Be a patron of the arts and support my writing for as little as $1 a month at my Patreon page.

Join my Dischord and connect with me.



Scorpius Port

59%

29716 of 50000 words

Sponsored by Featured Fiction

Archives

Categories

Self-Therapy Notepads

I was browsing around on Amazon a few minutes ago and found these Self-Therapy Notepads by Knock Knock. They seem to have a full line of this sort of notepad, including: Today’s Plan of Attack, Make A Decision, Shit List, Get Your Shit Together, and more. It was the Self-Therapy pads that caught my attention and made me snicker, because who could not use a tablet like this on their desk to make people wonder?

It has me wanting to make myself a self-therapy journal, with similar things to check off and fill out in the pages of it, just so I have a place to chronicle all of the things throughout the day, week, month that makes me go, “Arrrgh! I wanna strangle someone!” It would be fun and interesting to look back on something like this a year later and see what sorts of things bothered you over the year as you get ready to make resolutions for a new year.

 

Who will attend the President Trump’s meeting on video game violence?

On Thursday, President Trump will gather people from both sides of the issue at the White House to discuss the role of video game violence in tragedies such as the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 people. Trump has indicated that he believes that violence in video games is partially to blame for real life violence, and will host a meeting between representatives of the game industry and people who think that, in recent years, games have made kids more violent.

On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, “As we continue to work towards creating school safety programs that protect all children, the President will be meeting with video game industry leaders and members of Congress to discuss violent video game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children.”

She also noted that, “This meeting will be the first of many with industry leaders to discuss this important issue.”

People who have been invited include: Mike Gallagher, Entertainment Software Association CEO; Patricia Vance, president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board; Strauss Zelnick, CEO Take-Two Interactive, makers of games such as “Grand Theft Auto,”; and Robert Altman, chairman and CEO of ZeniMax, the parent company for Bethesda Studios that produces games like “Fallout,” “Doom,” and other violent video games; Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Missouri Republican who, after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, said the federal government needed to address violence in video games, not gun violence; and Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Center, who after Sandy Hook, argued that Democrats deny “our violent media has any influence on these under-21 shooters.”

The games that are being called into question, however, are ones that are clearly marked as being rated M by the ESRB and are not intended for children. In a statement this past Wednesday, Dan Hewitt, spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, said, “video games are plainly not the issue.”

“We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds and their minds are being formed,” said the President. “And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.”

It should be noted that President Trump’s brother, Robert Trump, is one of the 8 people who sit on the board of directors for ZeniMax, the parent company behind games such as “Doom,” and “Fallout.” Of interest as well is a study by psychologist Patrick Markey that notes that the vast majority of mass shooters, about 80%, show no interest at all in video games.

According to Markey, there is no evidence to support the correlation between violent video games and these extreme acts of violence that many people want to draw. In fact, it seems that the study showed there to be a completely opposite effect. Markey noted that when a new violent video game is released, crime actually decreases.

So, what will come of the discussion the President has arranged on the role of video game violence in real world shootings? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Does Purdue University want to destroy the Christian family unit?

In short, I don’t think so. But if you read the comments on any of a growing number of sites where the topic of the Purdue Writing Style Guide is being discussed, then you would see that there are many out there who think, genuinely think, that destruction of the Christian family unit is exactly what Purdue University wants.

So, what does Purdue want? Well, I would recommend that anyone who truly wants to know take a trip over to the Stereotypes and Biased Language style guide and see for themselves what the fuss is about.

Oh, wait, I am sorry, I think I just offended some of my readership by how I phrased that, let me try again…

So, what does Purdue want? Well, I would recommend that any man or woman who truly wants to know take a trip over to the Stereotypes and Biased Language style guide and see for himself or herself what the fuss is about.

The fuss is about the use of gender biased words when writing. There are a lot of people, sorry – men and women, getting upset about the Purdue guide at the moment, they, he or she sees it as being an attack on the Christian family unit. I will state my personal opinion here in saying that I do not understand this at all, what a specific person, sorry, man or woman chooses to call themself, uhm… himself or herself, is up to them… err, him or her.

I have to say that, as a writer, trying to make sure I was NOT gender neutral in the above paragraph was so much harder than just writing in a normal manner. As a reader it is much harder to read and comprehend in the corrected format than how I had wanted to write it. Each of the above words that I struck out were what I felt was the natural word choice in those cases, however, the people, sorry, men and women, who are against Purdue’s guide to Stereotypes and Biased Language are, from what I have read, of the mindset that only my corrections are proper.

Why?

Well, I’m pretty sure that this is where it crosses from a literary debate into a social debate. You see, there are men and women (people) out there in the world who identify as not exactly being a man or a woman, and it is those individuals that the men and women who oppose the Purdue guide are upset about.

Why? … I have no idea, I really don’t, on a personal opinion level here, I can not wrap my head around what difference it makes in a man or woman’s life how another person chooses to identify themself/himself/herself.

So, the journalist in me has decided that I want to figure out just why the way someone identifies theirself is a threat to so many others. I will be going out to research this, but for now I would love to hear what others have to say about this topic, so please, I hereby open the floor to my readers to share their, err… his or her thoughts in the comments below.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to be a 6-part miniseries

When I was younger my dad was always recommending books that he thought I would enjoy reading, and one of the series that he suggested was Discworld by Terry Pratchett. I still have not had the chance to settle down with any of these wonderful books, but I did get the chance to see two of the films adaptations; The Color of Magic and Hogfather.

The working title for the new miniseries is The Watch and is rumored to be written for BBC Studios by Simon Allen. BBC Studios is co-producing the series with Narrativia, a production company that Pratchett founded in 2012 that is now run by Pratchett’s daughter, Rhianna, and his former business manager Rob Wilkins.

