Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Night Terrors

leave a comment »

Found this poem from a while back and thought that I would share.

 

“Night Terrors”

The music of this place pulsates

To the rhythms of heartbeats.

The lights shame me into feeling

That none of this is real, but your hand

On mine makes my heart lose count.

 

Elegies written in the corners of crinkled

Eye and smile lines. A hollow beat beckons

Me to stay true; however, I know how this night ends,

With me clutching pillows, waking

From a nightmare vision in my own bed.

 

I scream into the dark, but only silence

Answers my tirade. I hear my heartbeat again

Running away in time with my thoughts and dream

Spectacles again, taking me out of sync. Yet a breath

And a few uncried tears lull me back to my

Blissful torment. An unending dirge.

 

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 7, 2016 at 1:09 am

Posted in Poetry, writing

Things I Never Want to Admit that I Want to Myself or Others

with 2 comments

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I know that those who know me are so surprised (*sarcasm*). And I’ve been trying to figure out what I really want from the here and now and from life in general. So I’m listing some things here. However, now, you have to really wonder if these are the deepest recesses of my soul or if these are the ones that I will allow myself to share.

  1. A full-time job. While working part-time at many different places can be rewarding in a lot of ways, the fact that I work several jobs and always feel like I’m meeting myself coming and going is not fun. I’m currently looking for something a little more permanent, but I know that permanency is not something that is necessarily 100% super either.
  2. Being published for something. I know that this sounds a little vague or whatever, but I really want something of mine to be published by someone. I know that I could self-publish and that this is still an option, but I want for someone in the traditional publishing field to want something of mine so much that they offer me that golden ticket contract. I say this as I have submitted a short story recently, am prepped to submit a selection to an open call pub., and have several other things that I’m working on creatively. These are all the crazy things that are consistently running through my little mind, and I have hope that something will come of it, maybe.
  3. Inner piece. Recently, I have put myself out there in ways that I cannot describe here nor want to. I have done as Miss Frizzle said. I took chances, got messy and made mistakes. And now, I feel like I am dealing with the fallout of these things emotionally as well as in the real world. I don’t know what will become of all the stuff, but I really want to get to a place where I feel like I’m not a raw nerve, and while I know that many people would never know what is going on in my head, I want the calm and collected demeanor to be a reality within the framework of my own head.
  4. Love and intellectual companionship. I’ve always imagined myself as a loner and as someone who would be alone with their 40 dogs, cats, and fish much later in life. This was never a thought that I would have pondered until recently. As pragmatic and logical person who is capable of reading people and situations quite well, connecting with people is hard. I don’t make friends or start relationships with people easily. This is even more true of those that I feel might last or be lasting. As a person who has grown up around people with faulty relationships, seen marriages fall apart, and gotten jaded by any number of events, I find it hard to admit to myself that I have this desire. My family says that I’m picky, but  as shallow as it sounds on some level, I can’t be with just anyone because I have to feel that spark not only of attractiveness but of intellectual compatibility. For me, attractiveness and sexual compatibility goes beyond whether or not someone is “hot.” I could really give a shit less about whether a person is the hottest thing that has ever walked the earth, but to feel that connection and to be able to hold an intellectual conversation, I don’t know how to describe it but damn… dayum.
  5. Change. I don’t do well with instability paired with monotony. While these may sound like conflicting ideas, I talk now about the monotony of being in a particular situation while feeling like that position is precarious. As such, I long for change. I may have to manufacture the change on some level, and I don’t know what that will be. However, I need to roll along and find something. While this may be weird to those that long for the everyday or the ordinary (and these things aren’t bad), I need something more, and I am becoming uniquely aware of this with every passing moment in my own head.

So there you have it. A few thoughts from this chaotic head of mine. I find writing to be cathartic, and maybe, you’re feeling the same way too. If so, feel free to chat with me in the comments below.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 2, 2016 at 11:10 pm

Posted in goals, life, writing

Song in My Head: “Letting You Go” by Luke Sital-Singh

leave a comment »

Here’s another song by the really talented Luke Sital-Singh. The one is really intriguing, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I understand / read the song (It’s the English major in me).

Here are some of the lyrics that I transcribed from the song:

“Well, it’s been too long. No, it’s been too long, and it’s all my fault this time. I’m a long way back in the distance now, and I don’t know if I’m strong. On the darkest night when I told you lies for a chance I might seem cool, well, the ghosts were there roaming in their underwear, making me look like a fool.

