ll just refer you to the article: Writing breakthrough. And life. But also writing.

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5 thoughts on “Rounding up the mavericks

Add yours

  1. I’ve always wanted to write, and started a few times over the years.

    But really it was my absolute hatred for the books on Kindle Unlimited that drove me to write my own. Because I KNEW I could do better than the stuff I kept coming across.

    To be fair though, I expected to be done in six months – now I’m at 18 months and so stinking close to being finished with the Beta Reader draft. I’m being gentle on myself though, because it’s a long process and it’s my first time. (As well as having a family, young kids, work, etc) The learning curve has been a bitch though, but totally worth it. The next one will be much easier than the first.

    Just, write, write, write. Put in the effort and reap the rewards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, writing stories isn’t easy, and writing really good ones is far harder. The difficulty peaks when you hit novel length. If it were as easy as some people seem to think, there would be a lot more readable novels out there.

      Where I struggle isn’t with developing writing chops (I’ve always had them to some degree), but with mental roadblocks and persistence. I write a lot, but go nowhere. 🙂 Anyone who takes it to the end result of a readable novel, however long it took, has my envy and respect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well… there are a lot of Terrible novels out there also! I read the Golden Compass once, it was absolute garbage in every way imaginable, and they made a major movie out of it and the author made bank.

        Just got to keep at it. I’m just stubborn now, and I’ve a list of folks waiting to read it – and I don’t want to let them down. But it’s difficult, that’s for sure. I’ve had numerous false starts over the past twenty years. Seems like I’ve finally reached a place where I can make it work, but danged if it ain’t the busiest time of my life as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the way it usually goes with anything that requires sustained creativity, I’ve found. Life always butts in somehow, for better or worse. But it sounds like you’re pushing through and gettin’ er done. I look forward to seeing the end result.

        As for The Golden Compass, I actually loved it. 🙂 The author is a horrible person and a raging communist (funny how the two go hand-in-hand), but I thought the trilogy was great. The movie…not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh no! We can’t be friends anymore, lol! I enjoyed the first book, the notion of your concience being an animal companion was pretty nifty. Once it got into the other worlds, cutting openings, the weird hell that no one could escape, and God being an aging devil that is assassinated by children – they lost me. lol

        Liked by 1 person

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