For those who are unfamiliar with Discworld and are wondering if the series might be of interest, all I can say is if you love a good dose of humor with your fantasy you most definitely need to take a look at this series. The setting, Discworld, is a world that is a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants, and those in turn balance on the back of a massive turtle.

City Watch is one of the major story-lines of the Discworld series and is a whodunit series that focuses on the city watch of largest city-state in Discworld, Ankh-Morpork. I will be very interested to get the chance to see this series when it is finished, and hope that my finances will be to a point by then that I can watch it without resorting to waiting until months after its release to see it.

Capcom shutting down the Xbox 360 servers for Dragon’s Dogma and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

In an announcement on their website on Wednesday, Capcom announced that they would be shutting down Dragon’s Dogma and Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen servers for the Xbox 360. This will mean that players on the Xbox 360 will no longer have access to pawns from other players, or be able to battle the Ur-Dragon, they will still be able to play all other aspects of the game in off-line mode.

For those who play Dragon’s Dogma on the PS3, or Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen on the PS4, Xbox One, or PC, the game servers will remain accessible and fully functional.

Health scare from severe panic attack and stress

Last night I had a nasty health scare. I started feeling a painful burn in my ribs, the muscles across the back and wrapping around my chest hurt in sort of a burning pain manner. I tried to lay down to see if that would help ease the pain of the muscles, but after a little while it just got worse and worse. I started to worry about if it might be a heart attack, going over in my head everything I knew about heart attacks, and I also started to think on the fact that soon I was going to need to go see a doctor about the pain I have in my leg.

I tried moving all sorts of ways to get the pain in my rib cage to cease, and sometimes it eased off a bit, but then would just get really bad all over again. I took two aspirin and had my roommate make me a bottle filled with hot water I could put against my back. It seemed to help, but the pain kept flaring up and I kept going back to the worry about if I should have my roommate call my brother so he could take me to the ER.

It finally got bad enough that my roommate called my brother anyway and I talked with my brother, who walked me through the symptoms and asked about symptoms that would indicate a heart attack. I did not have any symptom of a heart attack other than pain and that was not in the heart area, just the muscles that wrapped around my chest and back. I took my blood pressure on an old machine I had left over from when I cared for my dad, and it said my blood pressure and pulse were in normal range, although the reading did indicate hypertension, but I was in very agitated state, so will check it again when I am not worked up and see what it says then.

I settled back down as comfortably as I could after that and tried to get the hot water bottle to ease the pain in my back some, but after an hour or so I was up again, the twisting in my muscles having spread inward to the point that I puked up everything I had ate earlier in the day. After that I was able to get a bit of sleep and somewhere in the night the pain eased off enough I stayed asleep.

When I woke this morning my back still ached, but most of the pain was gone and I could think over that happened. I have come to the determination that stress caused a panic attack that caused my muscles to start locking up and I entered a degenerative state where the more I hurt the more stressed I became, so the more my muscles locked up and made me hurt. Nasty cycle of pain caused by all of the stress I have been under the past few months. I long for things to calm to the point i no longer have to suffer from painful anxiety attacks like that. Stress in limited amounts I can handle, anxiety attacks I can weather through, but that was just… miserable. I’ve had those same situations in the past, but it’s been a while since the last episode that was that bad.

Sort of back online

My roommate got a cell phone today that can create a wi-fi hotspot, so now I can get back online when he is around and has his wi-fi turned on. It is not a perfect solution, but it does allow me to get back online and get some things done to try and get my writing back on track and hopefully start up some kind of home based business with my writing and 3D modeling.

Writing Update: Scorpius Port

I was working on Scorpius Port the past couple of days, but most of that work was in 3D modeling concepts that I have been making as I try to get a good feel for how the station looks. These will eventually be used as the cover art for the novel, so it is time well spent while I think about what to write in the story.

As for what to write, I am up to 29,716 words of rough draft in the novel. It is frustrating trying to get things done without reliable access to the Internet, however, and I am still a little uneasy on if I will get together the money needed for the electric bill or not, so those two concerns are leaving me stressed out and distracted a lot of the time.

For now, I am still making good progress and will be posting more updates when I am able to.

Happy Valentines Day

I’m not much for relationships, but I’ve always kind of liked Valentine’s Day, I think it’s the hopeless romantic in me. Maybe I’ll spend the day plotting out some mushy romance story to never get around to writing… hmmm… or a horror story about those little arrow toting cherubs and hearts… that could have potential.

The cherubs look all sweet and smiling on the cards, but the reality is they are some ancient things that have nasty sharp teeth and used to hunt people for their hearts.

Okay, so maybe the hopeless romantic in me is more of a pessimist about romance and all that. Feel free to write some kind of little variation on the above prompt and share it in the comments though. I would love to read it.

Update on novel progress: Scorpius Port

I’ve been working on Scorpius Port and it is now at roughly 25,000 words of rough draft material and still going strong, with the rest of the story planned out in small snippets of what the scene should have in it and accomplish. I revised the story a bit from the original plan, making what had been first planned to be two minor characters into the lead characters instead and have found the story works much better with that change, I also have settled on a solid antagonist, who surprised me, since they had started out as one of the characters that was supposed to be a good guy in the story. I am hoping that, because of the tilt from good guy to antagonist, their motives are able to be made feel real and the character can be transformed into a solid villain rather than being one who is only there to be the bad guy.

I’m going back through the How to Think Sideways and How to Write A Series courses as I work on the story, since I am hoping that this can be a stand-alone that could start off a series.