At the breakneck speed of tomorrow, I’m never letting you go. I’m never letting you go. At the heartbreak speed of tomorrow, I’m never letting you go. I’m never letting you go.”

I find his poetry mesmerizing.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

January 8, 2016 at 10:21 pm

[Guest Post] Literary Worth in Genre Fiction

with one comment

Today’s blogpost comes to us from B. J. Keeton, who writes adamantly on his blog professorbeej.com and continues to work on his fantasy / science fiction and steampunk series. By day, he is a mild-mannered college professor in Tennessee, and at night when the world isn’t watching, he tweets, writes and many other things…which I know a lot of you also do. Now, let’s lend our ears and support as he tells you all a little more about his awesome series that he’s about to publish (with our help of course). So without further ado, Mr. Keeton. 

Cover art by Falon Yates

As an English major in college, I was taught how to read and appreciate literature. I was taught how to recognize.  literary worth–how narrative pacing and structure, character development, and thematic depth all added up to make a text great.

As an English teacher, I try to do the same for my students. I want them to be able to get as much from literature as possible.

As an author, however, I can’t help but find the idea of so-called literary worth a little overwhelming. In a move totally and completely unlike James Joyce, I did not set out to write something great.

I wrote Birthright because I wanted to tell a good story. A fun little sci-fi/fantasy story that people would want to read.

And if folks find literary worth in it, all the better!

But what I find interesting is that as I’ve done this blog tour to promote the Birthright Kickstarter, I’ve begun noticing a few things I didn’t intend to notice. I started thinking about themes and deeper issues present in the novel, and I have to admit that I surprised myself.

I mean, Birthright is genre fiction. There’s no doubt about it. There are laser guns, technomages, fiery swords, hyperspace travel, and ten-thousand-year-old former gods.

Ulysses, this is not.

So why then, in my guest post for BioBreak, did I end the article like this?

I want to explore the real-world implications of [humanity playing the roles of gods, and] not just [through] the creation of artificial intelligence like in I, Robot or virtual reality like in Neuromancer, but full-on synthetic universes made of real-as-you-and-me organic matter. I want to explore the question that when the very foundation of your reality is both [natural] and created, is there even a distinction anymore?

Genre fiction isn’t supposed to be that heavy, is it? I mean, I didn’t set out to write a SF/F trilogy that dealt with humanity grasping at divinity. Yet I somehow managed to.

According to an editor I worked with earlier in the year, though, that’s exactly what good genre fiction does. She said that “SF is at its best when it tilts and expands” the reader’s worldview and understanding.

I would add something to that, though. In addition to tilting and expanding, it must also be interesting and engaging. In genre fiction, storytelling is paramount. All the worldview tilting and expanding the writer can muster is for naught if the story is lackluster.

And I think that’s where Birthright shines. Because as an author, I put the story first.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Birthright is great (though it is pretty darn good, if you ask me), and I’m not saying it will ever be a literary classic. What I am saying, though, is that it’s a prime example of how genre fiction can tell a good, fun story without the overbearing weight of literary worth hanging over its head like the Sword of Damocles.

And to me, that’s what makes genre fiction great–not that it must have worth, but that it can.

B.J. Keeton is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for Birthright, the first book in The Technomage Archive series. He is is a writer, blogger, and teacher. When he isn’t trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he writes science fiction, watches an obscene amount of genre television, and is always on the lookout for new ways to integrate pop culture into the classroom. B.J. lives in a small town in Tennessee with his wife and a neighborhood of stray cats, and he blogs about pop culture, geek media, and awesomeness at www.professorbeej.com.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

July 5, 2012 at 10:48 am

Excerpt from the Novel I’m in the Process of Writing

leave a comment »

So after working on my novel for the past six months (and writing the bulk of it during the last two months), I feel like it’s time to share a bit of it. While this scene may change a bit when I hit the revision stage, Sadie (the vampire protagonist) and DaSuh (a shadow elemental who is escorting her) run upon a group of zombies that long to feast upon their flesh, and they must deal with these lesser undead. This is a first draft of a scene, so please be gentle in your feedback. . .however, feedback is appreciated. Without further ado, an excerpt from “A Taste of Night.”

***********************************************************************************************************

            Poised for the battle, we waited until the zombies slowly formed a ring about us: a vampire and a shadow elemental against a horde. We quickly launched our attack, hoping for the best and preparing for flight if we got the opportunity. Soon, we lost the world in a flash of flesh and limbs as our bodies beat out a symphony against the decaying meat.

My claws sank into the head of the closest zombie, ripping through his rotted flesh and skull and tearing into the gray matter. With the brain destroyed, the body collapsed upon the cracked sidewalk. Turning away from it, I grabbed the outstretched arm of another and separated them from the body as the zombie tried feebly to bite me with its jawless mouth. Its suffering was ended quickly as DaSuh’s shadowmancing blade sliced the whole body in twain.

“Look out!” DaSuh shouted as what looked like a giant maggot lunged, for lack of better term, toward me from the brain of the now rapidly decaying corpse. I caught it midflight and crushed it in my iron grip, destroying it.

“So that’s what they look like!” I yelled back, swiping my talons through the heads of three zombies at once, thereby rendering them incapacitated and most certainly dead.

Glancing over my shoulder, I could see DaSuh destroying many more of the shamblers with single swings than I was managing. One flick of the shadow blades and ten went down. However, the creatures seemed to keep coming and moving in on us too swiftly to count. When I destroyed five, ten appeared to take their place with a few stopping to feast upon their truly dead and now rapidly decomposing comrades, which was disgusting since the books allowed they only feed on living flesh. Again, I did not allow my stomach to become upset and kept tearing into the insurmountable wall of rotting flesh.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end to them!” I bellowed as I crushed yet another parasite under my expensive boots.

“Yes, they keep coming!”

“What can we do?!?”

“Keep fighting and give me a sec to think!” he shouted, taking down another ten with one swipe of his blades.

Kicking hard into one’s skull, my heel broke off leaving me hobbled for a second as I quickly decided to break the other one in a similar fashion. I lodged this one into a zombie that eerily reminded me of someone, but for my unlife, I couldn’t remember who. Still, there was no time to think as I slammed two of the walkers’ heads together with a sickening “CRACK!” This still did nothing to stop the remaining zombies from descending, and unluckily for us, the wall of bodies that we were accumulating around us was beginning to turn to dust as quickly as we added to it, leaving us without this meager protection and turning the feasting zombies’ attention back on us.

“I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up!” I yelled back at DaSuh, who wasn’t fairing any better than me by the way the dead kept closing in.

“I can try one thing!” he roared. “But it will take all my concentration. Do you think that you can hold them on your own for a little while?”

“Maybe with your swords.”

“Fine here!” he replied tossing the blades to me that turned back to sapphire in my hands. However, they would still cut though.

“Thanks, but now what do I need to do to help you, besides protecting you from them?” I questioned as I sent the blades hacking into the snarling creatures around us.

“I need to be against something like a building,” he said pulling two daggers from his side sheathes.

“I think that we can do that.”

Cutting down all the zombies to my left with one swish, I began to clear the way to the abandoned back to our side, long boarded up. But hey, it was a building. Wheeling around, I began to take on the brunt of all the attacking undead as DaSuh took position behind me.

“I warn you before I start, little princess,” he said, “This will be dangerous on both our parts. Do you still wish for me to do it?”

“Yes!!!”

“It will take me a few minutes to work the intricate magic. DO NOT let them interrupt me or the consequences could be dire.”

As I continued to hack away at the never-ending seas of decay, I saw in my periphery that DaSuh sat down as if to meditate. From him, a chant began to rise as zombie hands tried to touch him, yet none of them ever did because I chopped them off and destroyed their owner before they got remotely close. Shortly, a tingle of energy began to flow through the air around us, which the zombies did not seem fazed by as they maintained their attack. This energy gained in intensity for the next few minutes, while DaSuh’s voice steadily rose in frequency and overall loudness; until suddenly, his voice was all that could be heard over the groaning and teeth-snapping of the zombie horde surrounding us.

“OKAY DUCK!!!” DaSuh roared.

I kneeled quickly as the bolt of shadow energy flew over me, waylaying the zombies in front of us, but they seemed to recover rather quickly as they started stumbling back to their feet. Suddenly, this ball of pure glowing purple stopped, however, and imploded into the space above where the zombies once stood. In an instant, the true power of the void enveloped the group and sucked them into nothingness. What’s more, all of their bodies vanished into it and went. . .who knows where. I felt myself being drawn to this singularity and found that I could do nothing to stop it as I dug my claws into the concrete beneath me. However, even doing so did not help me, but I wasn’t going to let this be my end.

“DaSuh, I’m slipping! Help me!” I screamed at the stolid figure looking on the scene of zombies being sucked to their death. . . redeath. . . to die again.

As I continued to be pulled to my imminent demise, DaSuh’s tight, steel-like grip closed upon my shoulder, keeping me from whatever the shadowy energy was. However, the bones in my shoulder did not quite like the strength of his grasp and proceeded to snap under the force. The “CRUNCH” filled my ears as the pain shot through my upper body.

“Oooowwweeeewwww!” I screeched, reflexively trying to pry his fingers from my tender flesh. After a few seconds, I stopped because the urge to live was more powerful than the hurt in my shoulder. I was thankful to not be consumed by nothingness or what I would assume to be nothingness.

While the zombies were also fighting against the power of DaSuh, each of the rotting corpses slowly found themselves devoured by the singularity. Moreover, the flesh of those that struggled to stay in this realm the hardest peeled off their bones and destroyed them all just the same. Before long, empty space and silence were all that remained around DaSuh and me, but perhaps even more dramatically, the large vortex of swirling purple energy started to shrink and left with a slight pop. It left us in an uneasy calm after the ordeal, yet we were still living. . .or whatever you want to call the existence of two creatures such as ourselves.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

June 28, 2012 at 4:13 am

Writing My Novel Part 1: The Basics of Things

leave a comment »

So over the course of this summer, I have taken my first venture into the writing of long form fiction. Now, this has been something of a task for me because I’m used to writing short stories and poetry; thereby, I create characters and set them free on the ocean of 2k -7k words. However, as my novel stands at around 50k words, I have invested a large amount of time and writing space for my characters and the premise of the story I’m going to tell. This post is to give a little insight into what I’ve been doing… here goes.

Premise: In the year 2042, the world turns all its nuclear warheads on each other and destroys the world in a cataclysmic event that causes the surface of the Earth to be uninhabitable to the humans that survived. (Matter-of-factly, I have written a short snippet that deals with this, which I hope to expand too.)  However, even as the human race is driven underground, the Eight monster races of the world (and some of their mutated offspring which don’t constitute a new race per say) which have existed in the shadows alongside humans come to power under the dust cloud covering the sun and making the Earth habitable for them. All Eight species try to live in harmony with one another, but like all those with power, peaceful cohabitation may not be possible… Enter our protagonist and her allies and enemies several hundred years after the great cataclysm…

The Eight Races (The races and a fun fact about them):

Vampires–Some feed on the  blood of the other seven… which is frowned and punishable by death. This is why it’s kept secret if they do. Others feed off the cultivated herds of mutant animals that they tend.

Weres— Werewolves and the like (there are more than just werewolves). They are called werebeasts by the other Seven races, which is a derogatory term… Prefer to be called Weres.

Arcane— The witches of folklore and legend who command external forces. In large covens, they have been known to shift the clouds and control the weather. Using their magic causes them to age physically; however, their youth can be recovered by focusing their magic toward rejuvenation.

The Fae— Similar to the witches in terms of their magical nature, yet they additionally are physically strong despite their lanky appearances. Known to be very beautiful. Their Queen is the Titania of lore. . .she rules them with a doll that contains the soul of Oberon, whom she trapped there so she should never be alone. Some call her the mad queen…

Elementals— Beings of immense power. Embody certain elements in a physical and magical way so that they become living fire, ice, shadow, etc. However, they can look human. Widely varying levels of power exist among them. Some are so weak that they barely exist. . .others can rend the Earth.

Harpies— One of the few flying creatures in the new world order. They are all covered in a fine layer of feathers that both protects them and streamlines them for flight. They are pack creatures that hunt, attack, and destroy creatures much more powerful than them through their group dynamic.

Infernals— Also called Demons by the other races. Usually remain in their monstrous / demonic form complete with flaming spectral wings and horns. They mostly appear to be genderless. Their ruler Bilge is known in the Christian Bible as Legion but not because he’s multiple demons…

Celestials— Called Angels by most creatures’ standards, they are additionally known as Valkyrie, goddesses, and more. Deemed by most of the other Seven (the Infernals won’t consent) to be the most powerful of the races, they are usually seen as the peace keepers because they can keep the others at bay. Have a club in the remnants of Carnegie Hall named “Heaven”.

There are other mutant species that exist that occur as splinter forms of the main groups… for instance, there are a few harpies that call themselves furies because they have acquired slightly different forms and powers. Hence, the variation of monsters throughout history.

Protagonist: Sadie is a highborn vampire who is relatively young by vampire standards (almost 2000 years old at the beginning). In addition to her youth, she is also plain by vampiric standards, which causes her purpose to be a little clouded. At first, she is just trying to find out from higher authorities what her destiny is, but inadvertently, she stumbles into a war that she finds herself at the epicenter of all because she chose to put on a necklace.

So there you have it, a little bit of insight into what it is that I’ve been writing. While I know that I’m being vague to a degree, I hope that my future posts will enlighten you  more. Maybe this will entice you to read more, even as I head to my 85k word count goal.

Review of Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part One)

leave a comment »

I recently had a Twitter conversation with author B. J. Keeton (@professorbeej on twitter. . .you should follow him if you don’t) and expressed how hard it is for me to write a review of anything because I feel like I can be a little too critical at times. I also told him that this is the reason why I hadn’t already written a review of his and Austin King’s Nimbus: A Steampunk Novel (Part One), and honestly, this is true. I have started and stopped writing my review several times, and each time, I have thought that I might be being a bit too hypercritical. However, as I have let the thoughts sit, I know that I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading it, and although the first part isn’t perfect, I really enjoyed it. Now, I’m going to tell you why as briefly, succinctly, and honestly as possible.

First the novel’s blurb:

NIMBUS: A STEAMPUNK NOVEL (PART ONE) is the first volume of a serialized steampunk fantasy novel that started as an experiment and came out of the authors’ desire to do something new and interesting with ebook technology, while also dealing with a wide variety of narrative goodies–from airships to demon possession.

The story of NIMBUS: A STEAMPUNK NOVEL follows Jude Finley, a new recruit aboard the Gangly Dirigible, an airship that extracts water from rainclouds. Having only lived above the Skyline for a year, Jude is still getting used to the way things work in the world above the clouds. While working aboard the airship, Jude and his friends uncover a secret which may or may not help them against a growing uprising that could spell doom for everyone on the planet.

Meanwhile, Demetrius Rucca, wheelchair-bound son of a prominent religious leader, begins recruiting followers for his own subversive cause. As allegiances are sworn to him and his followers grow, he begins to discover the new powers that lie within him. This power could be the salvation Demetrius is looking for–or it could be the destruction of the known world. (From Amazon)

About the Authors:

AUSTIN KING has written plays, poems, novels, and short fiction, but he spends most of his time making sure his credentials sound more impressive than they really are.

B.J. KEETON is a writer, blogger, and teacher. When he isn’t trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he writes science fiction, watches an obscene amount of genre television, and is always on the lookout for new ways to integrate pop culture into the classroom. He lives in a small town in Tennessee with his wife and a neighborhood of stray cats. You can find more free fiction by B.J. Keeton at http://www.professorbeej.com. (Amazon as well)

Both of these guys are awesome as well!

The Good

The characters– Both Jude Finley and Demetrius Rucca are fully fleshed out characters that I find to be completely believable. While both characters are interesting in their own right, Jude takes up the mantle of our main hero as he manages his life aboard the Gangly Dirigible and is confronted by increasingly difficult situations up until his cliffhanger. Rucca (as he is referred to throughout the novel) lives the life of a highborn crippled man, and it becomes obvious quickly that this has affected him as he literally takes to the skies to rid himself of his existence. Moreover, each has another hidden layer that surfaces as the story continues. . .

The story– It’s original and unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but moreover, it puts a new spin on the steampunk genre, which can be dry for me at times. From the beginning, the readers are shown the importance of water and how difficult it is to gather in turn through Jude’s story. With Rucca, we are brought into the problems of someone stuck in his own skin, feeling the limitations and hoping to be able to bypass them somehow. And. . .AND it has demon possession which will serve as a huge plot device within the remaining parts. . .I find this to be really awesome.

The Concept of Serialization–They’re releasing the novel in four parts on Amazon, but they’re also releasing it chapter by chapter on Keeton’s blog professorbeej.com. I’ve oftentimes thought of how interesting it would be to read something serially, like the Victorians once did (and others… I know that too). This indulges my fancy and allows me to see how it would function. Also, I think that this is a brilliant way to build suspense, especially with the overall strength of the writing. It makes the overall premise great.

The Not So Good

Imbalance with alternating plots early on– While the writing and the story were really, really strong overall, I found myself at times feeling like the alternating chapters between Jude and Rucca’s points of view were a bit uneven in terms of their overall pacing and interest level. This occurs mainly toward the beginning and slowly begins to work itself out as both plot lines amp up in terms of action. Give it the first few chapters, and I assure you that you will be drawn in (that’s why I make this point).

Awkward phrasing at points– Although this doesn’t happen that often, there were a few times in this section of the novel that I was left scratching my head at the connection of ideas in a sentence or at just the structure of a sentence. For example, at one point there is discussion about a character that has been damaged by the fog: “His fingers, hands, and arms were also damaged. Muscle tissue and, like the spot on his right hand, even bone showed through.” I understand what was meant to be said here within the context of the larger scene; however, it took me reading this passage a few times to get the exact meaning. These types of issues occurred very infrequently, which shows you that the copy editing / proofreading was done with great care and attention to detail.

Overall— 4 of 5 Stars

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars because it is provocative, the concept is interesting, and the characters, especially the main ones, are well written. I enjoyed it thoroughly and anxiously await the second part to know what happened to both our hero and the budding villain. Honestly, it is pretty fantastic for only 2.99 at the Amazon Kindle Store. Go out and get it today!

Origins

leave a comment »

Rajhym stood on top of Mt. Vijadt watching the people in the village below scurry about. He had been hiding for the past couple of hours, shirking his duties in the fields to do what he like to do best: people watch. Now, as it began to get dark, he decided to climb down the treacherous path to get home, where warm goat stew and cider would be waiting for him.

The journey down began as always with Rajhym using a small torch to light the precarious trail. It felt much the same under his feet as it had felt many times before, but after walking for at least forty-five minutes, he began to climb the mountain again. This was when he began to worry.

“I have taken a wrong turn,” he thought, “and now, I will surly die from exposure.”

When this crossed his mind, he sat down and started to cry for he had never been lost or alone in his fifteen years, and now, he was truly scared for he knew that Mt. Vijadt turned dangerous after dark and creatures roamed the paths that no one spoke the names of anymore. He remembered four years ago that his father had wandered into the mountains in search of his sister. Neither of them had returned, but he and his mother found a necklace of bloody teeth strung with his sister’s bloodied golden hair… and they knew that their family was dead and that they had suffered. After this, his mother had kept him close at all times… that was until his fourteenth birthday when he had to begin working.

He knew it was a risk to climb the mountain but did it anyway. Now, he wished that he hadn’t.

His tears continued.

“Ah, poor child,” came an ethereal voice just outside the torch’s ring of light. “Why are you sad?”

He wiped his eyes and replied, “I’m lost and find it impossible to find my way in the dark. If I have to stay here, I’m sure to be gotten by a creature of the mountain.”

“There, there,” answered the voice as a feminine arm came into the circle and its hand stroked his face. “I won’t let a creature of the mountain get you.”

As the he felt more at ease, Rajhym noticed the gnarled hand and the fingers that ended in talons. He gasped at the sight and started to run away.

“Now, where are you gong little Rajhym?” cooed the voice as steel-like grip clamped upon his shoulder. “Don’t you want never to be afraid again? Wouldn’t you like to haunt this mountain all of your waking moments, forever?”

“Let go. I need to make it home.” He struggled against the hand, but it was no use.”Help! Help! Help!”

“Poor little vagabond,” whispered the voice covering his mouth with another taloned hand. “I will make you strong. You shall be mine.”

A noxious breath blew across his torch, causing it go out. Rajhym was left in the dark with the creature. Slowly, his eyes adjusted, and he began to make out the outline of what looked like a nude woman with glowing eyes, looking at him hungrily as she continued to grip his arm.

“I shall kiss you and make it all better,” she said. “And none of the others will attempt to take you ever again.”

She stooped down closer and closer toward him until her toothless maw covered his tender face. He felt something like warm flesh in his mouth that he assumed was her tongue, but soon, he realized it was more like liquid energy flowing from her into him. He felt stronger as his limbs started to extend and claws began to grow from the tips of his fingers. Quickly, he felt more powerful than he had ever dreamed of becoming.

“And now it is finished, my child,” she creaked withdrawing from him. “My journey is done, but yours is just beginning.”

“What do you mean?” he questioned, recognizing a deeper, more raspy voice which frightened him.

“You are now one of the Draknar. An ancient race, very powerful of sorcerers that some worship as demons… and to a certain…*Ack, ack*” her coughing interrupted her speech. “…extent we are, I suppose.”

“What is this about your journey being done?” again the deep raspy voice came.

“I have endowed you with the eternal essence, the source of your power. But like a bee sting, once given the stinger must die.”

“So, you’re leaving me?” tears began to fill his eyes again.

“You’ll be okay, my child. But all things must come to an end, Ahsa. . .”

“You create me, and then. . .” the deep, raspy voice trailed off as he noticed the light leaving her eyes. He knelt beside her for a moment before her flesh started to flake away in the breeze.

The last thing to go were the eyes in which he saw his reflection. His eyes glowed with a cold fire from the depths of his now gaunt, cadaverous face. Jagged teeth replaced his once boyish smile. And a desire to inflict pain filled his heart because he lost everything as all Draknar do but gained so much more.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

A Bargain

leave a comment »

A fetid smell rose from the slave pens. Another had died in the night, and it would surely be days before their overlords would notice. . .and by that time, there might not be anything left for them to find, save a few chips of bone.

Rhoda had been praying for seventeen cycles for someone to come and rescue them, and even as he gave up hope, a figure appeared at dusk. One who seemed to be little more than spindles, allowing its hollow voice to fill the darkness between them.

“He who has summoned me, I am Ahsa the Blight of the Seven, the Bringer of Pestilence, and a Lord of the Under Realms. What would you have me do?” hissed the tall lanky figure from the shadows.

“Free us,” Rhoda replied.

The creature’s two eyes gleamed like fire as it whispered, “There are many of you. This will require a lot of power. Are you willing to give everything for these your people?”

“They are my family. They are all my brothers and sisters. We have suffered much pain. I would do or give anything for our freedom.”

“Anything?” Ahsa half questioned, half chuckled.

“Anything,” Rhoda answered tentatively.

“Good. A future favor is my price,” whispered the old one. “One to be asked sometime hence from now on my terms. It shall be one of my choosing that you must ask no questions about. Do you agree to these terms  Seridian mutt?”

“It seems that I have no choice.”

“Then, we seal it with our blood,” the figure responded as it slashed one hand with a gnarled talon from the other, and after doing the same of the slave, they clenched hands in a salute of understanding.

“And thus it is done,” creaked Ahsa.

In a blink, the creature extended its hands from the darkness and a ghostly light started to radiate from them. And for a moment, Rhoda held his breath as he waited for his friends, family, and himself to be transported away from this place of terror. However, Ahsa’s hands soon stopped glowing, and it turned to him.

“And now you are free, little Seridian. Remember our agreement. I will require something from you, one day,” it said, its jagged teeth gleaming in the light of its eyes.

An instant later, Ahsa was gone, and Rhoda found himself confused about what had happened. Then, he noticed the two guards, who had been standing watch in front of the slave pen, now hung from the side of the small hut closest to the pens. Slowly and cautiously, Rhoda exited the pens without alerting any of the others and walked closer to the hut’s wall. Suddenly, a metallic smell filled Rhoda’s nose, and he realized with horror that the men hung from small stakes that pierced their hands. What’s more, he saw that their entrails spilled out into the dust and understood that they were dead.

This dawned on Rhoda gradually, but then, he turned and began running toward the main body of the city Urant, yet even before he got too close, Rhoda noticed the grim forest of bodies. Some hanging from houses, more dangling from the trees, and others strung about the plaza fountain. Whether man, woman, or child, all were represented in the gruesome tableau, and not a single soul remained alive.

Rhoda fell to his knees at the sight, choking back the vomit. Tears filled his eyes, ones of disgust and joy, happiness and pain as he knew all this freed his people. But he did not want it to be like this. Not like this at all.

*******************************************************************************************************************

All the while, Ahsa watched from the shadows with a jagged smile parting its cadaverous lips.

 

 

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Commenting on Things: What You Should and Should Not Do

with 3 comments

Recently, I have been perusing the deep, dark recesses of the internet, and I have found that I am constantly irritated by people who find it necessary to comment on any and everything that appears. Whether it be on Amazon product descriptions, comments on people’s’ personal blogs, etc., I find that much of what it found in these handy-dandy commenting areas to be anywhere from completely indecipherable and unhelpful to irreverent and confrontational.  I believe comments can be helpful and can offer a lot of insight on a topic that the writer and the readers are adamant about, but frankly, I think that many people either do not know how to comment or just don’t care the image of themselves that they put out on the internet. Hence, I offer some of the most common commenting concerns that I see for anyone who comments on others ideas, writing, etc. and some ways in which to avoid them.

1) Fangirl / Fanboy posts– You’ve all read these types of post. These are the one in which people will blatantly bash someone’s work because they enjoy the source material that someone is writing on. This is not what bothers me per-say, but I think that

By User:Pianopianissimo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

if you are going to disagree with someone’s opinion on a subject that you should be able to disagree with them in an intelligent and civil fashion. Be able to critique someone else’s ideas by giving information from the original source material to back up your ideas. For example, don’t just say “OMG you don’t understand Edward and Bella’s relationship. You’re a big do-do head.” First, one should explain the complexity of the subject that the person obviously doesn’t get by giving details about said subject. Second, one should be able to do so without name calling. I mean seriously are people 6? Tip here is to know your shit and be willing to back up your opinion in an intelligent way without just clinging to your love of said topic.

2) The vague comment– Again, we’ve all seen this. This is the post where the person appears to either not know what they’re talking about at all or they haven’t even read the post. For example: “I really appreciate the words you had to say about this.” One, this is not helpful at all. Two, this makes it seem like you’re just trying to promote your own blog or site (as they are generally followed by the most recent blog post). If you can’t find something that you would truly like to comment on (whether you like it or not), then don’t comment… or simply say that you like the blog post and move on (which I’m still not a fan of)… Don’t be vague just to try to sound provocative or to be mysterious… please.

3) The confrontational comment– This is the comment and the commenter that will disagree with you just to do it and try to get a rise out of you. Yet again, I think that we’ve all seen one of these. They attack both the ideas presented (with or without evidence to the contrary) and usually attack the person who created the item in question. Usually, they are inflammatory. For example, “This book would have been better if they had gotten people working in the field to write it. As it stands, it sounds like a group of graduate students wrote it.” While it may appear that this person may not have liked the book, they additionally feel it necessary to attack the credentials of the persons who edited and wrote for the book in question (I’ve actually read reviews similar to all the ones that I’m using for examples… However, none of them are verbatim). This commenting situation can again be rectified by simply expressing reasons as to why they think the book is not up to snuff and also by not attacking the group of people in question, especially without explaining why.

4) Illogical comments– While these comments are usually harder to spot because they may appear to do all the good things that commenters should, they are also quite annoying to find. For example, on a friend’s blog, a guy is arguing that the Schumacher “Phantom of the Opera” should not be compared to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical because they are in too absolutely different mediums. However, the fact that they are based on the source material of Gaston Leroux and that the movie is directly based upon the musical stage show makes his assertion pretty much invalid. While some (or many most) of the things that he says could be arguably debated if he framed his argument a little differently, the illogic he uses taints the foundation of his claims. What’s more, he’s the confrontational and dick-ish commenter (view the above) that lashes out against my friend even as she tries to deal with him calmly. Here, thinking through the logic and tone of the  comments he posted could have made him look like an intelligent individual who wanted to exchange ideas in a civil fashion, but as it stands, he just looks like an asshat. One thing more I will say about this is that persons (including myself at times) may not know that they are being illogical but if their opinions are shown to be falsely based with evidence they should be willing to admit this and move on (believe me, I’ve had to take back things that I’ve said before because I proposed something that was illogical… yeah not proud to admit that myself). However, the tone has a lot to do with this type of commenting…

While I could go on listing egregious commenting annoyances, I think that I will stop where I am and reiterate the suggestions that I’ve been giving throughout for what I think makes a good comment, regardless of the situation.

  • Be civil. Don’t attack the writer’s or artist’s opinion or art. It’s okay to disagree with someone as long as you do so in a nice way (while there might be some exceptions here that people may think of, I think that generally everyone deserves this courtesy). Encourage the debate but don’t do so in a way that is ugly.
  • Be knowledgeable.  If you have an opinion on the subject that is being discussed and have a difference of opinion, tell them why with specific examples from whatever it is that you are talking about. Don’t say that their opinion sucks because it’s just as valid as yours.
  • Be specific. Don’t just say that their opinion sucks (in a polite way of course). Tell them what it is that you don’t agree with in their argument, and again be specific.
  • Fact check. Don’t tell your opinion without knowing what it is that you’re talking about. Also, think through what it is that you’re going to say before you actually put it in print because this might save you have to write a retraction in the end.
  • Comment on others’ items as you would have them comment on yours. I know I’m taking liberties with a christian bible verse but yeah… I think that it applies and is easy to decipher.

These are just a few tips I would like to share with the blogosphere to encourage more civility and thoughtfulness before people write. However, I would also like to say that I do not do so to discourage debate and argument with others. I just think that people should do so in such a way that they clearly make known what it is that they want people to know and do so in an informed way. Additionally, I am not saying that if you know the person you are commenting  on that you should necessarily follow all these rules because you know the person and know what it is that they are comfortable with. For example, I’m okay with my friends and family saying random things across my blog without really taking it to heart.  I’m just tired of reading ill-conceived or non-nonsensical yammering where I expect to see thoughtful or civil idea exchange. Here’s hoping it can be better… yeah…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 9, 2012 at 2:16 am